Lib Dem MPs hit by latest revelations

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Indy Politics

The Liberal Democrats were dragged into the controversy over parliamentary expenses for the first time last night when 12 of their MPs were accused of making questionable claims.

Andrew George, the MP for St Ives, is claiming £847 a month in mortgage interest payments for a £300,000 London flat used by his student daughter, according to today's Daily Telegraph.

The home insurance policy included on his expenses file is in the name of his 21-year-old daughter Morvah, who has worked as a professional model and as an intern for her father in parliament.

Mr George admitted his daughter kept some of her belongings there and used it as a "bolt-hole" but denied she spent more time there than him and said she now lived with her boyfriend.

He said his insurers had prevented him from also being named on the policy.

Sir Menzies Campbell, the former Liberal Democrat leader, hired an interior designer to refurbish his small flat in Dolphin Square, Westminster, spending nearly £10,000 of taxpayers' money on scatter cushions, a king-sized bed and a flat-screen television. He justified the claims by saying he had not used his full "second homes" allowance in previous years. Sir Menzies said he believed that the claims to refurbish his one-bedroom flat were "within the spiritand letter of the rules".

Nick Clegg, the party leader, claimed the maximum possible on his second home allowance and exceeded his budget by more than £100 at the same time as hewas calling for reform of the system.

He has now promised to repay a phone bill that included calls to the Colombia and Vietnam.

Chris Huhne, the home affairs spokesman, claimed for a £119 trouser press that was delivered to his main home rather than his designated second address.

He has agreed to pay back the money. Lembit Opik, the party's housing spokesman, charged taxpayers for a £40 court summons for the non-payment of his council tax. He will refund it.