I am absolutely appalled by the insinuation that my expenses are high for any other reason than I am trying to do the best job I possibly can by my constituents.
I am frankly insulted by the line of questioning your journalist has decided to take, especially the comment ,have any of my expenses been on entertaining celebrities.
My expenses are independently adjudicated by IPSA and are only paid for legitimate items which relate to undertaking my job as the Member of Parliament for Morecambe and Lunesdale.
To compare myself to my neighbouring colleague Eric Ollerenshaw MP, is an unfair comparison.
Eric shares his office in the constituency with Ben Wallace MP, and uses his accommodation claim for his constituency flat, as he already has a home in London.
I have to rent my London accommodation, as you can imagine rent in London is much higher than renting a property in Lancaster. My home in Caton is paid for by myself.
Your journalist has noted that my travel expenses appear high; this is not unusual for a Member of Parliament who endeavours to be back in the constituency every week, as I do, to listen to his constituents and ensure their views are properly represented in Parliament.
I always travel on the cheapest return ticket possible.
Your Journalist is implying that if I were to live in London and not come back to the area then I would be doing a more effective job as your Member of Parliament which is strictly not the case.
Engagement with my community has lead to me uncovering stories of national importance, such as currently the cover up at the CQC by the previous Government, which ran on Sky News, Local Television News and various national newspapers over a period of the last month and is still ongoing, to name only one example.
It is impossible for a Member of Parliament to carry out their role if they do not spend all the time they can in the constituency engaging with the community. Not only that but I have secured over £300 million pounds worth of funding to the constituency. This is more inward investment into this area than it has ever had under any of my predecessors.
All my expenses are within the budgets given to MP’s by IPSA and these budgets were set as the amount felt to be required to effectively carry out parliamentary duties and a parliamentary office in a safe and secure environment.
For all I have achieved I am still cheaper than my predecessor was in her final year in parliament, who claimed for food, which I do not.
MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale