A Durham MP has been accused of being a “liar” after he said he stopped claiming expenses for his energy bills in February 2020, when he actually last claimed in May 2021.

In a video that was posted on Twitter North West Durham MP Richard Holden could be seen being questioned by a constituent about whether or not he claims expenses for his utility bills.

Under MPs’ expenses rules they can claim for energy costs at their second home, but amid the current fury around soaring gas and electric bills many have decided not to claim.

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When asked about whether he claims for his energy bills on his second home the County Durham MP said: “I don’t claim for that – I pay for that myself.

“You are allowed to claim for a second premises but I no longer do that – [I stopped] in February 2020, I think.”

However, it has since been revealed that Holden actually made his last claim in May 2021, more than a year later.

According to IPSA, the independent body which tracks MPs expenses claims, Holden claimed £97.20 for his EDF energy bills in March 2021, and a further £78.45 in May 2021.

Reacting to the clip posted by the 'Blocked by Holden' Twitter account, some users branded him a “liar”.

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Linda Kemetmuller, the constituent who asked Holden about his claims, has since told The Northern Echo she was “angered” to find out MPs could claim for their bills while millions are struggling.

She said: “I read somewhere that MPs could claim for their energy bills on their second homes which angered me because so many hard working people are worrying about how they’re going to pay their bills and mortgages.

“A few people said they thought I’d planned it but I was just talking to him on his summer tour around and asked him about it in the moment.

“It was only after that someone said to me that he had actually claimed last year too.”

It comes as the energy price cap is set to rise more than 80% to £3,549 from October 1.

The Northern Echo: Holden claimed over £175 in total for his energy bills in 2021, despite saying he stopped claiming for utilities in February 2020. Picture: IPSAHolden claimed over £175 in total for his energy bills in 2021, despite saying he stopped claiming for utilities in February 2020. Picture: IPSA

Spokesperson for Richard Holden MP said: “All of Richard Holden’s costs for his staff, running his Parliamentary offices, and associated costs are transparently and fully declared and published online.

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“While MPs are entitled to claim for their energy bills - and most MPs do, including the majority of Labour MPs for our region, Richard no longer claims for his energy bills and pays them himself.

“His last claim was in May 2021, after which no claims for energy for his MP Accommodation have been made.

“Almost every single MP across the North East from both parties claimed for utility bills in the last financial year. Claims for utilities were also claimed by his predecessor Laura Pidcock when she was the Labour MP for North West Durham.

“Richard Holden is very aware of the worry rising energy bills are causing his constituents and has been assured by both Conservative leadership candidates that further measures will be announced as soon as possible once the winner is appointed Prime Minister.

“Richard has also made many representations directly to the Government over current support and how he expects Government to go further.”

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