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AN EXTRAORDINARY SCANDAL
THE WESTMINSTER EXPENSES CRISIS AND WHY IT STILL MATTERS
by Emma Crewe and Andrew Walker 

Details

Politics, Current Affairs
Publication Date: October 2019
RRP: £20.00
320 pp
HBK
9781912208753

Featuring interviews with the MPs, journalists and officials close to the centre of Britain’s biggest political crisis since the Profumo Affair, this is the story of what really happened during the expenses scandal of 2009.

Andrew Walker, the tax expert who oversaw the parliamentary expenses system, and Emma Crewe, a social scientist specialising in the institutions of parliament, bring a fascinating insider/outsider perspective to this account. Far from an apologia, An Extraordinary Scandal explains how parliament fell out of step with the electorate and became a victim of its own remote institutional logic, at odds with an increasingly open, meritocratic society.

Charting the crisis from its 1990s origins – when Westminster began, too slowly, to respond to wider societal changes – to its aftermath in 2010, the authors examine how the scandal aggravated the developing crisis of trust between the British electorate and Westminster politicians that continues to this day. Their in-depth research reveals new insight into how the expenses scandal gave us a taste of what was to come, and where its legacy can be traced in the new age of mistrust and outrage, in which politicians are often unfairly vulnerable to being charged in the ‘court’ of public opinion by those they represent.

Author Bios

Emma Crewe is a Principal Investigator at the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at SOAS. She is the author of Lords of Parliament: Manners, Rituals and Politics (2005), The House of Commons: An Anthropology of MPs at Work (2015) and Commons and Lords: A Short Anthropology of Parliament (2015).

Andrew Walker was a senior official at the House of Commons for 20 years until 2016. He was Director General of Resources, and was the Board member responsible for the Fees Office until it was abolished in 2010. He now advises parliaments overseas on finance and HR issues.

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