So what are the betting implications of all of this?

So what are the betting implications of all of this?

Daily Telegraph

Is it good news for Alan Johnson backers?

What an amazing period for political news this is? Last night I went to bed just as the Telegraph’s expenses expose was breaking and I’m only now catching up – so apologies for not getting a specific thread up earlier. What’s really startling is that the paper is promising more, much more, to come and this will include other parties parties and backbenchers.

Will what’s revealed this morning be countered by what they have on senior Tories? We’ll have to wait.

As the paper notes: “..Many of the apparent abuses would have remained secret because crucial information is to be deleted from five years’ worth of expenses receipts before they are published by Parliament in July. But uncensored copies of some receipts, that have been leaked to The Daily Telegraph, leave no doubt that many greedy MPs regard expenses as a perk to be exploited to the limit.”

Copies of some of those deleted documents are revealed.

The Telegraph has started with the top and raises questions over thirteen leading ministers – the biggest of all being Gordon Brown and a £6,577 cleaning bill that he apparently paid to his brother.

It’s no wonder that Brown appeared desperate last week to bring in the daily attendance allowance for MPs and to do away with the second home expenses completely.

What this does to Brown’s retirement plans will no doubt become clear over the coming days and a lot may depend on revelations to come

The second high profile person to be named is Jack Straw – the man widely touted as a caretaker Labour leader should something untoward happen to his boss. According to the report he “.. received a 50 per cent discount on his council tax from his local authority but claimed the full amount. He discovered the “mistake” last summer within weeks of the High Court ordering that MPs release details of their expenses. He has repaid the money.”

Other prominent ministers to be featured in the report include Lord Mandelson, Hazel Blears, David Miliband and Alaistair Darling.

But those who’ve been betting on Alan Johnson to be next Labour leader will be relieved the Health Secretary only “… claimed for only his constituency home over the past four years. He also rented a modest property but claimed for food and some furniture.”

A sense of the further revelations can be found in Gordon Rayner’s report on the “tricks of the trade” here.

Mike Smithson

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