MPs spend thousands on keeping their gardens tip top

The gardens and greenhouses of a number of MPs may be a source of envy for some horticulture fans after the extent to which taxpayer money has helped keep them in shape.

One of the more high-profile cases was Conservative MP for Gosport Sir Peter Viggers, who has decided to stand down following revelations he spent £1,645 on a floating duck house, later admitting the animals in his garden did not like it.

However, recent figures have shown this was only a small part of the £30,000 he claimed over his years in office.

The Guardian reported Sir Peter clocked up more than £1,000 in bills for lawn mowing during the summer of 2006, with 15 cuts taking place at a cost of £68.74.

He also amassed receipts of £700 for strimming, £115 for routine pest control and £174 to fix the lights on his olive tree, according to the newspaper.

The report revealed prime minister Gordon Brown was somewhat less extravagant – keeping his garden maintenance total to £1,157.50 between July 2007 and March 2008.