Expenses: More MPs under fire

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Indy Politics

Organisers of a petition to oust Tory MP Julie Kirkbride say that they have collected over 3,000 signatures and aim to get three times that by early June. More than 800 have joined a "Julie Must Go" Facebook site.

The Bromsgrove MP claimed to live in London, while her husband, the Bracknell MP Andrew MacKay, registered their Bromsgrove flat as his main address – allowing them both to separately claim second homes allowances. Together they claimed more than £163,000 in four years.

"We just feel that Julie has let us down," said Louise Marnell, who chairs the Julie Must Go campaign. "We are getting support from young adults who are just coming into voting age to old age pensioners."

David Cameron defended Ms Kirkbride yesterday, saying that she genuinely lived in London, but said she must answer questions about why her brother, Ian Kirkbride, lived rent-free in the Bromsgrove flat. She said yesterday that he was there as "one of my main childcare providers".

Malcolm Bruce, president of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, claimed for both his London house and his home in Deeside, north-east Scotland, because his wife, Rosemary, works as his office manager from their main home. His other claims included £55 for a John Lewis pimento duvet.

Derek Conway, the disgraced MP expelled from the Conservative Party for paying thousands of pounds from his Commons allowances to his sons, put in claims for two homes, it emerged yesterday. He designated a flat in central London as his second home, and claimed expenses for a house in Morpeth, 330 miles from London, which he said he used as an office. Mr Conway claimed £160 for a pigskin wallet from luxury goods shop Smythson, £165 for a Montblanc rollerball, £84 for an engineer to retune his TV (all rejected), a £669.96 digital camera, £229 for a Nespresso coffee maker and 83p for Toilet Duck (all accepted).

Andy Burnham, the Culture Secretary, accepted £16,600 from a property developer for surrendering the tenancy of a Westminster flat. The amount was added to his second homes allowance for that year and put towards buying a property in Lambeth. This meant that Mr Burnham avoided paying 40 per cent tax on the windfall.

Quentin Davies, a former Tory who defected to Labour, claimed over £10,000 to repair the window frames in his 18th-century Lincolnshire mansion.

Andrew Smith, a former Labour cabinet minister, claimed £34,000 for a kitchen makeover, including white goods and 20p for scouring pads.

Christopher Chope, a Tory MP, claimed £10,000 for a new roof on his London house, his second home, and £881 to have a Chesterfield reupholstered in his Christchurch constituency. He said the sofa was from the London home; he took it to Christchurch for repair.

Michael Clapham, the Labour MP for Barnsley West and Penistone, claimed £210 for a pair of glasses for his wife Yvonne, and £19.97 for a new iron.