CHURCH of England bishops claimed just over £135,000 from the public purse for attending the House of Lords in the past financial year. Some, such as the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, claimed nothing; others claimed the £174 overnight allowance and £86.50 daily subsistence rate in full, as well as their office costs and travel.
The record of expenses for the House of Lords from 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009, just released, shows that bishops received £135,762 in expenses. Dr Rowan Williams made no claims for the seven times he attended during the year. Dr Sentamu, who attended four times, also made no claims.
The Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres, attended seven times and claimed £327. The Bishop of Southwark, Dr Tom Butler, also in the capital, attended 88 times, and claimed £7484 for day subsistence, but made no other claims.
The Bishop of Chester, Dr Peter Forster, claimed £27,696 for his 67 attendances: £7868 for accommodation, £7313 for office costs, £841 for travelling by car, and £6399 for rail fares. He claimed £5275 for daily subsistence. A spokesman said: “Living in Chester, he obviously needs to stay overnight when necessary in London. The travel costs reflect the cost of his travel. When he is 60, just a few months from now, the travel costs will fall by one third. His expenses claims are in line with those of other peers from the north-west.”
The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd John Gladwin, who retired in August, had attended on 36 occasions. He claimed £457 for travel, £1614 for day subsistence, and £5529 for office costs. The Bishop of Durham, Dr Tom Wright, attended on 16 days; he claimed £2551 for overnight subsistence and £1183 for day subsistence, £513 for car travel, and £1247 for rail fares.
The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Revd Graham Dow, who retired at the end of April, attended on 32 days. He claimed £3167 for overnight accommodation, £458 for car travel, and £1611 for train fares, £475 for day subsistence, and £200 for office costs.
The Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Revd Michael Langrish, attended 31 times. He claimed £3064 for overnight stays, £1195 for day subsistence, £2358 for his office expenses, and £2365 for his rail fares.
The record of expenses also shows the following: the Bishop of Bath & Wells, the Rt Revd Peter Price, attended 19 times from November 2008, and claimed £5574; the Bishop of Bradford, Dr David James, introduced into the Lords in March, attended once and claimed £178; the Bishop of Chichester, Dr John Hind, attended 27 times and claimed £2168; the Bishop of Ely, Dr John Russell, attended ten times and claimed £451; the Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Timothy Stevens, attended 21 times and claimed £3531; the Bishop of Lincoln, Dr John Saxbee, introduced in July 2008, attended 13 times and claimed £1759; the Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Revd James Jones, attended 44 times and claimed £15,923; the Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch, attended 35 times and claimed £8675; the Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Revd Martin Wharton, attended 29 times and claimed £6802; the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James, attended 30 times and claimed £6008; the late Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Ian Cundy, who died in May, attended ten times and claimed £312; the Bishop of Portsmouth, Dr Kenneth Stevenson, who retired in September, attended 18 times and claimed £3226; the Bishop of Ripon & Leeds, the Rt Revd John Packer, who claimed nothing for his day allowance, attended 21 times and claimed £3297; the Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, who retired in August, attended 14 times and claimed £1181; the Bishop of St Albans, Dr Christopher Herbert, who retired a year ago, attended 12 times and claimed £1712; the Bishop of Sheffield, the Rt Revd Jack Nicholls, who retired in July 2008, attended three times and claimed £677; the Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham, the Rt Revd George Cassidy, who retired in August, attended 59 times and claimed £9254; the Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Revd Michael Scott-Joynt, attended 16 times and claimed £424. The Bishop of Truro, the Rt Revd Bill Ind, who retired at the end of April 2008, did not attend that month.