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Tory MP Steen says: "Im not greedy, youre jealous!"

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Published on May 21, 2009

Anthony Steen's jaw-dropping defence
Thank God we've got Anthony Steen to show to us just why many MPs feel they have been unjustly treated.
In a classic example of why MPs still don't get it on the exes issue, the grandee has given an amazing interview to the BBC's Becky Milligan.
Steen says it's public "jealousy" about his large house that triggered the Daily Tel story. He says the public should never be allowed to interfere with his private life. He says he doesn't see what the fuss is all about.
The words have to be seen to be believed - though, interestingly, he suggests David Cameron was prepared to back him rather than sack him (shurley shome misktake?)
"You know what its about? Jealousy. I have got a very, very large house. Some people say it looks like Balmoral. Its the photographs that make it look like Balmoral, but its a merchants house from the 19th century. It's not particularly attractive, but it does me nicely... Its got room to grow a few trees."
Mr Steen said that he was simply claiming expenses allowed to MPs to maintain their homes and gardens. "I was never told otherwise. As far as I am concerned, I dont know what the fuss is about".
In a line that will cheer up Gordon Brown no end, Steen adds that it is the fault of "this wretched government" to introduce Freedom of Information that led to his exposure.
"What right does the public have to interfere in my private life? None. Do you know what this reminds me of this whole episode? An episode of Coronation Street. This is a kangaroo court going on"
I don't know which episode of Corrie he means. Can anyone enlighten me?
Mr Steen, don't forget, claimed £87,000 over four years for his second home, including payments for tree surgery and an inspection of at leat 500 trees on his estate, a multi-million pound home in Devon. Other payments included guarding shrubs against rabbits and maintaining a separate cottage.
As for his decision to step down at the next election, he told Radio 4s World at One programme that "the decision was taken by me and my alone".
He also revealed that Mr Cameron did not demand his resignation. "I had no pressure from the party leader, quite the contrary, he was quite surprised. He didnt understand that I was going to do it. It was a shock to him."

UPDATE:The big question now is whether David Cameron is going to restore his authority and withdraw the whip from Steen.
I hear Steen has been given the hairdryer treatment by his local party chairman following the interview. The MP himself has cancelled planned interviews due later today.

http://waugh.standard.co.uk/2009/05/a...

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