Three Labour MPs and a Tory peer are to face criminal charges over their expense claims.
In a joint statement the MPs have said they refute the charges and will “defend their positions robustly”.
The charges follow am investigation by former civil servant Sir Thomas Legg.
The government has made it clear that any money wrongly claimed will be paid back in full.
Harriet Harman, Leader of the House of Commons, said: “Everything that should be paid back will be paid back, the public should be confident of that. And I agree that today is an important step on the path to restoring public trust.”
In an announcement outside the headquarters of the Crown Prosecution Service, three MPs were named. They are: David Chaytor, Elliot Morley, Jim Devine, and one peer, Lord Hanningfield.
They will all be prosecuted under the Theft act.
The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer,
said: “We have concluded that there is sufficient evidence to bring criminal charges and that it is in the public interest to charge the individuals concerned.”