The disgraced former Rotherham MP Denis MacShane has admitted he made a "grievous mistake" in a letter to the Yorkshire Post. He has been widely condemned for making false expense claims amounting to thousands of pounds - and criticised in the House of Commons for his "reprehensible" behaviour. A by-election will now be held to find his replacement.
But in a letter to the Yorkshire Post, Mr MacShane not only apologises for his actions "from the bottom of his heart" but also tries to explain why it happened. He writes:
He then goes onto say he "stupidly" thought the cost of his work in Europe as the Prime Minister's personal envoy - or for his own networking to make him fully imformed as one of Parliament's experts on Europe - could be reimbursed by Parliamentary expenses. He also speaks of the dark days following the death of his daughter.
He signs off saying: