Some MPs have been accused of renting offices from their local parties and unions for constituency work as a way of funding their parties by the 'back-door'.

This, says the Daily Mail, threatens to be another MPs expenses scandal.

About a quarter of MPs are believed to be renting constituency offices from their local parties in a system that Bernard Jenkin, the Conservative chairman of the Public Administration Committee, warned was open to abuse; even though the rules say they can do it only if they prove they are paying a reasonable rent.

According to the Times this allowed the LibDems to fund a 'significant' increase in campaigning.

These figures are due to be published next month and threaten to open up yet another can of worms where politicians and their expenses are concerned.

Parliament -

Parliament –

Although there is no suggestion that anyone has broken the rules the public perception may by that this is more evidence of mis-use of public funds as, even if the MPs are paying a reasonable rent, their political parties may still be profiting from the arrangement. As a result changes have been called for.

But, at the end of the day, the profit for renting office space has to go somewhere so why not to the party concerned as long as it's all open and above board? Apart from the fact that the party with the most MPs could get the most public funds towards its next election fighting fund of course.

One also wonders whether they could rent out some empty retail space on the odd high street to help out local economies – and it could be cheap too as well as giving them a very high profile.

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