FIGURES show MP Barry Sheerman claimed more that any other MP for travel expenses for his wife.
The figure was revealed on the Guardian website yesterday, which claimed that from October to December 2009 he claimed £2,092.
The Huddersfield MP of 31 years said he believed it to be a “quirk” of the system.
He told the Examiner he was surprised to be top of the table for spousal travel expenses, ahead of the MP for the Scottish Orkney and Shetland constituency.
He said all MPs were restricted to claiming for just 15 journeys a year and that he and wife Pam would buy the cheapest tickets available to them.
The MP said he would be questioning the figures with the House of Commons today, saying he believed it related to both him and his wife.
He said: “We are limited to 15 journeys and we have used them.
“We have a job in two centres, our constituency and in London, and we have to travel between them.
“In order to keep a family together all MPs can make a claim for their wife or partner to travel to and from London, but only 15 times a year. We have always spaced them out throughout the year.
“When our children were younger and Pam was always in Yorkshire looking after the children we didn’t have any opportunity.
“Huddersfield is 200 miles from London and it is an expensive journey.
“For the 31 years I’ve been an MP there has been the ability to travel 1st class but I’ve always gone for the cheapest we can get to keep the bill low.”
He said he feared restrictions would mean MPs would centre their work in London rather than their constituency.
He added: “I’m one of those MPs who, if needed in Huddersfield on a Tuesday night will come up to Huddersfield then travel back, and my wife would come with me if she was invited to whatever it was.
“I don’t approve of the sort of MPs who lives in London and hardly ever comes back to his or her constituency – it has never been my style.
“If people want to have MPs who will only live and work in London they can vote for someone like that, but it’s not me.
“I’m amazed by it [the table] – a single return ticket booked at short notice can be £300 at peak times.
“I think it is a quirk of the figures. I am surprised by it and I’ll be looking into it.”
After Mr Sheerman was Rosemary McKenna, Labour MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East who claimed £2,076, then Alistair Carmichael, Liberal Democrat MP for Orkney and Shetland who claimed £2,054.
The nearest MP geographically was Eric Illsley, Labour MP Barnsley Central who claimed £1,336 and was number eight on the table.