STEVE McCabe, Labour MP for Hall Green, has strongly denied any intentional wrongdoing over claims he made on his parliamentary expenses.
The Daily Telegraph reported yesterday he had over-claimed on his mortgage by £4,059 during the course of two years before a parliamentary official discovered what he had done.
For 10 months in 2005-06, Mr McCabe claimed for capital repayments on his mortgage - which is expressly forbidden - instead of the interest payments on the loan.
The wrongful claims, which totalled £1,736, led to a three-month investigation in the parliamentary fees office and officials went back through four years’ worth of expenses submitted by the MP, according to the newspaper.
They found he had also overclaimed by £2,323 in 2004-05. No action was taken against Mr McCabe and instead the £4,059 was deducted from subsequent claims.
The 53-year-old MP, a Government whip, has a flat in south London, which he nominated as his second home for the purposes of his expense claims. He also has a house in Birmingham.
Contacted by the Solihull Times, Mr McCabe said; “I was surprised to see the story in the Telegraph. Really, there’s no story.
“The matter goes back nearly five years and at that time I was the lowest-claiming MP in the Commons. I certainly wasn’t on the make.
“I made a straightforward error, I miscalculated the amount I could claim for on my mortgage repayments. “How many other busy people make mistakes when they fill in forms in a hurry?
“The fees office informed me of the error and I repaid the money. In other words I put the matter right, and there’s nothing more to say.”
Scots-born Mr McCabe has held Hall Green for Labour since 1997 and his parliamentary salary is £89,522.