HUDDERSFIELD MP Barry Sheerman has hit back at critics of his expenses claims.
The MP claimed £153,864 last year - the highest of any Yorkshire MP.
But the veteran Labour MP said a large chunk of the cash was to pay for staff to deal with concerns over the large number of asylum seekers in the Huddersfield area.
He said: "The Government has decided to allocate a large number of asylum seekers to our area and that brings with it a high workload for the MP and his staff.
"My office was stretched, so extra resources were allocated to me to enable me to employ an extra member of staff to cope with inquiries re asylum.
"I am also the chairman of the high-profile Education Select Committee and that entails a lot of extra work.
"I do not mind being highlighted as the MP who claims the highest expenses, because it shows I am putting in a lot of work.
"The people who should be investigated are the MPs who make hardly any claims - What work are they doing?"
Mr Sheerman has a full-time research assistant at Westminster and one full-time and three part-time staff working from his Huddersfield office.