Ipsa boss warns Cameron and Clegg to stay out of his way

David Cameron and Nick Clegg were warned in no uncertain terms to stay out of the way of the body deciding on MPs' pay today.

Sir Ian Kennedy, head of expenses watchdog Ipsa, which is expected to offer MPs a £10,000 pay rise, appeared increasingly irritated by the public objections to the move being made by party leaders.

Speaking about the official release of the proposal next week, he said: "I imagine I'll be accused of basically every crime under humanity."

Political leaders must "accept that we have a job to do which they gave us," he added.

"If they do really believe that pay and pensions should never ever again be the business of MPs, they should enter the debate with care and accept that external, independent regulation means what it says: that you don’t tell the regulator what to do.

"It also means that you trust the regulator to have a vision for the future that does not ignore the present."

The consultation on whether to boost MPs' pay, which currently stands at £65,738, was put to public consultation, but few people backed the idea.

"There is very little appetite for increasing the pay of MPs," the regulator found.

"Very few people indeed" thought the current salary was too little.