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Tory MP Bone facing expenses probe

A Tory MP is being investigated by a Westminster standards watchdog over his expenses claims.

Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Hudson has launched an inquiry into Peter Bone's use of allowances related to his second home.

Wellingborough MP Mr Bone said he had done nothing wrong and had always sought approval from the authorities for his claims.

The inquiry comes just days after Maria Miller resigned as culture secretary following a row over claims made in relation to her second home.

Mr Bone has been asked to answer a series of questions relating to claims made under the "additional costs allowance", The Times reported.

He claimed £89,185 under the allowance between 2005 and 2009, mainly to rent a flat in Westminster, the newspaper reported.

Mr Bone told The Times: "I have always just rented (a second property) and I know I have stuck by all the rules and always sought approval.

"It is not unusual for MPs to have their expenses challenged by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority or the Standards Commissioner. I have done nothing wrong."

In the wake of Mrs Miller's resignation, Prime Minister David Cameron acknowledged that he under-estimated the depth of the "raw" public anger over MPs' expenses.

"There is still very deep public concern that is very raw about the expenses scandal," he said. "The biggest lesson I learned - that that anger is still very raw and it needs to be acted on."

Following an investigation into Mrs Miller's claims, Ms Hudson recommended that she should repay £45,000 wrongly claimed towards mortgage payments.

The sum was reduced to £5,800 by the cross-party Standards Committee but Mrs Miller was ordered to apologise to the Commons for failing to co-operate with the commissioner's inquiry.


From Belfast Telegraph