Former minister Tony McNulty apologised unreservedly yesterday and promised to repay more than £13,000 in second home allowances which he claimed on a house where his parents live.
In a statement to the Commons, Mr McNulty said he accepted the ruling of the Commons Standards and Privileges Committee which found he had effectively been “subsidising” his parents from public funds.
In a report to the committee, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards John Lyon found that Mr McNulty was entitled to claim on the house in his Harrow constituency, even though it was only nine miles from his main home.
However, he said the former Employment and Home Office Minister had overclaimed in relation to the time he spent there in connection with his parliamentary duties.
As a result Mr McNulty and his parents, who were living rent-free at the property, had “obtained a benefit from parliamentary funds to which he was not entitled”.
In his statement to MPs Mr McNulty said he had followed the guidance given by the Commons Fees Office but accepted Mr Lyon was entitled to take a different view of the rules and to impose it retrospectively.
“I apologise for any part I have played in the diminution of the standing of this House in the eyes of the public. It is, however, time to move on. I apologise to the House once again without reservation,” he said.
Mr McNulty became one of the most high-profile casualties of the MPs' expenses scandal when he resigned as Employment Minister last June in Gordon Brown's Government reshuffle.
He has already repaid £3,000 which he mistakenly claimed in council tax and mortgage interest payments.
He rejected suggestions he should have been punished more severely.