Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Brown promises sweeping changes and no expenses blackouts

Prime Minister Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown renewed a commitment to “maximum exposure” of MPs' expense claims, insisting the highly-criticised blacking-out of details in this week's official publication was “part of the old system”.

The heavily-edited version of the records was attacked as a cover-up by campaigners. But the Prime Minister, whose own claims were among those edited, insisted emergency reforms would ensure there would be no repeat of the practice in future.

“We are dealing with the problems that have arisen in the new proposals we are putting forward.” he said.

“The redacted expenses were part of the old system. The old system is being swept aside by the changes we are making and a new, more transparent system, is |being introduced.

“While ensuring that |security issues are addressed, as they have to be, our |first principle must be |maximum transparency.

“That will be part of the new legislation to set up an independent parliamentary regulator to take all these issues out of the hands of MPs.

“MPs must be able to do their jobs of course but the public must be able to hold us properly to account.”

He spoke as Tory leader David Cameron said he would push for the publication of claims from 2008/9 to be published “as quickly as possible and in an uncensored form”.

Only info such as phone numbers and bank details should be redacted, he said.

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