Saturday, 3 October 2009

Telegraph MPs' expenses scoop 'tilted in favour of Tories' says book review - in Telegraph

Political commentator Anthony Howard gives the book No Expenses Spared, the inside story of the Daily Telegraph's scoop on the MPs' expenses scandal by Telegraph journalists Robert Winnett and Gordon Rayner, a favourable review today.
But it is not uncritical and surprisingly, considering its being published in the Telegraph's own Review section, claims the way the scandal was presented by the paper was skewed against the Labour Party.
Howard writes: "Were mistakes made during the course of the investigation? Naturally, though none concerned fact (a remarkable achievement) and any reservations can only apply, therefore, to presentation. My principal one affects the Prime Minister, whose arrangement with his brother to pay their cleaner strikes me as having been entirely above board.
"Yet there is perhaps a wider criticism to be made. By concentrating first on the Government – and giving the Tories a three-day stay of execution – the published findings tilted in favour of the Tories.
"Certainly, David Cameron handled the fallout more nimbly than Brown, but it remains ironic that the individual scandals most people remember – the moat cleaning, the floating duck island – all had their origins in the toffs’ party and not in the people’s one."
No Expenses Spared, by Robert Winnett & Gordon Rayner, Bantam, £16.99

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