IPSA's response regarding festive and celebratory claims

Date published: 22 November 2022

We are aware of concerns regarding the rules for MPs' festive and celebratory claims. Our rules have not changed. MPs employ, on average, five members of staff in their local constituencies to deal with casework from members of the public. These cases are often distressing for the constituent and staff member alike and working in that environment day in and day out is very challenging.

As employers, it is entirely appropriate that MPs should, if they see fit, reward their staff with a modest gathering at Christmas. We are clear that alcohol is not included, that any event must represent value for money, is subject to publication for transparency and must not be party political in nature. It must be funded within existing budgets.

To suggest that there is anything inappropriate in this is simply incorrect. We are disappointed with the interpretation of this normal employment practice at a time when MPs are receiving large amounts of abuse, particularly on social media.