MPs in Essex have said they will not be claiming expenses for Christmas parties following a backlash against the advice given to MPs.

It comes after IPSA – the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority – issued guidance to MPs saying they would be able to claim the cost of staff Christmas parties as expenses.

The move has received some backlash from MPs, especially following the debacle in 2020 surrounding the breaking of Covid-19 laws by the Prime Minister at a Christmas party.

However, both Colchester MP Will Quince and Braintree MP James Cleverly have been quick to say they will not be charging the taxpayer.

Mr Quince said: "I want to be absolutely clear that I haven't called for this, don't want it, won't claim for it.

"I will continue to cover not just the cost of a Christmas dinner but other periodic work social events as a thank you to my small, hard-working team, out of my own pocket."

Mr Cleverly added: “This guidance has been issued by IPSA and has not been requested by MPs.

“I want to be absolutely clear this isn’t something that I have called for, and I most certainly will not be claiming for.

“I will, as in previous years, celebrate Christmas with my parliamentary team, at my personal expense to thank them for their hard work.”

It comes as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has warned MPs they will have to justify their expenses to voters after the IPSA advice.

Though alcohol was deemed off-limits for expenses, IPSA has been widely criticised for giving the go-ahead amid a cost-of-living crisis.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman told journalists: “Questions on these sorts of arrangements are for Ipsa, they’re independent of both Parliament and Government, they set the allowances.

“But the Prime Minister certainly doesn’t intend to use this and his view is that MPs will want to justify all spending to their constituents.”

Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds suggested the expenses watchdog had been a “little bit naive” in putting out such guidance.

Labour frontbencher Jess Phillips – in a post on Twitter retweeted by Foreign Secretary James Cleverly – said Ipsa had been “irresponsible”.