The Daily Mail today backs a move to bring to justice MPs whose flagrant abuse of expenses has shamed Britain.
We are joining forces with the Tax-Payers' Alliance to launch a campaign for the private prosecutions of backbenchers and ministers who have pocketed thousands of pounds through dishonest claims.
The campaign follows seven days of extraordinary disclosures which have dragged the reputation of British politics to a shameful low point.
Despite overwhelming evidence of an endemic culture of crooked expenses claims among MPs, legal experts think it highly unlikely that police and the Crown Prosecution Service will bring criminal charges against any of them.
Scotland Yard chiefs are understood to be decidedly lukewarm about bringing fraud charges since they are still smarting from the fiasco of the 'cash for honours' investigation.
But eminent lawyers believe that the actions of some ministers and MPs are blatant enough to warrant prosecution for offences which can carry a jail sentence of at least a year for anyone found guilty.
They argue that in the absence of a Crown prosecution there are powerful grounds for a private case which would see their behaviour subjected to the scrutiny of a court of law.
Doctors who shame Britain
How about prosecuting sleaze doctors for fraudulently obtaining millions of pounds from taxpayers, children and pensioners? Why is this despicable pair seemingly above the law?
Under ancient common law, an individual has a right to bring a criminal to justice in the courts if the state authorities fail to do so.
Private prosecutions are expensive, difficult to organise and involve producing a high level of proof to persuade a court that an accused can be found guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
But, occasionally, in cases of public scandal, they are effective in bringing great wrongdoing to light.
And if a private prosecution acquires momentum, then the Crown Prosecution Service may step in to put the legal action on to an official basis.
A private prosecution is brought when members of the public feel let down by the police or the CPS when apparently criminal behaviour is allowed to pass without investigation
A private prosecution begins in a magistrates court. It can be brought by anyone who wants to see an act of injustice righted.
They do not need to be the victim. A magistrate is, at the first stage, asked for a summons against the accused to answer the charge.
The court will ask for evidence of the crime. If the prosecution is to proceed, the case will be sent to a Crown Court for a jury trial.