Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard investigated over funding allegations

The investigation first came to light in January
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A full investigation has been launched into claims Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard broke parliamentary rules over his expenses.

Paul MaynardPaul Maynard
Paul Maynard

He is alleged to have broken the rules by using his constituency office in Bispham as a base for the local Conservative association. The issue came to light in January following an investigation by the Sunday Times.

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A notice published on the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) website says: "The compliance officer for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has opened an investigation to determine whether Mr Paul Maynard MP has been paid an amount under the MPs’ Scheme of Staffing and Business Costs ("the scheme") that should not have been allowed."

It adds the investigation will focus on office costs. These relate to Mr Maynard's premises at Blackpool Technology Park in Bispham. Public funds are given to MPs to run a constituency office but they cannot use them for party political campaigns which must be funded from separate political donations.

Mr Maynard says he will cooperate with the investigation.

He said: "I will work with IPSA to ensure they have all the information they require as part of their inquiry. Agreements have been in place covering occasional use of my constituency office but I have made it clear that I will abide by any finding made during the course of this process."

It comes as Blackpool South MP Scott Benton is facing a recall vote after an independent panel upheld a finding that he should be suspended from the Commons for 35 days. He was found to have breached Commons rules after an undercover sting investigation by Times newspaper journalists posing as gambling investors.

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