Details of Northern Ireland MPs’ business or first class air travel


  1. I’m aware from a previous request that Northern Ireland MPs claimed with regards to 53 business/ club class tickets for flights between Northern Ireland London within the last financial year. How many Northern Ireland MPs claimed for business/ club class tickets during the last financial year?

  2. Were any claims for business/ club class tickets made by Sinn Fein party MPs in the last financial year? If so and if possible, how many tickets does this refer to?

  3. Of the business/ club class tickets claimed for by Northern Ireland MPs during the last financial year, how many were stated as being claimed because an economy ticket was not available?

  4. How many of the 53 business/ club class tickets were reimbursed in full because no economy ticket was available?

  5. With reference to the policy to only reimburse for the price of an economy ticket “available at the time of booking”, how is this availability and the cost of the economy element of the ticket discovered and verified?


IPSA holds the information you requested.

I will take each of your questions in turn:

(1) Six

(2) No Sinn Fein MPs claimed Business Class tickets in the last financial year

In response to questions (3), (4) and (5) of your request:

You may be aware that IPSA receives approximately 180,000 expense claims a year. Because of the volume of information, we undertake a risk-based approach to validation and assurance of all expense claims. 

Post-payment checks are undertaken on a regular basis to identify any paid claims for which insufficient evidence may have been provided, or where we believe there may be a breach of the scheme rules. If any such claim is identified, the MP will be asked to either provide additional evidence or repay the claim.

IPSA guidance on how we validate claims is available on our website.

We do not hold any records of any Northern Ireland MPs having been asked to provide more evidence, or repay claims as a result of taking a business class flight.

This concludes our response to your request.

16 August 2019
Exemptions Applied: