James Forsyth

Tories tainted by expenses revelations

Tories tainted by expenses revelations
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There is a danger with these expenses stories that we get inured to them, that nothing shocks us any more. For this reason the shadow Cabinet is benefiting from being featured fourth not first in the Telegraph’s series.

The revelations are bad. The actions of Francis Maude and Chris Grayling strike me as most serious. If there are going to be no sackings from the shadow Cabinet over this, and word is that there won’t be, the Tories should at least rethink Grayling’s role as their attack dog, they need someone who is purer than pure for that role.

Alan Duncan’s gardening claims were clearly excessive, as even the Fees Office pointed out, and show a shamefully cavalier attitude to spending the public’s money. The story also reminded one of the many previous controversies Duncan has been involved in. Cats and lives spring to mind.  

Cameron’s response struck me as heading in the right direction. (The Spectator’s agenda for reform of the whole sorry system can be read here). Instant disclosure strikes me as a step that should be taken immediately. If the public could see everything that is being claimed, it would both keep the claims in check and begin the long process of restoring trust in our MPs.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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