'REQUEST FOR EXPENSES ADVICE WAS NOT A CLAIM'

Southern Daily Echo – 19 May 2009

Despite the fact that I spent a great deal of time going through the details of my allowance claims with your reporter (report, May 18), he still states on the front page – incorrectly – that I "had a request for a new £6,000 wooden floor with acoustic underlay for [my] London flat turned down".

Only when you read the detailed article do you see that I never made such a request, but simply asked for advice as to which parts of my flat refurbishment were appropriate to claim for and which were not.

On receiving that advice, I put in a request for those items which were indeed identified to me by the Validation Officer as claimable. I wrote on the claim form and on the invoice specifically that I was not claiming for the new flooring.

By no stretch of the imagination does this amount to having a "request for a new £6,000 wooden floor ... turned down by Parliament officials". I shall therefore be grateful if you will print this correction and not repeat this entirely untrue suggestion.

(Dr) JULIAN LEWIS MP