Unnamed sources in Whitehall have revealed a loophole in parliamentary procedure covering conditions of service.
Thanks to this flaw, MP's who are currently serving prison sentences for dishonestly claiming expenses can continue to claim expenses until their resignation from parliament is confirmed on April 1st, 2011.
Disgraced "former" MP Justin Flowers has already lodged his first set of claims to the Fees Office.
Some of them make interesting reading -
- £2046 for renovating and redecorating a second cell which Flowers claims he occupies for more than 50% of the day i.e. Big Jake's. Supplementary to this claim are receipts for miscellaneous items such as Loreal cosmetics, panties and other lingerie inscribed with the legend "because he's worth it".
- £547 for building and maintaining a ceramic pond for sailing his paper boats and ducks in.
- £1320 for items of general stationery, printing and secretarial services, presumably required in order to submit the expenses in the first place.
- £13,857 for various legal fees associated with an appeal against the conviction as well as a claim against the British people for harassment and "excessive intrusion into one's personal life".
A spokesman for the Institute of Advanced Psychiatry has advised that "this is all an essential part of the atonement process".