Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been ordered to pay back more than 12,000 pounds ($21,000) in parliamentary expenses following a review into a claims scandal that rocked British politics, his office said on Monday.Brown will pay back 12,415 pounds for claims he made for gardening, cleaning and maintenance at his second home after new limits were imposed on lawmakers’ parliamentary allowances.However, his office insisted that he had not broken any rules but was instead conforming to new limits which have been retrospectively imposed.Former civil servant Thomas Legg was tasked with reviewing lawmakers’ claims over the past five years after leaked documents showing their lavish spending habits – at taxpayers’ expense – sparked public outrage.He ruled that any claim over 2000 pounds a year for cleaning or 1000 pounds a year for gardening was excessive and should be repaid, and it is under these rules that Brown will pay back several thousands of pounds.”Mr. Brown has always supported this process and will co-operate fully and make the necessary repayment,” the prime minister’s Downing Street office said.”Mr. Brown’s expenses have always been cleared by the House (of Commons) authorities as entirely consistent with the rules.”A statement added that Brown had urged all government ministers to respond “promptly and in full” to any similar requests for repayment, ahead of the establishment of a completely new system of allowances.Legg determined that Brown should repay 10,716 pounds that he claimed in excess of the new rules on cleaning and 302 pounds he claimed on gardening.He also highlighted a bill for painting and decorating for 1396 pounds from April 2006 that was mistakenly submitted twice, Downing Street said, adding: “Mr Brown has apologised for this inadvertent error.”AFP
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