Grimsby MP repays £10k of expenses claims

Austin Mitchell repays over £10k
Austin Mitchell repays over £10k

By staff

Labour backbencher Austin Mitchell has repaid £10,459 after expenses auditor Sir Thomas Legg uncovered an error in his mortgage claims.

The Great Grimsby MP told the BBC in a statement he had been "careless" in failing to realise that his mortgage repayments had switched from being interest-only to a repayment basis.

He added: "I am releasing this information now ahead of whatever announcements Sir Tom Legg makes on claims for repayment by the generality of members because I have no wish to contest his ruling in my case. I am sorry."

His decision to avoid fighting the repayment stands in contrast to some MPs, who feel the imposition of Sir Thomas' retrospective upper thresholds for some types of claim is unfair.

But Mr Mitchell appears to be taking his expenses difficulties rather badly nonetheless.

On January 13th he wrote on his website: "Happy New Year. Though it won't be. It'll launch my new record 'Things can only get worse' (on the Legg Label - all proceeds to the Fees Office) but it already has. Linda's got breast cancer. I've had a begging letter from Legg, Shakedowns Inc. Gordon's getting missives from suicide emailers. And there is no health in us. Not in me at any rate. Bad cold."

He added: "All it needs now is for Gordon to produce a new plan for halving the deficit in 12 weeks and we're finished."


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