Douglas Hogg has announced that he is standing down as an MP and will not seek re-election in the constituency of Sleaford and North Hykeham after being exposed by the Telegraph for claiming the costs of clearing the moat at his country estate. I suspect he will be the first of many to stand down.
The expenses scandal which has embroiled MP’s from all political parties is likely to claim the House of Commons Speaker, Michael Martin as its next victim for gross mishandling of the expenses furore. This would be the first time in 300 years that the speaker has been forced out and is recognition by MP’s of the huge damage that has been done to parliamentary democracy and politics as a whole by their conduct in claiming unreasonable expenses. Hat Tip: Paul Waugh
UPDATE: Text of Michael Martin’s statement to the House of Commons at 14.30pm:
‘Since I came to this House 30 years ago I’ve always felt the House is at its best when it is united. In order that unity can be maintained, I have decided that I will relinquish the office of Speaker on Sunday June 21.
This will allow the House to proceed to elect a new Speaker on Monday June 22. That is all I have to say on this matter.’