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Westminster Whack-a-mole

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Police have been called in to investigate the apparent presence of a mole in the Parliamentary fees office.

The Daily Telegraph today ran a series of stories exposing ministers' expenses claims, after it obtained the data from a confidential source.

A middle man has reportedly been shopping a CD containing fees office records to newspapers for several weeks. It's been suggested the Telegraph paid £150,000 for the data, which was also the basis of the recent exposure of Jacqui Smith's husband reclaiming the cost of on-demand porn from the taxpayer.

This afternoon, Malcolm Jack, the Clerk of the House of Commons, wrote to MPs saying there were "reasonable grounds" to suspect criminal behaviour.

In a statement, House authorities said: "[We] have received advice that there are reasonable grounds to believe a criminal offence may have been committed in relation to the way in which information relating to Members' allowances has been handled.

"A report has been made to the Metropolitan police, asking them to consider the matter."

The ministers named in today's expenses stories have all denied wrongdoing. ®

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