Page last updated at 09:34 GMT, Monday, 2 November 2009

MP: Expenses story 'a witch hunt'

Iris and Peter Robinson
Mrs Robinson's husband Peter is Northern Ireland's first minister

The DUP's Iris Robinson has said the reporting of the MPs expenses story was "a witch hunt" which almost led to her leaving politics.

In an interview with the News Letter, she said the reporting of her and her husband's salaries and expenses was "totally wrong in most cases".

Among their claims was about £30,000 for food over a four-year period and £160,000 in mortgage interest.

Mrs Robinson reiterated that all their claims were legitimate at the time.

Last month it emerged she had been asked to repay £2,274 following an independent auditor's reassessment of all MPs claims.

'Obsession'

Her husband, DUP leader Peter Robinson, had been asked to repay £299.

At the height of the expenses controversy in June, Mr Robinson paid back £775 in relation to a claim for a briefcase and computer case.

Mrs Robinson also told the News Letter that "a few MPs have brought the whole of political life into question" but added that "the rest of shouldn't have to be punished".

Her comments echo those of fellow DUP MP Sammy Wilson who last month accused the media of having an "unhealthy obsession" with politicians' expenses.



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