PCC finds for Telegraph in MP expenses complaint

The Press Complaints Commission has opted to take no further action in the case of Dr Julian Lewis MP, who complained over the Sunday Telegraph’s coverage of his expenses.

It is only the second PCC adjudication to stem from the Telegraph’s exhaustive investigation into the expenses claims of MPs this summer. In October, the PCC upheld a complaint brought by MP Brian Binley over the accuracy of Telegraph’s claim that he had a “multi-million pound” fortune.

The latest complaint stems from a 17 May story headlined: “Cash secrets of MPs who tried to stop you seeing their expenses.”

Lewis claimed that it was inaccurate to report that he wanted to claim £6,000 for a new floor, when he said he had only submitted the full claim the Commons fees office for guidance.

The PCC said that the Telegraph’s offer of a clairification worded in the following terms was sufficient remedy:

“Further to our MPs’ expenses coverage (June 2009) we are happy to make clear that Dr Julian Lewis never submitted a £6,000 claim for a wooden floor. Dr Lewis asked the Fees Office whether he could make such a claim and was told it would be ‘extravagant’. He accepted that advice and no claim was made.”

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