Saturday, 3 November 2012

MPs' Expenses: Denis MacShane Quits As MP

Denis MacShane declares he is stepping down as an MP after making false expenses claims running to thousands of pounds.

A former Labour minister has announced he is resigning as an MP after being suspended from the Commons for making false expenses claims.

It follows a damning report from the Commons expenses watchdog, which found Denis MacShane wrongly claimed thousands of pounds.

The report said he submitted 19 false invoices "plainly intended to deceive" Parliament's expenses authority - which said the case was the "gravest" it had dealt with.

The move came after the Labour Party declared the Rotherham MP's career to be "effectively over", and with Scotland Yard facing demands to reopen a criminal investigation.

Speaking of Mr MacShane's resignation, a senior Labour source said: "Denis has done the right thing."

A statement issued by former minister said: "I have been overwhelmed by messages of support for my work as an MP on a range of issues but I accept that my parliamentary career is over.

"I appreciate the committee's ruling that I made no personal gain and I regret my foolishness in the manner I chose to be reimbursed for work including working as the Prime Minister's personal envoy in Europe.

"I want to thank the people of Rotherham for allowing me to serve as their MP and the Labour Party for allowing me over the years to fight for the causes I believe in."

The committee's sanctions follow an investigation by Parliamentary Standards Commissioner John Lyon, who accused Mr MacShane of "extremely serious" rule-breaking.

It also emerged in today's report that the commissioner's findings had not been shared with the Metropolitan Police, which dropped its own lengthy inquiry into Mr MacShane without further action in July.

Conservative MP Philip Davies urged police to revisit the allegations against Mr MacShane armed with the detailed evidence in the commissioner's "astonishing" report.

In a letter to the Met, he wrote: "Now that the report has been published, and parliamentary privilege no longer applies, I would ask you to consider reopening the investigation into Mr MacShane."

Committee officials suggested that the evidence from Mr MacShane would not be legally admissible - even though it has not now been made public.

The committee said it was impossible to say how much Mr MacShane claimed "outside the rules" but estimated it "may have been in the order of £7,500".

Sky News

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