News from Southwark Crown Court – Lord Taylor gets a year!

At the sentencing hearing this morning at Southwark Crown Court, Mr Justice Saunders said that Lord Taylor had lied to the Court and Jury, under oath.

He is quoted as saying: “The expenses scheme in the House of Lords was based on trust. Peers certified that their claims were accurate. They were not required to provide proof. It was considered that people who achieved a peerage could be relied on to be honest. Making false claims involved a breach of a high degree of trust. The expenses scandal has affected the standing not just of the House of Commons but also the House of Lords.”

Lord Taylor has been sentenced to a year, but will serve three months at most, before being released under the schemes currently operating.

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,

Breaking News! MacShane File Passed to Prosecutors?

Greedy Pig MacShane. Picture thanks to Guido

I can report to readers a breaking news story said to relate to Rotherham’s own greedy piggy of an MP, Denis MacShane.

After an investigation by the Metropolitan Police a file has been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service for their consideration.

This is the ninth file passed to the CPS. Of the other eight, six have resulted in prosecutions still going through the Courts system and two were not proceeded with.

This will now be considered by the special team, set up last year to consider political expenses cases, by Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer and Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson.

Former Labour MPs David Chaytor, Elliot Morley and Jim Devine have been charged with theft by false accounting. earlier this year. David Chaytor now faces jail after he pleaded guilty to stealing more than £20,000 at the Old Bailey last Friday. He will be sentenced in the new year.

Former Tory Essex County Council leader Lord Hanningfield, also known as Paul White, faces six charges of making dishonest claims for allowances. former Tory peer Lord Taylor, full name John David Beckett Taylor, is to face six charges of false accounting.

Eric Illsley, the sitting former Labour MP for Barnsley Central, now sitting as an Independent (as is MacShane), is currently suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party and is awaiting trial and is accused of dishonestly claiming more than £20,000.

In March, Labour peer Lady Uddin was told she will not face prosecution over expenses for a flat in Kent which was apparently not occupied for long periods.

Lord Clarke of Hampstead is the second person to be told they will face no further action.

The small number of cases still under investigation by police are believed to include former Labour MP Margaret Moran, former Labour MP Harry Cohen and Labour Independent MP Denis MacShane.

Who says Christmas only comes once a year! Celebrate!

See also:

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

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

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

Reading the Runes? or would that be Runiczny?

Democratic Outrage! Was there a ‘conspiracy of silence’ that concealed the full truth about ‘Dissembling’ Denis from the Voters of Rotherham?

Rotherham Hangs It’s Head in (Mac)Shame! Denis MacShane – Metropolitan Police Investigation! Suspended from Labour Party! More links of interest at end of this post.