Tory MEPs have this morning published their expenses for the last quarter of 2008.

Timothy Kirkhope MEP comments:

“Conservative MEPs are the first British delegation in the European Parliament to voluntarily publish details of our allowances and expenses. I hope that other parties will follow now that we have led the way.  We now have in place a system that ensures greater openness and transparency, and goes significantly beyond the rules set down by the European Parliament."

The Tory delegation (with quite a bit of encouragement from David Cameron) is to be congratulated for leading the way on transparency.

Via this link you can inspect all MEPs’ recent expenses and the names of their staffers (including family members employed).

Unlike all other retiring Tory MEPs Christopher Beazley has not published his expenses, however.  Mr Beazley is on ‘defection watch’.  It is feared that this ardent Europhile might defect closer to June’s European Elections.

More worryingly the UUP MEP Jim Nicholson hasn’t declared either.  He is now supposed to be a de facto member of the Tory delegation and he needs to be transparent too.  A job for Owen Paterson?

Tim Montgomerie