Just wondering, in view of the appointment of Margaret Beckett to the Committee on Standards in Public Life.
You may recall that in 2006, the then Foreign Secretary found herself in trouble with the Fees Office when she tried to claim £600 for hanging baskets and pot plants as she spent tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayer's money on her designated second home in her constituency while living in a grace-and-favour apartment in London. She also submitted another £711 claim for "labour and materials for painting of summer house, shed and pergola". She was reminded that claims had to be "wholly and necessarily incurred to enable you to stay overnight away from your main home". Apparently these bills for gardening etc were "submitted by mistake".
"Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose"