A Tory MP has been living on his yacht when he comes to London for parliamentary meetings as a way to avoid the capital’s soaring housing costs.

Plymouth Moor View’s Johnny Mercer said he made the decision to sail up for meetings and dock in Canada Water as a way to avoid billing the taxpayer thousands in living expenses.

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MPs with two children who live outside London can claim £25,000 a year, almost the average British salary, to rent a second home near Westminster.

But the dad-of-two, felt that was unfair when he could bring his boat Pippa instead which costs £2,400 per year.

South Dock Marina in Surrey Quays, where many people live on their boats

The former captain, who won his seat from Labour at the last election, was shocked by London prices when he rented a hotel room while looking for a permanent place in the capital.

He told the Western Morning News : “I just thought it was an obscene amount of money for two or three nights a week and I wasn’t prepared to spend that. I didn’t really like the idea of having a second home in London. I quite like having my own family space.

“I looked into how much it was going to be to bring my boat up. It was pretty cheap, around £1,200 for six months. I thought that would save a bit of money on expenses.”

He admitted his colleagues “don’t really understand”.