The 2009 British MPs’ Expenses Scandal: Origins, Evolution and Consequences

  • Jennifer vanHeerde-Hudson
  • Orlanda Ward


This chapter introduces the British MPs’ expenses scandal: its origins, evolution and consequences. We argue that despite some early predictions, the scandal was limited in its impact: the purported ‘revolution’ never occurred. We briefly review the comparative literature on the political impact of scandal, which illustrates why the effects of scandals are usually limited and reasons why voters may choose not to punish malfeasant politicians. We situate this scandal against other international scandals, highlighting similarities and differences in the effects of scandal depending on cultural contexts. The chapter illustrates the mediated nature of the scandal and how it is best understood as comprised of not only the acts of politicians themselves, but as a series of moves and counter-moves by the press and other actors.


Vote Share Vote Choice Minor Party Corrupt Politician House Banking 
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Copyright information

© Jennifer vanHeerde-Hudson and Orlanda Ward 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer vanHeerde-Hudson
  • Orlanda Ward

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