Devine retribution – Sixteen Months!

Jim Devine - Convicted and exposed as a liar and expenses cheat

Jim Devine, Ex-Labour MP for Livingston, has today been sentenced to sixteen months at the Old Bailey!

Well done to Mr Justice Saunders for handing down this penalty, considering he put the courts to the trouble of trying him when so clearly guilty, was perhaps, a little on the lenient side. No discount for him, unlike Chaytor and Illsley evidently.

Devine has recently been declared bankrupt. Was successfully taken to an employment tribunal and ordered to pay the appellant £35,000, which he still has not paid. Additionally he is a proven liar and a not very good, forger of receipts. His reputation has been destroyed completely as a result of his exposure. Devine, a single man, also has something of a reputation as a sex pest!

Devine is the third parliamentarian to be jailed over the expenses scandal. Former Bury North MP David Chaytor, 61, was jailed for 18 months for falsely claiming nearly £22,000. Eric Illsley, 55, the ex-MP for Barnsley Central, was sent to prison for a year for dishonestly obtaining £14,500 in second home claims.

Former Tory peer Lord Taylor of Warwick, 58, awaits sentencing after being found guilty of falsely claiming more than £11,000.

Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) – Latest MP Expenses Published Today!

The, much loathed by MPs, Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) has today updated their Website to include latest details of parliamentarians claims.

Citizens throughout the country will be able to see what has been going on. No small wonder then that MPs are still angry, perhaps they have realised that the ‘Spanish practises’ of yesteryear are over!

What exactly is wrong with demonstrating that you have actually expended the money before getting reimbursement, especially in the light of recent cases involving, David Chaytor, Eric Illsley, Lord Taylor and the ongoing case of Jim Devine, demonstrates in spades, why the new system was needed. Have they forgotten already? We haven’t!

We also remain convinced that there is still ‘unfinished business’ yet to be exposed and dealt with! Dealing with it properly is the only way to restore trust in politicians, not more cover ups!

IPSA Home Page, IPSA Publications Page, IPSA Search Here for your MP.

For Rotherham readers, their MPs are: Rother Valley, Kevin Barron (Labour); Rotherham, Denis MacShane** (Independent); Wentworth & Dearne, John Healey (Labour).

Note ** Denis MacShane, Rotherham’s MP, now sitting as an Independent, was suspended from the Labour Party last October, when it was revealed that he had been referred to the Met Police for investigation for as yet undisclosed irregularities in his expenses claims. Previously it has been suggested that Laptop purchases and payments for translation services were said to be involved amongst other issues. News of progress of this little bit of ‘unfinished business’ is awaited shortly from the Metropolitan Police or Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). Denis is also a leading critic of IPSA, embarrassingly so at times! Start here for detailed previous coverage.

Labour MPs were selected and approved after Gordon Brown promised, that all Labour candidates had been thoroughly vetted, were honest and could be trusted in May. Only for Labour to be disown them soon afterwards when information, already known to the Labour Party, became public.

One rotten apple getting through may be considered unfortunate but two, both from South Yorkshire! We are left with the inevitable conclusion that Labour’s attempt at clearing out the rotten apples from amongst themselves did not work! At least not in the Yorkshire & Humberside Regional Labour Party! Red faces all round, from Director down I shouldn’t wonder! How can they have done such a poor job of weeding out those who should most certainly not have represented Labour in May 2010? Remember they already knew about Eric and Denis yet they still let them stand, Why? When their exposure was inevitable! It beggars belief!

We can also conclude, that there will be others yet to be exposed, in addition to Eric Illsley and Denis MacShane. We gather that those MPs with the most to fear, are those who habitually provided less than complete sets of receipts.

News from Southwark Crown Court – Devine Trial Starts! Updated Daily During Trial

Southwark Crown Court today saw the beginning of the trial of the former labour Member of Parliament for the Scottish seat of Livingston, Jim Devine.

He faces two charges relating to expenses claims made by him:

The first count alleges that, between July 2008 and April 2009, Mr Devine dishonestly claimed £3,240 for cleaning services using false invoices.

The second count alleges that, in March 2009, Mr Devine dishonestly claimed £5,505 for stationery using false invoices.

Devine’s defence? ‘The big boys told me it was OK!’ It didn’t work for Lord Taylor! Will it work for Devine? We shall see within the week!

Comment: What really astounds and dismays me is the sense of entitlement that this shameful parade of Parliamentary greed has exposed. Depressingly familiar is their cry ‘I have done nothing wrong, the rules allowed it’!

