Michael Gove to pay back £7,000: MPs' expenses
Michael Gove, a Tory rising star and a front-bench ally of David Cameron, agreed to repay more than £7,000 he spent on furnishing his second home in London three years ago.
Conservative MP Michael Gove will repay more than £7,000 he spent on furnishing his second home in London three years ago Photo: JANE MINGAY
8:45AM BST 13 May 2009
Shortly after being elected MP for Surrey Heath in 2005, Mr Gove furnished his house in north Kensington in a five month period between December 2005 and April 2006.
Around a third of the £7,000 was spent at Oka, an upmarket interior design company established by Lady Annabel Astor, Mr Cameron’s mother-in-law.
Mr Gove, the shadow Schools secretary, bought a £331 Chinon armchair from there, as well as a Manchu cabinet for £493 and a pair of elephant lamps for £134,50.
He also claimed for a £750 Loire table – although the Commons’ authorities only allowed him to claim £600 – a birch Camargue chair worth £432 and a birdcage coffee table for £238.50.
Yesterday Mr Cameron said Mr Gove would repay the £7,000 cost of the furnishings to the Commons’ authorities.
Mr Gove described the sum “which I hope will reassure people that I’m serious”. He added: "We 'get it’. We are going to change the rules and we are going to make sure that past mistakes are atoned for.
“David will be taking radical action and it’s only by taking radical action that we will get this place (parliament) back to where it needs to be.”
Mr Gove is not repaying a £13,259 bill for when he moved house in his constituency in Surrey in Autumn 2006, although the sum could be examined by the party’s new scrutiny committee.
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