We really are living in strange times when the Daily Telegraph, of all papers, can hold the sword of Damocles over every MP on a daily basis. It's rumoured (& not denied by the Telegraph) that the paper paid £150,000 for the deadly disc of information. Given the dramatic increase in the Telegraph's circulation over the last fortnight, it's clearly money well spent.
Thus far, there's no more news about local MPs. Wayne posted about Liverpool Riverside's Louise Ellman earlier (http://liverpoolpreservationtrust.blogspot.com/2009/05/louise-ellman-anything-to-declare.html ).
In one of those striking instances of coincidence, today's Oldham Echo carries a characteristically slight piece, stating that Ellman has published her Westminster receipts (http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2009/05/22/louise-ellman-opens-expenses-files-100252-23688789/ ).
It reveals that "taxpayers pay for her breakfast - but only when she is working at Westminster."
Ah, that's OK then. Hang on, what's this? "Purchases have included a £499 26-inch flat-screen TV and a 64p ballpoint pen."
Five hundred quid for a TV? Seems like she's still shopping at John Lewis'.
The article adds: "Her newsletter to every constituency household last year cost £2,140."
Two grand on a self-serving, self-congratulatory missive, replete with New Labour jargon & buzzphrases, high on hype, low on substance. Well done, Louise. Looking forward to being Telegraphed?