Is there no end to the silly spin. I cannot believe that Labour think the MPs expenses leaks are “Tory dirty tricks”.
Why “Tory”? Why would any wellwisher of the Tories leak these documents, when doubtless they include some claims from Conservatives which will also prove to be embarrassing, reflecting claims for items which may well be within the rules but will be thought wrong by the electorate?
Why “dirty”? Dirty implies the allegations are fabricated or twisted. As far as I can see the main allegations all rest on the signed claim forms of the Labour MPs themselves, so there is nothing “dirty” about the charges. Where the media has misinterpreted the documents, that has not come from the Tories.
Why “tricks”? A trick is something underhand or unreasonable. Most people think it entirely reasonable that the public should know how much money MPs have claimed and what they have claimed it for. That is not a “trick” but a right in a democracy.
If you go and buy something in a shop you have a right to know what you are buying and how much it costs. Parliament has to behave in the same way.
If an employee of the Commons has leaked this material then of course they should face disciplinary action. If they sold it they should give the money to the state.
Parliament should not have sought to prevent the release of this information. Parliament is damaged by the way it has handled this, as well as by the system of expenses it has sanctioned.
David Cameron is right to call for cuts in spending on MPs expenses, and to identify the categories of spending that MPs should no longer be allowed to claim.