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MP needs a second home'

PUBLISHED: 16:47 03 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:44 23 August 2010

A TOP member of the selection panel that put the borough s MP forward for election has stepped in to defend his allowance claims in the wake of the scandal engulfing Westminster. Gravesham MP Adam Holloway was slammed by scores of residents after releasi

A TOP member of the selection panel that put the borough's MP forward for election has stepped in to defend his allowance claims in the wake of the scandal engulfing Westminster.

Gravesham MP Adam Holloway was slammed by scores of residents after releasing details of his expense receipts last week.

From April 2005 to April 2008 he claimed a total of £418,000 in allowances including £65,600 for his second home. This included £5,200 for carpeting and £10,000 on stamp duty, claims which are now banned under new rules.

Although the MP's claims were within rules an exclusive Reporter poll of taxpayers found just eight of 35 interviewed said they thought they were acceptable.

Chairman of Gravesham Constituency Conservative Association Adrian Warburton (pictured) has spoken out in defence of Mr Holloway's claims saying he needs a London base as well as a constituency home. He said: "It is very clear that to date Adam's rented London flat has been his main residence, he resides there during the week and his Gravesend constituency house has been his second home. On this basis it is completely in order for him to use the cash provided for that very purpose to support this second home. The items he lists are not luxurious. How many people can afford to set-up and run two homes unless they have a private income or a salary far greater than a backbench MP?

Mr Warburton says when he was helping to choose the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Gravesham as part of the selection panel Mr Holloway stood out amongst scores of people.

He added: "I can say with all sincerity that he was outstanding in the sense of not being a career politician but just having a burning desire to be a peoples' representative.

"Not the usual 'suit' but somebody who had actually done something with his life, including front-line active service in the Gulf War and a television journalist of some repute. It was very clear that money was not the attraction of the job as electoral success meant a very substantial pay cut. His performance as our MP, as those who have come into contact with him will testify, has been outstanding."

What do you think? E-mail your

letters to michael.adkins@archant.co.uk

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