The husband of South Ribble Tory MP Lorraine Fullbrook has slammed a newspaper report that she claimed luxury flights from a Caribbean holiday on her expenses as “a politically motivated smear.”
Mark Fullbrook accused the Sunday Mirror of “not telling the whole story” in its article about two business class tickets from St Lucia for him and his wife, which cost the taxpayer £3,750.
“Lorraine has done absolutely nothing wrong,” he said. “She was recalled early from our holiday to vote in Parliament about whether this country should go to war in Syria.
“There was only one flight which would have got her back in time and there were no cheaper seats available.
“The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority rules say that in such circumstances an MP can charge up to £3,750 to fly themselves and their spouse back. In fact our tickets cost us around £5,500, so we have effectively subsidised the country to the tune of £2,000 so Lorraine could do her duty and vote on a crucial issue in Parliament.
“The story doesn’t say all that. It is just a politically motivated smear.”
Mrs Fullbrook, who is standing down as an MP at next year’s general election after four years in Westminster, was on holiday in the Caribbean when she was summoned back for the vote on Syria. The couple cut short their break by four days to jet to London, arriving just hours before the debate began in Parliament.
“What the article doesn’t say is we already had tickets to return four days later, but that would have been too late,” added Mr Fullbrook. “As an MP she was determined to do her duty and get back in time, but there was no other alternative way to do it apart from this one flight in business class. We have a letter from British Airways to prove that.
“It is attacks like this that make people like Lorraine think there are other things to do in life.”