'British MPs Are Paragons Of Virtues,' Says Tory MP Colonel Bob Stewart

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MPs are "paragons of virtues" compared to politicians in other countries, a senior Conservative has insisted.

Parliament's reputation has plummeted after the latest bout of sleaze and expenses claims but Colonel Bob Stewart insisted MPs were "human" and sometimes "make a mistake".

The former United Nations Commander of British Forces in Bosnia told Murnaghan on Sky News he has experience of corrupt nations.

"Our MPs, by comparison, are paragons of virtue," he added. "The fact of the matter is the expenses scandal continues."

He added: "To be honest everyone is human, they make a mistake sometimes."

Earlier this week David Cameron admitted that he under-estimated the depth of the "raw" public anger over MPs' expenses after Maria Miller eventually quit as Culture Secretary for wrongly claiming thousands of pounds in mortgage interest payments.

Westminster's reputation was damaged further when an investigation found there was a prevailing "climate of sexual harassment" in parliament.

Eric Joyce, who became an independent MP after he was expelled from the Labour Party following his conviction for assaulting politicians in a House of Commons bar in 2012, said parliament was a "funny workplace" but said the culture had changed to an extent since reforms to sitting hours.

He added: "It is unusual to have a number of bars in a workplace, that's a matter of fact."

Mr Joyce said the expenses scandal had an "impact that still lingers".

Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary Ed Davey suggested a central system to deal with such problems may have to be set up.

He told Sky News: "It may well be that Parliament needs to do something itself.

"We've had problems in our party, as have all the parties, and we have acted now to make sure there is a proper code of conduct, that there are independent people that members of staff can go to because we should be judged by the highest standards and we should meet them and we should do everything... otherwise people's trust in politics, which is not exactly high at the moment, will not recover."