The 1st & 2nd favourites for Speaker named in expenses probe

The 1st & 2nd favourites for Speaker named in expenses probe

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Will Bercow and Beith be damaged by today’s revelations?

With the MPs expense scandal now being featured on the US satire programme, the Daily Show, the Daily Telegraph’s investigation into MPs expenses starts its third week this morning with reports about the current favourite and second favourite in the next Speaker betting.

The man who all the money has been piling on the the past two days, the Tory MP for Buckingham, John Bercow, (best price 11/4) is said to be facing “.. questions over his expenses claims after he “flipped” his second home from his constituency to a £540,000 flat in London and claimed the maximum possible allowances.”. Will that be enough to impede his dramatic progress – who knows but having the “flipper” designation attached to his name might not be helpful in the current circumstances.

The current second favourite, the veteran Lib Dem MP, Sir Alan Beith, (best current price 5/1) is said to have “…claimed £117,000 in second home allowances while his wife, Baroness Maddock, claimed £60,000 Lords expenses for staying at the same address.” Given the problems there have been over the claims of couples that doesn’t sound very good either.

Alas I’ve got a fair bit on Beith but so far I’ve resisted a Bercow punt. As I wrote here on Tuesday the only winners in this race are going to be the bookies. One candidate suddenly appears the obvious choice only to be replaced by someone else.

There’s no doubt that before the Whitsun recess there was a head of steam behind Bercow with many Labour MPs said to be ready to support the most left wing Tory member in the house. Will that continue?

Maybe I’ve got this wrong but it’s hard to see how anyone who is not entirely spotless being elected. It was the handling of the MP expenses issue that finally bought down Martin and his replacement really needs to be above reproach.

What I’m looking forward to is Monday June 22nd – the day of the election. This promises to be a political betting bonanza because of the prolonged nature of the process with the possibility of several rounds of secret voting.

  • Good news, meanwhile, for Daniel Hannan punters. It was announced last night that the MEP who rose to fame with his viral video attacking Brown, Daniel Hannan, will be on BBC’s QuestionTime programme next week. I know that many PBers took the 7/4 from Ladbrokes that he would appear on the programme during 2009. That bet now looks like a winner.
  • Mike Smithson

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