Stringfellow wants to pay back winter fuel cash

Peter Stringfellow has written to Work And Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith asking him to halt his "totally unnecessary" pensioner's winter fuel allowance.

The flamboyant 70-year-old nightclub owner, who has amassed a fortune since he started running clubs in 1962, said he was somewhat embarrassed to receive the handouts.

He has now vowed to donate his backlog of payments to Help For Heroes if the matter is not resolved within a month.

In the correspondence, dated 24 November, he wrote: "The point of this letter is to ask you if I can return the money you have given me during the past 10 years.

"It is my opinion that giving people of my standing this generous payment is totally unnecessary."

Calling for a change in the system so support is only given to those who require assistance, he added: "I am quite aware that there are thousands of people who need such payments and are very thankful for it.

"People like myself, whilst we appreciate the sentiment and goodwill, surely feel that this is an unnecessary payment, certainly while the country is facing such financial hardships."

He said he was "looking forward" to hearing from Mr Duncan Smith.

Speaking today from his home in Majorca, he added: "The allowance is to help people pay their bills and I don't need that. I do not feel entitled to it and I do not want it.

"When they send you notification that they will be sending you the money, they should give you an option to say you don't want it. It is a very small thing to do."