‘Obscene’ £172 bill for Bercow’s 1km journey

John Bercow has been accused of “obscene waste” after racking up a £172 bill being chauffeur-driven to a conference just 0.7 miles (1.1km) from Parliament.

‘Obscene’ £172 bill for Bercow’s 1km journey

The Commons Speaker also spent £367 (€518) taking a car to Luton to deliver a speech on how MPs were restoring their reputation after the expenses scandal.

Fresh details of Bercow’s travel costs have been disclosed following a Freedom of Information request following on from a landmark Court of Appeal ruling on the scope of FOI.

He has been widely criticised for splashing out large sums on foreign trips — including visits to Australia, New Zealand, Burma, South Africa, the US, Finland and Austria.

Among the material in the disclosure is:

  • Bercow used an official car to travel to Canterbury to see Archbishop Justin Welby enthroned in 2013 — at a total cost of £524.
  • In April that year he spent £172 taking a car to Carlton House Terrace — just 1.1km from the Commons. A taxi fare for the round trip would have cost less than £15.
  • The same month his transport bill to a dinner organised by charity Stonewall at the Dorchester Hotel — 2.4km from Parliament —was £144.
  • A one-way drive from King’s Cross station to Speaker’s House after a day trip to Leeds in July 2013 cost £168.
  • A car to Margaret Thatcher’s funeral at St Paul’s Cathedral, 2.9km from the Commons, cost £158.

Mr Bercow is not believed to require an official car for security reasons, and the receipts indicate he has used commercial firms.

TaxPayers’ Alliance campaign director Andy Silvester said: “This is an obscene waste of money and shows appalling judgment from whoever made the arrangements.”

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