DEPUTY Prime Minister Nick Clegg has finally sold his old Sheffield constituency home - making a £38,750 profit for the taxpayer.
Although he could have been allowed to keep the money under current rules, the Hallam MP and Lib Dem leader said he wanted to “lead by example” and that he hoped other MPs follow suit as they are forced to sell second homes and rent properties instead.
The new regulations come in later this year.
Speaking exclusively to The Star, Mr Clegg said: “I have moved out of my home at Knowle Lane, Bents Green, sold it and moved into rented accommodation in the Rivelin Valley at Stannington. There has been a profit for the taxpayer and, as I promised before the election last year, it will be returned to the taxpayer.
“The house was bought in 2006 for £280,000 and sold for £325,000. The profit is £38,750 after deduction of fees and other costs. I have written a cheque to the House of Commons authorities to make sure that the money does back to the taxpayer.”
He added: “It’s not something that is required of me and I expect not all other MPs will do the same but it’s my personal choice to lead by example. I don’t want to be holier than though about it but the old expenses system made people very angry. MPs should get out of the property game and it’s something I pushed for.”
Mr Clegg said the four-bedroom semi-deteched house, which was built around 80 years ago, was a “lovely property” which has belonged to a friend of his.
He said: “While I was a candidate before being elected in 2005, I rented it from my old friend, who had grown up there. I decided to buy it after the election, as my constituency home. It was a lovely house and was in a great area - within 10 minutes’ drive you could be at Stanage Edge in the Peak District.”
Mr Clegg’s property was put on the market last year, through a city estate agent and offered to potential buyers deemed suitable rather than being advertised on the open market. The identity of the purchaser has not been revealed.
The Lib Dem leader said of his new Sheffield home: “It’s a two-bedroom flat and I love it. The Rivelin Valley is a great area, too. It would be great to go down to the river to throw stones in the water with the kids when I bring them up here.”