Alan Keen has refused to apologise for his and his wife’s expenses claims – saying “We’ve done nothing wrong”.

The Feltham and Heston MP said it would be impossible to do their jobs without their second home – a £500,000 flat on the river Thames – where they spend most of the working week.

Mr Keen and his wife Ann Keen, MP for Brentford and Isleworth, travel to central London on a Monday and stay at the apartment until Thursday or Friday.

He said: “I have seen people’s arguments saying ‘I work shifts’, but their shift doesn’t go from Monday lunchtime consistently until Friday lunchtime.

“It is not comparable to any other job. We have done absolutely nothing wrong, our consciences are completely clear.

“I bet you that anybody who travels anywhere back home in outer London, I bet they don’t work as many hours as Ann and I work, because it wouldn’t be possible.”

He said public anger over the expenses row was “completely understandable”, saying reports such as claims for moat clearing and helipads were “absolutely appaling”.

But he blamed the “archaic” system for the scandal, adding: “We have always just gone along with whatever the rules were.”

He said because he and his wife were both MPs, their lifestyle was very different to outer London MPs who do not claim for a second home allowance, saying: “With two of us, really we don’t have any life in the evenings and weekends.

“I wake up at 5am usually, I am on the computer at 6am doing stuff three mornings a week. Ann is a night person and I am a morning person.

“I wake her up at 8am, we talk about a matter of politics usually until 8.30am, and then we go to work.

“I don’t know how on earth Ann manages. If we get home during Newsnight, I will fall asleep before the end of it, but Ann will start on a box at midnight and works on it for one-and-a-half or two hours, and that has to be done for the next morning.

“If somebody stayed with us for a week they would see it is not a normal sort of job.”

Following interim reforms to the expenses system this week, the couple will no longer both be able to claim for their Thames apartment, but Mr Keen said they had no plans to sell up.

He said: “We would be better off straight away if we sold the flat and moved to Brentford. Will we do that? No, we won’t because we don’t believe we can do our jobs anywhere near as well if we have to travel in and out all the time.”

He added that it would be “good fun” to meet constituents face-to-face and justify the couple’s expenses, but had no plans to hold a public meeting.

He said: “We think we have abided by the rules and by the culture. It’s the culture that people do not understand, people have little understanding of what an MP does.”

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