Page last updated at 16:42 GMT, Thursday, 28 May 2009 17:42 UK

MP Fraser poised to leave Commons

Tory MP Christopher Fraser
Mr Fraser said he made the decision with great sadness

A Conservative MP whose expenses claims were highlighted in the Daily Telegraph has said he will be standing down at the next general election.

Christopher Fraser, MP for South West Norfolk, says he will quit for personal reasons to care for his ill wife.

The newspaper said Mr Fraser had claimed £1,800 in public money to buy more than 200 trees in his garden.

Fellow Tory MP Julie Kirkbride and Labour's Margaret Moran have already announced their departures on Thursday.

'Great sadness'

Mr Fraser is the eighth Tory MP to decide not to defend their seat since the furore over parliamentary expenses began nearly three weeks ago.

A number have been forced out by the party leadership after making expense claims deemed to be unacceptable.

My wife's ongoing health problems....have made it difficult to juggle my family life with my duties as an MP
Christopher Fraser

But Mr Fraser said his own decision to leave Parliament had "nothing to do" with his expenses.

He said he had been considering his position for some time due to his family circumstances and had decided, with "great sadness", not to stand again.

"My wife's ongoing health problems....have made it difficult to juggle my family life with my duties as an MP," he told the Lynn News newspaper.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Mr Fraser claimed £1,800 in public money for buying 215 trees and marking out the boundary of his second home in his constituency.

He had also faced questions in the constituency about the revelation that he had earmarked a property in the Dorset as his main home.

Mr Fraser said he had been open about his claims, which were within the rules, and that he had submitted them to an internal Tory panel for scrutiny.

Mr Fraser was elected to represent his present constituency in 2005, having previously served as MP for Mid Dorset and Poole between 1997 and 2001.



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