Why I have a constituency office, and how I fund it

Simon Hughes MP outlines details about the organisation of his constituency office.

The space occupied by my constituency office is funded wholly and entirely by the money allowed to MPs for constituency offices, and used entirely for my work for the people of my constituency. I rent a portion only of the Liberal Democrat offices in the Blue market place in Bermondsey; the building as a whole is rented from Southwark Council by Bermondsey and Old Southwark Liberal Democrats. Before I moved into my office, an approved independent surveyor assessed both the floor space and the amenities which I use and I pay the exact proportion of costs which reflect my use; I do not in any way subsidise from public money the premises or activities of the Liberal Democrats, either in Bermondsey and Old Southwark or elsewhere. Unlike both Southwark's Labour MPs, I have kept an office in my constituency from the very first year when I became an MP - because I believe it is important for local people to have a local place they can visit to meet face-to-face with their MP and his team.