LONDON, ENGLAND - An MP from Britain's ruling Labour party has said there was an "unforgivable error" in his claim for thousands of pounds in expenses for a mortgage he had already repaid and he would refund the cash, a paper reported on Saturday.
On its ninth day of disclosures that have rocked the British parliament and caused a wave of public anger, the Daily Telegraph said Labour MP David Chaytor is to pay back about 13,000 pounds ($20,000) of taxpayers' money.
Other details of receipts for the expenses of parliamentarians of other parties, published in its Saturday edition, included claims for expensive mirrors and a stereo.
The Telegraph said Chaytor, MP for Bury North, had apologized "unreservedly" for the interest payments claimed.
"In respect of mortgage interest payments, there has been an unforgivable error in my accounting procedures for which I apologize unreservedly," he said in a statement to the paper.
"I will act immediately to ensure repayment is made to the fees office," he was quoted as saying.
The wider scandal stoked by daily disclosures of information obtained by the newspaper has caused a backlash against all the major parties, but particularly against the Labour party, in power since 1997.
On Thursday Prime Minister Gordon Brown suspended former agriculture minister Elliot Morley for filing 16,000 pounds in claims for a mortgage he had already paid off.
On Friday, junior Justice Minister Shahid Malik became the highest profile casualty of the week-long scandal, and police said they were considering launching a criminal inquiry into the whole affair next week.
Malik stepped down pending an inquiry into allegations that he paid below-market rent for a house, breaching Britain's ministerial code. He has denied any wrongdoing.
The Guardian's Saturday edition reported that any Labour MP found to have made improper claims would be automatically deselected and barred from standing at the next general election, due by mid-2010.
The paper, without citing sources, also said Brown had given ministers until Monday night to ensure that expense claims for the past five years were logged with parliamentary authorities.
Other allegations published in the Telegraph centered on Liberal Democrat MP Richard Younger-Ross's claim for 1,200 pounds for four mirrors, one of which cost 725 pounds, to furnish his London home.
The paper said he had spent 1,100 pounds on a top-of-the-range stereo system and 1,475 pounds on a chest of drawers.
The paper said his purchases were approved by the authorities even though they appeared to be in breach of guidelines that say MPs may not use public funds "for extravagant or luxurious" goods.
Younger-Ross told British media on Friday he would repay more than 4,000 pounds worth of claims.
The paper also published receipts for expenses claimed by Conservative MP Nadine Dorries, who denied any wrongdoing.
In an angry blog that pre-empted publication of her receipts, she denied claiming for a New Year's Eve hotel room and claiming a second home allowance while only having one home.
"There is one thing I know about me better than anyone else. I never do anything I know to be wrong and I have common sense by the bucketful," she wrote on her blog. --REUTERS