MPs' expenses: Joan Ruddock's performance

The Telegraph has got around to having a look at our local MP's expenses, and doesn't seem to have found a huge amount.

The paper reports: 'Joan Ruddock claimed £235 for training on debt advice provided by Shelter, the charity, in May 2008. Confirmed she paid tax on reimbursed accountacy fees .'

This last sentence suggests she is among many MPs who claimed back the cost of their annual accountancy work; controversy has focussed on whether MPs have, as required, paid tax on any reimbursed accountancy fees. According to the Telegraph Ms Ruddock did comply with this rule.

Ms Ruddock is married to Scottish MP Frank Doran. On his expenses, the Telegraph reports: 'Frank Doran names a farmhouse north of Aberdeen as second home and claims around £500 a month in mortgage interest payments. Claims £1,200 for work on his trees .'

It seems reasonable for Ms Ruddock and Mr Doran to make their main home in London and thus the second home claim in Scotland makes sense. The £1,200 payment for work on his trees is perhaps more dubious - is it incurred 'wholly, necessarily and exclusively on parliamentary duties', as the rules require?

But, all in all, these two don't appear to have performed too badly - and given the ongoing political bloodbath, that may considerably improve their career prospects.