Peter Hoskin

The worst so far?

The worst so far?
Text settings
Comments

Day six in the Telegraph's investigation of MPs' expenses, and the latest revelations are perhaps the most outrageous so far.  Exhibit A: the Labour MP Elliot Morley, who claimed £16,000 for interest payments on, erm, a mortgage that had been paid off 18 months previously.  Other allegations include: Fabian Hamilton declaring his mother's house in London as his main residence, while hoovering up taxpayers' cash for his family home in Leeds; and John Maples claiming that a London club was his main residence. 

In response, Morley has said that he repaid the money after seeing his dubious receipts two weeks ago.  And I expect that others will follow suit.  But will that be enough?  So far, the familiar refrain has been that the expense claims have been within the letter - if not the spirit - of the discredited rules system.  Yet we seem to be getting closer and closer to claims that are right in neither spirit nor letter.  Mark this: the words "criminal offence" are now getting bandied around...