MPs’ expenses could soon be kept from the public’s prying eyes.

Ministers will vote on Thursday on an order that would exempt MPs’ expenses from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, Leader of the House Harriet Harman revealed.

Instead of publishing the full expenses, the House of Commons would publish expenditure under 26 categories.

Matthew Elliot of the Taxpayers Alliance said it was “an absolute disgrace” that the government was going to such lengths to keep expenses secret.

Desmond Swayne, Conservative MP for New Forest West, said the government had “taken leave of their senses”.

“You can’t possibly have a law which affects everybody in one way but not members of parliament,” he said.

“My expenses in absolute detail have been on my website since the middle of last year.

“You can look them up for the last four years.”

Tobias Ellwood, Conservative MP for Bournemouth East, said: “I believe that MPs’ expenses are taxpayers’ money. They should be as transparent as possible.

“It’s getting silly if you can’t even buy a coffee without that going down. I think there needs to be a sensible audit, the same way that any business is audited.

“Then as much as possible within common sense is put out into the public domain.”

Sir John Butterfill, Tory MP for Bournemouth West, said: “The Conservatives made a disclosure voluntarily last year.

“We gave pretty well all the information.

“As far as I am concerned everybody can see my expenses. I have nothing to hide.”

Sir John said he would likely abstain from the vote as he was stepping down at the next election.

Annette Brooke, Liberal Democrat MP for Mid-Dorset and North Poole, said she was concerned that her London address and her bank statements would end up in the public domain.

“I want as much transparency as possible but I do think I want a little bit of protection for my safety,” she said.

“It seems to me they have to strike the right balance.”