24 May 2009

Archbishop of Canterbury wants halt to disclosures about MPs' expenses

10:13 am on 24 May 2009

The Archbishop of Canterbury has urged a halt to what he calls the "systematic humiliation" of British members of parliament in an expenses scandal.

Archbishop Rowan Williams warned on Saturday it could undermine faith in democracy.

Extravagant expense claims by more than 200 MPs have now been disclosed in a series of reports by the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Archbishop Williams wrote in The Times that "many will now be wondering whether the point has not been adequately made."

Meanwhile, The Independent newspaper says the continuing disclosures risk eroding British democracy if all MPs are tarred with the same brush.

The Speaker of the House of Commons has resigned, a minister has stepped down, two MPs have been suspended by the ruling Labour party and six have now declared they will not run in the next election.

A poll published in the Guardian newspaper has found more than a quarter of voters planning to reject mainstream political parties in favour of minority ones because of the expenses crisis.