The Conservative MP is accused of having an affair with a headmistress in his Yorkshire constituency and using a taxpayer-funded cottage to meet his lover.
A Telegraph investigation has learned that four years ago, after discovering the affair, Mr Curry’s French wife Anne demanded that he does not stay at the Yorkshire property as a condition of the couple’s reconciliation.
However, the former Conservative minister has continued claiming thousands of pounds a year for the house – which he could expect to sell for a substantial profit after leaving Parliament.
After the Telegraph approached Mr Curry with the allegations, he announced that he was referring himself to the Parliamentary Commissioner. He said he would stand down from the Standards committee during the investigation, which is expected to take several months.
The Committee has been criticised recently for taking a sympathetic position towards MPs accused of misconduct. It has been questioned for failing to adequately punish MPs including Jacqui Smith and Tony McNulty who were criticised for expense claims running into tens of thousands of pounds.
Mr Curry’s questionable claims followed the temporary break-up of his marriage in 2004. He had been using the Yorkshire cottage as the base for seeing his lover, a local headmistress called Cherry Edwards.
However, the Telegraph has established that following a reconciliation with his wife the following year, Mr Curry was ordered by her to leave the cottage largely unused because of its association with the affair.
Later that year – after moving back into the family home in Essex – he designated the Yorkshire property as his second home to the parliamentary authorities, since when he has claimed a total of £28,078.
Quite astonishing behaviour. It's even more astonishing that Mr Curry took on the role of chairman of the Standards Committee in the first place. Did no alarm bell ring, even at the back of his head?
It is just as well he has already announced he will be standing down from Parliament at the next election. I could say a lot more, but I think I'll leave it there. For the moment.