This is one Tory MP's take on why he is in the doo doo....amazing !.
Anthony Steen blamed voters in his Totnes constituency of being jealous of his 'very, very large house'.
Were the Palace of Westminster to boast a hair-shirt outlet it would have done a feverish trade over the last two weeks as its members have lined up to publicly apologise for expenses excesses.
All that is except one. While his colleagues furiously deployed their mea culpas, the veteran Conservative MP Sir Anthony Steen stood firm.
After pondering the question of exactly why people were so angry over his claim for the treatment of 500 trees in the grounds of his house, he offered a succinct explanation today : "Jealousy".
Tonight, however, Steen, MP for Totnes since 1974, was forced by David Cameron to issue a strongly worded apology after he blamed constituents for forcing his retirement from Westminster. Steen "unreservedly apologised" after declaring that the public had no right to "interfere" with his private life.
Cameron moved against Steen after he appeared on Radio 4's The World at One to lash out at constituents who objected to his claim for the treatment of the trees. "I've done nothing criminal, that's the most awful thing, and do you know what it's about? Jealousy," Steen said. "I've got a very, very large house. Some people say it looks like Balmoral."
Steen spoke out after announcing on Wednesday he would stand down as an MP at the next election. He denied his hand had been forced by Cameron. "The pressure came from the constituents. For the last week I've been taking soundings and they are absolutely beside themselves with anger."
Steen later issued an apology after he was upbraided by the leadership for distorting his talks with Cameron.
Cameron also forced the former Tory minister Sir Peter Viggers to announce his retirement after Viggers claimed £1,645 for a floating duck island.
If Steen emerges as one of the more amusing sinners in the expenses scandal, the Labour MP Laura Moffatt is on course to become the patron saint of the goodies. The MP for Crawley gave up her rented London flat last year because she said the "annual cost did not sit comfortably with me". In her blog she writes: "I never travel first class when commuting and since getting rid of my flat I more often sleep on a camp bed in my office when the house sits late … and have only made one claim for personal goods in 2007/08, under £20, I think, to replace some towels."