Eric Illsley, latest court appearance.

Eric Illsley, Barnsley Central MP, formerly Labour now sitting as an Independent, stands accused of dishonestly claiming more than £25,000 in expenses appeared at Southwark Crown Court on 22nd July.

Mr Illsley is accused of dishonestly claiming expenses for council tax, service and maintenance, repairs and insurance, utilities and communications at his second home in Renfrew Road, Kennington, south London, between May 2005 and April 2008.

He was granted bail and ordered to appear for another hearing at the court on a date to be fixed.

Eric Illsley Appears in Court. Labours' dirty secrets, gradually being exposed!

Eric Illsley, for the first time, attended City of Westminster Magistrates Court in London yesterday.

He is charged with dishonestly claiming more than £25,000 in expenses.

The allegations he faces are that he dishonestly claimed expenses for council tax, service & maintenance, repairs & insurance, utilities & communications at his second home in South London, between May 2005 and April 2008. Sound at all familiar to readers, anyone?

Eric Illsley indicated that he will be contesting these charges and will be pleading not guilty.

The Labour Party acted with unusually commendable speed on this and has suspended him from the Party, but the question still remains, why did they let him stand in the first place? None of this was news to them after all! See previous story here.

Another rather sad and seedy episode for the Labour Party that will further undermine trust in ‘the Party of the People’. As will the many other cases yet to reach the attention of you and me, that will punctuate the future on a regular basis.

Labour really didn’t do as good a job of checking out it’s sitting MPs before letting them stand again as the Tories. Brown’s assertions, during the campaign, that all his candidates were, ‘whiter than white’ and had been thoroughly vetted, now has a distinctly hollow ring.

Illsley was granted unconditional bail and his case committed to Southwark Crown Court for a plea and case management hearing on July 22nd.


See previous story, Eric Illsley, Labour Member for Barnsley Central, now first to have ‘unfinished business’ exposed!

Eric Illsley, Labour Member for Barnsley Central, now first to have 'unfinished business' exposed!

Long before the campaigning for the 2010 General Election got under way there were persistent but credible rumours circulating that a South Yorkshire MP was having great difficulty explaining his expense claims.

Enormous pressure was brought to bear for him to stand down and not to contest his seat. A replacement was already said to have been lined up for the Labour NEC to impose upon the local Party. Alas this damage limitation exercise never got to be implemented due to the arrogance of the sitting MP concerned and the incompetence of the Wakefield based Regional Labour Party.

There is much ‘unfinished business’ of this nature still to become public about MPs past behaviour regarding their expenses arrangements. Previous postings have criticised both Kevin Barron and Denis MacShane in this respect and for their complete refusal to account for any of their past behaviour. This is in flagrant breach of their leaders own instruction to them to be transparent about their use of public money, before the election, not afterwards.

I was disappointed when Eric Illsley was unmasked as the MP in question, but not, unfortunately, surprised.

The special kind of arrogance and greed, that this grubby little episode will end up uncovering, is endemic in the political life of South Yorkshire. Dominated still by Labour, definitely not ‘New’, but an amalgam of those with a very traditional ‘Old’ Labour agenda but now devoid of any principle or concept of public service.

Labour Groups on the Councils of South Yorkshire now act as self perpetuating elites, with their own interests coming before that of their constituents or the ‘people’.