Page last updated at 09:11 GMT, Tuesday, 19 May 2009 10:11 UK

Expenses MP apologises to voters

Michael Gove at last year's Conservative Conference
Michael Gove told constituents he apologised if he had made mistakes

About 300 people packed a meeting to hear Surrey Heath MP Michael Gove apologise to his constituents for his part in the expenses crisis.

Shadow schools secretary Mr Gove has agreed to pay back £7,000 he claimed for furniture costs.

At the meeting in Camberley on Monday he said: "I am going to apologise, to explain, and to listen.

"The relationship I have with you is hugely important. The only way (it) is going to work is if I level with you."

The Daily Telegraph reported Mr Gove spent more than £7,000 on furnishing a London property over five months in 2006, before switching his allowance to a Surrey property and claiming more than £13,000 in moving costs.

'No integrity'

He strongly denied "flipping" and said his principal home had been in Surrey since before his election in May 2005.

He told the meeting: "I have not sold any property in the time that I have been a Member of Parliament.

"I haven't made any money on the property market, I haven't tried to evade paying capital gains tax."

But several constituents voiced their anger and there were calls from the floor for Mr Gove to resign.

One man, who was living on a 50% war disability pension after 24 years in the Army, said Mr Gove had no integrity.

The biggest cheer of the evening came when one voter, Peter Eyre, called for the Speaker of the Commons to go.

He said: "There's been one man who's spent the last five years and several hundred thousand pounds of our money trying to stop us finding out about this, and that is the speaker of the House of Commons, Michael Martin."

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