Bim Afolami, the MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, wrongly claimed two driving fines on his parliamentary expenses.

The claims, for £80 each, were made in December 2021 and uncovered in an investigation by the Independent.

They related to penalty charge notices (PCNs) issued by Transport for London (TfL), which issues fines for breaking traffic rules. Charges could be issued, for example, for driving in bus lanes, incorrectly using disabled bays or parking on double red lines.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) approved the expense claims, meaning taxpayers footed the bill - though Mr Afolami says he has now paid the money back.

IPSA's own rules state that they "will not pay any claims for penalty charges".

A spokesperson for the organisation said: "We have changed our process to ensure any future such claims are not paid, and will reiterate the scheme rules to MPs."

Earlier this month, Mr Afolami faced calls to resign after he failed to declare that he is being paid £2,000 per month to chair the Regulatory Reform Group.

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We asked Mr Afolami what the TfL fines were for, and whether this was part of a wider pattern of misdeclaring his income and expenses.

He responded with this statement: "This happened inadvertently as a result of an administrative mix up over two years ago with the use of my official IPSA card - a card which pays for all sorts of office costs, travel costs and other legitimate expenses.

"This card was registered to my TfL congestion charge account, and - by mistake - it appears that it was used to pay this PCN.

"I would have never knowingly paid for penalties with the card - when I found out this had happened, I repaid the £160 immediately.

"I have reviewed my office processes in order to stop this situation occurring in future."

Commenting on the incident, Victoria Collins, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Harpenden & Berkhamsted, said: “It's an absolute disgrace that Bim Afolami got taxpayers to foot the bill for his driving penalties.

"His claims that it was a mistake are simply not good enough.

"Only a few weeks ago it was revealed that Bim Afolami was not transparent about his lobbying work, receiving £2,000 a month to lobby Rishi Sunak’s government.

"It’s one rule for them and another rule for everyone else. Bim Afolami continues to prove that he's another out-of-touch Tory MP.

"Local people deserve much better from their elected politicians and Liberal Democrat gains from the Conservatives in recent local elections is a clear signal local people feel the same.

"No wonder Bim Afolami is running scared from the new seat of Harpenden & Berkhamsted.”

The electoral boundaries are set to change in time for the next general election, with the Hitchin & Harpenden constituency being split up.

Mr Afolami has been selected as the Conservative candidate for the new Hitchin constituency.