Expense Fall-Out

Gordon Brown is having to pay back some £12,000 that he wrongly claimed in expenses, according to the independent adjudicator Sir Thomas Legg; Jacqui Smith has had to apologise to the Commons for her claims, and large numbers of other MPs are dreading the sort of letter that Brown has just received. This scandal has been cataclysmic, directly causing the largest single exodus of MPs at the next election in probably half a century (over a hundred at the latest count, and excluding those who might lose their seats if they do stand). And I doubt the notices about 'retiring' MPs has finished yet, as they ponder what to do with this latest turn.

Paul Waugh, meanwhile, considers that the real story of Jacqui Smith's claims about her principal home is more sordid than the headline points allow.


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