Tag Archives: expenses

Conservative peer Lord Hanningfield convicted of expenses fraud

The courts have convicted Lord Hanningfield of expenses fraud, following his failed attempt earlier in the year with other accused MPs to claim that Parliamentary Privilege protected them from prosecution.

The Guardian reports:

Lord Hanningfield – tried at Chelmsford crown court under his name, Paul White, on Thursday – had denied six counts of false accounting relating to his parliamentary expenses.

The prosecution said he had claimed for overnight stays in London, between March 2006 and April 2009, when he had actually returned home to Essex.

White told the court he had seen it as a “living out of London allowance” rather

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Conservative Peer in court over parliamentary expenses

Lord Hanningfield, a Conservative Peer, will appear in court charged with falsely claiming accommodation expenses.

Hanningfield, along with Labour MPs Elliot Morley, David Chaytor and Jim Devine, had originally tried to avoid trial, claiming parliamentary privilege. Chaytor was jailed in January, while Devine is awaiting sentencing. Morley is also due to stand trial.

From the BBC:

Lord Hanningfield faces six charges of false accounting between March 2006 and May 2009.

They are said to relate to overnight allowances for staying in London when records allegedly showed he was driven to his home near Chelmsford, Essex.

Lord Hanningfield, who will appear at the Old

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Conservative donor to stand against shadow minister

Stuart Wheeler, the man who gave the Conservative Party £5 million, is forming his own political party and standing for Parliament.  Prominent anti-EU campaigner Wheeler, who was expelled by the Tories last year after making a donation to UKIP, will announce tomorrow that he has set up the Trust Party and will fight Bexhill MP Greg Barker at the General Election.

The Trust Party is aiming to stand just three candidates, one each in England, Scotland and Wales. It will have a manifesto based on cleaning up the ‘corrupt’ expenses system and proposes a new Parliamentary court, with the power to jail politicians. Other ‘highlights’ of the party’s policies …

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Ros Scott writes… Party President’s report to members, October ‘09

October was a month which began for me in India and ended in Cairo. I had been invited to India by the Indian High Commission along with a small delegation of Parliamentarians who are “Liberal Democrat Friends of India”. We were led by Lord John Alderdice through a week’s visit which was split between Delhi and Pune and included a number of meeting and visits to reflect India today, politically, socially and economically.

I was in Cairo for three days to attend the Congress of Liberal International, which is held every 18 months. The Lib Dem delegation is led by the Party President, but all the work is done by the Chair of the International Relations Committee, who is Robert Woodthorpe Brown. It’s a pretty humbling experience to hear from campaigners who risk their life and liberty for working to make democratic change in oppressive regimes, and certainly puts domestic politics into perspective.

In between the two, Parliament resumed after the summer recess, and I’ve been busy in the Lords with voting, select committee work and a few speeches. The expenses issue continues to rumble.

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+++ Parliamentary authorities clear Lord Rennard of breaking expense rules

This just in from the Clerk of the Parliaments, the official who has been investigating a complaint against the Liberal Democrat peer and former Chief Executive Lord Rennard.

The ruling rejects allegations that Chris Rennard claimed overnight subsistence for days that he was not present and also rejects allegations that he made claims related to having a home outside London that he wasn’t entitled to make:

In these circumstances and after due consideration, I have decided not to uphold complaint: I have concluded that Lord Rennard’s claims for expenses were in accordance with the rules and guidance on Members’ expenses applicable

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Sunday Times: “Liberal Democrat Baroness Barker silent on location of home”

Here’s the story:

A FRONTBENCH Liberal Democrat peer is refusing to reveal the location of her main home, which she used to claim more than £70,000 in expenses from the House of Lords. Baroness Barker, 48, a spokeswoman on health, has lived in London for the past 20 years but four years ago began claiming allowances for peers living outside the capital.

