Page last updated at 16:46 GMT, Wednesday, 7 May 2008 17:46 UK

MPs FOI expenses decision delayed

MPs in the Commons
Fresh light is being shed on MPs' expenses

A High Court decision on whether MPs expenses should be fully disclosed has been deferred to a later date.

It follows a full day of legal argument at the Royal Courts of Justice.

The House of Commons is fighting to avoid releasing the details of the expenses of 14 MPs and former MPs under the Freedom of Information Act.

They argue the publication of the MPs' second home addresses in a receipt-by-receipt breakdown of expenses would compromise security.

The FOI request, by campaigner Heather Brooke, relates to the financial year 2005/06 and includes Gordon Brown, David Cameron and the former Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell among other senior figures.

'No realistic prospect'

Partial details were released earlier this month, revealing spending under broad categories such as mortgage interest payments and groceries.

But Ms Brooke continues to press for the publication of a full receipt-by-receipt breakdown.

The Commons authorities argued in court earlier that MPs had a reasonable expectation that there would not be full disclosure of expenses - only their total expenses.

They also argued that addresses should not be made public for security reasons and that this should apply not simply when there are specific security concerns for specific MPs but to all MPs

It may be the case that future security considerations would apply and if addresses had already been published these couldn't be "airbrushed," counsel for the Commons argued.

The senior judge on a bench of three - Sir Igor Judge - raised the possibility of referring the whole matter back to the Information Tribunal and said there was "no realistic" prospect of reaching a judgment on Wednesday.


SEE ALSO
MPs' expenses claims are revealed
04 Apr 08 |  UK Politics
Speaker facing expenses inquiry
01 Apr 08 |  UK Politics
Publish expenses now, says Clegg
27 Mar 08 |  UK Politics
Bid to block expenses questioned
26 Mar 08 |  UK Politics
'Lax' MP expenses rules condemned
26 Feb 08 |  UK Politics
A guide to MPs' pay and expenses
26 Feb 08 |  UK Politics
MP expenses 'should be published'
22 Jan 08 |  UK Politics


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific