Businessman urges test case against four MPs

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Indy Politics

Four MPs caught up in the expenses scandal were today faced with the threat of private prosecutions if the police do not act against them.

Businessman Sir Paul Judge, who recently launched the Jury Team - an umbrella organisation for independent candidates - said he would take steps to mount a private prosecution if no charges had been brought by 19 June.

In a letter to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer, Sir Paul said he was lodging complaints against MPs David Chaytor - who announced today that he would be standing down at the General Election - Elliot Morley, Shahid Malik and Andrew MacKay.

Last month, the Met and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced that they were setting up a panel to examine the various complaints which had been made against MPs since the details of their expenses became public.

In his letter, Sir Paul, an Alderman of the City of London who is being advised by the City law firm Stephenson Harwood, said he believed charges should now be brought against the four MPs as a test case of the law on parliamentary expenses.

"I hereby request that you initiate a full and urgent investigation of at least these four MPs and that you inform me as to the outcome of your investigations," he said.

"I would also ask you to press charges against these four individuals as test cases of the law relating to MPs' expenses.

"In the event that you have not decided to bring charges by June 19, one month after you announced your review, then I plan to take steps to begin a private prosecution."