Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Twitter ye not

Is this the week we should feel sorry for MPs? Er, possibly not, although lots of them are feeling very sorry for themselves. You can see their point, even if you don't share it.

Sir Thomas Legg's retrospective rules on what was reasonable for MPs to claim for gardening and cleaning have understandably annoyed those who thought they led squeaky clean lives and had all their expenses agreed by the Commons authorities.

Even Gordon Brown's greatest enemies would struggle to argue that he went into politics for financial or even horticultural reasons but the Prime Minister now faces a bill of £12,415.10 for over-claiming on cleaning and gardening.

As you might expect, we started ringing round Welsh MPs yesterday to see if they had received their Legg letters - and what they said. Even hard-bitten hacks felt a bit sheepish ringing some of the more notable "saints" on the backbenches to ask whether they'd been accused of fiddling their expenses.

With all this focus on MPs' allowances, other stories may not have received the coverage they otherwise would have. But you can read here about David Blunkett's plan to donate his brain to dementia research (after he dies) and Chris Bryant's Twitter reshuffle.

Just as many politicians donate their papers to the Welsh Political Archive at the National Library, so I trust that the new Europe Minister's tweets will find a permanent if virtual home for future historians.

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