David Maclean - the man behind the bill

According to the Daily Mail the campaign by MPs to exclude themselves from freedom of information laws is headed by a "Tory philanderer" who bought a £3,300 quad bike on parliamentary expenses.

David Maclean, the author of new legislation limiting voters' rights to know about their MP's pay and perks, has admitted that his top-of-the-range 250cc all-terrain vehicle was paid for out of taxpayer-funded allowances. His controversial Private Member's Bill was passed in the Commons on Friday, despite claims that it was a "shameful" bid to conceal embarrassing details about MPs' expenses.

The Daily Mail claims that Mr Maclean, who is separated from his wife Jay, has had a series of extramarital affairs. He is reported to have had a relationship with a Conservative official Jenny Ungless, whom he helped secure two well-paid jobs in the party (when the Conservatives lost power in 1997, Maclean set up the Parliamentary Resources Unit, a Westminster research group funded by Tory MPs from their parliamentary allowances - Ms Ungless was appointed its first director on an estimated salary of £50,000). It was also reported that, as Chief Whip, Maclean played a "key role" in the dismissal of Boris Johnson from the Tory front bench for lying about his extramarital affair with society journalist Petronella Wyatt.

Official figures show that last year Mr Maclean claimed a total of £129,700 in Commons allowances - on top of his £59,000 basic salary. This sum includes £15,167 in accommodation expenses, £6,969 for motoring and £8,561 for rail travel. The figures are published as a result of the Freedom of Information Act.

This might help to explain the rationale behind Mr Maclean's determination to keep MPs' details exempt from the FOI Act.

One wife, two mistresses... and a quad bike on Commons expenses (Daily Mail, 20 May 2007)