Tory MP says it was OK to bill taxpayer for his 500 tree forest, critics are "jealous" of his private forest

People outside of the UK might have missed the huge scandal over MPs' expenses — basically, it turns out that Members of Parliament have been billing the public for all kinds of crazy things, including mortgages that they'd already paid off, maintenance on their moats (I shit you not) and pools, tampons (for male MPs), private security details, and so on. Most MPs have fallen over themselves to apologize for their unethical behavior.

Not Tory MP Anthony Steen.

Steen billed the taxpayer for maintenance of his 500-tree forest, upkeep of which was apparently necessary to the conducting of his duties at Parliament.

Steen says that constituents who resent their tax money going to pay for his forest are "just jealous."

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".

Expenses row: MP who claimed for 500 trees accuses constituents of 'jealousy'