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No Expenses Spared [Hardcover]

Robert Winnett , Gordon Rayner
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 Sep 2009
The Daily Telegraph’s expose of MPs' expenses, which dominated the news agenda for more than six weeks, made history by leading to the resignation of the Speaker and several Cabinet ministers, as well as taking Gordon Brown to the very brink of losing his grip on power.

It is a story which began in the unlikely setting of a Chilean vineyard, when Robert Winnett, the paper’s deputy political editor, first learnt from Gordon Brown's controversial aide Damian McBride, that a disk containing details of every MP's expense claims may have been obtained by a whistleblower.

Winnett was destined to become the reporter who would secure the disc and its contents for his newspaper, landing what has been described by some commentators as "the political scoop of the century". Together with Gordon Rayner, Winnett ran a team of reporters who pored through more than a million expenses documents. Astonishing details began to emerge: Gordon Brown's peculiar cleaning arrangements; Oliver Letwin's tennis court; Sir Peter Viggers' duck house; Douglas Hogg's £2,200 bill for cleaning his moat; house flipping and tax dodging; and the suggestion of deliberate fraud.

No Expenses Spared is the riveting inside story of the biggest political scandal to hit Parliament for a generation.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press; First Edition edition (25 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593065778
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593065778
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 24.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 304,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"The biggest parliamentary scandal for two centuries" (Gordon Brown PM The Guardian)

"What the Daily Telegraph did - the simple act of providing information to the public - has triggered the biggest shake-up in our political system for years" (David Cameron Speech to the Tory party)

"The inside story of what was arguably the biggest scandal of recent British politics. No Expenses Spared is a racy, pacy work with most of the merits of a detective story." (Daily Telegraph)

"A gripping read" (The Independent)

Book Description

The inside story of the scoop which changed the face of British politics by the team that broke it

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars thrilling! 25 Sep 2009
Unlike the previous reviewer I've actually just started to read this. Really exciting. Reminds me of State of Play or All the President's Men. I don't regularly read the Telegraph and probably never will be a convert to that newspaper but last summer these guys did us all a massive favour in brilliantly highlighting the total lack of respect a large number of our MP's had for the tax payer.

I'm about halfway through and this reads like a thriller - exciting and jaw dropping. You have to keep pinching yourself to remember that this actually really happened only a few short months ago.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential, gripping pre-election reading 1 Oct 2009
I've little to add to the other five star reviews except to say that I think that far from carping about the fact that payment was made for the original CD, the whistleblower should be put up for an OBE. Ditto the Telegraph journalists. It is an unputdownable account of what happened and I hope that it serves to keep the scale and nature of the MPs' misdeeds in the public eye at election time. I suspect that it is also a book which will continue to be read by students of history and politics for many years to come. I've found myself laughing out loud in some places of the book at the MPs' cheek. In my opinion it should be filmed as well.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gripping read - great subject matter 29 Sep 2009
By gerryg VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book arrived yesterday, I read it cover to cover, finished it today, un-putdownable
It's an excellent and entertaining read on several levels:

- the subject matter, a good reference in case we've all forgotten about how all the MPs were paid so much but so many of them were greedy and some of their activities are currently the subject of police investigation

- a reminder of how some MPs seemed to think that they were above it all (all parties) and that it was an affront for anyone to challenge them

- a reminder of how the different political parties reacted

then there's Micheal Martin...

However, the gripping tale told is one of how the Telegraph dealt with the situation, providing rich context and background detail, including the sense of excitement and fear: the fears of being hoaxed, the fears of being prosecuted, the fears of other newspapers stealing their thunder or running spoilers. The narrative concerning the lives of the reporters and editors before during and after around the publication of MPs expenses reads very authentically, with only an occasional sense of the authors having reached for the dictionary of superlative words and phrases.

If you've seen the BBC six parter "State of Play" then this book describes a real life situation that could be called "State of Play 2". Actually, so "State of Play 2" (intended as a compliment) that if you hadn't been there watching the story unfold you might have thought the book were a work of fiction. It's fascinating, a great read.

