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Duck island Tory to stand down.

Summary: A veteran Tory MP who claimed Au1,645 for a floating "duck island" for his pond has confirmed he is to stand down.

A veteran Tory MP who claimed Au1,645 for a floating "duck island" for his pond has confirmed he is to stand down.

Sir Peter Viggers was given a quit-or-be-expelled ultimatum by party leader David Cameron after his second home gardening bills were among the latest claims to be published by The Daily Telegraph.

Sir Peter, a former banker who has represented Gosport, Hants, since 1974, will quit at the next General Election and pay back a sum believed to be in five figures after his claims were ruled excessive by a Tory panel.

Fellow Tory MP for Totnes, Anthony Steen, who claimed more than Au80,000 from the taxpayer over four years for work at his Au1 million Devon mansion has also said he will not stand to avoid distracting the party from its General Election fight.

Peter Luff, Conservative MP for Mid-Worcestershire, reportedly made expenses claims totalling Au17,000 including three toilet seats, three food mixers, two microwaves and four beds.

Mr Luff insisted that his claims were "within the letter and spirit of the rules" and said he would repay any money found to have breached them.

Mr Cameron set up the party scrutiny panel - which began work on Friday - to comb Tory claims for any deemed unreasonable - with guilty MPs to be told to repay the money or have the whip removed.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Date:May 21, 2009
Words:274
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