Valerie Wise was a political assistant to her mother, left wing Labour MP Audrey Wise, on two occasions between 1977 and 1979 and between 1987 and 2000. She talked to Socialist Review about how MPs' expenses were dealt with in these periods.
When Audrey was first elected in 1974 she had to stay with friends and comrades in London. She then moved into a relatively cheap hotel, but it wasn't easy living out of a suitcase all the time. Eventually she got a small flat that she rented. She paid for this out of the small allowance that MPs got at the time.