Almost £1m paid out to cover legal costs for MPs accused by staff

Almost a million pounds in public funds have been paid out to cover the legal costs for MPs who have been accused of wrongdoing by their staff, it has emerged.

In a report by The Times newspaper, it was claimed that over £950,000 has been paid by the House of Commons for employment practices liability insurance.

The figure was disclosed to the newspaper after lodging a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

The insurance policy covers MPs against claims for damages, awards of money, interests and costs, judgments, defence costs and settlements (which could include a non-disclosure agreement) arising from legal proceedings in courts or tribunals.

It also covers both civil claims and criminal charges which arise out of complaints made by an employee or ex-employee against an MP or former MP if the acts complained about happened as a result of the employment of that individual by the MP or former MP.

A spokesman for the House of Commons said: “The House of Commons pays the premium for an insurance policy to cover Members of Parliament for claims made against them by employees.

“Providing a single policy covering all MPs is more cost-effective to the taxpayer. How any claim is resolved would be a matter for the insurer and we cannot comment on individual cases”.