Oliver Wright

 

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The Independent Online

A former Conservative peer made "false, deceptive and misleading" claims so he could make more money in Parliamentary expenses, a court heard yesterday.

 



Lord Taylor of Warwick submitted forms saying his main home was in Oxford, so he could claim for travel expenses to London and accommodation in the capital. But he lived in Ealing – less than 10 miles from Parliament – and never stayed in Oxford. Opening the case against Lord Taylor at Southwark Crown Court, prosecutor Helen Law said he faced six allegations of false accounting between March 2006 and October 2007. She said the 58-year-old claimed for travelling expenses between Oxford and London, which he said was 59 miles, and night subsistence to pay for his upkeep in the capital.

But the only address he lived at during that period was in Ealing. The Oxford address was where his half-nephew lived with his partner and they had very little contact with Lord Taylor. "The only real issue in this case is Lord Taylor's state of mind when he submitted these forms," she said. "Did he know that they may be false, deceptive or misleading in a significant way? Was he acting dishonestly when he submitted them?" Mohammed Khamisa QC, defending, told the jury the peer had been "honest and upright" in his 14 years in the House of Lords.