No Expenses Spared
By Robert Winnett and Gordon Rayner. This is the Daily Telegraph’s expose of MPs' expenses, which dominated the news agenda for more than six weeks, made history by leading to the resignation of the Speaker and several Cabinet ministers, as well as taking Gordon Brown to the very brink of losing his grip on power. It is a story which began in the unlikely setting of a Chilean vineyard, when Robert Winnett, the paper’s deputy political editor, first learnt from Gordon Brown's controversial aide Damian McBride, that a disc containing details of every MP's expense claims may have been obtained by a whistleblower. Winnett was destined to become the reporter who would secure the disc and its contents for his newspaper, landing what has been described by some commentators as "the political scoop of the century". Together with Gordon Rayner, Winnett ran a team of reporters who pored through more than a million expenses documents. Astonishing details began to emerge: How Hazel Blears claimed for a Kit Kat bar, Gordon Brown's peculiar cleaning arrangements; Oliver Letwin's tennis court; Sir Peter Viggers' duck house; Douglas Hogg's £2,200 bill for cleaning his moat; house flipping and tax dodging; and the suggestion of deliberate fraud. No Expenses Spared is the riveting inside story of the biggest political scandal to hit Parliament for a generation. Hardcover, 368 pp. Includes postage and packaging.