Expenses-charge Margaret Moran sobs in court

Former Labour MP Margaret Moran sobbed in the dock when she appeared in court today charged with fiddling her expenses by around £80,000.

The 56-year-old, who represented Luton South, cut a frail figure at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court.

She could be heard crying in the dock before District Judge Daphne Wickham entered to preside over the short hearing.

Moran faces 15 charges of false accounting and six of using a false instrument.

It is alleged that she "flipped" her designated second home, making claims for properties in London, Luton and Southampton.

Prosecutors also claim that she submitted forged invoices.

Wearing a dark suit, Moran spoke only to confirm her name and date of birth.

She faces charges including an allegation that she dishonestly claimed £22,500 to repair dry rot at her Southampton home.

Moran is also accused of falsely claiming £14,805 for boiler repairs and work on her conservatory.

Prosecutor Louis Mably told the court that the charges involve a total in the region of £80,000.

The former MP, who stood down at the last election, will appear next at Southwark Crown Court on October 28.