Between the 2015-16 and 2017-18 financial years 42 Tory MPs have claimed a total of £134,000 on expenses to pay for membership of the European Research Group (ERG).

The ERG, chaired by Jacob Rees-Mogg, has been prominent in the news lately for supporting a hard Brexit and causing divisions within the Conservative Party.

The fact that they are being funded by the public purse will be a shock and source of anger for many.

Incredibly this is all perfectly legal. The ERG is registered with the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) as a pooled staffing service. All political parties have their own pooled staffing service (the Tories have two) which are a collection of specialist research organisations that provide research support for groups of MPs of different political parties.

The ERG is very secretive about its membership and as an unincorporated association it does not publish any accounts leading to a lot of speculation about where else it gets funding from.

The full list of MPs who have claimed ERG membership on expenses is below:

  • Andrea Leadsom – £2000
  • Andrew Bridgen – £6000
  • Angela Watkinson – £2000
  • Bernard Jenkin – £4000
  • Bill Wiggin – £2000
  • Bim Afolami – £2000
  • Charlie Elphicke – £4000
  • Chris Grayling – £2000
  • Chris Heaton-Harris – £4000
  • Chris Pincher – £2000
  • Christopher Chope – £2000
  • Craig Mackinlay – £4000
  • David Davis – £2000
  • David Gauke – £2000
  • David Nuttall – £4000
  • David Warburton – £2000
  • Desmond Swayne – £2000
  • Gerald Howarth – £6000
  • Guto Bebb – £2000
  • Iain Duncan Smith – £2000
  • Jacob Rees-Mogg – £4000
  • James Duddridge – £4000
  • Jonathan Djanogly – £4000
  • Kit Malthouse – £2000
  • Liam Fox – £2000
  • Mark Francois – £6000
  • Martin Vickers – £2000
  • Michael Gove – £4000
  • Michael Tomlinson – £2000
  • Mike B Wood – £4000
  • Nigel Mills – £2000
  • Owen Paterson – £2000
  • Pauline Latham – £6000
  • Penny Mordaunt – £4000
  • Peter Lilley – £4000
  • Robert Courts – £2000
  • Sajid Javid – £4000
  • Stephen McPartland – £4000
  • Steve Baker – £4000
  • Stewart Jackson – £4000
  • Suella Braverman – £2000
  • Tim Loughton – £4000

This website relies on donations from you, our readers, to keep going. To find out why and what we use the donations for as well as the ways you can donate please visit the donations page.