LONDON (Reuters) - Embarrassing disclosures about the vast expenses claims of British members of parliament amount to a "McCarthy-style witch-hunt" that risks driving politicians to suicide, a lawmaker warned on Friday.
Nadine Dorries, a member of the opposition Conservative party, wrote on her blog that the two-week scandal, in which the Daily Telegraph newspaper has drip-fed details of how members of parliament have abused their generous expense allowances, was forcing politicians to the brink.
The scandal has triggered outrage across recession-hit Britain and opposition calls for an early general election.
European and local elections to be held on June 4 are expected to reflect the level of popular disgust, with lower voter turnout and a move toward fringe parties predicted.
"The atmosphere in Westminster is unbearable," Dorries wrote on the blog (blog.dorries.org). "People are constantly checking to see if others are OK. Everyone fears a suicide. If someone isn't seen, offices are called and checked."