LONDON (Bywire News)- The Labour leader Keir Starmer billed the British taxpayer for more than £160,000 so he could be chauffeur driven less than 4 miles a day to and from his former job as Director as Public Prosecutions between 2008 and 2010, it has been revealed.
Matt Kennard, the Head of Investigations at independent media outlet Declassified UK, discovered the eye-watering receipts whilst searching the official Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) web archives.
The historic documents show that the Labour leader, who was appointed as Director of Public Prosecutions in 2008, claimed taxpayer-funded expenses worth around £300 a day for the short 3.9 mile trip from his London home to the CPS office in Ludgate Hill.
Damn. I just went through the records. In Keir Starmer’s first 21 months in office as Director of Prosecutions at the CPS (October 2008 to June 2010) he expensed £161,272 of taxpayers money for a chauffeur driven “official car”. He lived 4 miles from the CPS office in London. pic.twitter.com/3ROuGeM6aZ— Matt Kennard (@kennardmatt) April 29, 2021
Here's the rest of the records. Starmer appears to have stopped billing for his chauffeur driven car in July 2010. pic.twitter.com/P7lTsKrXNc— Matt Kennard (@kennardmatt) April 29, 2021
The records show that, between October and December 2008, Starmer claimed £22,994.77 for use of an “official car”.
The bill for the first quarter of 2009 came to £22,198.27, and rose to £23,007.08 from April to June.
In the second half of 2009, Starmer claimed £22,747.72 for Q3 and £23,906.60 for Q4.
For 2010, the story was similar, with bills of £23,125.85 for January to March and £23,292.39 from April to June.
Starmer’s expense claims for the use of the "official car” began almost as soon as he started work as DPP in 2008, but abruptly stopped in 2010 until he left the job in November 2013.
However, in the 21 months that Starmer was submitting claims for use of the chauffeur-driven car, a total of £161,272.68 was billed to the taxpayer.
Research by Kennard also revealed further documents which show that “neither of Starmer's successors as DPP (Alison Saunders/Max Hill) have ever claimed for an "official car", and added that “their expenses claims [were] generally significantly lower than Starmer’s.”
A Telegraph article from February 2010 reporting Starmer’s sky high chauffeur expenses claims can also be found here.
At the time, a DPP spokesperson said:
“The Director of Public Prosecutions uses a government car, a Toyota Prius, because his role requires him to travel regularly to meetings across London and to the 42 CPS areas.
Given the need for him to make decisions in high profile and controversial cases, he is often required to consider classified papers and take sensitive phone calls while travelling. The cost of this car includes the services of a driver and maintenance costs. The use of the car and the associated costs are in line with government guidelines."
It is unclear why Mr Starmer only required the car from 2008 until 2010, but not from 2010 until 2013 whilst he was still carrying out the same duties as DPP.
(Reporting and writing by Tom D. Rogers, editing by Jessica Miller)