Firm words from a potential PM?

DAVID CAMERON has taken the lead on MPs troughings - and has ordered his MPs, those ones who have been troughing at the expense of the British hardworking taxpayer to pay back in full what they had claimed. The squeaky clean Tory leader said: "Today was a busy day. (You bet it was) Trust in politics has been eroded so much over the last week that I knew we needed to act fast to start setting things right. (I agree Dave, but the problem is this is a system that has been in place for yonks, and will not be reformed at the drop of a hat. It's going to take more than just a few tinkerings to teach MPs not to trough) He goes on: "I began by meeting individual members of the Shadow Cabinet. We went through those claims that have caused concern, and they agreed to pay them back. There is a genuine desire to recognise and respond to public anger." (you bet the anger is there - but are the Labour Party having a field day knowing that the MPs expenses story has detracted from the bad news that unemployment has just reached 2.2 million. Today was a good day to bury bad news?) So what will Gordon Brown do tomorrow. Will he have a trick or two up his sleeve in Prime ministers questions? Unlike Cameron, it seems to me that GORDON is always playing catch up. He failed to apologise quickly enough over smeargate, the Damian McBride debacle. He failed to apologise for his part in the recession - despite being hounded over it. And he was playing catch up with Cameron over saying sorry for this debacle. He though was forced to say those hardest words yesterday. David Cameron added: "I met the Shadow Cabinet as a whole and told them the immediate action I'm going to ask all my MPs to take. All expenses must be published online; you can't 'flip' your second home to make more money; if you sell a home on which the taxpayer has been making mortgage interest payments, you have to pay Capital Gains Tax; and any claims on furniture, household goods, food - all those things we've read about - are banned." On my blog, I made the point that the Tory leader will be judged on how he handles this scandal, and this is, for me, proof that DC has graduated from the school of graduate trainee opposition leaders and will no doubt be the next Tory PM of Britain. He then added: "After that, I met the Executive of the 1922 Committee and then the whole of the Parliamentary Party. I went through the new rules in detail and told them about the key proposal for a Scrutiny Panel - including someone completely independent from the Party - to go over all excessive claims and see whether they need to be paid back. I had to be very clear about this: if they don't co-operate with the Scrutiny Panel, they can't continue to be Conservative MPs. And it's not just those in Parliament who need to understand this mission. It's also those who aspire to be. Every single Conservative candidate has got to sign up to this new way of doing politics. They need to know that working in Parliament is a great privilege - one that must never be abused again. All this is about being the change we seek. If we want responsibility in our society and thrift in our government, we've got to live by those values ourselves." Sky News has just reported that the Lib Dems have been troughing on lavish homes - that's going to make for exciting stuff tomorrow.