When Parliamentarians go as far as to create false invoices, forgeries to you and me, even they must realise they have crossed the line into dishonesty! How many more have engaged in this kind of dishonest subterfuge? Rik

Links to stories in the media you might not want to miss:

BBC News, Website: Story 2nd February, Story 3rd February, Story 4th February, Story 7th February, Story 8th February

Channel 4 News, Website: Interview with Krishnan Guru-Murthy

Daily Express, Website: Article 2nd February, Article 3rd February, Article 4th February

Daily Mail, Website: Article 3rd February

Evening Standard (London), Website: Article 2nd February, Article 7th February

Guardian, Website: Article 1 2nd Feb, Article 2nd Feb

Independent, Website: Article 2nd February, Article 1 3rd Feb, Article 2 3rd Feb, Article 3 3rd Feb, Article 4th Feb, Article 7th Feb, Article 8th Feb

Morning Star, Website:

Telegraph, Website: Article 2nd February, Article 3rd February, Article 4th February, Article 7th February,

News from the Courts 1 – Greedy Pig, Chaytor Pleads Guilty! Aitken Moment?

The Courts are a bit like buses, nothing for a while then several come along at once!

The surprise move by David Chaytor to suddenly change his plea to guilty has a historical precedent!

Jonathan Aitken was faced with the same dilemma when he realised that to proceed with his defence would put his daughter at risk of prosecution for a number of criminal offences.

David Chaytor has taken the same way out as Aitken and many others have done before him. The crimes of his daughter, ought not to be expunged by the  father avoiding cross-examination by pleading guilty at the last minute.

Investigations should be completed into his daughters role in this and she should be brought to justice too if she was up to no good!

What will happen next with the cases of Labour’s Greedy Pigs, Elliot Morley, Jim Devine, Eric Illsley and the Tory greedy pig, Lord Hanningfield has yet to be established as they are still wriggling and squealing! Or for that matter, the current police investigation into Denis MacShane and others or the ongoing parliamentary investigations yet to complete. Plenty more to come!

Labour's Greedy Pigs, David Chaytor, Elliot Morley and Jim Devine – Still Fighting Justice!

Previous Story:

Supreme Court Judgement – David Chaytor, Elliot Morley and Jim Devine. No Parliamentary Privilege! Crown Court Looms!

The Supreme Court Judgement has been made public and can be downloaded as a pdf Here.

Guido reports today that they are still as he puts it, Piggies Squealing, Still Trying to Avoid Justice.

They are apparently exercising some of the outer reaches of  the law and are now claiming that they cannot get a fair trial because of all the publicity!

Some hope! I am not a lawyer but I cannot see this avenue being ultimately profitable. Otherwise no notorious criminal could be tried because it would be unfair? Peter Sutcliffe comes to mind.

Interestingly, the QC’s were all instructed by Steel & Shamash Solicitors, the Labour Party official solicitors. Are the Labour Party still paying the bill? We should be told!

Supreme Court Judgement – David Chaytor, Elliot Morley and Jim Devine. No Parliamentary Privilege! Crown Court Looms!

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.

Piggies, thanks to Guido Fawkes.

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?

See also:

Disgraced Parliamentarians, Elliot Morley, David Chaytor, Jim Devine and Lord Hanningfield, to face Trial! – case not privileged! Appeal Court gives judgement.

Disgraced Parliamentarians, Elliot Morley, David Chaytor, Jim Devine and Lord Hanningfield, to face Trial! – case not privileged! Appeal Court gives judgement.

In a landmark ruling today, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, sitting together with Lord Neuberger and Sir Anthony May, have rejected their appeals against Mr Justice Saunders previous ruling at Southwark Crown Court in June, that the parliamentary expenses system was not covered by parliamentary privilege.

Elliot Morley, David Chaytor, Jim Devine and Lord Hanningfield argued at the Court of Appeal that Parliament should hear their case.

When handing down the Appeal Court’s judgement,  Lord Judge said:

“The stark reality is that the defendants are alleged to have taken advantage of the allowances scheme designed to enable them to perform their important public duties as Members of Parliament to commit crimes of dishonesty to which parliamentary immunity or privilege does not, has never, and, we believe, never would attach.”

Pretty conclusive from the Appeal Court Judges then, they are however likely to appeal this to the Supreme Court supported as they are by legal aid, they will not bear the cost, we will! Outrageous!

Elliot Morley, the former MP for Scunthorpe, David Chaytor, formerly MP for Bury North and ex-Livingston MP Jim Devine were barred from standing at the general election by the Labour Party after the allegations surfaced and Lord Hanningfield, has been suspended by the Tory Party.

All four face separate trials once this charade of an appeals process is over, perhaps they should be charged for deliberately wasting public money on further appeals?

All four deny charges of false accounting over their expenses which carry a maximum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment.

Rik