MPs' expenses

As memories of the G20 fades into the distance, there is growing consensus among commentators that the issue of MPs' expenses will probably be one of the defining factors of the next general election.

Even those at the top of the greasy pole cannot escape the fact that, despite "keeping within the rules", they have broken the spirit of claiming those expenses that are needed to do their job properly. According to one paper,

"Gordon Brown and chancellor Alistair Darling are the latest political heavyweights to be caught up in the swirling expenses row. Mr Brown has claimed more than £17,000 in second-home expenses since becoming prime minister. Since 2001, Mr Brown has claimed more than £116,000 in expenses. Mr Darling, meanwhile, is claiming thousands of pounds in second home allowances for his constituency house in Edinburgh, despite living in a taxpayer-funded Downing Street apartment and renting out his London flat. It also emerged housing minister Margaret Beckett and former home secretary David Blunkett have all benefited from generous second-home expenses".

I am sure many will have seen Jacqui Smith's appearances across the TV channels yesterday which were, frankly, embarrassing, and she dug an even deeper hole for herself and her Party. The Channel 4 interview below really sums it all up and devastating fro the Home Secretary and her party.



Given that Labour currently has the largest number of MPs, the expenses issue would be expected to hit them hardest in the run-up to the next general election, especially if David Cameron declares that he will unilaterally set up a system to make expenses more transparent.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the public has had enough of this charade and the party who promises to clean this up will, to use a pun, also clean up at the next election.

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