Ben Wallace MP is the first MP to publish details of his expenses.  Right down to the £1 parking charge.  It is really dull stuff, but really important.  People are naturally cynical in this country, so if an MP declines to publish their expenses then the assumption is that they have something to hide.  I’m hoping that in the interest of better public engagement with politics that more MPs will follow Ben Wallace’s move.  I’m about to write to my local MP, Andrew Murrison, to offer him any help he might want in order to publish his.  (UPDATE:  A very fast response sadly shows that he doesn’t get it:  "the Commons finance and administration office checks all my claims against the rules of the House.")

Also in the same vein the Speaker of the House of Commons has announced a(nother) "root-and-branch" review of parliamentary allowances.  Excellent news, but that’s where it ends.

Firstly the review won’t report until the Autumn once everyone has moved on and secondly if this report is to be believed the people running the review include, Michael Martin the Speaker, David Maclean, Nick Harvey and Sir Stuart Bell.  Not very reassuring.


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