British lawmaker with Israeli partner studied Hebrew at taxpayer expense

By Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA

Nick Boles, a Conservative Party member of the British Parliament, expensed the equivalent of $1,059 that he had paid for Hebrew lessons, Britain’s Daily Mail reported Friday.

Boles’ partner is Israeli Shay Meshulam.

MPs are able to charge language lessons to the taxpayer  to help them professionally. 

A member of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, a London-based group that monitors public spending, accused Boles of “abusing a perk.”

Boles met his partner, Meshulam, on a Conservative Friends of Israel trip and they had a civil ceremony last March, the Daily Mail reported.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt charged taxpayers the equivalent of $3,680 to learn Mandarin after marrying a Chinese woman, the paper said. In total, nine MPs received free classes in the last financial year.

Boles remained “unapologetic,” according to the newspaper: “Language instruction is a service available to members of Parliament. I took some Hebrew lessons. It is something I’m entitled to do.”