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'Sorry' Speaker swerves stepping down

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'Sorry' Speaker swerves stepping down


One of the most senior figures in British politics – the Speaker of the House of Commons – is preparing for talks with party leaders on the MPs expenses row, which is threatening to cost him his job.

Michael Martin dodged calls to step down over his handling of the scandal, which has seen MPs claiming public money for everything from light-bulbs to tennis court repairs. But some leading figures from all parties still want him to go. Launching his party’s European election campaign, the leader of the Conservative opposition had his mind more on domestic matters. David Cameron said: “The recession, the debt crisis and above all the political crisis all point in one direction. I think there is now only one way of sorting out the mess and that is for Parliament to be dissolved and for there to be an immediate general election.” The Prime Minister Gordon Brown wants a fundamental reform of the expenses system. MPs from all parties have been named and shamed, but it’s Labour who have suffered the most. With Brown’s poll ratings dragging way behind the Tories’, experts say it’s highly unlikely he will go to the country early.

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