Peter Hoskin

What will today mean for the expenses saga?

What will today mean for the expenses saga?
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So MPs have until the end of today to declare whether they're appealing against Sir Thomas Legg's request that they repay certain expenses claims.  Three have already done just that, one from each of the main parties: Jeremy Browne, Frank Cook and Bernard Jenkin.  You imagine that more may follow throughout the day, especially given the rumblings that the Legg review contained a fair few errors.

Now, it's only fair that MPs have a right of appeal – but you still wonder what it will mean for the expenses saga more generally.  From the public's perspective, a swathe of appeals could look like MPs resisting reform.  From Parliament's perspective, it could harden the unfavourable attitude that some MPs hold towards the Legg review, and make them more resistant to further attempts at reform.  This, in turn, could make it more difficult for the government to enact legislation based on the Kelly Review.

Either way, it looks like it's all going to rumble on for some time to come.  You suspect that only a general election will deliver the catharsis that the situation demands.