The Sunday Telegraph today included me in its list of MPs who had appealed against the findings of the Legg Review into Parliamentary Expenses.
I am now in a position to tell my constituents directly that I have won my appeal.
I have just received a letter from Sir Paul Kennedy in which he allows my appeal against what I regarded as an unjust, unfair and arbitrary demand by Sir Thomas Legg for £186.89 from me in respect of approved payments for Council Tax for a rented flat for the period November 2003 to March 2004 which I had claimed in April 2004 (in the following financial year). Sir Paul says "I have no difficulty in concluding that there are special reasons in your individual case showing that it would not be fair and equitable to require repayment other than to the extent of your admitted overclaim of 40 pence, which you say was due to a clerical error on your part. I would therefore allow your appeal."
I am delighted at this outcome which clears my name and reputation. But I regret that Sir Thomas Legg did not use common sense and failed to accept the facts of my case and that I had to go through with an appeal to Sir Paul Kennedy in order to get justice and clear my name. The disputed sum is in my case very small but there is a principle at stake here as regretably many MPs like myself have been caught up in the generalised attack on our reputations being orchestrated by some in the media as a result of an inadequate flawed system and the bad behaviour of a minority.