Tory Lord Hanningfield Expenses Scandal – Jailed for 9 months!

Disgraced and convicted Lord Hanningfield has been sentenced today for his expenses fraud at Maidstone Crown Court. 9 months for six counts of false accounting involving a total of nearly £14,000.

Amazingly this greedy Lord is going to lodge an appeal, it is rumoured.

He is the sixth parliamentarian to be convicted and sentenced to a prison term. He joins Lord Taylor of Warwick and former Labour MPs David Chaytor, Eric Illsley, Elliot Morley and Jim Devine!

Read previous posts click here.

Expenses Scandal – Two Tories in the news!

Tory Peer Lord Hanningfield, 70, is in the news today because of his pre-trial hearing at Southwark Crown Court. He has been charged under his real name of Paul White, with six counts of false accounting relating to claims made between March 2006 and May 2009.

Lord Hanningfield was formerly the Leader of Essex County Council having stood down and he is suspended from the Tory party and the Lords Whip. His trial is set for May.

Not unsurprisingly, another Tory, an MP this time and a Government whip no less, Bill Wiggin is in difficulties over at least one claim, the money finding it’s way to the local Tory party! He has been reported to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards over claims of around £5,000 paid to his constituency Tory Party. He says it was for one thing on the claim but his local Tory party apparently have a quite different understanding?

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.

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!

Rotherham Hangs It's Head in (Mac)Shame! Denis MacShane – Metropolitan Police Investigation! Suspended from Labour Party!

Another snout in the trough?

It has been revealed today, that Rotherham’s Labour MP, Denis MacShane is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police for his less than open and now it would appear, less than honest approach to his parliamentary claims.

The complaint of 7th July 2009 was indeed submitted by a BNP activist, who is being referred to as the ‘Sleaze buster’, one Michael Barnbrook. The responses to his original complaint can now be viewed here on the website of the BNP Reform Group. Despite the source of the complaint, we should all be grateful that this sorry saga is now to be thoroughly investigated. There are further issues, that go to the heart of our democratic procedures, that will be the subject of a later posting.

In the report of the 12th October Meeting, published 14th October, 2010 of the, Committee on Standards and Privileges reads:

‘the Committee agreed that the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards should report to the Metropolitan Police Service the conduct of the Rt hon Member for Rotherham, Mr Denis MacShane’.

This blog, Peter Thirlwall’s Parliamentary Website and Rotherham Independents has featured many of the questionable purchases made on Parliamentary expenses and has openly criticised him for this. Now we feel totally vindicated and Peter Thirlwall’s attempt to raise many of these issues during the General Election campaign now fully justified.

We warned the voters of the Rotherham Constituency and Denis Himself, that MacShane would be eventually forced to answer the many justifiable questions his constituents have asked him but have gone unanswered. Now it has come to pass!  We are willing to present our evidence of MacShane’s less than honest or justifiable expenses claims to the Metropolitan Police who we feel confident will be asking Denis many questions and they will. no doubt, get the answers we were denied.

This slippery, oily, arrogant and self-aggrandising politician looks set to follow ‘Honest’ Eric Illsley, Barnsley’s own disgraced MP, into Court to pay the price for his wrongdoing, along with Elliot Morley, Jim Devine and David Chaytor as well as Tories Lord Hanningfield and Lord Taylor.

Now suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party and presumably the Labour Party, it is further evidence that Labour did a very poor job at vetting it’s candidates prior to the General Election and gives the lie to Gordon Brown’s claims to have done so, yet again Labour has let us down so badly! How many more greedy MPs will will come out of the ‘woodwork’ into the light one wonders?

Denis MacShane claimed £125,000 in office costs for this! It's Rotherham! NOT Central London!

Attached to his house in Rotherham just off Moorgate Road this is his rather expensive Constituency office in Rotherham.

No services are provided to this ‘office’ so without using his house attached his staff could not possibly work there! This may be a good time for Kath Sims, his secretary who works in this ‘office’, to look for a new job, I would have thought?

His brother, Edmund Matyjaszek, is also embroiled in this expenses controversy as Denis made a number of payments to a rather shadowy organisation called the European Policy Institute for ‘research and translation’. Headmaster Edmund, may come to regret this grubby little arrangement with his brother.

Many questions are still being asked about the eight laptops he bought from his parliamentary expenses, where are they now? Where have they been? Who has been using them? All unanswered.

These issues and the many other questionable expenses arrangements he has made over the years look set to bite him on the backside, big style!

We may now have a clue as to why he is so upset with IPSA and the new arrangements, making it more difficult to conceal any ‘Spanish’ practises from the authorities, perhaps?

In some parts of the Rotherham Constituency Labour Party there are quiet celebrations at Denis’s discomfiture and the sound of knives being sharpened ready for another attempt to rid themselves of  this odious and disagreeable man, who they didn’t want in the first place. Power to their elbows I say!

