Two stories; the same day, but different worlds....
It took 13 days, but Major Phil Packer, who lost the use of his legs in a rocket attack in Iraq in last year, finally crossed the London Marathon finish line after midday today.
Exhausted but ecstatic, Packer - who was told he would never walk again after the accident in February 2008 - was surrounded by a crowd of family, friends and wellwishers as he was awarded his medal by Sir Steve Redgrave at the gates of St James's Park on The Mall.
Packer completed his Herculian task - covering the 52,400 steps of the 26.2-mile course at a rate of two miles a day, the maximum distance he was advised to attempt by doctors - to raise a million pounds for the charity Help for Heroes, which provides financial assistance for wounded British servicemen.
The Daily Telegraph's files show that Barbara Follett, the Tourism Minister; Phil Woolas, the Immigration Minister; Ben Bradshaw, the Health Minister; and Phil Hope, the Care Services Minister, have exploited the MPs' expenses system.
The questionable expense claims of two former ministers, Keith Vaz and Barry Gardiner, are also disclosed. They come after this newspaper published suspect claims made by 13 members of the Cabinet. Commons authorities ask police to investigate The details of their claims has resulted in an outpouring of public anger over the MPs' expenses system with calls for immediate reform.
The Cabinet ministers involved, including Jack Straw and Lord Mandelson, have refused to apologise but instead criticised the parliamentary expenses system. The latest disclosures show that the expenses scandal goes beyond the Cabinet and implicates the entire Government.
There are legions of decent, honest, and honourable people in this country. The tragedy is that none of them sit in parliament.