While continuing to live and work in London, Barker claimed up to £19,000 a year by saying her main address was in the “southeast”. When approached by The Sunday Times, she volunteered the home was in Sussex but would

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Ian Clement charged with fraud

Ian Clement, one of Boris Johnson’s former Deputy Mayors, has been charged with five counts of fraud “in connection with alleged misuse of expenses.”

Clement was forced to resign in June over allegations that he used his City Hall corporate credit card to pay for private meals and groceries.

Adam Bienkov at Tory Troll has the full story, including the statement issued by the Metropolitan Police, and a statement from Clement’s lawyer in the Bexley Times who accuses the Crown Prosecution Service of “political expediency” for deciding to prosecute. 

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Anne Main survives deselection attempt

St Albans Conservative Association voted last night to keep Anne Main MP as its candidate – despite criticism of her Commons expense claims.

From the BBC:

St Albans MP Anne Main allowed her daughter to live rent-free in a taxpayer-funded flat, which she said was cleared by Commons authorities.

Her constituency party has voted to keep her as its candidate for the marginal seat and she was “delighted”.

Claims against Ms Main, an MP since 2005, are still being investigated by the parliamentary sleaze watchdog.

The Telegraph reported back in May that Anne Main claimed mortgage interest of £1095.68 a month on …

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Ian Clement claimed for “expenses paid” trips

Ian Clement, former leader of Bexley Council, has been ordered to repay more than £2000 which he claimed in expenses for trips which had already been paid for.

From the Local Government Chronicle:

Bexley LBC had paid for Ian Clement’s accommodation at a BT conference in the United States, which brought together politicians, academics and businessmen.

More than half of the £2,087.85 the council has asked to be paid back was spent on this trip.

Mr Clement, who was council leader between May 2006 and May 2008, claimed £1,270.50 in overnight subsistence allowances for the trip.

Mr Clement has previously paid back £1,220 he

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Oakeshott to challenge Tory peer’s home expense claims

From the BBC:

The Lib Dems’ Treasury spokesman Lord Oakeshott said he would be asking Lords authorities what address Lord Taylor claimed for between 2001 and 2007.

Lord Taylor told the newspaper he regarded the property in the West Midlands as his main home.

The Sunday Times alleged Lord Taylor claimed more than £70,000 in overnight allowances between 2001 and 2007 on the basis that his mother’s home in the West Midlands was his main home.

The paper claimed the house was in fact sold in 2001 after his mother’s death – but Lord Taylor said he regarded it as

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Brian Coleman was wined and dined before awarding contract

Such hospitality – it’s astounding!

Not only did Asset Co treat Brian Coleman (London Assembly Member and Chair of the London Fire Authority) to three dinners and a Harvey Nicks hamper before the LFA awarded it a £12 million contract – but also Mayor Boris Johnson continues to give him house room at City Hall.

After his huge taxi bills and refusal to publish his expenses at the same time as the other Assembly Members, Coleman has outstayed London’s welcome – but when will Boris do something about it?

Adam Bienkov at Tory Troll has the story:

The London Fire Authority have awarded

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Brian Coleman in “mad, bad and sad” expenses smokescreen

London Assembly Member Brian Coleman is refusing to publish details of his expenses, despite the Mayor, his advisors and the other 24 members of the Assembly agreeing to do so voluntarily.

Apparently a graduate of the Anthony Steen Charm School for Politicians, Coleman has blamed bloggers for being interested in how taxpayers’ money is spent:

“I won’t do it voluntarily. It’s none of the public’s business. They have coped well without knowing this kind of detail for more than 75 years. They are not entitled to drool over our personal lives. I’m not going to help the mad, bad and the

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Bexley Conservatives throw out Ian Clement

Ian Clement may have resigned last week as Boris Johnson’s deputy mayor, but his troubles are far from over.

From the Bexleyheath and Crayford Conservatives’ website:

At a meeting held on 25th June of the Bexleyheath and Crayford Conservative Association Executive Council, a unanimous decision was taken to immediately suspend the Association Membership of Ian Clement in light of recent reports in the press about his conduct.