There is also a small group of very embarrassed supporters who are ruing the day they signed his nomination papers only a few months ago. They should be suitably chastened, because their actions now look foolish indeed! I hope they are proud of themselves for the shame they helped to bring to our Town.

Roll Call of Dishonour, MacShane’s signatories to his nomination:

Anna Chester, Keith Brisland, Barry Kaye, Ian Barron, Julie Currie, John Foden, Ian Jones, Kath Sims, Richard Crow, Sarah Crow, Mahroof Hussain, Zlakha Ahmed, Tracey Jones, Nellie McHale, Christine Burgess, Quereshi Parveen, Diana Swanson, Roger Swanson, Dave Pickering, Subodh Kapoor, Jahangir Akhtar, James Burgess, Simon Currie, Rekha Kapoor, Stephen Parkin, John Price, Tom Henley, Craig Mitchell, Alan Buckley and Ruth Hobson.

In the Press:

Banbury Guardian

Belfast Telegraph

Daily Mail

Daily Star

Daily Telegraph

epolitix

Financial Times

Guardian Story 1, Story2.

Hemsworth & South Elmsall Express

Herald Scotland

Independent

Ireland Online

London Evening Standard

Mirror

New Statesman

Rotherham Advertiser

Rotherham Star

Spectator

Sunderland Echo

USAToday

Yahoo News

Yorkshire Evening Post

Yorkshire Post

Broadcasters:

BreakingNews.ie

BBC

Sky

PressTV Iranian

Ulster TV

Blogs:

AVForums

Capital Bay

Don’t Get Fooled Again

Fulwood

Free Library

FT Westminster Blog

Guido Fawkes

LabourList

Millers Mad

Neil Clark

politics.co.uk

Surely Some Mistake

Whistleblower

Wikio

See also:

MPs who abused expenses staff should be named, former watchdog claims

Swearing MPs abuse expenses staff ‘monkeys’

House of Commons chiefs ‘failing to stop sex pest MPs’

Expenses chiefs urged to name MPs who called them ‘monkeys’

Denis MacShane working hard for Rotherham?

Denis’s Rant! – now the analysis, what was really on his mind?

What planet is MacShane on?

Disgraceful Denis, disgraces himself again! This time for being drunk and not fully in charge of his mouth!

Forgemasters £80M Loan Cancelled! Labour Cynicism Revealed!

Disgraceful Denis, disgraces himself again! This time for being drunk and not fully in charge of his mouth!

MacShane still doesn’t get it! Give us our money back!

Look! Who was missing! Yes it was MacShane, of course!

MacShane the Truth! Time for Change in Rotherham!

Peter Thirlwall, Independent for Rotherham. What motivates my campaign!

MacShane or is that MacShame, makes friends with Guido Fawkes Again!

Question Time for MacShane?

Peter’s Perspective – On MacShane

More Questions for MacShane?

MacShane has many questions to answer?

‘Two Homes’ MacShane must go! Part 2

‘Two Homes’ MacShane must go!

MP’s Expenses – What’s on the Web

MacShane PFIM No 2

MacShane PFIM No1

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

Now time for Tory expenses embarrassment!!

Lord Taylor of Warwick a Tory peer and practising barrister, has been charged with six counts of false accounting in relation to alleged dishonest claims he made for £11,000 in subsistence costs.

It has just been announced that he has resigned the Tory Whip.

He tried unsuccessfully to become an MP, Cheltenham in 1992, losing to a Liberal after a disgraceful campaign with significant racist undertones. Embarrassingly this was one of the then safest Tory seats which they lost with a black candidate. Afterwards working as a Government Adviser, Lord Taylor became the Tories’ first black member of the Lords in 1996.

£11,000 is a lot of money!  Did no one realise that he had ‘padded’ his claims? Was Cameron unaware of this before today? Why was the whip not withdrawn sooner? Why did the Tories wait for him to jump?

There will be more to follow this sixth parliamentarian to be charged, as the police carry out further investigations into members of both Houses of Parliament.

His five fellow accused are former Labour MPs – Eliot Morley, David Chaytor and Jim Devine – serving Labour MP – Eric Illsley and Conservative peer – Lord Hanningfield are already charged under the Theft Act.

Current score: Labour 4 – 2 Tories.

Zac Goldsmith, the Tory MP for Richmond Park, is in difficulties it would appear over his accounting in his expenses returns for the money used in his campaign. There are strict upper limits placed on election expenditure and are being alleged to have been exceeded in this case. £11,003 was the limit here, just 1/24 of the sums donated by him since 2007. Funny how the sum of £11,000 keeps cropping up!

Zac Goldsmith is ‘filthy rich’ so a challenge was always likely because for Zac, the upper spending limits were but mere small change! If proved, this will be another embarrassment for DC when he is riding so high in the polls.

He has donated £264,000 to Richmond Park, his local Conservative association since 2007, a record I believe, for a single candidate! Most of it generated by being a Non Dom tax evader for most of this time, no doubt! Until very recently that is.

Oh Dear! Business as usual!

Rik