Published: February 7, 2010
Exclusive: MP 'regrets' expenses mistake but is confident of re-election

Burnham-On-Sea's MP has this weekend apologised to voters for "making a mistake" over his controversial expense claims - but says he is confident of being re-elected at this year's General Election.

Talking to on the town's seafront, Mr Heathcoat-Amory admitted that he regrets his expense claims, which famously included £380 for horse manure.

Having last week repaid almost £30,000 of gardening and cleaning expenses, we asked him how he rates his performance since the last General Election and whether he'd have done anything differently.

He responded: "We can all learn, that's true of any human being."

"They learn by experience with new issues and new challenges. Mistakes get made and we all made a mistake over our expenses. I made one and that is something I regret."

He added: "I think I've done some things right and some things wrong, but I'll stand on my record and I'm looking forwards to the election."

When asked him how confident he is of retaining his position during this year's general election, he responded: "I've won six in a row - I think this will be lucky seven."

Meanwhile, Tessa Munt, the Liberal Democrat's parliamentary candidate, told on Sunday (February 7th): "It will be an interesting election. I've received a very positive response on local doorsteps. Many local people are outraged at what's happened with our MP's expenses."

"I am confident that I would be a diligent and hard-working MP who would follow a completely different style to that taken by Mr Heathcoat-Amory over his quarter of a century in the seat."

Watch our online video of the full interview by clicking on the video above


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