The United Kingdom Members of Parliament expenses scandal which generated angry reactions from British public opinion began because the mole that caused the leak was angry about inadequate equipment for the armed forces, the Daily Telegraph published on Thursday.
The newspaper says staff who worked in secrecy processing the MPs' receipts was guarded by moonlighting servicemen on leave between tours. The soldiers’ fury when they saw the way that MPs were lavishing taxpayers' money on their second homes led to the mole's decision to leak the data.
The man behind the leak - who is a civilian - has broken cover to tell his story for the first time, in the hope that it will shame the Government into finally supplying the right equipment for soldiers risking their lives in Afghanistan.
His account appears in No Expenses Spared, a book which is published on Friday and which discloses the full inside story of what Gordon Brown described as “the biggest Parliamentary scandal for two centuries”.
The Telegraph’s investigation into MPs’ expense claims earlier this year blew the lid off widespread abuse of the parliamentary allowance system, exposing the “flipping” of second homes, systematic tax avoidance, “phantom” mortgages and claims for fripperies such as moat cleaning, manure and a duck house.
No Expenses Spared, written by two members of the Telegraph’s investigation team, describes how employees at The Stationery Office – where the MPs’ files were sent for censorship before their intended publication by parliament – reacted when they first saw the MP’s claims for second homes, furniture and luxury goods.
The workers, who included parliamentary staff on secondment, became so agitated that they had to be told by managers to calm down.
One of the expense claims which particularly enraged the workers was Gordon Brown’s claim for a Sky TV sports package, which cost £36 per month.
The Prime Minister, who faces a critical test of his leadership at next week’s Labor party conference, has faced repeated criticism over his failure to equip troops and for his lackluster handling of the expenses scandal