Sleaze watchdog to rule on Osborne claim

The House of Commons sleaze watchdog is expected to decide today whether Shadow Chancellor George Osborne should face any reprimand or penalty over allegations that he over-claimed mortgage payments on his second home.

Mr Osborne has been the subject of a six-month investigation by parliamentary Standards Commissioner John Lyon after a complaint from a Labour activist.

Mr Lyon's report will be considered today by MPs on the Commons Standards and Privileges Committee, who have the power to decide whether the Tatton MP should be required to apologise or to repay money.

The committee will meet behind closed doors in the House of Commons, but its decision may not be made public for some days.

The Conservative MP designated his constituency property in Cheshire as his second home for expenses purposes.

It is alleged that he claimed for a mortgage of £450,000 although he had bought the property for £445,000.

Mr Osborne's spokesman said at the time that the complaint was political and there had been "absolutely no impropriety".