The book even opens with a generous nod to the journalist (Heather Brooke) that had spent several years grinding away at this issue with repeated FOI requests only to have the story taken away from her by the newspaper getting the disc.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poor Darling MPs Bemoan their Fate. 26 Oct 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Having followed the story through the press and media, the book tends to focus on the background story, without adding vastly more information. It is an entertaining and easy read, and gives a clear account of hard-done-by MP's being done down and deserving a pay rise. Having said that, the book left me as angry as I was when the story initially broke, which is a very good thing. I have no doubt that the crooks think that the public will forget; they are wrong. I bought this book to remember what they did, whilst sending ill-equipped troops (actually other people's kids - not their own) to war. I also bought the book to recognise the service done to the public by the Telegraph, especially in their objective reporting on all parties. Recommended on all acoounts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A+ 16 Dec 2009
This is an excellent read, and I will ditto the words of the other reviewers that it is an undeniably valuable account of the scandal. It is essential reading for any politics student, and the book has proved its worth in helping me with my own studies. The epilogue, including a final interview with the whistleblower, in my opinion sums up the public mood perfectly, and the final words leave us with a chilling yet optimistic desire for change.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Expenses Spared 2 Dec 2009
Like many others, I was aghast at the revelations of MP expenses in the Telegraph. When I saw the book advetised I cold not resist learning more about how the scandal came to light and was investigated by the Telegraph team. Before I received the book I was just a little worried it might be a bit too technical or filled with boring detail. I need not have worried. This book a real page turner, really hard to put down. The full story from beginning to end is revealed in an exciting way. If it was a novel it could not be a more entertaining read. Thoroughly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Reading 7 Nov 2009
By Pledge
What a great read. I had trouble putting it down. It should be included in the National Curriculum for all students to make them aware of exactly what they are about to vote for. Well done The Telegragh. Without you, these greedy people would of carried on for years ripping us off.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars no expenses spared 27 Oct 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a very thorough review of the Daily Telegraph's investigation of MPs' expenses. The legal risks the Telegraph took are clearly covered. Strongly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding detective work.
I had not realised the hard work, dedication and risk involved in the Daily Telegraph investigation into the M.P.s claims for expenses. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Mr. Brinley Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
I found the book extremely interesting and well written. What a shabby lot of politicians we have - it's quite dispiriting!
Published 15 months ago by Sheila Marshall
5.0 out of 5 stars The great MPs' expenses scandal
At the time of the expenses scandal, I, like everyone else, was both fascinated and appalled by the greed and hypocrisy of so many MPs, who showed by their actions that they held... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Brian R. Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Smile, you're on PDF
I agree with all the previous positive comments.

Unputdownable, page-turner, thriller.

A magnificent saga of investigative journalism. Read more
Published on 26 Mar 2011 by Póló
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting insight into the newspaper business
As all the dodgy claims have already been exposed, MP's shamed and careers terminated there's little to learn about the expense claims themselves. Read more
Published on 16 Feb 2011 by Teflon John
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book which outlines the events of one of the biggest...
I finally finished reading this book, and I have to say it was a fantastic read.

I remember when the scandal broke out (Although it was known years before the... Read more
Published on 31 Jan 2011 by The Establishment Fears Investigation
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing and rather self-obsessed...
Like many others, I had followed the expenses scandal in the media and was interested in finding out more, and thought I would enjoy this book. Read more
Published on 30 May 2010 by Emma Goldman
5.0 out of 5 stars No Expenses Spared.
I followed the Daily Telegraph articles which is why I bought the book. A fascinating tale and well worth reading.
Published on 9 April 2010 by Alan Crosskill
5.0 out of 5 stars Public service corruption is a time honored tradition...
Nothing less than captivating from beginning to end. Should be required reading for all students in the educational system and parents alike. Read more
Published on 28 Jan 2010 by MREG
5.0 out of 5 stars No expenses spared
I would thoroughly recommend this book to everyone. So much more information in here than we learned from the newspapers. Please purchase this...... Read more
Published on 16 Nov 2009 by G. Young
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