Hogg stands down to spend more time cleaning his moat

More MPs expected to resign as anger grows over expenses scandal

Douglas Hogg, the Conservative MP who claimed thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money clearing a moat on his estate in Lincolnshire, yesterday become the first victim of the expenses scandal after deciding to stand down at the next general election.

As well as claiming £2,200 for the moat work, the MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham asked the Fees Office for £14,000 to cover his housekeeper's salary and £18,000 for his gardener.

Mr Hogg said he wanted to give his local constituency party plenty of time to select a new candidate. "I entirely understand the public anger that has erupted over expenses," he said. "The current system is deeply flawed; we parliamentarians have got it wrong and I apologise for that failure which is both collective and personal.

"In view of David Cameron's campaign for an early election – which I strongly support – I have decided that now is the time to tell the Sleaford and North Hykeham Association that I will not be standing in the coming election. This will give them time to select a new candidate to best represent local and national interests."

Mr Hogg is likely to be the first of several MPs to fall foul over the expenses scandal. Tory insiders told The Independent that they expect Sir Anthony Steen, the MP for Totnes in Devon, to also stand down shortly.

Over four years he claimed £87,729, including payments for tree surgery, guarding his shrubs against rabbits, maintaining a separate cottage and overhauling his private sewage system, according to the Daily Telegraph.

MPs face discontent among their grassroots supporters. Constituency associations have called emergency meetings for Friday, at which MPs will face the wrath of local party members.

The Conservative MP Andrew MacKay, who resigned as David Cameron's parliamentary aide after it emerged that he and his wife Julie Kirkbride, who is also an MP, had claimed on two second homes, will address his Conservative Association at a church hall in Bracknell on Friday. A poll in a local newspaper found 67 per cent of respondents thought Mr MacKay should stand down.

The Tory MP Alan Duncan, who spent more than £4,000 on gardening, and his colleague Ed Vaizey, who spent £2,000 on furniture, also face pressure from local supporters. Michael Rook, the chairman of the Conservative Association in Mr Duncan's constituency of Rutland and Melton in Leicestershire, said he had been "taking soundings" from members about the MPs actions, and refused to rule out the possibility of deselection.

"There's a considerable amount of anger and disappointment that Alan is involved in this," he said. "It is a matter of principle. We are going to do nothing for the moment but we are listening to people's opinions. It's a question of restoring trust. It's difficult to gauge how much confidence has been lost." Yvonne Constance, the chairwoman of the Conservative Association in Mr Vaizey's Oxfordshire constituency of Wantage and Didcot, said he had been asked to "explain his actions" and that he felt "duly censured". Mr Vaizey is understood to have drafted an open letter to his constituents to be handed out by Tory candidates campaigning for the upcoming European elections. "We are asking him to explain himself very publicly," Ms Constance said.

Labour MPs are also due to face questions from their local Constituency Labour Party (CLP) on Friday. Among them are Vera Baird, MP for Redcar in North Yorkshire, who spent £286 on Christmas decorations, and Madeleine Moon, who claimed more than £4,000 for furniture.

Brenda Forster, who stood down as chairwoman of the CLP in Ms Baird's constituency last week, said she had been "shocked" by the MPs claims and that a meeting had been scheduled for Friday so the MP could explain herself.

"Many of the members are disappointed, because the people we represent are quite poor," she said. "We need to be reassured that these are the only claims she has put in. If we suddenly find out something else, it would shake my confidence in her. We'd have to go back to the drawing board."

Huw Morris, the chairman of the CLP for Ms Moon's constituency of Bridgend in south Wales, said: "Members will want to know what's happening and will be asking pertinent questions. I told them to do that rather than just vent their anger, that's only fair. I don't want any recriminations yet."



* See letter 22 May 2009 from Vera Baird MP

Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
Al Pacino in ‘The Humbling’, as an ageing actor
filmHam among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
News
Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Sport
Mario Balotelli in action during his Liverpool debut
football ...but he can't get on the scoresheet in impressive debut
Environment
Pigeons have been found with traces of cocaine and painkillers in their system
environmentCan species be 'de-extincted'?
Arts and Entertainment
booksExclusive extract from Howard Jacobson’s acclaimed new novel
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
A Pilgrim’s Progress is described by its publisher as “the one-and-only definitive record” of David Hockney's life and works
people
Sport
Loic Remy signs for Chelsea
footballBlues wrap up deal on the eve of the transfer window
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Art
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth McGovern as Cora, Countess of Grantham and Richard E Grant as Simon Bricker
TV
Life and Style
Instagram daredevils get thousands of followers
techMeet the daredevil photographers redefining urban exploration with death-defying stunts
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard, nicknamed by the press as 'Dirty Diana'
TVDaughter says contestant was manipulated 'to boost ratings'
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Primary Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: Randstad Education Ltd are seeking EY...

Primary Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: NEWLY QUALIFIED TEACHER WE CAN HELP ...

Lead FE Software Developer (JavaScript, TDD, jQuery, Knockout)

£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Lead FE Softwa...

Year 4 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 4 Primary Teachers needed for Se...

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor