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Good luck to her and let us hope it is over. Though if Beeb is correct there will still have to be a cheque to write.
Let us hope that the Parliamentary Standards now turn some vim and vigour into getting rid of the grey areas so that these unnecessary distractions on our body politic go away.
There are genuine fiddlers out there, but mixing in the unwary is useful to no-one.

"inadvertent breaches"

Like speeding?

Thats ok then

Oh, who cares, they're all at it, and no party is prepared to fight these repeated 'inadvertent' expense abuses as they are all too aware that the abuse of taxpayer funds by MPs is going on across the political spectrum.

'inadvertent crimes' is the default get-out clause that covers MPs only, and the only solution is to get rid of the lot of them.

If the speeding sign is obscured by overhanging branches, yes.

£9,600 apparently is the bunce being mentioned.


The rules are already very, very lax - to not even meet that very low standard indicates what must have been a very clear shortfall on personal morality.

Thinking it is 'OK' to misuse public money (as long as you don't think it breaks any rules) is just not OK.

MPs reliance on 'rules' just shows that they have no personal morality.

Words fail me.

I have just had a reminder about subs... I don't think I am going to bother.

These so-called speed bumps are a joke. If anything, they slow you down

Guido Drunk Driver Fawkes will no doubt remain censorious.

snegchui - yes, it's also odd that milk floats are so-named - if you drop them in a canal, they sink!

If there was any honour in politics she would have immediately offered her resignation and Cameron would have accepted it. How can we attack Labour for their sleeze when our party leader condones it in his own shadow cabinet?

anoneumouse- yet another pointless comment from you. Speeding is NOT inadvertent. The whole point is that such an offence is the breach of a limit. Speed limits are clear and posted (whatever one thinks of them).
The issue with these Standards investigations is that
a) They take far, far too long. This process is absurd and unfair to elected politicians of any party.The understandable thirst by the public and media for blood does not sit fairly with the time all this takes. Careers can be ruined wholly unfairly.
b) The "rules" are not clear at all, in a whole number of areas.This makes things unfair as well.
Again, we need to be sensible and fair to all politicians of all parties. By not recognising the difference between inadvertent error/minor mistake and wholesale corruptionin various cases we allow politics and governance as a whole to be portrayed as venal, and there are enough problems...

I am sure there are many other mothers who would love to get the tax payers to pay for their nanny. It does not look good at all and all the colleagues who rally round her are at risk of being suspected of similar inadvertent actions. What amazes me when for example Jackie Smith was found to have been within the rules, was that not one of our MPs suggested that the rules should actually be changed.

I'm not aware of her bring any skills to the party, so does she bring in major contributions, or has she got the dirt on a few names?

She's one of the reasons that the troughing cabinet get to say that the tories are just the same - there is a cost involved in your keeping her, just saying, in case you're listening to the public at all

apart from the morality of it, there are SO many votes in being known to be the only party that is clean.

hopefully DC will understand this.


"our party leader" Yerrr right.

MPs' expenses are a joke and should be brought into conformity with best business practice. Every penny of public money should be accounted for and admin expenses either paid by the constituency or by parliament. Salaries should be supported by contracts of employment.

So talk about tax cuts get you sacked, but stuffing tax payers money in your back pocket is fine.

What does that say about Cameron's Conservatives?

Very sad about this . Caroline Spelman should be fired from her cabinet position and her constituency association should be asking questions about her continuing as an MP.
First Chris Grayling and now this. What's the matter with these people? They certainly seem to have a warped sense of morality.

Is the Parliamentary Party so short of talent that it has to have such foolish people in it? It seems so.

If employing a nanny and claiming her pay as part of your secretarial allowance is a "grey area" then I am a Martian on my way to Zog.

I don't care about Caroline Spelman, I don't care about the Conservative party and ultimately I don't even care about UKIP.

I DO care about continuing to live in a sovereign democracy but I fear that our elected representatives (along with their erstwhile friends, the bankers) are now perceived as behaving so badly that there is a danger of our entire constitutional system falling into disrepute and being replaced by something undemocratic and probably quite horrible.

Can't they just get rid of her for being useless instead...

trout in trough.

I'm with Iain, Malcolm, and, God help me, Jack as well.

It seems hard to believe that she didn't know she was doing something at least morally worng, but if so, she's clearly so incompetent that she should not be in any elected office.

I remember that when I was a parish councillor the rules disallowed us from doing anything that even looked dodgy. Yet again, one rule for the proles, one for the Nomenklatura.

"At the 2010 General Election, Nigel Hastilow would have been more of an asset to the Conservative Party as a Parliamentary candidate than Caroline Spelman."


I have to be honest, I can't think why Cameron (who has been generally very good, if not ruthless enough, on sleaze) keeps her in the Cabinet.

This was an absolute disgrace - corruption compounded by flagrant dishonesty.

Were she a better performer, I could understand it, but I am at a loss. If she had any decency, she would resign. But then, if she had any decency, she wouldn't have obtained taxpayers' money by deception in the first place.

Contrasted with Conway,Chichester and Dover this transgression is really petty (cash)

12 months enquiry aND FOR £10K. wHAT IS GOING ON?

I never thought that she was corrupt -just useless like Mundell, Mitchell, Willetts, Maude , May , Letwin , Lansley , Grieve etc. And for that reason she should have been axed to make way for Justine Greening, Sir Malcolm Rifkind , David Davis and Angela Watkinson.

We are not benefiting fully from the woes of Gordon Brown because the shadow cabinet are not offering a coherent alternative way out of this socialist created mess. The shadow cabinet needs to be a lean mean fighting machine (i.e. fewer people in it so you get more efficient decision making and more effective attacks on the government).

After the European Elections we need a reshuffled shadow cabinet to take on Brown's team that might have been reshuffled itself. So as Caroline Spelman is innocent of these allegations I would let her stay in the shadow cabinet and just sack her along with the other deadwood in June. John Redwood could certainly devise some superb ideas to overhaul the welfare system by recasting it in a sound conservative way - he is hardworking enough to sell this positively to the voters. Mr Redwood would be great at the Work & Pensions brief - unlike the invisible Theresa May.

Davis can be our civil liberties champion at Justice ( to win over Lib Dem voters in marginal seats ), Dr Fox can combine policy development & the cabinet office post so that he can write the manifesto and attack Labor, Sir Malcolm can apply his great expertise at the defense brief, Angela Watkinson has been a public services spokesman , talks a lot of sense on NHS reform and so would be a great shadow health secretary as she works very hard. Justine Greening could effectively pick up where Eric Pickles left off by hitting Labor hard over the Council Tax , excess centralization etc. Cheryl Gillan has been a junior spokesman on overseas aid & foreign affairs and has been a success at the Welsh Office brief - she could get the shadow DFID post.

Having been a shadow Scottish secretary and having worked for Mr Hague a one time Welsh secretary Jacqui Lait could be shadow Scottish & Welsh Secretary. Promoting a pro-European woman would be a great gesture suggesting a united party and having one shadow cabinet post rather than two would streamline the decision making process a bit.

So while Caroline Spelman is not guilty of any fiddling she should ultimately leave the shadow cabinet as like the others I mention their failings are a luxury that we Tories cannot afford.

You are far too easy on her, editor.
How can Spelman look anyone in the face after this? Absolutely disgraceful.

Spelman is part of the inner-circle of Cameroons and that is why she has been spared. I met her at Party Conference when Michael Howard was still leader and found her rude and haughty.

She has been in the shadow cabinet since 2001 and yet few had ever heard of her until Nannygate.
She made no impact whatsoever in any of her briefs, remaining invisible despite her front bench positions.
She has only come as far as she has because she is female and "presentable" in that way that the metropolitan elite like.

Her appearance on Question Time was subpar, proving her to be an airhead who has had elocution lessons.
Spelman has no business being an MP. To think of her being a secretary of state after the next election sickens me and I hope she is reading this.

But not the party chairmanship...

torylady, I think your description of Mrs Spelman as "rude and haughty" does not tie in with what other people know of her. I do not know her myself but have frequently heard her described as a nice person, friendly, personally modest and with strong Christian values. I am glad that she will now be able to put this unpleasant episode behind her and move on. I wonder in what circumstances you met Mrs Spelman at Party Conference - in a crowded drinks reception where she was shaking many hands perhaps? Or perhaps you rushed up to her when she was on her way somewhere (Shadow Cabinet and other leading Party figures have a very hectic time at Conferences - they are time-managed throughout and have to rush from one event to another and really do not have time to exchange pleasantries, even with people they know well).

I wonder what it is you dislike most about Mrs Spelman? The fact that you feel she snubbed you at Party Conference - or that she has had elocution lessons?

Sally having read quite a few of your endless comments on ConservativeHome, I can firmly say that yours is not an opinion I respect.

I will go with my first hand experience of Spelman, rather than your third-hand hearsay, thank you very much.

Others in the shadow cabinet manage to do the job with politeness and courtesy, so I doubt that Spelman was having an off day but it is nice that someone who has never met her before is willing to make excuses for her on a day she has been declared as sleazy.

Torylady if you were as polite to Mrs Spelman as you are on here, I am totally unsurprised you experienced an adverse reaction! The first part of your non de plume may be accurate but the second appears something of a misnomer!

Thank you Sally, but I am older than Mrs Spelman and I dare I suggest it you as well.

If you think telling the truth is impolite and unladylike but see nothing wrong in spending taxpayers money on a nanny then there really isn't anything else left to say.

It is reassuring that I am not alone in seeing this as unacceptable.

But particularly with EPP, Clark, Spelman, Grayling (particularly on Geert) - the party don't seem as in touch with the public as they should be.

Sorry, i meant to write "I am older than Mrs Spelman and dare I suggest it you as well AND REMEMBER WHAT IT ONCE MEANT TO BE A LADY"

MPs still don't get it. To those of us outside Westminster she paid for her nanny using expenses meant as a reimbursement for business duties. That the rules were unclear is immaterial. She should have had the integrity to realise it was wrong.
She should offer her resignation and spend the time until the election working her way back on the back benches. She can come back into the government if re-elected in 2010 after her constituents have had a chance to give their verdict.

If I had done something similair at work I would be quite rightly sacked. Out canvassing on Saturday one lady ranted at me for about ten minutes about this type of thing she still votes Conservative just but after this episode I think I may have lost her vote now. Time for MPs to be treated like members of the Services who are given houses and interview staff from a pool of civil servants and all expenses are linked to rules of government departments IE: strengthend and like Civil Servants when you transgress the rules you get sacked and are prosecuted.

Tim if you think this is going to be the end of the matter I think you are living on another planet. The public believe Conservtaive Labour Lib Dems are all at and all have their fingers in the till. The failure to sack Caroline Speelman reinforces that belief.

There is only ONE rule - Do not spend public money for personal use.
A nanny is personal and Spelman knew/knows it.

If you want the people to believe in you, you need to show that you play by the spirit as well as the rules.

otherwise we may as well import eastern european politicians as they would be cheaper.

Would it not be much simpler to give MPs a fixed salary from which they had to run all the various elements of their job and get rid of all other expenses and allowances. How they spent the salary would be up to them and their constituents would be the judge at election time as to the effectiveness of delivery.

Why, in the mother of Parliaments, is it so difficult to set out clearly and concisely the rules on expenses?
Politicians are being caught out, some in error, some in fraud. Those in error, Iwould say document all their expenses, those in fraud don't. But why play the game at all?
Why not just simplify the regime?
There seem to be a number of issues with Caroline Spelman that are being conflated. Deal with conflated issues, you never deal with any one of them particularly well. Simplify, focus and deal.

She knew just what she was doing. She knew that paying a nanny with taxpayer's money was wrong, wrong, wrong. She was on the fiddle and she knows it, but seems happy to hide behind the 'unintentional' finding. Disgraceful.

If stealing this money had resulted in her being formally charged with theft, she would have had to have come up with something better than 'unintentional' to avoid being found guilty.

It's just another Westminster whitewash. Carry on troughing.

What a load of rubbish. Yes, she naughtily exploited the system and pushed the barrier to breaking point. So what? That was then when this wasn't a red hot issue. Many of us have, on rare occasions, been as naughty as possible when we thought we would get away with it and could plead extenuating circumstances if tripped up. In my view she has been unlucky to be caught by the sweeping searchlight.

We need tough MPs who have a bit of bite. Forget the niceties. She has been judged and has been deemed to have been inadvertent in her actions. Case closed. Now let her get her teeth into something meaty and get the job done.

I despair of the pansying around that is going on in this general political and economic crisis. The Conservative Party is melting in the sun due to infection by political correctness. It needs to get tough led by people with a bit of life experience who are prepared to push the boundaries.

Mrs Spelman should apologise humbly for what went wrong in the past, even bringing out an onion if necessary when talking about the difficulties of raising small children while being an MP, but then should attack an issue hard, ignoring personal slights and focusing on the issue.

I find it difficult to believe she did not have doubts about the legitimacy of her actions. People in public life paid by the taxpayer should set the standards and clearly she failed to do so.

Resign? Of course not - getting caught is the only crime these days. Sadly, we have become used to this kind of behaviour: no wonder politicians are held in such low esteem.

She has been found guilty of breaking the rules and should be sacked. In oppoisition we should be setting the standards that we will enforce when in government. We should show the people that we are whiter than white and when people abuse tax payers money they should be removed from any positions they hold within the party.

all along there was only one question to be answered:

after you spoke to the Whips and stopped the "arrangement", did you pay her the same amount (bed and board) for her nannying or did you start paying her cash as well?

if the same amount, fine.
if they started paying some cash too, it is abundantly clear that that had been going through the books as secretarial expenses when it was for nannying.

no need for public enquiry

one question as I say.

Henry UKIP, I often support your postings but on this we disagree. I think finanancial probity in public servants is of the utmost importantce. How can we expect them to do anything on our behalf if they are not honest?

An MP breaks rules that are blindingly obvious to the general public and exhibits no remorse or shame. What a surprise. Do they not get how much the public loathe them now?

By the way Tim, CSpelman's case is clear cut to most people but I had thought, until your referencing of them, that the Duncan Smiths had more of a case in their favour.

I'm not sure what to think now that you have linked the two.

in his defence, IDS is a useful contributor to the team.

The report found that Ms Spelman paid Mrs Haynes £13,000 a year for doing secretarial work between 1997 and 1999. Ms Spelman said Mrs Haynes was paid no salary for taking sole care of her three children. Her nannying duties were rewarded with free board and lodging.

But when Mrs Haynes gave up the constituency work to concentrate on the nannying, Ms Spelman paid her a £13,000 salary out of her own pocket to cover the childcare.

A constituency secretary who took over was paid £4,800 a year less than Mrs Haynes for doing the work – and so the report found that Ms Spelman had been effectively subsidising Mrs Haynes' nannying job.

this is how they reach the 9,600 to be paid back. 4800 times 2 years.
god it stinks.

That's my membership cancelled - 'till the party shows some respect for the publics intelligence.

They really are 'all the same' - but what is worse is that the leaders condone it.

A bit of advice to any restaurants out there - never let an MP near anything that says 'all you can eat' or 'free refills'. Because as long as it is 'within the rules' they will walk away with every single item on offer.

Brown must go - no question, but it looks like we will only be one very tiny step up from the stinking pool self interested, incompetence that we currently have.

Until Gordon Brown does the decent thing apologies and resigns any other indiscretion is forgiveable.Where is this going to stop?My MP milks the second home allowance for example , as do most.It really is part of the 'package'as are tip top pensions.Rather than hammer the majority let us praise the minority ;
eg Iain Duncan Smith who doesn't claim for his Chingford House and Philip Hollobone who is more low cost and productive than a third world sweatshop.

Disgusting and this just goes to prove that they're all at it.

How good or bad she is at her job is completely irrelevant. There are very clear laws for the rest of us over how much board/lodgings are "worth" as a wage.

Spelman knew exactly what she was doing. If I did it I'd be hung drawn & quartered.

The disgraceful thing is that DC is condoning this rather than cleaning up his party. So he now has no moral ground at all for commenting on Smith.

It wouldn't surprise me if they've all agreed to hush up both cases.

It's also disgraceful that this should take a year. Can we expect another year to pass for the 5 minutes it takes to "investigate" Smiths movements?

What will it take for them to recognise the disgust the electorate have for politicians?

Spelman should be fired and it reflects poorly on Cameron and us Conservatives that she was not.
However it is dressed up, obscured and called "inadvertent" she clearly used public money to pay for her nanny. It is little more than theft.

It's time for some integrity in politics. Sadly it looks like it's not going to come from Cameron.

Tim I'm staggered that you think the matter should "rest there". You should be ashamed.

When she was rumbled she should have owned up, said sorry and paid back the money. Had she done so it would have been forgotten long ago, but of course she was hoping the enquiry would clear her - and it didn`t. Now we get a qualified politician`s apology " IF I have done wrong I apologise".

You can`t expect people like this to change - ever.

A guy I know who worked for my local council was suspended from work for claming allowances from the float in the office where he worked over a twelve month period. He said he misread the rules and thought he did not not need to write on the form what the expenses were for, if it was under twenty five pounds.

He was then sacked , taken to court and found guilty , fined and given a suspended sentence. He now has a criminal record. Yet Caroline Spelman is to be allowed to keep her job, pay the moneyback and get away with it.

It,s an absolute disgrace , if she had any honour she would resign and apologise. Even then that is letting her off the hook.

One law for her and another for the ordinary person struggling to bring up a family on a pittance !

I just hope that the Tories and their agencies (law courts, local councils, HMRC, DVLA, BBC TV tax etc etc) will tolerate unintentional breaches of the law amongst the rest of the country once they are in office to show that it is not only the political class who are granted this privilege.

Rules may be rules, but clearly our politicians have set a clear precedent, that if they are broken unintentionally, then no punishment should apply.

It will also bring equality if, like the Green Book rule changes, if enough people break a certain law, that law should be changed to make that action permissible.

I know what would happen if I helped myself to my employers funds! Why should polititians be above the law - particularly as they make so many bad ones. I wonder if the money she stole had not gone to a nanny it would be different. She has only escaped as she has played the 'woman' card.

She should be thankful that the real extremists(not those tarred by Grieve's disgusting brush)are not in power imposing Sharia Law or she'd have one hand less to put in the till.

Tory MP unwittingly guilty of misspending allowances and your responses are: oh it's so wrong that she has to pay it back, oh the government is so bad, oh it stinks.

Labour MP unwittingly guilty of incorrect reporting of donations to deputy leadership contest and your responses were: hang him, Stalinist, butcher him, feed him to the immigrants.

You lot are a funny bunch. When you're elected to government and then **** up the country, could you be a bit more humble please?

Is anyone interested in knowing who reported Caroline Spelman's breach - it was Caroline Spelman, actually. The same individual who was our chairman through the local elections, London Mayoralty and Crewe-Nantwich last year.

It seems rather odd that the two Parliamentary secretaries Mrs Spelman employed during the period her nanny was apparently carrying out admin duties for her, in her constituency, did not know that the nanny was carrying out these duties! Most employers keep all their staff fully informed of who is responsible for what tasks.

The fact that she is paying back the money suggests she knew what she was doing was wrong. I think most of us know it as embezzlement.

Mrs Spelman should not be rewarded for this by being allowed to keep her shadow role. It sends out a very bad message to the electorate about Conservative values.

Penalties should apply not just a refund.
'Pour encourage les autres'

Rules should be strict and divergences agreed in writing with all appropriate facts by a 'Independent' Standards Body with teeth.

DIY if Parliament wont play ball.

Move on.

Two points stand out in the statement that Caroline Spelman made:

"It took place more than a decade ago when I was a new MP. But I apologise sincerely for it..."

