So just are those two Sinn Fein houses for…

David Gordon, journalistic scourge of the political classes was already pouring over the excel spreadsheets when we ran the thread on Sinn Fein’s two London flats, and confirms the validity of the question: what on earth was the party’s MPs renting them when they rarely fly to London?

Sinn Fein’s five MPs received £105,131 from Parliament for London living expenses in 2007/08, funding the rental of two flats in the city. But in the same year, they claimed an average of just £920 each for flights over to Westminster — £10,500 less than the average for other Northern Ireland MPs. Critics have seized on the disparity to again ask why the party’s politicians need two properties in the city, while not taking their Commons seats. Their total claims under the London living allowance since being granted Westminster expenses in 2001/02 have been calculated at £437,405.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty