Peter Hoskin

Behind the expenses curve

Behind the expenses curve
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And so the expenses scandal rumbles inevitably on.  If you want the latest on all the dubious claims our, erm, honourable representatives made in 2008-09, then I'd recommend Andrew Sparrow's live blog over at the Guardian - and Guido's got a good round-up here.  But, behind all that, there's a u-turn which is almost as embarrassing for the government as all those dodgy, dodgy receipts.

Remember when Gordon Brown neglected to mention MP's expenses, or the Kelly reforms, as part of his legislative agenda in the Queen's Speech?  The decision was immediately launched on by Sir Christopher Kelly himself, and set up some juicy attacks for the Tories.  Well, as Channel 4's Gary Gibbon reports, Harriet Harman has today said that the government will legislate to enact some of the Kelly reforms, after all.  Hm, convenient that.

In the end, it defies belief – and sense. If the government had done this weeks ago, then it could have taken some of the sting of today's revelations.  Instead, they waited – and for what?  Apart from a completely bust political compass, there's no real reason that I can see.

Quentin Davies's £20,700 claim for bell-tower repairs deserves special mention...