as it stands this evening one member, andrew mackay (not to be confused with roxy music's saxophonist) has resigned and one member, elliot morley, has been suspended under investigation.
we shall deal with the latter once the investigation publishes its findings. as for andrew mackay, the BBC tells us that he voluntarily submitted his expenses details to party officials who concluded they showed an "unacceptable situation that would not stand up to public scrutiny" [fraud?].
The details show that Mr MacKay and his wife, fellow Conservative MP Julie Kirkbride [aaah yes, the lovely julie, who was about to tie the knot, so to speak, with stephen milligan MP, whose corpse was found in what was presumed to be a state of auto-erotic asphyxiation, combined with self-bondage and cross-dressing. (pauses) upon closer inspection, a segment of orange was found in his mouth at the time of his death, which is thought to disguise the bitter taste of narcotics such as amyl nitrite, more commonly referred to as poppers. it was perhaps this more flamboyant side of julie that attracted mackay to her] have effectively been claiming the second home allowance for mortgage interest payments on two properties - one in London and one in the Midlands. Mr MacKay claimed more than £1,000 a month for interest payments on a joint mortgage for their London home while Ms Kirkbride claimed £900 for mortgage interest on her constituency home in Bromsgrove. The arrangements suggested neither had a first home. Parliamentary data show the couple have claimed 98% of the money available to them via the second homes allowance since 2004.
Response: Mr MacKay has resigned as a parliamentary private aide [but not, as yet, as a member of parliament preferring to have a public meeting with his constituents during which he will try his utmost to squirm his way into keeping his job rather than resign his parliamentary seat] to David Cameron and has apologised "profusely" for "letting a lot of people down" [his interview with matthew amroliwala on the BBC was both painful and a delight to watch as a grown man tried to squirm his way out of any wrongdoing].
He said he took advice from the Commons fees office [which must now itself, surely, be the subject of an investigation] before claiming the allowance and had been open about the arrangement. He said he initially did not believe there was a problem - thinking his claims seemed reasonable - but he now realises there was an error of judgement [an error of judgement?! who's he trying to kid?! andrew mackay was deputy chief whip under john major, shadow secretary of state for northern ireland from 1997 to september 2001 during the leadership of william hague, deputy chairman in september 2004 with responsibility for candidates and upon the election of david cameron in november 2005 senior parliamentary and political adviser to the great one himself. this is not a stupid man!].
He confirmed the couple had been claiming these allowances for the past eight years [yet in all that time it did not occur to either of them that they may have been just ever so slightly ripping the piss out of the system]. He has agreed to appear before the Tories' new internal scrutiny committee on expenses and says he is willing to repay any money deemed necessary. He says he will remain as an MP and that he will be holding meeting with constituents to explain his behaviour [book a babysitter!].
However, Conservative sources suggested that Ms Kirkbride's expenses claims were more "conventional" [what?! they lived together for christ's sake. . . ever heard of collusion?!] and that she would not be facing any further action [lovely! hang on a minute, wasn't it revealed in november 2006 that she had previously undisclosed links with the midlands industrial council? now would that be the same midlands industrial council that has donated millions of pounds to the conservative party? now that's more conventional!].