ALUN Michael MP says he WILL stand at the next general election, despite calls for the politician to stand down after having to repay £19,169.56 in expenses claims.

The MP for Cardiff South and Penarth was speaking after a report by Sir Thomas Legg recommended that 390 MPs, more than half the current and past MPs reviewed, should repay a total of £1.3m.

The audit of claims, dating back to 2004, revealed that Mr Michael should repay £18,889.56 for mortgage interest on additional loans not shown to have been for an eligible purpose.

He was also overpaid by £280 for council tax in 2004/05 - a payment for 12 instalments when only 10 were required.

Sir Thomas Legg’s report said £800,000 had been repaid by MPs already since April 2009, the month before the scandal broke in national newspapers.

Mr Michael has paid the £19,169.56 in full and has blamed a ‘clerical error’ on the inflated claim.

He has also hit back at calls for him to stand down at the next general election.

“Constituents should look at my record of fighting for the good of the area,” he said.

“Throughout my career I’ve been concerned with the reduction of crime and the devolution of powers.

“In terms of the expenses, when it was clear new claim requirements were in place I immediately paid the money back in full.

“It’s easy to make clerical errors but I take full responsibility.

“The council tax payment came at a time when I was under a lot of stress politically.

“I was surprised when it was raised, but it was one year out of the 22 years I’ve been an MP.

“The impression the general public seem to have is that MPs are sat poring over their expenses,” he added.

“The reality is it’s an onerous task to pull all the claims together.”

Penarth constituents and parliamentary candidates for the Cardiff South and Penarth seat have contacted the Penarth Times to express their anger at Mr Michael’s claims.

In a letter to the Penarth Times, local resident David Morris Jones, of Uppercliff Close, writes: “Sir Thomas Legg's audit of MPs expenses claims has now confirmed that our Labour MP Alun Michael has wrongly pocketed thousands and thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money - money which he was never entitled to, money which he had no right whatever to claim.

“It'll now be up to us voters to decide whether Mr Michael goes back to Westminster, or to the Job Centre.”

Simon Hoare, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Cardiff South and Penarth, said Mr Michael had 'lost touch with constituents’.

“He has had to repay more in expenses than lots of people across Cardiff South and Penarth earn as a salary in a year,” he said. “Mr Michael's been part of a rotten system and he’s been found out.

“He should now consider his position.”

Liberal Democrat candidate Dominic Hannigan believes the expenses scandal will sway voters.

He said: "People in Cardiff South and Penarth, many of whom are struggling to deal with the effects of the recession, will be rightly worried about such a large sum of public money having to be re-paid and will surely consider this when they go to the polls in a few months time.”

Farida Aslam, the Plaid Cymru candidate, added: “I think Mr Michael’s behaviour has been appalling.

“We choose our politicians but Mr Michael’s actions have shown how far removed he is from the general public.”