Under-fire Labour Ministers are in a hastily convened damage limitation meeting at No10 according to Reuters news agency.
Details surfaced just after lunch-time today that Jacqui Smith's 1000 pound historic Marxist fireplace had submitted claims in excess of 20,000 pounds.
Speaking at the rear gate of the Redditch property, the fireplace told gathering reporters, "I've done nothing wrong! I lived in a decent house owned by a nice man called Mr Mandleson for years, then suddenly overnight I get bricked into this place and have to watch some goaty bearded perv sploshing jissum into a kleenex.
As this is the second home for the attractive cast-iron left winger there is technically nothing wrong with the claim in the eyes of the Parliamentary standards committee.
Many Labour fireplaces have made similar claims over recent years and Tory leader David Cameron says "someone should be looking into it"!