An MP accused of dishonestly claiming more than £25,000 in expenses appeared in court today.
Eric Illsley, former Labour representative for Barnsley Central, faces three charges under section 17 of the Theft Act 1968 for alleged false accounting, relating to three years of expenses claimed on his second home in London.
He is the fifth politician to face criminal charges after the expenses scandal last year.
Illsley attended City of Westminster Magistrates' Court this afternoon for a first appearance.
It is alleged that Illsley dishonestly claimed expenses for council tax, service/maintenance, repairs/insurance, utilities and communications at his second home in Renfrew Road, Kennington, south London, between May 2005 and April 2008.
Illsley, 54, spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth, address, which he gave as Westmoor Crescent, Pogmoor, Barnsley, South Yorkshire and later give a not guilty plea indication.
Senior district judge Timothy Workman granted Illsley unconditional bail and committed his case to Southwark Crown Court for a plea and case management hearing on July 22.
He has since been suspended from the Labour Party and now sits as an independent after being re-elected in May.
Earlier this month, a judge ruled that three other former Labour MPs and a Tory peer would have to stand trial in a criminal court over accusations that they fiddled their expenses.
Mr Justice Saunders said the four men were not protected from prosecution by parliamentary privilege and as such could be tried in the criminal courts.
Former Labour MPs David Chaytor, Elliot Morley, and Jim Devine, and Tory peer Lord Hanningfield, also known as Paul White, are accused of theft by false accounting.Reuse content