Belfast Telegraph

Friday 11 July 2014

Labour MP to stand down over expenses

A Labour MP has announced he will stand down from the House of Commons at the next General Election after allegations that he overclaimed £15,000 in expenses for mortgage interest.

Wirral South’s Ben Chapman is the first Labour MP to quit Westminster as a result of the expenses controversy.

Announcing his intention to stand down, Mr Chapman last night insisted he had done nothing wrong and his decision was prompted by the “hurtful” impact of publicity surrounding his claim on his family and supporters.

In a statement issued by his office, Mr Chapman said: “I maintain I have done nothing wrong and have acted in good faith and with absolute transparency.

“The House of Commons Fees Office have expressed their apologies and regret that the advice they gave me was incorrect.

“But the publicity in the Daily Telegraph, and subsequently elsewhere, has been hurtful to my family, friends and party members and supporters, and I have therefore decided to stand down at the next General Election.

“I will not be commenting further until Parliament resumes after the recess next week.”

Mr Chapman (68) entered Westminster in February 1997.

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