Another Thieving Former Labour MP Faces Prison
Today former Labour Minister Denis MacShane pleaded guilty in court to fraudulently claiming almost £13,000 in Parliamentary expenses. The court had heard that the former Europe Minister had submitted 19 faked expenses claims from January 2005 to January 2008 against a company he owned, with invoices signed by MacShane using a false name, or “nom de plume” as he prefers to call it. Sentencing will take place on 19 December.
This brings to a close a case which has been ongoing since 2009 when the Commons began investigating his claims. A damning report by the Commons Committee on Standards and Privileges 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. He then resigned his safe Labour seat of Rotherham a year ago forcing an expensive Parliamentary by-election.
MacShane’s admission of guilt brings to 6 the number of Labour MPs who have been found guilty of stealing money from the tax-payer:
Margaret Moran (Labour) – Luton South – £53,000 – Supervision Order (Prison was avoided due to her mental state)
Elliot Morley (Labour) – Glanford and Scunthorpe – £30,000 – 16 months in prison
Derek Chaytor (Labour) – Bury North – £18,000 – 18 months in prison
Eric Illsley (Labour) – Barnsley Central – £14,500 – 12 months in prison
Jim Devine (Labour) – Livingston – £9,000 – 16 months in prison
On 19 December we will learn what the Judge feels is a fair sentence for MacShane’s admitted fraud and theft. I suspect that a jail sentence will be awarded.