MP Ann Clwyd 'wanted to hit voter over thief slur'

Ann Clwyd MP
Image caption Ann Clwyd told the Commons that she objected on behalf of other MPs to the accusation

A Labour MP has told how she wanted to punch a voter who called her a thief during the general election campaign after the scandal over parliamentary expenses .

Ann Clwyd told the Commons it had led to innocent MPs being smeared as crooks.

The Cynon Valley MP also complained of stories being leaked to the press.

MPs have been airing their frustrations about their new expenses scheme set up in the wake of last year's scandal.

Their debate comes as the body set up in the wake of the expenses scandal, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), has published 22,000 MPs' expenses claims paying out £3.1m.

The new rules for expenses mean, for example, MPs cannot claim mortgage interest, just rent, and can only travel first class in limited circumstances.

There is still anger among MPs about how they have been portrayed.

Mrs Clwyd told the House of Commons: "During my election campaign somebody came up to me and shouted thief, and if I had been a man I would have run after him and punched him in the face because I feel so strongly.

"I am not a thief, I have never been a thief and I object on behalf of other members of this house that they should be considered to be thieves in some way because the vast majority of people in this place are nothing of the sort."

She went on to suggest that "anti-MP" stories were being leaked by people at Ipsa.

She said that every time there was a debate on the expenses system, a story would appear in the press the day before.

Ipsa has taken exception to her comments and accused MPs, and Mrs Clwyd in particular, of trying to undermine the professional integrity of its staff.

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