Update on Halifax MP Linda Riordan revelations - she says flat will be put up for sale

MP Linda Riordan
MP Linda Riordan

Halifax’s MP says she will put the flat at the centre of recent revelations up for sale and the MP she was renting it to will move out as soon as possible.

In a statement released this afternoon, Linda Riordan said: “I purchased my London flat in 2006 for £300,000 paying a deposit of £30,000 and £9,000 stamp duty.

“This was only done by remortgaging my family home in Halifax, that I jointly owned with my late husband. There remains £250,000 owing on the flat.

“When the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) was introduced in 2010, I immediately tried to sell my flat - I received no offers. I took advice and was advised to rent out the property by IPSA.

“From rental received in the last 12 months, I have paid £5,000 in estate agents fees and £2,000 in service charges and other costs.

“I have decided to place the flat on the market this week, and after speaking to Iain Mckenzie this weekend (the person renting the flat) he has agreed to move out as soon as is practically possible.

“I have always abided by the rules. Furthermore, I have agreed to pay IPSA back any capital gains. I will, on the assumption that my flat sells, pay any profit to the taxpayer. Of course I cannot speak for other MPs or ex-MPs who are or may continue to make profits.”

IPSA introduced rules in 2010 that meant MPs could no longer claim for mortgage payments for second homes.

Mrs Riordan’s office said she could no longer afford the London payments when the rules came in, which is why she rented it out while moving to another London property which she rented.

As reported by the Courier online, Mrs Riordan has been renting out her second home to a fellow Labour MP while she claimed expenses to rent the other property in London herself.

Mrs Riordan is thought to be getting a £19,000 a year from the controversial practice which is technically permitted under MP guidelines but has caused her to come under fire from critics.

She rents out her £400,000 London flat to MP Iain McKenzie.

Mr McKenzie pays her £1,560 a month in rent - £18,720 a year - which he claims back from the taxpayer.

At the same time, Mrs Riordan claims £1,473 a month - £17,676 a year - from the taxpayer for renting a seperate flat in London for herself.

She also has a home in Northowram.