Govt u-turn on MPs' expenses

Ministers have shelved plans to exempt MPs' expenses details from the Freedom of Information Act, after the Tories and Lib Dems said they would fight it.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the government had thought it had cross-party agreement but would now "continue to consult on the matter".

Mr Brown was challenged about it by two Tory backbenchers at prime minister's questions who asked why there "should there be one law for the people and another for politicians".

Campaigners said it was a victory for "people power" after a web protest.

The Conservatives accused ministers of a "U-turn" while the Lib Dems said it was a "humiliating climbdown".

Brown backs down in expenses row (BBC News, 21 January 2009)

Tory frontbench and Lib Dems fight move to hide MPs' expenses (The Guardian, 21 January 2009)