Lancashire MPs criticised for having energy bills paid on expenses have hit back, saying they have done nothing wrong.
A national newspaper revealed that 340 MPs made legitimate claims for their energy bills for heating their second homes.
Among them are Preston Labour MP Mark Hendrick who claimed £916.98 for his electric and gas bills in 12 months.
The investigation also revealed that Ribble Valley Conservative MP Nigel Evans claimed £848.76 for energy bills while Mark Menzies, Fylde Conservative MP, claimed £434.72 for electricity.
Ben Wallace, Conservative MP for Wyre and Preston North, claimed £139.24 for fuel. David Morris, Morecambe and Lunesdale Conservative MP, claimed £213.23 and Rosie Cooper, Lancashire West Labour MP, claimed £147.06 for electricity and gas.
However, Chorley Labour MP Lindsay Hoyle and Eric Ollerenshaw, Conservative MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, did not make any energy bill expenses claims for their second homes.
Mr Hendrick today said: “It has been a long-standing practice that when an MP has a second home, their basic gas and electricity costs are covered as part of the expenses regime.
“This has been going on for more than 10 years and is nothing new. No one has done anything wrong as it is in the rules.”
Ms Cooper said: “As a North West MP, I am required to be in London four days a week, which requires overnight stays Monday to Thursday in London.
“If I wasn’t an MP, I wouldn’t incur these costs.
“The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority as the independent body scrutinises all my claims in line with their rules and only allows legitimate claims.
“I have always said I would welcome Parliament coming up with a system where I do not have any direct involvement in the finances.”
Mr Ollerenshaw says that while he does not claim for energy bills himself at his second home in London, he does not see a problem with MPs making these expenses claims.
He said: “It is for their second home which they need because of the nature of the job.”
Mr Menzies, Mr Evans, Mr Wallace and Mr Morris did not respond in time for deadline.
“I do have a second home but I do not claim for energy bills but there is no particular reason for this.
“When you are trying to maintain two homes, it can be expensive and not all MPs are millionaires.”