MPs’ hypocrisy over Speaker’s exit on expenses

I am glad that Michael Martin is resigning, as he fought long and hard to prevent MPs' expenses details from being released to the public. But I still found it hard to stomach the sight of some of those very MPs in the Commons this week calling for his resignation. Where were those calls throughout all the years he was campaigning against the release of this information? Then again I sympathise, as it's very hard to call for anything when your nose is so far down in the trough.

MPs have found a scapegoat, as they always do. Last week's scapegoat was the fees office, of course, but they can't sack that in quite the same way.

What's even worse now is the sight of Gordon Brown at yesterday's Number 10 press conference saying that Parliament cannot be run like some 'gentlemen's club … where the members make up the rules, and operate them among themselves'. The sentiment may be welcome, but the tone was as if he is now getting on top of this crisis and drawing a line under it and punishing those responsible. This is, to use a technical term, bollocks. He hasn't done anything of the sort. Gordon, it has never been acceptable to run the Commons in this way and you should have come out and said it years ago – not wait til you were all caught with your pants down and your trotters in the till.

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