Serious skullduggery going on regarding MPs’ expenses. Yesterday Gordon Brown had imposed a three line whip to force an exemption for MPs’ expenses from the Freedom of Information Act. He’d even struck a bipartisan agreement with David Cameron, but this apparently broke down last night, under pressure from Alan Duncan, Shadow Leader of the House. Isolated, Brown caved:
Gordon Brown today retreated from plans to exempt MPs’ expenses from the Freedom of Information Act.
The surprise announcement made during prime ministers questions follows the collapse overnight of a bipartisan agreement between Brown and David Cameron, the Tory leader, to back a parliamentary order exempting MPs’ expenses from the act. The move came after he was challenged by a Tory backbencher over why he was in favour of keeping them secret.
And quite right too. For MPs to be exempt from declaring their expenses at any time is an outrage – during a recession would have been an abuse. Yesterday Obama was talking about world leaders on the wrong side of history – it almost makes you wonder whether he struck a nerve with Brown.