MPs’ expenses

Image: Getty

MP recall is a populist gesture that cheapens our democracy

5 June 2014 10:58

Anger is a bad counsellor. A lot of voters are angry with MPs and want to punish them. They believe that during the recent economic crisis, many MPs had only… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Downing Street has forgotten that its business is politics

13 April 2014 11:03

The Sunday papers resound with the sound of Tory MPs thinking aloud about how to deal with ill-discipline: principally expenses and harassment. On harassment, the Sunday Times reports the 1922… Continue reading

Ed Miliband's Speech To Scottish Labour Party Conference

Ed Miliband bungles as Miller’s tale draws to a close

9 April 2014 17:02

Oh dear. Miliband was all set to give Cameron an almighty hammering at today’s PMQs, but Maria Miller’s resignation blew up his ammunition dump. Mr Bercow rose at the start… Continue reading


Miliband’s moment of decision, does he call for Maria Miller to go?

8 April 2014 19:03

Ed Miliband faces a big decision tonight, does he use PMQs tomorrow to call for Maria Miller’s resignation. So far, he has limited himself to saying that Cameron has questions… Continue reading

Maria Miller's support is vanishing as press moves in for the kill. (PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Tory MPs turn on Maria Miller – and Dave

7 April 2014 14:38

Maria Miller is losing friends, fast. Furious briefing over the last 24 hours has seen a host of Tory MPs withdraw their support for the embattled Culture Secretary - and question the judgment… Continue reading

Maria Miller. Image: Getty

Maria Miller, a political zombie

5 April 2014 11:20

Talking to Tory ministers in the last 24 hours, one of the things I’ve been struck by is the level of irritation with Maria Miller’s graceless apology. It is easy… Continue reading

MPs pay always raises questions of trust about Parliament. Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Briefing: a pay rise for MPs?

9 December 2013 15:30

What’s happening? The rage continues today in advance of Ipsa’s expected recommendation that MPs should get a 11 per cent pay rise to take their pay to £74,000 in the… Continue reading

Denis MacShane has pleaded guilty to false accounting. (LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Denis MacShane pleads guilty to expenses fraud

18 November 2013 13:23

The expenses continues to cast a long shadow. Denis MacShane entered a guilty plea at the Old Bailey this morning. As the Press Association reports: ‘The ex-MP admitted false accounting by putting… Continue reading

A Duck House Is Floated Past Parliament In Protest Over The Expenses Row

MPs don’t deserve a punishment beating over pay

14 July 2013 12:05

Four years ago I was in a windowless room within the parliamentary estate. I was working in David Cameron’s opposition office at the time and a number of Tory political… Continue reading

Under IPSA's recommendations, MPs' transport allowances won't go as far as they once did. Photo: Getty.

Five things you need to know about the MPs’ pay rise

11 July 2013 13:27

Today’s recommendations from IPSA on MPs pay have been with met the condemnation we’ve come to expect regarding our politicians — snouts in troughs, out of touch political class, etc. But it’s… Continue reading

Members Of The New Coalition Cabinet Arrive For Their First Cabinet Meeting

Do MPs deserve a pay rise?

1 July 2013 11:09

A small group of MPs have put their heads above the parapet in a brave and commendable fashion by demanding that they and their colleagues should not receive large pay… Continue reading

The Sun Sets Behind The Houses Of Parliament

Jim Sheridan MP and those “parasites” in parliament

19 March 2013 15:14

Labour MP Jim Sheridan covered himself in glory this morning by asking why the ‘parasitical press’ is ‘even allowed to come into’ parliament. Westminster watchers will remember the eloquent and… Continue reading

Lights Out For Earth Hour 2012 in London

MPs: We’re underpaid and worried about Christmas

10 January 2013 19:42

Are MPs paid too little? Quite a few of them seem to think so. Parliamentary expenses watchdog IPSA released the results of a survey today which found 69 per cent… Continue reading

Maria Miller has survived an expenses scandal, so far. Image: Getty

Maria Miller survives £90,000 expenses claims, for now

17 December 2012 9:19

Both the former Labour MP Tony McNulty and the present Culture Secretary Maria Miller claimed parliamentary second home expenses for houses in which their respective parents lived. This is in… Continue reading

Would their Lordships afford the same treatment to the general public as they have to Margaret Moran? Image: Getty

Margaret Moran: an MP too depressed for prison

15 November 2012 14:50

Are you happy that the former Labour MP Margaret Moran, who swindled more than £50,000 from the taxpayer in rogue expenses, will escape a custodial sentence because she is ‘depressed’?… Continue reading

The disgraced media report on the disgrace of the BBC being laid bare by a committee of disgraced MPs, and you pay for this absurd pantomime. It's enough to turn good, honest folk violent. Image: Getty

A black, bloody insurrection of the hard-working, over-taxed and unbenefited

13 November 2012 10:24

If you want to understand the mood of modern Britain, James Hawes’s novels of middle class fury are not a bad place to start. Hawes’s heroes are middle-aged men, whose… Continue reading

David Laws's return to government has surprised his father, Tony Laws. Image: Getty.

Two different Laws

1 October 2012 9:12

Among the vast number of British people who are somewhat surprised to see the disgraced MP David Laws back in government is David’s own father, Tony Laws. Laws jnr was… Continue reading

Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

Warsi hauled up – but why not Hunt?

4 June 2012 19:00

It turns out that there is a minister in the Cameron cabinet who can say sorry. Following the second week of Warsi rule breaking revelations, the Tory party co-chairman has… Continue reading


Getting over the expenses scandal

28 September 2011 17:16

Parliament’s reputation seems to have recovered from its nadir during the expenses scandal. According to the government’s "citizenship survey", the proportion of people trusting parliament fell from 34 per cent… Continue reading


The danger to a free press

27 September 2011 13:09

“In Britain, a free press is non-negotiable,” Ivan Lewis has just said – before suggesting ways that Government might, ahem, oversee this freedom. The shadow culture secretary has an idea:… Continue reading


IDS and the renewal of society

15 August 2011 17:15

Iain Duncan Smith has made two notable media appearances today and his comments will reveal how the government’s plan to fight gangs and lawlessness will unfold. He has just told Sky News… Continue reading


Miliband the hero

17 July 2011 9:50

Garlands go to the conqueror. The Observer has interviewed Ed Miliband about his response to the News International crisis, and it’s as if Caesar has returned home after crushing the traitor Pompey.… Continue reading


Thieves of Westminster becoming more brazen

9 June 2011 16:15

Yesterday, Keith Vaz received a response to a written question he filed to John Thurso regarding thefts on the parliamentary estate. Having lost an iPad and a laptop from his office, Vaz… Continue reading


Laws calls for unity — but faces trouble

18 May 2011 17:24

The personal and the political. They mesh to readable effect in David Laws’ interview with the Times (£) this morning, his first since resigning from government last year. There are… Continue reading


Remaking Laws

12 May 2011 13:39

David Laws has just apologised to the House of Commons in a short statement listened to in sombre silence. Laws stressed that he was glad that the commissioner and the… Continue reading