10 expenses racked up by John Bercow

10 shocking expenses racked up by John Bercow
10 shocking expenses racked up by John Bercow

John Bercow has been accused of "obscene waste" after racking up a bill of £172 being chauffeur-driven to a conference just 0.7 miles from Parliament. Here's more of his travel costs, released after a Freedom of Information request.

1. Bercow used an official car to travel to Canterbury to see Archbishop Welby enthroned in 2013 – at a cost of £524.

Bercow is not believed to require an official car for security reasons.

2. In April 2013 he spent £172 taking a car to Carlton House Terrace – just 0.7 miles from the Commons

He was opening a conference on Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) and FYI, a taxi fare for the round trip is likely to have been less than £15.

3. The same month his transport bill to a dinner organised by charity Stonewall at the Dorchester Hotel – 1.5 miles from Parliament – was £144.

4. A one-way drive from King's Cross station to Speaker's House after a day trip to Leeds in July 2013 cost £168.

5. Bercow's car to Baroness Thatcher's funeral at St Paul's Cathedral, 1.8 miles from the Commons, cost £158.

6. In May 2013 there was a £367 bill for the Speaker to be driven to the University of Bedfordshire.

He gave a lecture, available here, on reforming Parliament to ensure it was a "credible institution". "The expenses scandal proved to be an 'adapt or die' moment for Members of Parliament," he said.

7. He kept a chauffeur driven car waiting while he attended a memorial service for former minister Malcolm Wicks in Croydon, south London in October 2012 – costing £289 for five hours.

8. The Speaker had a Foreign Office car pick him up at Manchester Piccadilly station after travelling up to attend the funeral of Labour MP Paul Goggins in January last year.

It ferried Bercow and a staff member around "as directed" at a cost of £298, before they stayed at the Park Inn by Radisson hotel in the centre of the city.

The following day, the car took Bercow and two staff members to the service in Salford, waiting and dropping them back to Manchester Piccadilly at a further cost of £276. In total, the Speaker and his staff ran up expenses of nearly £1,300 attending the service.

9. Bercow and an aide charged $299 (that's US dollars – about £192) for dinner on an overseas trip.

The bill was racked up while staying at the five-star Strand Hotel in Yangon (formerly known as Rangoon) during an official visit to Burma in the summer of 2013.

The hotel's website says it offers "grand colonial splendour".

10. Long distance calls totalling 63 euro (about £44) were made from Bercow's room during a visit to Vienna in May 2013.

What does Bercow have to say about it all?

A spokesman for the Speaker said: "One of the Speaker's duties is to represent Parliament at home and abroad. The Speaker attends funerals and memorials for former parliamentarians as both a mark of respect and as a representative of his parliamentary colleagues.

"Additionally, the Speaker is committed to encouraging public engagement with Parliament and regularly visits universities, charities and other organisations around the UK to explain the work of the House of Commons.

"The Speaker is always mindful of costs, and travels Standard class in the UK and when away from home, stays in hotels that offer value for money.

"In some instances a car service is required to facilitate timing requirements. In line with the Speaker's commitment to greater transparency, details of these costs have been published on a quarterly basis since 2013."

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