"What we've seen is a conspiracy against the public," said Mrs Pamela Goodchild, who was out shopping in the town's market yesterday. "When I bought my flat here, I worked in an office and had to go out charring in the evenings to pay the mortgage. I wouldn't have expected anyone else to pick up the bill. Why should Mrs Main [St Albans MP] be any different? Why am I paying for her daughter to live for nothing?
"The whole thing is a disgrace. I think that this is one of those times when the Queen could actually use her powers, step in, dissolve Parliament and we could all start afresh. It's a betrayal of the people. I'd go so far as to call it treason."