Labour MP Denis MacShane resigns over ‘deceitful’ expenses claims
LABOUR MP Denis MacShane has announced he is resigning from Parliament after the Westminster sleaze watchdog found he had wrongly claimed thousands of pounds in expenses.
The former Europe minister said he wanted to take “responsibility for my mistakes” after the Standards and Privileges Committee recommended he be suspended without pay and pension for a year - the longest suspension of an MP in living memory.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
The Standards and Privileges Committee detailed how he had knowingly submitted 19 false invoices over a four-year period that were “plainly intended to deceive” Parliament’s expenses authority.
The committee, which adjudicates on sleaze allegations against MPs, said it was the “gravest case” it had dealt with.
It was impossible to say how much Mr MacShane had claimed “outside the rules”, the committee said, but it “may have been in the order of £7,500”.
His punishment reflected that his actions had been “so far from what would be acceptable in any walk of life”.
In a report published today, it said: “He has expressed his regret, and repaid the money wrongly claimed.
“But this does not excuse his behaviour in knowingly submitting 19 false invoices over a period of four financial years which were plainly intended to deceive the Parliamentary expenses authorities.
“This is so far from what would be acceptable in any walk of life that we recommend that Mr MacShane be suspended from the service of the House for 12 months.
“This would mean he lost his salary and pension contributions for this period.”
Mr MacShane previously had the whip withdrawn by Labour when allegations from the British National Party that he abused his expenses were taken up for investigation by Scotland Yard in September 2010. He was reinstated in July when the Metropolitan Police said they were taking no further action.
Earlier, Labour suspended him from the party and said it would be talking to him about “the best course of action” for him and his Rotherham constituency, which faces having no MP for a year.
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