A Conservative MP who said she would stand down from Parliament after being caught up in the expenses row has asked to be considered as a general election candidate after all, it was reported today.
According to the ConservativeHome website, Julie Kirkbride told a special meeting of the executive of Bromsgrove Conservative Association last night she wanted to rescind her resignation.
Ms Kirkbride wrote to Tory leader David Cameron in May informing him she would not seek re-election following controversy over the parliamentary expenses she and her fellow-MP husband Andrew Mackay had made.
She claimed thousands of pounds in Commons allowances against their family home in her Worcestershire constituency, while Mr Mackay - who represents Bracknell in Berkshire but has no base there - received subsidy on the property they shared in London.
The scheme meant all the couple's accommodation was effectively paid for by the taxpayer, sparking widespread anger among voters and an anti-Kirkbride petition in Bromsgrove.
Today's development follows earlier reports that Ms Kirkbride - MP for Bromsgrove since 1997 - was reconsidering her decision to stand down.
When rumours first surfaced in July, Mr Cameron appeared to indicate that a return was not out of the question, saying: "She decided to stand down. I think that was a courageous decision.
"I haven't been told that that has changed, but obviously she has to be looked at by the Legg Commission. They are looking at everyone's claims in Parliament, and I think it is very important that that happens."
ConservativeHome reported that party HQ is seeking an all-postal open primary to select a candidate in Bromsgrove and that Ms Kirkbride told the constituency's executive that if she was cleared by Sir Thomas Legg's audit of the past four years' expenses claims she would like to be considered for the contest.
Ms Kirkbride could not immediately be reached for comment this morning. A Conservative spokesman said: "We can't comment while Sir Thomas Legg is conducting his review."Reuse content