Ex-MPs face criminal trials over expenses
Thursday 11 November 2010
Three former MPs have been told they must stand trial in a criminal court after failing in their final bid to be judged by their parliamentary peers.
David Chaytor, Elliot Morley and Jim Devine went to the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court, claiming they had parliamentary privilege, but their attempt was dismissed by a panel of nine justices.
They now face separate criminal
trials at London's Southwark Crown Court, the first one being due to start on 22 November. The former Labour MPs are accused of fiddling their expenses and face charges, which they deny, of theft by false accounting.
In October, Nigel Pleming, QC, representing Mr Chaytor and Mr Devine, argued before the Supreme Court that the MPs' expenses scheme was part of proceedings in the House, so the men should be protected by parliamentary privilege. "I also wish to emphasise that this is not, and never has been, an attempt to take them above or outside the law," he maintained. He said the House had "the power to punish, and to recover any monies wrongly claimed, and is well capable of investigating allegations made against its members".
He added: "The administration of the scheme is also entirely a matter for the House of Commons – this extends not only to its creation but to its regulation and enforcement. So far as we are aware these are the first criminal prosecutions of members of the House of Commons for over 300 years."
The former Bury North MP, Mr Chaytor, 61, the ex-Scunthorpe MP, Mr Morley, 58, and Mr Devine, 57, the former MP for Livingston, are all on unconditional bail.
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
Earthworms rain down from skies over Norway, puzzling scientists
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
General Election 2015: Polish prince challenges Nigel Farage to a duel over immigration question
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...
£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...