Peter Hoskin

Pornographic expenses

Pornographic expenses
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Unbelievable.  The news that Jacqui Smith's husband used part of her already-dubious second homes allowance to pay for pornographic films is quite simply unbelievable.  It would be amusing - in a Frankie Howerd, "Titter ye not" kind of way - were it not such a mockery of the taxpayer. 

It's more Smith's husband who's at fault here, and - let's be clear - the Home Secretary has said that the expenses claim was made "mistakenly" and is going to pay back the money.  But this story still encapsulates much that's wrong with the political class.  And, coming hot on the heels of the Tony McNulty and Nigel Griffiths scandals; the existing furore surrounding Smith's second home; and Eric Pickles' less-than-edifying Question Time performance, it's only going to intensify the country's anti-politician atmosphere.  You've got to wonder whether Smith's career will survive it.