A Conservative Party member of the British Parliament has included the £678 cost of learning Hebrew language on his parliamentary expenses account, triggering an outcry from the public.
Tory MP for Grantham and Stamford Nick Boles decided to learn Hebrew after entering into a civil partnership with his Israeli boyfriend, Shay Meshulam.
Boles met his partner, Meshulam, on a Conservative Friends of Israel trip and they had a civil ceremony last March.
The Tory MP who has been criticized for the claim remained unrepentant and said that he was entitled to learn the language.
“Language instruction is a service available to Members of Parliament. I took some Hebrew lessons. It is something I’m entitled to do. I’ve done it and that’s that”, he said in a statement.
However, a member of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, a London-based group that monitors public spending, accused Boles of “abusing a perk.”
“Nick Boles has abused this taxpayer-funded perk in order to make conversation around the breakfast table a little easier”, said Matthew Sinclair, of the British TaxPayers’ Alliance.
“Mr. Boles’ unapologetic response is particularly galling, given that an attitude of entitlement was one of the root causes of the expenses crisis in the last Parliament”, Sinclair said.
This comes as Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt claimed over £3,000 in expenses for Mandarin lessons in the last two years after marrying a Chinese woman.