The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, has announced the rejection of David Chaytor’s appeal.
Announcing the decision, Lord Judge, sitting with Mr Justice Henriques and Mr Justice Foskett, said:
“This was a grave breach of trust and there was a further aggravating feature of this case. It is difficult to exaggerate the levels of public concern at the revelation of significant abuse of the expenses system by some Members of Parliament.
Some elected representatives, vested with the responsibility for making the laws which govern us all, betrayed the public trust, There was incredulous consequent public shock. The result was serious damage to the reputation of Parliament, with correspondingly reduced confidence in our priceless democratic system and the processes by which it is implemented and we are governed. This element of damage caused by the appellant and others cannot be valued in monetary terms, but it is nonetheless real, and the impact of what has been done will not dissipate rapidly.
This sad fall from grace was entirely self-inflicted, difficult to exaggerate the levels of public concern at the revelation of significant abuse of the expenses system by some Members of Parliament.
As a Member of Parliament, the appellant was entitled, within prescribed rules, to claim for expenses incurred by him in the course of fulfilling the responsibilities of his office.
The rules are set out in a document known as the Green Book, published by the House of Commons Department of Resources, which was also responsible for the administration of the expenses claims system.
Until what became known as the “expenses scandal”, it was an essential feature of the operation of the scheme that Members of Parliament were invariably treated as honest, trustworthy people and the unwritten assumption was that only claims for expenses genuinely incurred in accordance with the rules would be made.”
He went on to say, “Chaytor had been guilty of serious dishonesty”.
The judge also said: “He has publicly admitted his dishonesty and his humiliation is complete.”