The list (so far) of MPs who are stepping down
Thursday 28 May 2009
These are the MPs who have announced they are quitting the Commons since their expenses claims were revealed in detail for the first time this month.
* Michael Martin
The current Commons Speaker became the first in 300 years to be forced out after an extraordinary rebellion in the chamber from MPs critical of his handling of the expenses controversy.
The former sheet metal worker, who spent years blocking greater transparency and reforms of the system, spent more than £1,400 on chauffeurs in his Glasgow constituency.
He will relinquish his post, and the seat for Glasgow North East, on June 21.
* Sir Peter Viggers
The veteran Tory MP for Gosport has been mercilessly ridiculed for filing a £30,000 claim to cover a gardening bill which included a floating duck island for his pond.
He said he felt "ashamed" for his "ridiculous" error of judgment, adding that his ducks never liked the £1,645 feature anyway. He will stand down at the next election.
* Douglas Hogg
Otherwise known as Viscount Hailsham, the Sleaford and North Hykeham MP has also been widely mocked for claiming for the costs of dredging the moat around his country estate.
The Tory former agriculture minister agreed to pay back the £2,200 bill and said he was stepping aside for a new Conservative candidate at the next election.
He also claimed for piano tuning, stable repairs, and the salary for a housekeeper.
* Anthony Steen
The Conservative MP for Totnes said he would not stand for re-election after it was revealed he had spent £87,729 in four years towards the upkeep of his £1 million mansion.
Costs passed on to the public purse included tree surgery and a wrought iron fireplace, but Mr Steen said he did not know "what the fuss is about".
He said people were "jealous" of his "very, very large house", adding: "What right does the public have to interfere with my private life? None."
* Ben Chapman
The Wirral South MP was the first from the Labour benches to announce his retirement at the next election.
He was accused of overclaiming £15,000 from the taxpayer by claiming for mortgage interest he was no longer paying after clearing £295,000 of the loan.
* Ian McCartney
The former Labour chairman said he was quitting Parliament at the next election because of "health problems". He underwent heart surgery a few years ago.
His announcement came days after he disclosed that he paid back almost £15,000 worth of expenses claims last year and said he was "appalled" at a system which had risked the reputations of "dedicated public servants" like himself.
The Makerfield MP's claims had included an 18-piece dinner set, champagne flutes and wine glasses, a £700 dining table and chairs and two sofas worth £1,328.
* Andrew MacKay
The most senior casualty so far, David Cameron's former parliamentary aide announced he would not seek re-election for Bracknell the morning after his constituents shouted him down at a public meeting about his claims.
The Tory MP claimed second homes expenses on a property his wife, fellow MP Julie Kirkbride, declared as her main home.
The taxpayer had effectively been subsidising both of their properties.
* Sir Nicholas and Ann Winterton
The veteran Tory MPs are resigning at the next election, blaming the "hectic pace" of politics.
Their decision comes after it was revealed they claimed £120,000 in expenses to rent a flat from a family trust controlled by their children over six years. The arrangement was condemned as "indefensible" by Tory leader David Cameron.
In a letter to Mr Cameron announcing their decision to leave the Commons, Sir Nicholas, 71, and Lady Winterton, 68, did not mention the expenses issue.
They said instead that they could no longer "maintain the hectic pace" of political life and wanted to "pass the baton to a younger person".
Sir Nicholas has been MP for Macclesfield for 37 years, while Lady Winterton has represented Congleton for 26 years.
* Margaret Moran
The Luton South MP announced she was standing down after days of public anger over claims of £22,500 for treating dry rot at her partner's home in Southampton, 100 miles from both her constituency and Westminster.
Ms Moran said the "understandable public anger" over MPs' expenses had caused her "great stress" and "seriously worsened my existing health problem".
She is one of four Labour MPs under investigation by the party's "Star Chamber" endorsements panel set up to scrutinise controversial expenses claims.
In a statement, she insisted she had done nothing wrong and had been acting on incorrect advice given to her by the Commons Fees Office.
* Julie Kirkbride
Ms Kirkbride succumbed to intense pressure over her expenses, following the resignation of her husband Andrew MacKay.
The couple came under fire when it emerged Commons allowances had been used to simultaneously fund both their homes.
Ms Kirkbride was also criticised for employing her sister as a part-time secretary - even though she lived more than 120 miles from her constituency and 100 miles from Westminster.
And it was reported that the taxpayer part-funded a £50,000 extension at Ms Kirkbride's constituency flat so her brother could stay and help with childcare.
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