Firstly, the mistake was made more than ten years ago when Mrs Spelman was a new MP and genuinely was not as aware of how things are done as she doubtless is now after a number of years. Secondly, she has apologised sincerely - an apology which should be accepted.

It seems that the nastiness on here has whipped itself up into a self-generating frenzy of venom and vitriol! I suspect that a good part of that vitriol is directed at someone who dares to be both a woman AND a Cameroon - clearly a cardinal sin in the eyes of some posters! I sincerely hope Mrs Spelman does NOT stand down but merely gets on quietly with the job she has been given to do and rises above the mean-spirited words of those whose words in the main do the writers of them no credit.

"Tory MP unwittingly guilty of misspending allowances and your responses are: oh it's so wrong that she has to pay it back, oh the government is so bad, oh it stinks.

Labour MP unwittingly guilty of incorrect reporting of donations to deputy leadership contest and your responses were: hang him, Stalinist, butcher him, feed him to the immigrants."

Total difference in attitude, The Bad Plus!

Labour MP = no apology and attitude of overweening arrogance.

Tory MP = Sincere apology and immediate repayment of the money involved.

res ipsa loquitur.

"inadvertent breaches"

pushing the envelope of decryption, but doesn't this mean caught red-handed..I might have hoped for a less bland admittance of guilt. This woman is awful she imagines that the state should be paying her nanny. Isn't that just the bloody biscuit, she expects to hire servants at the expense of the tax payer. The John Lewis list and now this the hogs at Labour know nothing of the pains of the average Jo. Its more that she thought such an arrangement was acceptable which of course it ain't.

Sally Roberts I go back to what I said before if I did this at work I would get sacked whether I was new or not. It is nothing to do with her being a woman in my mind or a Cameron (who I support anyway).

It is instead to do with the fact that as I said every single time I go out canvassing I get grouped by at least one person with MPs who make these type of "inadvertent breaches". This is why MPs and politics are so badly thought of by the public and it is damaging our democracy, why stand as a Cllr or MP if you don't want to join the gravy train and why vote for people you don't trust. This is why I think she should have either resigned or been sacked.

The amount of venom which this story has unleashed is truly worrying - I write as a Tory but this isn't really a party thing.

It's about, on the one hand, the suspicion that all snouts are in the trough, so sack 'em; on the other that being a good egg and saying sorry makes it all right.

Somehow I don't find either position satisfactory. Am I missing something....?

I am deeply saddened that the party is so bereft of new talent that damaged goods are still in circulation.

To get my positive support (rather than 'anyone but brown') Cameron has to set out what level of incompetence, corruption and stupidity he considers acceptable in his cabinet (I thought it was 'none' but was clearly mistaken) - once explained to me I will make my choice.

My heart sinks to think that a new conservative government may only be a tiny notch above the ****s we currently have.

Cameron could have the world at his feet - surely he wouldn't be so stupid as to aim so low as to merely have his mates at his trough... would he?

"Am I missing something....?"

I believe you are, Michael Taylor. I believe you are missing the fact that once again some old, old enmities and rivalries are being played out on the Battle Fields of Con Home!
The fact is (and yes I hear the howls of protest) there are people who do not care for Caroline Spelman because she is a woman and a Cameroon and dare I say it a well-spoken, softly-spoken upper-middle class mother with a moderate point of view and a serious and calm demeanour. I suspect if a weakness in her could be observed it might be that she is a little short on the sense of humour front (though I could of course be wrong).
The fact is (and I have said this time and time again) - Conservative Home, lively though it is, reflects but a small part of the Conservative community. Those of us who post here regularly are a very small group of people, all things considered. There are various reasons for this. Many active Conservatives simply do not enjoy blogging or are possibly not even on the internet at home at all - yes even in this day and age! Still others are PPCs who have been "strongly advised" not to post on here - at least under their own names and one or two it must be said have been asked not to ....
The result of all this is that many posters are not members or even supporters of the Conservative Party. This provides for lively debate and is to be welcomed but in debates such as this one it can give a slightly skewed impression to those that read it.
Yes, I read the comments from those who say "I would not get away with it at my place of work..." and I understand that - but with the greatest of respect, YOU are not doing a job with such a complicated and antediluvian system for claiming expenses. That, I believe, is an argument for root and branch reform of the Parliamentary expenses system and possibly its abolition altogether - but that is perhaps for another day!
The fact is that it is in the interests of some of the smaller parties particularly to present "the political class" as they irritatingly like to call anyone who works in or is deeply interested in politics as selfish, troughing pigs so that they can say "SEE How corrupt the Political establishment is....vote BNP/UKIP/delete as applicable... to send a message to our Political Masters..."
Yes, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest what posters here are saying but take a great deal of it with a very large pinch of salt!

