There is something of a competition taking place as to which Party can be the most transparent in the matter of its Members of Parliament disclosing which of them has members of their family working for them. Whilst this is to be welcomed it is not enough. It must lead to comprehensive detailed online disclosure of expenses and allowances.

In the meantime perhaps Mr. Brown, well-known liar and Prime Minister, might care to promise that there will be no repeat of the vote on the Third Reading of David Maclean’s Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill (the purpose of which was to conceal for ever any information about expenses and allowances of MPs) when 22% of the Parliamentary Labour Party went into the lobbies to support it.

This was the list of those Labour MPs who supported Maclean’s Bill in May 2007:

Graham Allen, Janet Anderson (Member, Administration Committee Member, Chairmen’s Panel Committee), Adrian Bailey, Sir Stuart Bell (Chairman Finance & Services Committee, Liaison Committee Member, Members Estimates Committee), Clive Betts (Member Finance & Services Committee), Liz Blackman, Nicholas Brown (Member, Administration Committee), Colin Burgon, David Cairns, Alan Campbell, Ronnie Campbell, David Clelland, Harry Cohen, Wayne David, Parmjit Dhanda, Brian H. Donohoe (Member, Administration Committee), Frank Doran (Chairman, Administration Committee), Jim Dowd, Angela Eagle, Maria Eagle, Clive Efford, Jim Fitzpatrick, Caroline Flint, Michael Foster (Worcester), Mike Hall, Tom Harris, Doug Henderson,John Heppell (Member, Administration Committee), Keith Hill, Huw Irranca-Davies, Kevan Jones (Member, Administration Committee), Martyn Jones (Member, Chairman’s Panel Committee), Fraser Kemp, David Lammy, Bob Laxton, Tom Levitt, Ivan Lewis, Tony Lloyd, Khalid Mahmood, David Marshall (Member, Chairman’s Panel Committee), Thomas McAvoy, Steve McCabe, Ian McCartney, John McFall, Shona McIsaac, Tony McNulty, Gillian Merron, Alun Michael, Laura Moffat, Elliot Morley, George Mudie, Meg Munn, Denis Murphy, James Plaskitt, Stephen Pound, Ken Purchase, John Robertson, Frank Roy, Joan Ryan, Martin Salter, Jonathon Shaw, Jim Sheridan, Siôn Simon, Angela C. Smith (Sheffield, Hillsborough), Anne Snelgrove, John Spellar, Ian Stewart, Mark Tami, Dari Taylor, Gareth Thomas, Dr. Desmond Turner, Claire Ward, Tom Watson, Dave Watts, Malcolm Wicks, Phil Woolas, David Wright.

Key = Government Blair and Brown Government Blair Government Brown

It is a matter of note that 41 Labour MPs who are or were at the time members of the government voted against any sort of transparency and that a whole slew of them are members or chairmen of committees involved with the running of the House of Commons (ten of them), notably the Administration Committee.

It is pertinent, though inconvenient to Labour, to enquire just why there was such enthusiasm for opacity.

And we must remember that Mr. Speaker Martin, the embittered toff-hating class-warrior from the Gorbals, was said to be hand in glove with those supporting this Bill and is said still to be resisting the New Order.

Cameron can steal a march here and respond swiftly to the public mood which is clearly and unambiguously in favour of complete openness on this topic. Labour will then be seen to be playing catch-up.