Birmingham & Black Country

MP Paul Uppal criticised over council pizza claim

MP Paul Uppal said it was not his mistake
Image caption MP Paul Uppal said the website had incorrectly listed the figure in pounds

An MP who wrongly claimed Wolverhampton City Council had spent £1,428 on pizzas in India has been accused of failing to carry out basic checks.

Conservative MP Paul Uppal revealed the figure, which he took from the Spotlight on Spend website, on BBC WM.

But the 1,428 actually referred to rupees and equates to just £14.

Wolverhampton City Council said Mr Uppal had been left with "egg on his face" - but he pointed out the sum had been listed with a pound sign online.

Image copyright Screen grab from site
Image caption The Spotlight on Spend website listed the figure in pounds

Councillor Andrew Johnson, Wolverhampton City Council's cabinet member for resources, said: "Local government finances can be complex, but I would have expected Paul Uppal, as a member of parliament, to carry out basic checks with the council before going public with these figures and getting egg on his face.

"We would have been more than happy to assist him to understand the numbers."

Shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds, the Labour MP for Wolverhampton North East, went further, calling for an apology.

But Mr Uppal, who represents Wolverhampton South West, said the mistake was not his.

"It's there in black and white," he said.

"The council has thanked me for pointing it out."

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