In 2009, news broke that MPs had been claiming taxpayers money to pay for such excesses as a floating duck-house, moat-cleaning services and 550 sacks of manure. The revelations shook Westminster and compromised the voters trust. Urgent action had to be taken.Cue the establishment of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), a regulator designed to scrutinise every claim and hold MPs to account. Created from scratch and operating in a world of rattled politicians accustomed to old habits, IPSA came up against a series of obstacles, ranging from MPs who had never used a computer to vicious online abuse. Ian Kennedy was the chairman of IPSA for its first seven years, and was responsible for developing it into an effective and transparent organisation.Ten years on, he discusses his struggle to ensure the public s money was put to good use, all the while being hounded by the press for not doing what they wanted, and by MPs themselves for doing what they'd voted for but didn't really intend. Cleaning Up the Mess describes the bullying, bitterness and occasional kindness Kennedy encountered, and how a thick skin and conviction in IPSA's purpose helped to restore trust in politics and politicians.
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