Claim ... Lembit Opik
SHAMELESS MP Lembit Opik called an electrician from his constituency in WALES to work in his flat in LONDON - landing taxpayers with a £1,791 bill.
The firm made two trips to carry out repairs for the Lib-Dem - racking up a huge petrol bill for the 788 miles.
And the Welsh sparks last night blasted Opik's decision to hire him at public expense, while a local firm said they'd have charged only HALF as much.
Opik, 44, - who once dated Cheeky Girl Gabriela Irimia, 27 - called in small firm Red Flame Productions of Newtown, Powys, to do the work, including fixing faulty lights and putting in a new bathroom pull-cord.
Chris Lewis, above, drove to London to do the work, going back two weeks later to adjust two dimmer switches replaced in a bedroom.
His three-man firm waived some of the cost of the return trip.
Chris, 19, said: "I was shocked when I heard we were going to London to do work for Lembit Opik.
"We're a small operation and most of our work is here in Newtown, which makes it more surprising.
"We replaced two light dimmers and had to go back two weeks later to adjust the dimmer settings. We also repressurised the boiler and changed the fuse board, but it was a long way to go for a simple job."
He added: "He should really have used a closer electrician. Taxpayers' money shouldn't be wasted unnecessarily. It's not his money he's spending. It's outrageous."
One electrician based less than a mile from Opik's flat in Kennington, South London, said he could have completed the job for half the price.
Graeme Condon, of SE-Active Power Electrical, said: "They've done quite a bit of work so it might have cost around £900, but they've had to charge for all the travel which pushes the total right up.
"There are dozens of electricians in South London and I reckon that every one of them would have beaten the price they charged.
"I think it's deeply unfair the taxpayer has had to foot the bill."
Opik's claim emerged yesterday 24 hours after new details of MPs' lavish expenses were published.
He also put in £119 for an outdoor coffee table and thousands of pounds for a new kitchen and wooden floors in a bedroom.