Even at the peak of the MPs' expenses debacle, the Miliband brothers were routinely claiming a siblings discount wherever and whenever they could, the Parliamentary Scandals Committee revealed today.
"Ed would stroll up to the Commons Bar most days, order a pint and a packet of prawn flavour crisps and if his brother was anywhere in the House, he'd demand his siblings discount, even if the drink and snack was entirely for his own consumption," an unnamed bartender told reporters. "David was equally bad in that he would have a steak pie and then request an extra portion of chips on his plate which he claimed were for his brother. You would then see him eat them himself."
Neither Ed nor David have detailed the discount in their expenses, which it now transpires they have been claiming for donkey's years. The discount isn't listed under Members' Allowances, but that didn't stop either brother claiming it in The House of Commons Hair & Eyebrow Centre, The Shoe Shine Zone or the Pick & Mix at Victoria.
Some holiday booking companies the Milibands are known to have used offer a legitimate siblings discount but this usually does not apply to over-18s. Stacey Brent of Ascot Luxury Travel remembers one phone conversation with David. "He'd claimed the siblings discount which I told him did not apply to him. Oh yes it does, he said, when your sibling's the leader of the opposition, I think you'll find."
Neither brother was available for comment but the opposition leader's press office issued this statement.
"Ed Miliband is entitled to claim a siblings discount in certain circumstances due to his having a sibling very like him. Ok? Get over it. Move on."