David Blackburn

They did it their way

They did it their way
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One argument against Sir Thomas Legg's repayment requests is that many are founded on inaccurate information. Norman Baker was charged for gardening expenses despite not having claimed any. Today, Sir Thomas has had to apologise for overcharging Ken Clarke by more than £4,000, and he has had to state that John Mann MP will not have to repay any money.

It’s all a bit of a muddle. First, there was the retrospective repayments fiasco. Then the Leader of the House made it quite clear that she had no idea what would happen to MPs who did not repay their expenses. And now there is this godsend for the anti-Leggites. MPs are under enormous pressure to repay, but the increasingly chaotic Legg Commission offers them a possible get of jail free card. The saga has become this Parliament's version of Frank Sinatra’s never ending farewell tour; it is doing untold damage to the Commons' reputation.