Peter Hoskin

Sleeping beauties

Sleeping beauties
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We can't really let today go by without mentioning Nicholas Cecil's extraordinary scoop in the Standard.  Here's a snippet:

"MPs are sleeping secretly in the Commons after being stripped of their second home allowance.

A handful of parliamentarians are bedding down at Westminster during the week because they are now banned from claiming on the taxpayer for a hotel, a rented flat, or a mortgage on a second home.

But they want to stay anonymous for fear they will be evicted on health and safety grounds.

“I'm not complaining. I'm just getting on with it,” said a Tory who asked not to be named. “I'm desperately trying to do the best for my constituents, which is to be here.”

Also said to be staying overnight are a senior Tory backbencher and a Conservative who represents an outer London seat.

They are understood to be using makeshift arrangements such as camp beds — but they have been kept awake by the bongs of Big Ben, as well as other noises around the neighbourhood. They can shower and brush their teeth in bathrooms on the parliamentary estate."

After the whole expenses saga, there's something wryly hilarious about it ending up like this. But you could say it also strengthens the case for an MPs' boarding house, or something like it.