Three MPs and peer charged over expenses
Three Labour MPs and a Conservative peer have been charged with offences of false accounting arising from their claims for parliamentary expenses, the Director of Public Prosecutions announced today.
The MPs involved are former minister and MP for Scunthorpe Elliott Morley, Bury North MP David Chaytor and Livingston's Jim Devine, while also charged is Conservative peer Lord Hanningfield, who is leader of Essex County Council.
Announcing the charges under the Theft Act, Keir Starmer said that one further case was still being investigated, while there was insufficient evidence to bring charges against Labour peer Lord Clarke of Hampstead.
Files on six parliamentarians accused of the worst excesses in the second homes expenses scandal were passed by police to the Crown Prosecution Service in November and December.
Today's announcements by the CPS follow yesterday's damning verdict on MPs' expenses by Sir Thomas Legg, who conducted an audit of all claims made in recent years and condemned the system as "deeply flawed". Hundreds of MPs were ordered to repay a total of £1.12 million.