Richard Thomas performed u-turn over MPs' expenses

The Information Commissioner was planning to order the publication of the full details of MPs' expenses three years ago, but watered down his final judgement after pressure from the House of Commons, according to The Sunday Telegraph.

Leaked emails show that Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner, had prepared a draft decision in 2006 which would have ruled that the Commons was not acting properly under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and should release expenses details, including receipts.

However, after a series of communications between his office and Commons authorities he backed down.

His final decision eight months later called for the information to be published in a watered-down form, with details of receipts to remain secret.

The Sunday Telegraph discovered that Jack Straw, who was then the Commons Leader, held a meeting with Mr Thomas and his deputy, Graham Smith, between the commissioner's preliminary and final rulings.

MPs' expenses: Information commissioner performed U-turn over publication (Sunday Telegraph, 30 May 2009)