Details relating to James Gray MP's constituency office

Request

I would like to make a freedom of information request to know the location of James Gray MP’s constituency office in North Wiltshire and the amount of rent that is being paid for it and to whom, and whether this constituency office is also being used as accommodation when James Gray M.P. is staying in the constituency, or whether he stays elsewhere, and if so if he also claims rent for this other constituency residence and also for another residence in London?


Response

IPSA holds the information that you request.

Mr Gray claims for rent for his constituency office in North Wiltshire, under the Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (the Scheme). The location of the office is adjacent to but separate from his rental accommodation, for which he claims under the Scheme and has the same address. It is the subject of separate license arrangement between the licensor, Andrew’s Settlement, and the licensee, Mr Gray.

In line with our publication policy, IPSA will release only the first part of the postcode of an MP’s rental accommodation for which claims are made under the Scheme and it is our view that there is nothing in principle to distinguish between the release of the address of an MP’s rental accommodation and information which would identify that address. We are therefore withholding the full address of Mr Gray’s constituency office, applying Section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act. Section 40(2) provides that information is exempt if it constitutes personal data and where release would contravene one of the data protection principles of the Data Protection Act, 1998. We consider that disclosure would breach the First Data Protection Principle of the DPA.

We can confirm that the first part of the postcode for Mr Gray’s constituency office is SN12.

We can also confirm that a rent of £400 per month is paid to Andrews Settlement, the licensor, and is claimed by, and reimbursed by IPSA, to Mr Gray.

The Scheme does not allow for MPs to claim rent for a home office, but allows for rent to be claimed for a separate office which is not used for a residential purpose. Mr Gray has confirmed that his constituency office is entirely self-contained, with a separate entrance and is used for office purposes.

Mr Gray is not registered with IPSA for any other constituency accommodation or for any London accommodation.

Ref:
FOI2012-A104
Disclosure:
November 27, 2012
Categories:
MPs' OFFICE COSTS
Exemptions Applied:
None