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Page last updated at 15:01 GMT, Sunday, 10 May 2009 16:01 UK

MPs' expense claims

Deborah McGurran
Deborah McGurran
Political Editor
The Politics Show East

More details of the expenses claimed by our politicians have emerged this weekend.

The Labour MP for Luton South, Margaret Moran, spent £22,000 on treating dry rot at a house in Southampton, a property which is 100 miles from her constituency.

Listen to our exclusive interview to hear what she had to say.

The MP's expenses revelations continue and several claims by MP's for the East have featured in Telegraph reports this weekend. They have all responded to the publication of their allowance claims to justify the expenditure.

Additionally the Telegraph newspaper included details about the Minister for the East and Stevenage MP, Barbara Follett.

She claimed more than £25,000 for security patrols, but has defended the claims.

She said she felt unsafe after being mugged and stalked in London.

She told the Politics Show East that she has done "absolutely nothing wrong" in making claims for expenses.

She added that she and her husband, the writer Ken Follett, had put for more money into running her constituency than they had ever claimed in allowances.

"We are glad to do it, because the people of Stevenage deserve it," she said.

Phil Hope, the Minister for the East Midlands spent more than £37,000 in four years on refurbishing and furnishing a two-bedroom flat in south London.

In a statement he said:

"I claimed the cost of running and furnishing a flat in London, in full accordance with the rules that apply to Members of Parliament.

"The purchases I made were no more than was necessary to live in a habitable residence and replacements only occurred when furniture and fittings were worn out.

"These items were then disposed of. I have not personally benefited from this process, nor did I make purchases that were inappropriate for the property concerned."

Taxpayers also picked up the bill for ridding John Gummer's garden of moles.

The former frontbencher and Suffolk Coastal MP said: "I have represented a Suffolk constituency for 30 years.

"You should know that I have always believed that the parliamentary allowance should not be used for improvements or capital gain, nor indeed for food or furniture.

"It is for that reason that - for almost the whole of my time as a Member of Parliament - I have met the entire cost of the mortgage from my own resources.

"Moreover, I have only ever claimed the relevant proportion of the costs of necessary maintenance and repairs of an old rural property (and the claims for 'gardening' relate in significant part to maintenance and repairs too).

"The purpose of providing money for a second home is to enable a Member of Parliament to fulfil his constituency duties efficiently and properly and it is in that spirit that I have made my claims."

The Politics Show with Jon Sopel and Amelia Reynolds on Sunday at 11:00 on BBC One.

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Politics Show East
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