MP faces party over expenses storm

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Under-fire Preston MP Mark Hendrick will face a string of questions from members of his own party over his expenses, it was revealed today.

Mr Hendrick repaid almost 7,000 of taxpayers' cash after overclaiming on his second home.

The MP paid back the money after he claimed mortgage interest payments for BOTH his Preston and London homes on his taxpayer-funded expenses.

On Thursday, Mr Hendrick is likely to face questions from the general committee of the Preston Constituency Labour Party at Preston Town Hall.

He attended a constituency executive meeting on Thursday, which dealt with administrative rather than political issues.

Labour councillor Jack Davenport, who represents the Riversway ward, said: "I'm sure some people will do (ask questions) if they couldn't make the last meeting he attended. We'll just have to see.

"It's not what that meeting (on Thursday) was designed for.

"Even if we did ask him questions, he'd only have to come back next week. He doesn't usually attend the executive one because he's not

really required to. I don't get a sense of any kind of coup being planned; there's nothing like that."

Mr Hendrick, who has just returned from China, was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Constituency executive committee chairman Carl Crompton was reluctant to disclose what had been discussed. He said: "It would be wrong of me to tell you before the rest of the committee meets.

"What went on is for the membership, not for the general public."

He added: "He was quite open and honest about it then, he didn't hide anything, so it's just going over old ground if we do (discuss it again)."

Coun John Collins, leader of the Labour group at Preston Council, said Mr Hendrick had already sent "three or four letters" to members explaining his position on the expenses.

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