I HAVE been asked to repay £17,894 in House of Commons expenses.

Some of the media coverage can be partial, so I want people to understand what I actually did and why I think I acted honourably.

When I was elected in 2005 I got an independent valuation of the flat that I had owned in London since 2001. This was necessary to determine my exact assets at the point when I became an MP, which were the difference between the value of the flat in 2005 and the debt I still owed on it. This equity in the flat constituted all my net wealth when I was elected.

This money had nothing to do with me being an MP and nothing to do with expenses. The level of equity in the flat would have been exactly the same in 2005 if I had never become an MP.

Once I had the valuation, I knew how much of my own pre-election money I had to spend on buying a family home in Taunton.

I used about three-quarters of my pre-election money for a deposit on a new home in Taunton and left the remaining quarter in the London flat.

I spend the majority of my time in Taunton so I properly designated Taunton as my main home and have never claimed expenses on it.

I claimed expenses for the London flat, which were actually subsidised by the equity that I had left in it.

The Legg Review is now saying that I should not have spent my own pre-election money, which had nothing to do with me being an MP, on buying a home in Taunton.

Instead, they say, I should have used it all to subsidise my expenses claims, and not had a home in Taunton.

The alternative options recommended by Sir Thomas Legg would actually have cost the taxpayer more.

I could have designated the more expensive Taunton house as my second home, or I could have sold the London flat and bought a more expensive one.

I rejected both of those options because they were improper, impractical and more expensive.

I am now been asked to pay £17,894, which is a lot of money, and I have appealed against the decision, with the final verdict coming in January.

My main objection is that my own money, from before I was elected, is mine to spend as I see fit, and I did nothing wrong in using some of it to buy a Taunton home.

My other objection is that I made arrangements that cost the taxpayer less money and yet I am being penalised for that decision.

If the appeal is unsuccessful I will find a way to pay the £17,894. I feel I acted entirely in good faith, but I realise that the necessity of accepting the referees final verdict, even if it seems unreasonable.