It is a pity that such a clever woman can overlook mispending several thousand pounds of some else's money. I would have expected her to be smarter about this. But she obviously isn't. Therefore she has to go.
In banking - where just like politics chucking around someone else's money is fairgame this behaviour is acceptable. But I can tell you that in my business she would have been fired by now.
Don't overlook that this incident will now hang over the Conservative Party for a long time and will cost us votes.

Just for the avoidance of doubt - I am/was a member of the party. And everything I post is my own work.

I would like to vote tory on the basis that they would form the best government.

However, the best I can seem to expect is that they will form the 'least bad' government.

If torys want to disarm the 'they are all at it' argument, they can simply do it by showing that they aren't 'at it' and won't tolerate anyone being 'at it'.

When the tories win the next general election they are probably going to be the first new government who can't even pretend to be 'whiter than white'.

With that as the starting point, maybe a single term cameron government is on the cards...

I can't believe there will be a swing back to labour - but while the tories tolerate sleaze, and play the public as mugs for pretending that it isnt sleaze, it leaves the door wide open for a 'clean' right of centre party...


ignorance of the law in any field is no edfence.

regardless of the antediluvian set up of the HOC, most others manage to post accurate expenses. If you cannot master an expenses system you should not be an MP surely?

Secondly, do give some thought to the fact that some posters on here do not suport Spelman or any of the other "woopsadaisy" characters simply because they are losing the party votes.

"Secondly, do give some thought to the fact that some posters on here do not suport Spelman or any of the other "woopsadaisy" characters simply because they are losing the party votes."

What loses the Party votes is if people carry on whipping themselves up into a self-righteous frenzy over this instead of moving on and allowing Mrs Spelman to do likewise!

It is interesting incidentally that you use the expression "woopsadaisy" in an obvious attempt to remind people of Giles Chichester. Mr Chichester was in fact cleared of any misconduct.

Don't think my antipathy towards Spelman's behaviour has the slightest bit to do with the fact that she's a woman Sally or that she could be considered a Cameroon (I'm one of those myself I think).
I'm not asking for saintly behaviour just a reasonable attitude toward taxpayers money. In any other walk of life she would have been fired. She should be in this one too.

I am a loyal tory voter who prays that we win the next election,but there must be ZERO tolerance of behaviour like Spelman's as the population will think that we still have our snouts in the parliamentary trough alongside Labour.It is not good enough to let her off with an apology,and pay back the money.No rewards for failure also includes behaviour as well.

Snout in the trough, oink oink.

Two legs good, four legs bad.

Do these scumbags realise just how furious the country is with them?

Sally as I said I am a Conservative member but one who actually listens to what they hear on every canvass session at at least one door.

In 1997 John Major lost to Blair who won with millions of less votes than Major did in 1992. Voter turnout was drasticaly down especially in tory seats. Eventhough our economy was then doing well the whole Major Government had been rocked again and again by sleave. The low voter turnout and lower Tory vote was a direct result of this sleave, it lost an election and continuing stories such as Jacqui Smith's continue to turn people off. So then when we get a case such as Speelman's we also brush it under the carpet, have we learned nothing are people not listening to the public?

So Sally Roberts people here are not only expressing their own personal narrow viewpoints they are also expressing the views of the public. Some of you need to get out on the doorstep and listen to them sometimes.

I have started reading this book and love it so far!
I just couldn't wait for it to go in to paper back.NBA all star shoes

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