Percentage of MPs residing in their constituencies

Request

I have been referred to you for the possible answer to this question: what percentage of members of Parliament reside in the constituencies they are elected to represent?

I am aware, of course, that residence is not required.

I'm seeking this information for use in a planned newspaper column on the rigidity of American residency requirements, which in my opinion diminish the quality of leadership and lend themselves to the insidious gamesmanship in the drawing of representative districts.

Any information or suggestions that you can provide concerning the question will be appreciated greatly.


Response

Under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (the ‘Scheme’), MPs representing constituencies outside the London area may claim Accommodation Expenditure for costs necessarily incurred on overnight accommodation, which is designed to meet the cost of working from two locations: a non-London constituency and Parliament.

MPs representing constituencies in the London area are not eligible to claim accommodation expenditure, however, they are able to claim the London Area Living Payment, which is designed to contribute towards the additional cost of living in, or commuting to, the London area.

The Scheme states:

4.3 – MPs may only claim for Accommodation Expenditure in relation to a property at one location, which may be either:

  1. in the London Area, or

  2. within the MP's constituency, or within 20 miles of any point on the constituency boundary.

4.5 – Where an MP is claiming Accommodation Expenditure under paragraph 4.9b or c, the MP must be routinely resident at the property supported by IPSA, and may not sublet this property.

4.9 – Accommodation Expenditure may be claimed only for the following costs:

  1. hotel accommodation; or

  2. rental payments and associated expenditure as set out at paragraph 4.10; or

  3. for MPs who own their property, associated expenditure as set out at paragraph 4.10.

IPSA does not hold the information that you request.

We do not hold information that identifies the residence of MPs that are based in London, as they are not eligible to claim for accommodation expenditure.  We also do not hold information relating to the residence of those MPs that claim for hotel accommodation.  For those MPs that do claim for rental payments, the Scheme allows them to claim within the constituency or within 20 miles of the constituency boundary and, therefore, those MPs may or may not reside within their constituency.

For further information, you may wish to view our response to a previous Freedom of Information request (reference FOI2012-063a) that requested the location of the rental accommodation for which MPs claim.  In response to the request, we released the first part of the postcode for all MPs who claimed rental accommodation under the Scheme, which was correct as of the date of the request.  This information would allow you to identify those MPs that claim rental accommodation within the constituency or within 20 miles of the boundary

Ref:
F1314-228
Disclosure:
February 11, 2014
Categories:
MPs' ACCOMMODATION
Exemptions Applied:
Section 21