THE bill for MPs' expenses soared by a quarter to nearly £90m last year, it has emerged.

Politicians spent the money on accommodation, staff, travel and office costs, as many need a second home to work in Westminster.

Altogether, the 650 MPs received £89.4 million in 2011-12, compared to £71m the previous year.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority said 99% of MPs' expenses claims were within the rules and proved the system has been cleaned up since the expenses scandal which saw four MPs sent to jail.

Weaver Vale MP Graham Evans, whose constituency includes Runcorn, claimed £21,051 for accommodation, and £11,271.47 for travel.

His wife, Cheryl, was paid between £20,000 and £24,999 as his senior secretary.

His total expenses, including running his constituency office, and staffing, was £161,546.27.

MP Graham Evans said: “I am very pleased that MPs’ expenses are now regularly being published.

“It ensures transparency and is one of the important first steps to restoring faith in our politics.

“I have not claimed anything which is not necessary for doing my job of standing up for the people of Weaver Vale. I never will.”

Halton MP Derek Twigg claimed £19,401.25 for his flat in London, and £4,003.40 for travel.

His wife, Mary, received a salary of between £25,000 and £29,000 as his executive secretary.

His total expenses were £129,534.76.

MP Derek Twigg said: “We have two work places, one in London and one in our constituency. These expenses cover the costs of both offices, administration and travel. It’s not the MPs who are getting paid this money.

“It is an an independent transparent system.”

Both MPs drew their basic salary of £65,738.