The process of formally terminating his membership has begun. By the terms of our constitution, this will require a special meeting of the Executive Council, whereby fourteen days notice must be given to Mr Clement.

Last …

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Ian Clement quits as deputy mayor of London

Ian Clement, the deputy mayor of London, resigned today following the misuse of his corporate credit card.

Ian Clement is the third of Boris Johnson’s deputy mayors to resign or be pushed since Johnson came to office in May 2008.

From the Guardian:

The mayor’s office announced that Clement, the deputy mayor for government and external relations, resigned earlier today following the discovery of further “discrepancies” less than a week after published receipts detailed how Clement had used the card for personal items over a matter of months.

The exact nature of the “discrepancies” have not been made public. But it emerged separately

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Papering over the crack of the elephant in the room

Yesterday was a sad day for the Lib Dems. First, because we lost as chief executive a proven successful campaigner, Lord (Chris) Rennard, who helped save the post-merger Lib Dems from near extinction. And, secondly, because the way in which he was forced to announce his resignation resolved nothing, and was entirely lacking in dignity.

It has been clear to everyone since the News of the World alleged that Chris had claimed £41k in Lords’ allowances after designating his Eastbourne flat as his main residence (rather than his London house) that Chris and the party would need to make a …

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Opinion: Ed Fordham’s Career Choice

Last night my Dad rang me all concerned about my career choices. I stood in the general election of 2005 and am planning to be the Liberal Democrat candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn at the next election – whenever it comes.

My Dad’s concern was pretty simple: why would I want to join a club of such scoundrels, hasn’t the career of politician been devalued and he was concerned that people get caught up in the maelstrom of the noise and the club-atmosphere and accept as the norm what in fact is wrong.

I believe politics is a calling …

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Labour peer claims £100,000 for unoccupied flat

Labour peer Baroness Uddin has named a flat in Maidstone, Kent as her main residence and claimed around £100,000 in Parliamentary expenses for it. This is despite the flat being empty and Baroness Uddin living in Wapping, East London – just four miles from the House of Lords.

From the Sunday Times:

Residents from the five other flats in the same block as Uddin’s property all say they have never seen her there. They could see through the windows that the bedrooms were unfurnished.

Yvonne Adams, who has lived next to the flat for three years, said: “I can’t emphasise

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Nick Clegg spells out his dedication to reforming expenses system

In an interview now available through the BBC, Nick Clegg spelled out to Newsnight his dedication to reforming MPs’ expenses. He quite rightly notes the chaos over reform just looks like “rats fighting in a sack” to a public wanting transparency and clarity.

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Will Lib Dem MPs be shamed in July’s receipts apocalypse?

The Daily Mail is speculating that at least one senior Lib Dem MP will be caught up in the expected criticism of MPs’ expense claims, when receipts are published in July. The newspaper reports here that Nick Clegg has been asked for an assurance by a front-bencher that there will be no sackings for Lib Dems embarrassed by their published expenses; an assurance Nick apparently refused to give.

Whether there is any truth to this gossip remains to be seen. Earlier today, Political Betting’s Mike Smithson suggested that the Lib Dems could be winners, particularly in London, given …

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MEP charged with fraud

Tom Wise, independent MEP for East Anglia has been charged with false accounting and money laundering. Mr Wise was originally elected to the European Parliament for UKIP in 2004.

His researcher, Lindsay Jenkins has also been charged.

From Cambridge News Online:

Derek Frame, reviewing lawyer, CPS Special Crime Division, said: “Following the publication of a news article in October 2005 relating to Mr Wise and Ms Jenkins, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) began an investigation into Mr Wises’ use of allowances. OLAF subsequently passed the investigation to Bedfordshire Police Economic Crime Unit for investigation.”

He said the charges related to offences alleged

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