SOUTH Swindon MP Anne Snelgrove has claimed almost £50,000 on her second home since becoming an MP.

The figures have been revealed after Mrs Snelgrove posted a breakdown of the expenses for her London home on her website, which showed she has claimed £48,616 since she was elected in 2005.

One of her rivals for the South Swindon seat has rubbished her claims of transparency and said the figures should have been published long ago.

Mrs Snelgrove said: “People are angry and it’s time for MPs to start meeting that anger by publishing their expenses.

“MPs can’t publish the actual receipts because of data protection laws, but they can and should publish the figures.”

Since April Mrs Snelgrove has not claimed the second homes allowances, opting to take the new £7,500 London allowance, of which 40 per cent is taxed, instead. She has previously referred to the second homes allowance as “indefensible”.

She said: “When I became an MP I realised I could not regularly work up to midnight in London, return to Swindon every night and return to work early the next day and be an effective MP.

I claimed the second homes allowance and that enabled me to stay overnight in London.

“I bought items of furniture using that allowance but at the same time I financed setting up my office in Swindon, and I have continued to subsidise my office amounting to approximately £10,000 over the last four years.”

The figures show that Mrs Snelgrove spent a total of £14,283 in the last financial year, including £2,030 on food and subsistence and £695 on service and maintenance.

In her first year as an MP in 2005/06 Mrs Snelgrove claimed £8,075, the following year the figure was £7,499 which went up sharply to £18,757 in 2007/08.

Mrs Snelgrove explained that the figure had increased when she bought a house after two years of renting in London.

She said: “I was fed up with living in pokey bedsits.

“In 2007 I found myself rushing around to look at flats and it was taking up too much of my time.

“I would like the House of Commons to have a hotel because all you really need is a crash pad. A lot of other parliaments have got that.

It would be far better for everyone and I have asked on numerous occasions for that to be considered.”

Robert Buckland, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for South Swindon, said: “It is a partial picture but a good start.

“It’s a shame that MPs like Anne have waited for events to overtake them before being transparent. Why wait so long to publish all these details?

“Anne voted for declaration of MPs’ interests this year but if you look on the website they still describe her as voting very strongly against a transparent parliament.”

To see the full details of the expenses go to