MP eyes speaker role

PUBLISHED: 18:04 20 May 2009 | UPDATED: 21:47 31 May 2010

SAFFRON Walden MP Sir Alan Haselhurst has thrown his hat into the ring to be the next Speaker of the House of Commons. The 71-year-old has been made fourth favourite to take over the role after current Speaker Michael Martin announced that he will be step

SAFFRON Walden MP Sir Alan Haselhurst has thrown his hat into the ring to be the next Speaker of the House of Commons.

The 71-year-old has been made fourth favourite to take over the role after current Speaker Michael Martin announced that he will be stepping down on June 21.

Despite being embroiled in the MPs' expenses claim scandal, Sir Alan admitted that the role appeals to him.

He said: "I will be taking two weeks to let the dust settle but if I have enough support from my colleagues, I will be standing."

Sir Alan was singled out by The Daily Telegraph for claiming £142,119 in second homes allowances since 2001, despite having no mortgage on the property.

And calls for him to hold a public meeting could still come to fruition.

"I have thought about holding four public meetings as the consistency is quite scattered," he said. "In the meantime I am writing back and listening to every constituent who gets in contact."

However, Sir Alan robustly defended his expenses claims and ruled out paying back any money as it could imply that he was "guilty of something".

An independent review of MPs' allowances over the past four years is to be carried out and Sir Alan added: "If anything untoward is found during that period I will obey any payback rules.

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