Published: August 2, 2010
Fresh allegations made against Burnham-On-Sea MP

Burnham-On-Sea's MP Tessa Munt was back in the national press at the weekend over fresh allegations about her conduct after the wife of a local GP claimed the politician had a secret affair with her husband - and lied about her living arrangements.

The Mail On Sunday reports that Tessa Munt has been threatened with police action by her local authority after she claimed a single resident’s discount, worth 25 per cent off the tax, at a time when Dr John Laband and BBC DJ Andy Kershaw were both registered as living at her house outside Highbridge.

When the newspaper first reported on the row last month, Ms Munt denied any impropriety with Dr Laband and claimed that "neither of these two people were living with me."

She said she had rescued Dr Laband from sleeping on his garage floor while his wife filed for divorce, and merely offered him a place to stay briefly.

Now, however, the GP's wife Claire has issued a statement to council investigators which contradicts Ms Munt's version of events.

The newspaper alleges that Mrs Laband had described the circumstances in which her husband went to live with Mrs Munt in 2008. At the time, the Labands were in the process of separating after 20 years of marriage.

"She told us that Tessa Munt had been having an affair with her husband at the time," the council source tells the newspaper. "She said that it was “the beginning and end” of why the marriage had failed, and that Mrs Munt had charged him £200 a month to rent a room in her house. So as well as wrongly claiming a single person’s discount on her council tax, she said that Mrs Munt was actually receiving income from the man who was her lover and lodger."

Spaking to on Monday (August 2nd), Tessa's spokesman James Holt, said: "Tessa has already made clear that Dr Laband did stay with her for a period of time in 2008. She offered him a place to stay as he needed temporary accommodation during his divorce."

"It is of public record that he was registered at her address at this time, and Tessa telephoned the council to notify them of this arrangement. During his stay Dr Laband did pay a contribution to Tessa for food and housekeeping."

"Tessa has co-operated fully with the council and will happily continue to cooperate to aid any attempt to clear this matter. Tessa understands that Sedgemoor council contacted police, who have said there is no case to answer. "


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