10 Dec 2009

MPs’ expenses: there WILL be legislation

So there will be legislation to enact part of the Kelly Report on re-thinking MPs’ expenses. A bit of an embarrassing U-turn this, as it comes only three weeks after the Queen’s speech, which had no mention of special laws to enact the Kelly report.

That seriously hacked off Sir Christopher Kelly, it gave David Cameron an open goal… and there’s now been a re-think at the top of government.

Here’s Harriet Harman’s statement, just released.

The Kelly report was damning about the way IPSA was legislated for in the first place – Chapter 13 catalogues the errors.

This all comes on the day we get the MPs’ expenses for 2008/9 and, later today, a league table of big spenders.

David Cameron made something of the fact that the latter wasn’t going to be published in Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday but I hear this was not a cover-up, more a cock-up – it wasn’t specifically requested in the work commissioned for publication.

Some MPs will be getting a double whammy today because Sir Thomas Legg’s final demand letters are running late and the last of them will reach MPs today.

The 2008/9 “big spenders” totals when they come, later today, will not include any repayments that may have been made to Sir Thomas.

In some cases you’ll be able to tie up the two because the MP has publicised his or her repayment, in some cases that repayment hasn’t happened yet, or hasn’t yet been disclosed (they all get published when Legg’s report is finalised – now expected January 2010).

Related: Full letter to MPs on Legg expenses: review will not be reopened

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