Released after six weeks in jail, former MP Denis MacShane accuses CPS of chasing 'celebrity prosecutions'

 

Deputy Political Editor

The former MP Denis MacShane, who was jailed last year for fiddling his parliamentary expenses, compared his prosecution to that of the Coronation Street star William Roache today, following his release from prison.

He took a swipe at Keir Starmer, the former Director of Public Prosecutions, whom he accused of being keen to target celebrities.

Mr MacShane was freed from Brixton Prison after serving six weeks of a six-month sentence for expenses fraud.

Referring to the acquittal of Mr Roache on charges of rape and sexual assault, the former MP said it had been “quite a week” for “celebrity prosecution”.

He said: “Bill Roache yesterday, me today. It’s Keir Starmer’s little angels.”

He also suggested he had fallen foul of the law when other equally culpable politicians had escaped prosecution.

“I’m not talking about what happened or the other MPs who made so much money and haven’t been held to account,” he said. “That’s for another time, another day, but I’m obviously glad to be out.”

Mr MacShane, the former Labour MP for Rotherham added: “I really met some very good people inside prison. I wouldn’t say I’d recommend it to anybody, but certainly if you want to lose weight and get fit it’s the place.”

He disclosed he had written 350 pages of notes about his spell behind bars in Belmarsh and Brixton prisons.

He told the Mirror: “It’s been a fascinating six weeks. I was last in prison in Communist Poland.

“I’ve met very interesting people. I’ve met a lot of people who know the difference between right and wrong, between truth and mendacity and are really prepared to admit to mistakes they’ve made in the past.

“It’s very different from the House of Commons in that regard. I’ve been well treated by the prisoners, I’ve learnt a lot. It’s been a humbling, rewarding and enriching experience.

“I’ve lost weight, I’m fitter than I’ve been for the last 10 years and I’m glad now to get back and see my children, family and friends.”

Mr Macshane was jailed just before Christmas after pleading guilty to false accounting involving £12,900 by filing 19 fake receipts for “research and translation” services.

The former MP, who is 65, used the cash to fund trips to Europe, including one to judge a literary competition in Paris.

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