HALSTEAD’S Tory MP insists he’s not wealthy – he just happens to own a big house.

Following the MPs’ expenses saga, the Gazette asked Sir Alan Haselhurst if he thought wealthy MPs should be claiming expenses from the public purse.

The Saffron Walden MP, who is also Deputy Speaker of the Commons, replied: “It’s not for me to comment.

“There’s a set of rules and every Member of Parliament is equal in terms of those rules.

“If some people chose not to claim, that’s their business. What is available and what you claim must be an individual judgement.”

Many of Sir Alan’s fellow MPs are millionaires and a few multi-millionaires.

But Sir Alan insisted: “I haven’t got any wealth. I own a property, which is worth whatever it’s market value is. Apart from that, there is nothing.”

The Wikipedia website entry for Sir Alan lists him as a former director of his family pharmacy firm, something he says is untrue.

He said: “It’s ridiculous. I’m seeking to correct it. It makes it sound like a million pound company. It was a pharmacy shop.

“My father was a dispensing pharmacist. There was no remuneration.

“My father sold the business in the Sixties and died in the Eighties.”

Before he was an MP, Sir Alan’s previous jobs included a five-year stint with chemical firm ICI.

He said: “It was one of the great companies in this country. I was a young man at the time and I worked as an executive.

“I went on to other chemical companies and my career in the chemical industry stretched from 1961 until 1974.”

In a letter on his website, addressed to his constituents, Sir Alan says: “My only recordable outside interest is income from my cricket novels, which sell only in hundreds.

“I do not have a country estate. I own a family home in the constituency.

“It has no swimming pool, as was alleged in the Daily Mail, and no helipad, as some local reporters seem to imagine. I do not own any other property.”