Mr Andrew Mackay and Ms Julie Kirkbride - Standards and Privileges Committee Contents

4.  Extract from article in getbracknell newspaper, 14 May 2009

Andrew Mackay: 1 don't have a Bracknell constituency home

Bracknell MP Andrew Mackay does not have a home in his constituency, he confirmed today.

"No I don't have a home in the constituency, that's the whole point. And I've never claimed that I have, that's a matter of public record," he said.

"Most Fridays and Saturdays I'm here doing walkabouts and meeting constituents and during recess I try to spend as much time as I physically can here," he exclusively told the Bracknell Forest Standard and getbracknell.

Mr MacKay has been MP for Bracknell for 25 years.

He made the admission after he sensationally quit as parliamentary aide to Tory boss David Cameron this morning over "unacceptable" second-home expenses claims.

Mr MacKay, who is married to fellow Tory MP Julie Kirkbride, claimed mortgage interest on their London home while she did the same on their constituency house in the West Midlands. This meant the couple effectively had no main home but were claiming for two second properties, funded by the taxpayer. He said: "As senior adviser to David Cameron who has been involved with the very tough work we've been doing with MP's expenses, I was one of the first to volunteer to submit my claims and receipts to internal party examiners yesterday immediately after I spoke to you.

"They came back very late last night to say that they felt my claim was not within the bounds of what would be considered reasonable.

"Very early this morning I had a phone conversation with David Cameron where I said I wished to resign from the job, he said he thought that was the right thing to do.

"Since then I have been inundated with supportive e-mails and calls. I feel that this judgement is something that lets people down, but I'm grateful from the support from my constituents it's been truly heart-warming.

"Julie and I, we have a family home near the House of Commons and a family home near Bromsgrove where our family has been brought up and we have family and friends.

"The Fee Commission told us this was all right and as far as I was concerned, I was doing what I was advised to do.

"Yesterday I told you in completely good faith that I was confident in my expenses, that regarded all the items and receipts and I had claimed for over the last four years.

"What I didn't look at or think about was whether it was an unreasonable claim on our house. I intend to pay the money back of the amount decided by the Commission."

14 May 2009

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