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Outrage as taxpayers to foot bill for MPs' Christmas parties during cost-of-living crisis

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Rishi Sunak has warned MPs they will have to justify their expenses to voters after they were told for the first time they could charge taxpayers for Christmas parties.The Prime Minister "certainly doesn't intend" to put food, refreshments and decorations on expenses for an office party after guidance was issued by the watchdog responsible for MPs' expenses.Though alcohol was deemed off limits for expenses, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) has been widely criticised for giving the go-ahead amid a cost-of-living crisis.The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "Questions on these sorts of arrangements are for Ipsa, they're independent of both Parliament and Government, they set the allowances.

But the Prime Minister certainly doesn't intend to use this and his view is that MPs will want to justify all spending to their constituents."Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds suggested the expenses watchdog had been a "little bit naive" in putting out such guidance.He told Times Radio: "People have not been asking for this.

I don't think anyone will use it. This is our regulator ... the independent body that runs the MPs' expenses system, which is a system for staff and rent of your office and all of that kind of stuff, you know, being a little bit naive, to be honest, because if they publish stuff like this, you will get a story like this."I understand why people cover it in this way but I doubt anyone will be using it.

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