The Supreme Court has today announced it’s ruling on the application by Former Bury North MP David Chaytor, 61, of Todmorden, West Yorkshire, ex-Scunthorpe MP Elliot Morley, 58, of Winterton, North Lincolnshire and Jim Devine, 57, of Bathgate, West Lothian, formerly MP for Livingston, That the expenses system was part of the proceedings of parliament and therefore covered by parliamentary privilege.
The Court has ruled that parliamentary privilege does not apply in these cases and have removed the last legal obstacle to their Crown Court trials.
The three are on unconditional bail and due to face separate trials to take place at Southwark Crown Court. Chaytor, Devine and Morley deny these charges.
Elliot Morley’s trial is due to commence on November 22, 2010. At Southwark Crown Court.
Elliot Morley is accused of ‘falsely claiming a furnishing allowance’ after claiming more than £30,000 expenses for a mortgage he had already paid.
He claimed £16,000 at £800 a month in mortgage interest between March 2006 and November 2007.
A second charge alleges that between April 2004 and February 2006 Morley made a further false mortgage interest claim.
Again he is accused of claiming £800 a month, a total overpayment of £14,428.67.
David Chaytor’s, trial is due to commence on December 6, 2010. At Southwark Crown Court.
David Chaytor faces three counts of false accounting.
The first charge alleges that, in May 2006, he dishonestly claimed £1,950 for IT services by using false invoices.
The second charge alleges that, between September 2005 and September 2006, he dishonestly claimed £12,925, for renting a property in Regency Street, London, when he was in fact the owner of the property.
The third charge alleges that, between September 2007 and January 2008, the MP dishonestly claimed £5,425 for renting a property in Bury from his mother.
Jim Devine’s trial is due to commence on , 2 February 2011. At Southwark Crown Court.
Jim Devine is accused of falsely claiming expenses in March 2009 after submitting two misleading invoices for printing services worth £5,505.
Also charged with dishonestly claiming allowances for repair, insurance or security between July 2008 and May 2009 by submitting false invoices for services, cleaning and maintenance of £3,240.
I repeat the above statement, that all three involved deny the charges.
Guido Fawkes has reported that there have been reporting restrictions imposed without the public having been aware of them. We only know now, because they have been lifted. This lifting of reporting restrictions was vigorously opposed by all three ex-parliamentarians, but they lost on this issue.
This raises questions as to whether there are similar reporting restrictions being used in the other cases of Labour’s unfinished dirty business. Eric Illsley, has started the judicial process and Denis MacShane has been referred to the police for investigation. There has been a dearth of information coming out into the public realm at the moment, I wonder why?