MPs cannot claim £50 for breakfast as viral post claims

27 February 2020
What was claimed

MPs can claim £50 for breakfast.

Our verdict

Incorrect. MPs can claim £25 for food bought during the day if they stay overnight outside their constituency and London.

A post on Facebook shared over 35,000 times says that MPs can claim £50 for breakfast.

This is not true. MPs are entitled to food expenses of up to £25 per night, but only if they are staying overnight outside of both their constituency and the London area as part of their parliamentary activities. This can be for food bought during the day, and cannot include alcohol.

On breakfast specifically, guidance for MPs on expenses states that “If the hotel’s nightly rate includes breakfast, the full amount will be reimbursed” provided that the overnight cost of the hotel is “up to a limit of £175 per night in the London Area and £150 elsewhere in the United Kingdom.”

As we’ve written before, food and drink, including breakfast, is also available to purchase within the House of Commons. While this is not directly subsidised, catering services across the House of Commons do run at a loss, meaning that public money is effectively spent subsidising the overall catering operation. This catering is not exclusively for MPs—there are about 14,500 other staff members and pass-holders and an unknown number of visitors who can use the House of Commons catering facilities.

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.