An MP claimed £150 in rail upgrades so he could get a first class seat rather than standing up in crowded standard-class carriages, it has emerged.
Expenses claims published by the House of Commons show that senior Labour MP Liam Byrne (Lab Hodge Hill) claimed for three £50 upgrades last year.
The MP told Commons staff he needed the upgrade on journeys between his Birmingham constituency and London in June because there were “no seats available in standard”.
It also emerged that Birmingham Labour MP Khalid Mahmood (Perry Barr) claimed more than £2,200 to pay for services from a consultancy run by the long-term partner of fellow Birmingham Labour MP Steve McCabe (Lab Selly Oak).
He received payments of £776.38 and £1,480.23, a total of £2,256.61, for “professional services” provided by Gordon and Badley Communications, a consultancy owned by former Labour press officer Caroline Badley and Fiona Gordon, the partner of Mr McCabe.
Mr Mahmood said: “They provide invaluable advice helping me to communicate with constituents, for example by conducting surveys. I am not going to discriminate against someone just because of who their partner is.”
Ms Badley was Labour’s campaign manager in Edgbaston at the last election, and is credited with helping sitting Labour MP Gisela Stuart hold the seat and defy predictions that the Conservatives would take it.
Birmingham’s MPs received between May last year and £142,933.33 December last year, the figures show.
Nationally, MPs who had claims refused by Ipsa from November and December included:
* Tobias Ellwood, a Tory, for a £59 bike repair, described as not claimable;
* Angus MacNeil, of the Scottish National Party, for two claims of £387.75 for interim hotel accommodation in London, both rejected as duplicates;
* Children’s Minister Tim Loughton, who provided “insufficient evidence” for a £89.23 claim for staples and ink cartridges;
* Shadow Treasury chief secretary Angela Eagle, whose receipt failed to match a claim for a £10 rail ticket for a member of staff;
* Labour’s Ian Mearns, who provided “insufficient evidence” for an £8 taxi journey from Gateshead to BBC Newcastle.