I refer to the letter from Dr Peter Williams about my expenses in which he said my claim was significantly higher than other North Yorkshire MPs. When IPSA published this year’s expenses. £23,478 of staff costs was allocated as expenses when, in fact, it was payment to contracted employees. In total my staff costs are still within the budget allocated by IPSA and in line with my colleagues. My travel and accommodation costs relate to London and I make no claim for travel within the constituency or any other local expenses. A number of the other MPs on the list own their home in London so have lower accommodation costs.

When I was elected to Parliament in 2015, I knew it would mean a substantial reduction in earnings compared with my earnings in the private sector, which I was more than willing to accept to have the chance to try and make a difference to people’s lives. As a business person of 30 years standing myself, I have dedicated much of my time since being in elected as an MP to the interests of SMEs and during the recent pandemic I lobbied the Treasury strongly for grants, which came in the form of Business Rates Grants and holidays; Job Retention Scheme; VAT reduction for hospitality; Self-Employed Income Support Scheme; Subsidised Coronavirus Business Interruption and Bounce Back Loans. This has helped keep many local businesses afloat.

Contrary to the assertions made by Dr Williams about my record of achievement I have fought hard for a fairer deal for the North and, in particular, Thirsk and Malton. This includes helping secure a transformational high in infrastructure spending across the North, more money for local services including schools, police officers and a new A&E at Scarborough. I helped save Lambert Hospital in Thirsk for community use, successfully campaigned for improvements to the A19 and the A64 at Crambeck Village, Barton Hill crossroads, Rillington and Sherburn, secured £5.4m for Easingwold School and led a successful campaign for a £1bn Shared Rural Network that will increase 4G coverage to 95% by 2026.

Kevin Hollinrake MP for Thirsk and Malton