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Andrew Lansley and Ben Bradshaw defend expenses claims

Two leading MPs in the health sector have defended themselves after being caught up in the Commons' expenses row.

Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley admitted that the parliamentary allowance system has become ‘discredited' but denied having used it to maximise his expenses.

The Daily Telegraph claimed Mr Lansley spent £4,600 to redecorate his second home just months before selling it.

‘The work to maintain the exterior of the property was within the rules,' said Mr Lansley. ‘We subsequently moved because the property was not suitable as our children grew older.'

Meanwhile, a spokesman for health minister Ben Bradshaw attacked claims that the minister switched his second home allowance to enable him to pay the full mortgage interest on a more expensive London property he owned jointly with his civil partner, instead of his home in constituency of Exeter.

The spokesman said the claims were both ‘factually wrong and homophobic'.

‘Ben shares his home with his partner as most couples do. Before their civil partnership, Ben only claimed a proportion of his costs, although the rules would have allowed him to recover the full amount,' he said.

‘Since their civil partnership Ben has paid for and claimed his full mortgage interest in exactly the same way married MPs do, who have not been targeted by the Telegraph.'

'The change in designation of his second home temporarily between 2003 and 2006 was because the rules (the Green Book) changed temporarily in 2003 saying that ministers should claim their constituency rather than their London costs.'

Health minister Ben Bradshaw: defended mortgage interest claim Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley: rejected charge of 'flipping' second homes

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