Labour MP Elliott Morley claimed £16,000 for a mortgage which didn't exist. At best this could be construed as negligent. At worst it is fraudulent. Let's for a moment give him the benefit of the doubt and assume the former.
What I would like to know is why on earth the House of Commons Fees Office allowed £16,000 of our money to be used on a claim with no backup paperwork? Talk about a system not fit for purpose. Anyone would think it was a division of the Home Office.
The trouble is that Fees Office staff have been instructed by the House of Commons senior clerks to continue their habit of being deferential to MPs and assuming that they are all "Honourable Members". This comes from the top. Time after time they have given MPs the benefit of the doubt on expenses claims.
It is not just the Speaker of the House of Commons who is responsible, but all those at the top of the House of Commons management structure. We may all want to see some political scalps from this, but we shouldn't ignore the fact that heads should roll in the House of Commons itself.
Perhaps at last, this will be the spur for some much needed reforms, not just of the accounting structures but the whole way the Houses of Parliament is administered.
UPDATE: Gordon Brown says he is "very concerned" by the Elliott Morley revelations. Yes, I'm sure he is. But what is he going to do about it. Give a lead for once in his life? Or refer Morley to a committee.