Great Britain

Labour grandee Geoffrey Robinson faces questions over £30,000 tax-payer funded salary paid to 89-year-old pal

EX-MP PROBED

LABOUR grandee Geoffrey Robinson has been referred to Scotland Yard over an “irregularity” in Commons payments.

Robinson faces questions over a £30,000 tax-payer funded salary paid to a 89-year-old friend for working in his constituency office.

The Mail on Sunday reported that Robinson told Commons authorities Brenda Price was working almost full-time for him - but just two months later he was forced to disclose that she was so frail that she required 24-hour nursing care.

He had also been granted power of attorney over Ms Price while she was receiving the salary - meaning he could have had control over her finances, it was reported.

It has been revealed Ms Price was on the payroll as his “constituency financial officer” in Coventry North West, and Mr Robinson told the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) she was working for him for 30 hours per week.

Ipsa -the official body which governs MPs’ salaries, staffing costs and expenses, - is meant to be informed if staff are no longer fit to work. Sources say she was paid around £30,000-a-year.

Mr Robinson also billed the Commons £1,000-a-month for renting a room from her, even after she was under round-the-clock care, it was claimed.

She died in Balsall Common, near Solihull, last month aged 90.

Robinson stood down before this month’s election after representing Coventry North West for 43 years.

The latest claims comes months after it was claimed Robinson was a spy and allegedly handed defence secrets to Communist Czechoslovakia during the Cold War. Robinson has called the claims a “complete fabrication”.

A Met Police spokesman said: “In December 2019, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) made a referral to the Met in relation to possible expense claims irregularities in relation to an individual. This is currently being assessed.”

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