His reason for doing so is obvious: these claims were outrageous. But that is a moral judgement, not a legal argument to enforce repayment. He states that the Commons Fees Office allowed ‘disproportionate claims that must be judged to have been in breach of the rules’. The problem is that they were within the rules and a barrister has told me that there is little chance of a court finding against an MP resisting repayment in consequence. The political arguments for forcing MPs to repay expenses are unanswerable, and the manoeuvring of the front benches today has been fascinating. But unless criminality can be proved, there is no legal imperative to repay, and MPs have a right to resist that unjust imposition; this will be a particular problem if and when substantial mortage claims are examined. It would be an absolute disaster if this opportunity for Parliamentary reform was wasted, as sitting MPs fought court actions to avoid repaying expenses. However, hopefully MPs will see moral sense and repay of their own volition.