Page last updated at 14:29 GMT, Saturday, 27 June 2009 15:29 UK

Tory MP Maclean to leave Commons

David Maclean
David Maclean has recently required hospital treatment

Tory MP David Maclean, one of the leaders of the battle against the disclosure of expenses details, is to step down at the next general election.

Mr Maclean, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, said he could no longer carry out his job at "full pelt".

The 56-year-old was diagnosed with the illness in 1996, but had hoped to serve another term in the Penrith and The Border seat.

But his illness "accelerated" at the beginning of the year.

He required hospital treatment and was taken by ambulance to vote for a new Commons Speaker last week.

He said in a statement: "I said when I was diagnosed with MS that when it began to seriously affect the way I carried out my work, I would step down. That time has arrived.

"Penrith and The Border is the largest constituency in England and it needs and deserves an MP who can go at it full pelt all the time. That was what I have done up to now but I cannot do that in future."

'All or nothing'

In his resignation statement Mr Maclean added: "I have always been an all or nothing person, for good or ill.

"I also know that in 26 years I have got some things wrong which I regret and am sorry for. But I hope that if you work really hard, by the end of a career you will have got a lot more things right than wrong.

"I am proud of the causes we fought and the battles we have had. I am sorry if some people get offended when I speak my mind but I detest politicians who sit on the fence and the public do not know their views."

Mr Maclean tabled a private members' bill that, if passed, would have exempted MPs from the Freedom of Information Act.

He rejected Sunday Telegraph claims he used public money to renovate a house and avoid capital gains tax.

The newspaper claimed that after using £20,000 of taxpayer's money to renovate a property before selling it, he avoided paying capital gains tax on the sale by telling the taxman it was his main home.

But the MP said he utterly refuted the allegation and that when he became opposition chief whip he was told it was compulsory to make London his main home.

The former Labour cabinet minister Alan Milburn has also announced he is to stand down as an MP at the next election.

He said it was to allow him to balance his work and family life.

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