Justice minister in the clear following ‘unpaid’ £13.50 expenses error

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By Krish Nair on

“Absolutely furious” Caroline Dinenage MP hits back


After enduring a day of being shamed on the Guido Fawkes website, Justice Minister Caroline Dinenage has this evening tweeted a screenshot of an email confirming that her inclusion on a list of MP non-expense payers was an error.

Dinenage — who like her boss Michael Gove is not a lawyer — was forced to defend her honour after the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) implicated her for a purported non-payment of a £13.50 expense she claimed on a phone bill. This finding was gleefully picked up by political site Guido and the Law Society Gazette.

The IPSA’s list features the names of those MPs who are as yet to repay minor business expenses.

When Dinenage heard about her presence on the roll of shame, she got straight onto her local constituency rag The Portsmouth News and described herself as “absolutely furious”, adding: “It is really upsetting. I am so meticulous with my expenses.”

One of her researchers then got on the blower to IPSA. The upshot?

Ministry of Justice-hating legal aid lawyers will be disappointed to discover that Dinenage’s brush with scandal — albeit for a pretty trivial reason — was due to a gaffe, as the email she tweeted shows.

Read the letter of apology — albeit a rather muted one — in full below:

IPSA Letter