Kirkbride vows to fight to hold on to her seat

Julie Kirkbride, the Tory MP battling to save her political career over her expense claims, faced fresh accusations last night that taxpayers funded a £50,000 extension to her constituency flat to enable her brother to live with her.

The Bromsgrove MP insisted she would not be bowing to demands to step down and would fight to hold on to her seat at the next election.

But the pressure on her intensifies today with the disclosure by The Daily Telegraph that she was given permission to extend her property – adding £250 a month to her expense claims – to allow her brother Ian, who paid no rent, to carry on living in the home. She has said he acted as a carer to her young son. The relentless focus on her complicated expenses claims has dismayed senior Tories, although they have so far given her full backing.

The party was also hit by allegations last night that a senior MP lodged claims under the second home allowance for his six-bedroom country house, complete with swimming pool, receiving £17,000 towards servants' quarters alone. According to The Telegraph, Sir John Butterfill, the long-serving Tory MP for Bournemouth West, paid no capital gains tax on a £600,000 profit from the taxpayer-funded property.

Ms Kirkbride has been forced to fend off a series of allegations over her use of expenses, including the revelation that she pays her sister more than £12,000 to carry out office work from her home 140 miles from her constituency. Her husband and fellow Tory MP, Andrew MacKay, has already been forced to stand down after claiming a second home allowance of £23,000 a year, despite not having a main home in his Bracknell constituency.

Ms Kirkbride last night said plans for the extension had been cleared with the Commons authorities. She said: "It's inappropriate that my eight-year-old son shares a bedroom with his carer, whoever that might be. I therefore chose, rather than leaving my property, to move to another one, to extend the one that I had, in order that myself, my son and the person I need to look after him can have separate bedrooms."

Ms Kirkbride admitted last night that she had known about her husband's expenses arrangements and accepted he had made an "error of judgement" in making the claims. However, she maintained her claims were "quite different" from those of her husband, an opinion shared by the Tory leader, David Cameron.

Sir John Butterfill reportedly designated his country house as his second home, enabling him to claim expenses on it. At the time he designated a small flat in his constituency, bought for £56,000, as his "main residence" for the purposes of Commons expenses. But when he sold the country house for £1.2m in 2005, he informed HM Revenue & Customs that it was his main home, meaning he was exempt from capital gains tax.

Sir John, treasurer of the 1922 committee of Tory backbenchers, told The Telegraph he had spent up to £500,000 of his own money transforming the house "from a wreck". His profit from selling it was therefore more like £100,000 than £600,000, he said.

But Sir John is now expected to pay at least £40,000 in capital gains tax, and has apparently agreed to refund more than £20,000 for the claims he made for his staff annex and repairs on the Bournemouth flat.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: On behalf of a successful academy i...

Investigo: Finance Business Partner

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in providing ...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Solicitor - West London

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: WEST LONDON - An excellent new opportunity wit...

Recruitment Genius: Florist Shop Manager

£8 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A Florist Shop Manager is required to m...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project