Page last updated at 12:59 GMT, Thursday, 14 May 2009 13:59 UK

In full: Elliot Morley statement

Former Labour minister Elliot Morley has issued a statement on allegations he over-claimed on his second home expenses:

"In 1997 when I was appointed minister I was obliged under the rules at that time to class my London home as my main home. That meant I had to make my additional costs allowance claims on my constituency home.

The mortgage interest was £800 per month. This was paying over a shorter period to cut overall costs. That ended in 2006. In 2007 after I ceased to be a minister I decided it was more appropriate to claim on my London home. I have been sharing this with Ian Cawsey MP who paid £1000 per month covering a mortgage of £900 and council tax of £100. I paid for furnishing and other costs at my own expense. This was a non commercial rent with no gain to me and less than the average rents in the area.

When I switched the claim to London in 2007 I renegotiated the mortgage, a large part of which had been paid off through a short period and reduced my mortgage claim accordingly which has been the same from the end of 2007 to date at around £360 per month using the contribution from Ian Cawsey to reduce the mortgage and therefore my claim to the taxpayer. There was an overlap on what Ian Cawsey paid for two months when I switched the claim back. This payment was declared to the Finance department and was deducted in full from my ACA allowance. Since 1997 I have only charged Mr. Cawsey a notional rent which has also been declared to the finance department and deducted from my Additional Costs Allowance.

I pay a number of mortgages and premiums including an endowment policy on my constituency home. I have never claimed for this.

I do my accounts in yearly bundles and I simply let the established payment run as it has for some years. I did not take sufficient notice of my accounting.

When receipts were recently published I realized that there had been an over claim for this period 06 to 07. In fact I could have switched my claim to London in that period but simply never got round to it. When I realized this mistake I took steps to raise the total cost of the mortgage claim in that period of £16800 and have since paid this back in full to the House of Commons. I am entitled to claim for the endowment but I don't know whether this is now possible and I accept the fault is entirely mine.

I accept that I have made a mistake in this case and have rectified it in full. I deeply apologize for such sloppy accounting in a very loose and shambolic allowance system but there is nobody to blame but myself and I take full responsibility for this.

I apologise unreservedly. I have always given the people of Scunthorpe my total commitment and although I will be quite rightly criticized for this I will continue to do my duty to constituents and will also explain the situation in full to my local party.

I have asked Sir John Lyons the Commissioner for Standards to demonstrate that there was no intent. I will co-operate fully with his Committee."



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