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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor