MPs are trying to block the publication of embarrassing details about unpaid food and drinks bills they have run up in the Commons.
The House authorities have delayed releasing the data after MPs reacted furiously to the prospect, following a freedom of information request by the Press Association. Officials were forced to seek legal advice on their obligations under the Freedom of Information Act after the request for a breakdown of the bills.
After months of delays, the information watchdog has written to the Commons demanding the release of the details or an explanation for why it is refusing to do so. Hundreds of MPs are liable for huge tabs in Parliament's restaurants. Debts to the publicly-funded Commons catering department stood at £138,046 last summer.