Cabinet heavyweights Alistair Darling and Geoff Hoon became engulfed by the expenses row yesterday as it emerged they claimed for allowances while renting out flats and living for free in grace-and-favour homes.
Transport Secretary Mr Hoon made huge profits from his tenants - despite the London property being listed as his main residence - and put up to £50,000 on his allowances for his second home in Derby.
Chancellor Mr Darling claimed thousands on his family home and also rented out a London flat while living in Downing Street.
In another embarrassment for the Cabinet, it emerged Home Secretary Jacqui Smith put a £160 patio set, £104 outdoor heater and £39.99 barbecue on expenses for running her second home.
Mr Hoon insisted he was required to live in the Government flat for security reasons while he was Defence Secretary in charge of the Iraq War He said: "I only claimed for what the rules allowed.
I had it properly checked out." Mrs Smith's latest allowances row comes a week after her husband admitted putting porn movies on her expenses.
Matthew Elliott of the TaxPayers' Alliance said her claims were "scandalous".
Mrs Smith's spokeswoman insisted: "Everything claimed for is within the rules."