Page last updated at 07:21 GMT, Thursday, 21 May 2009 08:21 UK

MP to step down over duck island

Sir Peter Viggers
A Tory scrutiny panel will decide what sum Sir Peter Viggers should pay back

Hampshire MP Sir Peter Viggers has defended his £30,000 claims for gardening expenses, as it emerged he will step down at the next election.

Sir Peter, Conservative MP for Gosport, is among the latest MPs to come under fire for their claims, revealed by the Daily and Sunday Telegraph newspapers.

The Daily Telegraph also said Sir Peter claimed £1,645 for a duck island.

Sir Peter said his claims were within the rules at the time, but since then the situation had "completely changed".

He was first elected in February 1974 and has been MP for Gosport since then.

David Cameron told Sir Peter he faced the removal of the whip if he did not announce that he would not run again at the next election, the BBC has learned.

He is the third MP to announce he will not stand at the next election because of the expenses row.

Sir Peter, who is currently in Washington with the Treasury Select Committee, said: "As with all other Conservative MPs my expenses are being examined by David Cameron's scrutiny panel and I await any recommendations they may make.

"I am pleased that the committee chaired by Sir Christopher Kelly is carrying out a fundamental review and I look forward to its report."

The panel will decide what sum he should pay back.



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