BELEAGUERED Worcestershire MP Peter Luff has told your Worcester News he simply did not anticipate the media storm which exploded yesterday over his expenses claims.

The Conservative member for Mid-Worcestershire insists he has “a clear conscience” over the catalogue of second home claims listed in your Worcester News and the Daily Telegraph, which made national headlines throughout the day and saw camera crews parked outside his city home. Mr Luff has been criticised for claiming multiple household items for his second home over the past four years, as well as refurbishing both his house in Worcester and his London flat.

There is no suggestion he broke parliamentary rules, but he has offered to pay back a £3,000 redecoration bill.

Speaking exclusively yes- terday to your Worcester News, Mr Luff was asked if he had expected the dreaded call from the Telegraph.

He said: “I didn’t. I had such a clear conscience. But obviously my judgement was wrong, which unnerves me.

“I think I hadn’t appreciated the extent to which the public mood had moved on, and things that would have been tolerated even two or three months ago are now considered not tolerable.

“I think it’s totally right that people judge revelations of today by the standards of today. But I think if I had published this as I went along – as I often thought of doing – I wouldn’t be in the difficulty I’m in today.”

Mr Luff declined to comment on each individual claim he made, but did explain spending almost £1,000 of taxpayers’ money on two sets of china over the four-year period.

He said: “I had used my own china for about 14 years, with no charges to public funds. Eventually I had to buy a new set.

“We bought one and it was inappropriate. It didn’t fit the cupboards, didn’t fit the dishwasher – it was a mistake. So we replaced it So that’s 14 years, two sets of china.”

Asked if he thought the china claims looked bad in retrospect, Mr Luff said: “I do. It’s been picked up by a number of people and.. yes I do.”

Describing the Telegraph coverage as “horrid”, Mr Luff reiterated that “the main allegation” made against him – that he ‘flipped’ his second home designation simply so he could furnish both homes at the taxpayers’ expense – is “absolutely untrue”.

He said: “That’s the major misrepresentation in the piece.”

The MP produced documents showing he became a parliamentary ‘office-holder’ in July 2002 when given the job of Conservative assistant chief whip, requiring him to make his London address his main home. He reverted back when he lost the job in June 2005.

The Tory MP has declined to follow the lead of county MPs Mike Foster and Richard Taylor and turn his expenses forms over to the local press for full publication and analysis. He said: “I’m disappointed I can’t – I had hoped to do so. But until my own party’s (investigation) process has concluded, I’ve been strongly advised I should not.”

Some of Mr Luff's claims

Selection of Mr Luff's second home expenses claims over four years, as listed in the Daily Telegraph: Kitchen table and six chairs – £1,583 (£750 paid out by fees office); TV – £750 Microwave – £218.99; China set – £625; China set – £367; Mattress – £675; DVD player – £224.99; Radio – £148; Clock radio – £116.99; Bedside light, alarm clock radio – £246.75; Chest of drawers – £725; Set of sofas, tables and pouffe – £1,774; Vacuum cleaner – £194.37; Vacuum cleaner – £139; Highgrove bedside chest – £144.93; Dining room table, four chairs, bar stool – £596; Carpet – £1,589.93.