Financial Secretary Antony Leung Kam-chung yesterday conceded he failed on numerous occasions to declare he had bought a new car ahead of vehicle tax increases announced in his Budget. But he insisted he would stay in the job to win back confidence in his integrity. During a 2.5-hour grilling, a remorseful Mr Leung told how his love for his Olympic diving star wife and new daughter had led him to make the mistake. Lawmakers are unconvinced it was a mere oversight and have vowed to press for a formal inquiry. Some even called for him to step down to save the administration from a crisis. In his first full account of the controversy, Mr Leung admitted to a Legislative Council panel that he had failed to make a declaration in an Executive Council meeting, during which other ministers reportedly declared an interest when told of the tax rise just hours before the Budget speech on March 5. The increase was provisionally agreed to in late October, but Mr Leung went shopping for a car in January. He and his wife, Fu Mingxia, test drove the Lexus 430 four days after a budget group he chaired shortlisted the car tax rise and other taxes for further review. He paid the deposit two days later. Mr Leung's press secretary and administrative assistant had a ride in the car in January but did not sound a warning to their boss. Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa has accused Mr Leung of gross negligence but rejected his offer to resign. Mr Leung insisted it was pure negligence, saying he was not vigilant enough because he had sought to separate family matters from his public office. Mr Leung added: 'I'm not making excuses for my mistakes. It only shows I am busy on both the public and private fronts. And I made the negligent mistake under such pressure.' Lawmakers from all parties showered the financial chief with criticism, although the pro-government camp believed it was more a case of negligence. Liberal Party chairman James Tien Pei-chun, also a member of Exco, said: 'The Liberals are sympathetic towards the financial secretary and find the incident regrettable.' Describing Mr Leung as a man whose integrity was bankrupt, ex-Democrat Albert Chan Wai-yip asked if Mr Leung would step down to save the Tung administration from a political crisis. The Legco house committee will decide whether to support an independent inquiry.