Insights from the UK and beyond
MPs Kirkbride and Moran fall on swords
The expenses scandal has claimed two more victims – one from each side of the House.
Labour MP for Luton South Margaret Moran has announced that she will stand down at the next election, while Conservative MP Julie Kirkbride will no longer represent her Bromsgrove constituency after the likely 2010 poll.
Both MPs have defended the expenses they have claimed, arguing they have taken the decision to step down as a way of ensuring their respective political parties’ chances are not damaged at the next general election.
But Moran has claimed the stress and “health problems” the furore has caused her, while Kirkbride is worried about the effect the intense media spotlight has had on her family.
Which begs two questions. Have Moran and Kirkbride been given rougher treatment by the media because there are women? And will Parliament struggle to find candidates of a suitable calibre to stand as MPs in the future?