The Parliamentary watchdog is to investigate allegations that the new pensions minister Paul Maynard, has broken rules by using using taxpayer money for party campaigning.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) said it would refer these claims to its compliance officer. The Sunday Times reported allegations that Maynard had used his constituency office, for which he received parliamentary funding, as the premises for his local Conservative Association. It was also claimed he has used facilities in his office to print campaign material.
Maynard told the Sunday Times that he believed he had put proper arrangements in place to cover this issue after formerly contacting the watchdog and drawing up an agreement regarding the use of the premises. He told The Sunday Times he would abide by an Ipsa findings.
Maynard is the Conservative MP for Blackpool North and the Cleveleys. He was elected to Parliament in the 2010 general election and appointed as the parliamentary under-secretary for state for pensions in November last year.
He replaced Laura Trott as pensions minister — who moved to the Treasury in that reshuffle. Trott took over from Guy Opperman who held the role since 2017 to 2022.
Speaking to the Sunday Times Maynard said: “I have financial agreements in place with Ipsa over the ad hoc use of my constituency office by the local Conservative association. I believe that these arrangements are appropriate, but will be seeking clarification from Ipsa to ensure this is the case. I will, of course, abide by any findings they make and ensure that any payments deemed necessary can be made promptly.”
Speaking to the BBC Anneliese Dodds, the Labour Party chairwoman, said the allegations against the pensions minister were “extremely serious” and “must be thoroughly investigated”. The Liberal Democrats have urged the government to suspect the whip from Maynard while these claims are investigated fully.