Telegraph probed by leading politicians

Politicians on the BBCs Question Time programme tried to sidetrack their troughings by enquiring how the leading newspaper that scooped the story got hold of the information on MPs expenses. The Daily Telegraph's Assistant editor Ben Brogan appeared alongside the former leader of the Liberal Democrat Party Sir Menzies Cambpell, a former QC, and the Shadow Leader of the House Tory Theresa May and Labour's Margaret Beckett Thursday night, and tried to make excuses for some of their colleagues troughings, as well as their own. Naturally, they looked sheepish to a packed fuming Grimsby audience, who continuously called throughout the show for there to be a general election so that those MPs who had been caught on the take, could be kicked out of parliament. Brogan said that the Telegraph had been working on the story for several weeks and the paper had considered it in the public interest to publish the revelations over MPs' troughings. He also said when pressed by Margaret Beckett, who tried to probe Brogan into finding out how the information had been obtained that it was not in a journalists interests to reveal his sources. Sir Menzies Cambpell and Margaret Beckett faced a backlash from angry Grimsby onlookers, who said that there was lacking a moral code from some of the elected representatives of parliament. Another Liberal Democrat Chris Huhne, along with others from other parties has publically called for the Speaker of the House of Commons Michael Martin to quit, since a petition was started this week demanding he resign immediately. On Tory blogger Iain Dale's blog, those polled revealed they would like the Labour MP Frank Field to be Speaker. Earlier on in the year, readers of Dale's blog wanted Sir Menzies Cambpell to be Speaker. However, the revelations that Cambpell had claimed  £800 on food at the expense had obviously swayed voters this time around into voting for Field. So far, the most damaging revelation to come out from the paper was a former Labour minister Elliot Morley's claim of  £16, 000 for a mortgage that had already been paid off. He defended by saying that he had since paid the money back. He has been suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party by chief whip Nick Brown. Gordon Brown has said that any future MP caught unacceptably troughing will face tough disciplinary action. David Cameron's Tories faced the same predicament after one of his senior aides Andrew Mackay resigned after he and his wife Julie Kirkbride claimed for two second home allowances. So far the mantra being trotted out by the troughers has been that it was within the rules, or that it was a mistake. They ofcourse have been trying to say that they want to change the system quickly so that they can get back to campaigning on issues that matter to the hardworking British taxpayer. The rules in the Green Book state that the expenses should be for the purpose of MPs doing their jobs better. Ofcourse, most fail to see how claiming for a bottle of gin, a moat, or indeed an Iron, has any bearing on how an MP does his job. Further damaging revelations, involving junior ministers and cabinet ministers, are expected on Friday.