Eric Illsley to resign as MP before being sentenced

From the BBC:

Eric Illsley is quitting as an MP after pleading guilty on Tuesday to dishonestly claiming parliamentary expenses.

The MP for Barnsley Central had come under pressure to step down after admitting £14,000 of expenses fraud.

Labour leader Ed Miliband was among those to urge Illsley, who has yet to be sentenced, to quit.

Illsley has apologised to his constituents, saying he “deeply regretted” his actions.

Illsley’s office issued this statement from him:

I would like to apologise to my constituents, family and friends, following my court appearance, for the distress and embarrassment caused by my actions that I deeply, deeply regret.

I have begun to wind down my parliamentary office, following which I will resign from Parliament before my next court appearance.

I will be making no further comment.

Eric Illsley’s resignation will now trigger a by-election in the Barnsley Central constituency.

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This entry was posted in News and Parliamentary by-elections.


  • Dinti Batstone 12th Jan '11 - 3:08pm

    So as well the original fraud, the taxpayer now has to bear the expense of another by-election.

  • As someone who lives in the constituency next to Illsley’s, I know that many of his constituents are glad to be getting rid of such a dishonest man as their MP. Many people were shocked by this – they expected better from Labour (bizarrely).

    Having said that, the likelihood of anything but a Labour win in this constituency is very very unlikely.

  • He should resign now, not draw his salary, pension or expenses at the tax payer’s expense until he feels like it

    How did Labour let all this happen?

  • Alisdair McGregor 12th Jan '11 - 10:52pm

    Not wanting to be defeatist, but…

    Illsley’s seat is considered a “safe” seat for Labour, and although his share of the vote has been steadily dropping, it has generally been doing so in line with national averages. In addition, Illsley polled almost exactly the same support in 2010 as in 2005 – which suggests that even at the Nadir of Labour support there is too great a core vote for them to lose.

    Even under AV it would be hard for Labour to lose this seat. Under FPTP it’s nigh on impossible.

    The interesting part of this one will be to see how the Tory vs LibDem vote stacks up, given how close it was last time.

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