Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant has moved to distance himself from the scandal surrounding MP expenses.
Labour and Conservative MPs have been caught up in the scandal which was sparked by Daily Telegraph reports into a variety of claims made by politicians – including money for workmen to change lightbulbs, mock Tudor beams, the clearing of a moat and the upkeep of swimming pools.
But Mr Fabricant has re-assured his constituents about the state of his own expenses claims. He said:
“I know full well that many of my constituents are concerned about the misuse of MPs’ allowances and expenses. For the avoidance of any doubt and, frankly, as I do not wish to be tarred with the same brush as Government ministers, I thought it might be helpful to set the record straight. I have never used the device of ‘home flipping’, that is changing the home on which to make a claim – nor any other technique – to maximise claims.
“My main home is in Lichfield and after I was elected to Parliament I bought a small flat near to the House of Commons on which I claim an allowance. In fact, because of low mortgage rates, my home in Lichfield currently costs more to run than the one in London on which I make my claim. For the sake of clarity: I only claim on the London flat and do not claim on any other property nor for any swimming pools or moats (not that I possess either). I am not a Londoner and if I were not an MP, I would not have nor want a flat there. It goes with the work. It also has to be said that the expenses I have claimed on that flat only cover a part of the actual costs of my staying overnight in Westminster.
“I wouldn’t advise anyone to enter Parliament for the money!”
Last year, Mr Fabricant’s expenses were the 569th least expensive out of 645 MPs.