REDCAR MP, Vera Baird attempted to get taxpayers to pay for her Christmas tree and baubles, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.

As the row over MPs expenses gathers pace, the newspaper revealed today that Mrs Baird, the Solicitor General, submitted a claim for 286 for "miscellaneous items".

But House of Commons officials are said to have spotted the receipts were for festive decorations and refused to pay up.

A 4,570 bill for furniture was also scaled back because the items were deemed to be too "luxurious".

The receipts for Christmas decorations show that Mrs Baird spent 29.97 in December 2006 at her local branch of Woolworths on 24 baubles, 20 "snowflake" lights and an extension lead.

At another shop, she is said to have spent 5.98 on decorations, and, at another, 214.97 on two artificial Christmas trees.

"I used my allowances claim to furnish and maintain my house," Mrs Baird told the newspaper today. "I did not take issue with the fees office for rejecting the claims, I was grateful for the guidance on how the rules should be interpreted.

"I still have these decorations, which of course I had paid for myself and I used them last Christmas as well."