Page last updated at 16:37 GMT, Wednesday, 4 February 2009

MPs' expenses probe is ruled out

MPs in the Commons
MPs backed moves for greater auditing of expenses

Parliament's standards watchdog has decided against launching an inquiry into MPs' allowances.

The Committee on Standards in Public Life reached the decision after meeting Commons leader Harriet Harman.

It was felt that new arrangements for auditing MPs' expenses were in themselves "a significant step forward", the BBC was told.

Plans to exempt MPs' expenses details from freedom of information requests were shelved last month.

Broken down

This followed the refusal by opposition parties to back ministers.

Ms Harman said at the time that all expenses information requested in the past four years would be published in full, at a cost of about 2m, but did not make clear when this would happen.

MPs also approved proposals to give the National Audit Office powers to scrutinise expenses, while claims would be broken down into 26 categories rather than the current nine.

The committee, chaired by Sir Christopher Kelly, heard in private from Ms Harman on Wednesday.

The BBC understands that members felt the moves to increase auditing meant a full inquiry into expenses was not needed.

MPs' allowances became the subject of controversy when it emerged last year that Conservative Derek Conway had paid his sons to act as researchers while both were students.

The Commons standards and privileges committee found he had overpaid them and ordered him to repay some of the money.

Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
MP Conway apologises for payments
03 Feb 09 |  UK Politics
Inquiry into MP expenses delayed
28 Jul 08 |  UK Politics
Watchdog 'baffled' by MPs' probe
10 Jun 08 |  UK Politics
Blair was chased over unpaid bill
23 May 08 |  UK Politics

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



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 navigation

BBC © 2014 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