Good riddance! Cynics have called it the rotten parliament. Britain has been governed by cheats and charlatans. The expenses scandal sees MPs leaving Westminster this week in disgrace: some justifiably so, many others unfairly tainted by the greed of colleagues.

Scarred by the  experience of joining second car dealers, estate agents and journalists in the gutter of public esteem, about a quarter of MPs have decided to retire. Whatever the election outcome, the House of Commons that convenes after May 6 will bear little resemblance to its predecessor. Read more