It’s just been announced on Sky News that Labour MPs Patricia Hewitt and David Chaytor and now Beverley Hughes will stand down at the next general election.
David Chaytor had been suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party over his £13,000 expenses a fully paid-up mortgge, said his priority in the next few “stressful” months was to “explain my errors”. In the meantime, he will pay back the money.
Mr Chaytor added:
“I do not want my self-inflicted problems to be a distraction to my party’s campaign as we move towards the General Election.”
Children’s minister Beverley Hughes and former Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt also announced they would step down at the next election due to “family circumstances”.
But the Daily Telegraph said Ms Hughes, Labour MP for Stretford and Urmston rented a second home in London where she claimed £801.60 for reupholstering furniture, £718 on a chair and £435 on curtains and for bedding.
In a letter to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Ms Hughes said:
“I want to make it absolutely clear that [the expenses scandal] has nothing whatsoever to do with my decision or the reason for making it public now.”
Meanwhile, Patricia Hewitt, who had claimed £920 in legal fees when she moved out of her Leicester flat, and then claimed hotel costs as she looked for another flat, said:
“I’m like everyone else. I’ve read the revelations and been shocked by them. I’ve never claimed anything like what I could have claimed for my second home allowance. I claimed what I thought was reasonable. But I feel the time is right. The truth is that after 13 years as an MP and 10 years in Government, I have not seen enough of my family. They have paid a high price for that.”