Richard Willis's Blog

First for local news and first for comment

Senior Labour MP Denis MacShane Resigns Over Expenses Fraud

Denis MacShane

Today the story that had been rumbling for some time came to a very dramatic conclusion. Senior Labour MP and former Europe Minister Denis MacShane was found by the Commons Committee on Standards and Privileges to have submitted 19 fraudulent invoices, signed by a fake name, to claim £13,000 from the public purse. In their damning conclusion the committee found that MacShane “plainly intended to deceive” the Parliamentary expenses system. They also criticised his attempts to cover up the matter by failing to cooperate fully with the committee’s investigation. The cross-Party committee found that it was the “gravest case” to come before them and its Labour Chairman joined the criticism of MacShane’s actions. The committee’s recommendation was a 12 month suspension from Parliament which was overtaken by events this evening when MacShane resigned his Rotherham seat, forcing a by-election in what has long been a safe Labour seat.

The rank hypocrisy on the part of MacShane’s defenders today has been breathtaking. According to his defenders the real crime is that the BNP lodged a complaint against him, conveniently ignoring the damning conclusions of the Parliamentary Standards watchdog. The BNP may be odious but they did not deliberately fake invoices and submit the expenses claims to defraud the tax-payers of this nation. I was disgusted to listen to someone called Mark Stevens on the BBC’s ‘World at One’ today arguing that this was all a campaign against MacShane because of his “anti-fascist” campaigns. MacShane even has stooped to make similar arguments in his resignation statement.

The situation is simple, ANOTHER senior Labour MP has been caught with their hand in the till claiming money they were not entitled to, defrauding the Parliamentary expenses system and the British people in the process! When I consider the flak that many Conservative MP received over expenses claims which were submitted but rejected by the system, the calls for sympathy for MacShane’s situation really sticks in my throat.

The story may not end there however, tonight MacShane has been reported to the Metropolitan Police with a call for them to reopen their previous investigation in light of the Standards Committee’s findings. If past precedent is followed then MacShane faces a stretch at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

Advertisements

November 2, 2012 - Posted by | National

5 Comments »

  1. Glad to see the back of him! He was never one of my favourite MPs I have to say and I have no time for Expenses fiddlers be they Labour, Tory, Lib-Dem or any other party

    However there is another scandal in the wind, the alleged involvement of a senior Conservative figure in the child abuse scandals in North Wales about which the person claiming to be the victim is seeking a meeting with David Cameron. This was covered by Newsnight on the evening of Friday 2nd Nov, but no doubt for Legal reasons names have not as yet been named.

    Their Political Party does NOT matter, if there are such allegations against MPs present or past, be they for Expenses Fiddling of Kiddie Fiddling then there must be investigated without fear or favour and if the evidence will stand up the matter placed in the hands of the Police/CPS for prosecution..

    Our system of Representative Democracy is falling out of favour with many voters both as a result of the three main parties all clustering in the soft centre and people say – with some justification “What’s the use of voting, they are all the same” and also owing to the scandals such as those mentioned above. This is bad for Democracy and can play into the hands of extremists be they Communist Left or Fascist Right and history tells us how that ends up.

    Comment by Steve Foley | November 3, 2012 | Reply

  2. “past precedent”………Hmm , thats interesting given that many of those who were bang at it got away without being charged. However I suspect that this one will end up in prison and rightly so!

    Comment by Howard Thomas | November 10, 2012 | Reply

    • I always make the comparison of MPs of ANY party who “abuse” the Expenses System with people on State Benefits such as JSA or DLA who are caught fiddling those by claiming when not entitled. We have all seen the TV Ads with the woman shown hairdressing someone in their own home, or the man painting someone’s hallway but who are on JSA or whatever. They if caught and convicted are punished. It is therefore meet, just, right and availing unto respect for the Law that those MPs who make the Laws relating, amongst other things, to Benefits and the rules regarding the claim of same should also be punished, and severely, for any proven fraudulent claim they may make on their Expenses, after either being found Guilty after due Trial in a Court of Law or if they freely admit to having made such claims.

      Comment by Steve Foley | November 11, 2012 | Reply

      • Absolutely! Any elected politician who rips off the people who elected him/her deserves severe punishment and the loss of their position. However, this should be after a proper process of investigation and assessment. Many accusations in the expenses furore were claims which were never accepted or paid out. It is important to remember that the system used to be quite vague as to what could be claimed and MPs were sometimes encouraged to claim so that the principle could be examined and a precedent established.

        Now the system is much clearer and more transparent. The fact remains that ONLY Labour MPs have been taken to court, found guilty and sentenced to prison. Margaret Moran (ex-Luton South) would be headed the same way if she had not sought to avoid justice by claiming illness.

        Comment by Richard Willis | November 11, 2012

      • Yes no Tory MPs or former MPs prosecuted but let us not forget Lords Taylor and Hanningfield.

        Nice to see you this morning in Uniform at Brock Barracks at the Remembrance Service.

        Comment by Steve Foley | November 11, 2012


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: