MPs give up on bid to conceal expenses

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Full details of MPs' expenses, listed down to every individual receipt, will be published from this autumn, the House of Commons announced last night.

The decision means that more than one million items of expenditure covering MPs' travel claims, their second homes allowance and claims for their offices dating back several years will be released after the Commons abandoned its court battle to keep them private.

Senior MPs on the Members' Estimates Committee, chaired by the Speaker, Michael Martin, decided yesterday not to appeal against a court ruling in a groundbreaking freedom of information case covering the expenses of 14 high-profile members. They abandoned their attempt to release a breakdown of MPs' expenses under broad headings, instead agreeing to reveal every receipt dating back to 2004-05.

Expenses details of the 14 MPs, including Gordon Brown and David Cameron, will be released to the three journalists and freedom of information campaigners who were involved in last week's High Court fight to secure publication of the information. Commons officials had said releasing details risked compromising the MPs' security.