The total number of expenses claimed by MPs has dropped staggeringly from the previous month as the new independent watchdog cracks its whip over bogus claims.

IThe Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) revealed that 27,000 claims were made in August and September 2011 compared to 34,000 the previous months - a drop of almost a fifth.

The fall in the number of claimants, however, has partly been put down to the summer recess, although there were a number of rejections both mandatory and voluntary.

The biggest claim to be rejected came from Conservative Erewash MP Jessica Lee for a £166.26 electricity bill for her constituency office. Ipsa said she had provided insufficient evidence to support the claim.

Pat Glass, the Labour MP for North West Durham, had a duplicated £134 council tax claim knocked back.

Plaid Cymru's Jonathan Edwards, MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, also had a duplicated council tax claim, for £73.81, rejected.

The smallest amount Ipsa declined to pay was 20p after Manchester Withington MP John Leech, a Liberal Democrat, submitted a claim for £14.42 alongside a mobile telephone bill receipt for 20p less - just £14.22.

MPs also repaid £26,944.97 of previously claimed expenses which they no longer wanted to keep.

Ipsa said reasons for repayments included MPs no longer wishing to claim for certain items or being refunded on utility bills or business rates for which they had already been imbursed by the taxpayer.

The two biggest repayments were for £1,450 and £837.39, both by Liberal Democrat Carshalton MP Tom Brake, who had claimed the money for contents insurance for his office.