"A defence minister submitted a claim for £20,700 to repair a bell tower and the roof of his country home, it emerged yesterday, as a new slew of receipts heaped more humiliation on MPs.
"Parliament's website published hundreds of thousands of pages of new claims from 2008-09 totalling more than £10 million. They showed that numerous retiring MPs continued to milk the system despite the public outcry at the widespread abuse of the second-home allowance.
"Quentin Davies, the Labour MP for Grantham & Stamford, submitted an invoice in February for repairs to a bell tower and roof at Frampton Hall, in Lincolnshire. The defence minister, who defected from the Tories in 2007, was reimbursed for a quarter of his claim after the parliamentary authorities ruled that he had exceeded the £24,006 annual maximum. The claim exceeded the average pay of an army private, which is £20,449."