MP Elliot Morley hits out over 'golden goodbye'

One of the MPs being prosecuted over his expenses today claimed the Commons is treating him unfairly by suspending his "golden goodbye" until criminal proceedings are over.

Former minister Elliot Morley said the decision, announced after he was charged with two counts of false accounting on Friday, went against "natural justice".



MPs leaving Parliament at an election are usually entitled to a resettlement grant worth up to a year's salary - just under £65,000 - depending on age and length of service.



But Commons Speaker John Bercow has directed that the payments due to the three MPs charged over their expenses are withheld until criminal proceedings are concluded.



In an interview with his local newspaper, the Scunthorpe Telegraph, Mr Morley said: "I think withholding the resettlement goes against natural justice.



"In effect it turns common law around, which judges me guilty until proven innocent. It is one of the many ways I have not been treated fairly.



"What happens in the legal outcome is a matter of conjecture and would be for the House to decide. I would point out I have repaid in full and do not owe any money in relation to expenses."



Mr Morley was charged under the Theft Act over allegations that he "dishonestly" claimed more than £30,000 in mortgage interest repayments on his second home in Winterton, Lincolnshire.



He was suspended from the Labour Party on Monday, along with David Chaytor and Jim Devine, who are also being prosecuted over their expenses.



They had previously been barred from standing again for Labour at the next general election.



The Tory whip has been withdrawn from Lord Hanningfield, also facing "false accounting" charges in respect of his expenses claims.



All four have been summonsed to appear at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on March 11.



Mr Bercow said on Friday that the three MPs, because of the police investigations into their expenses, were yet to have their claims internally audited by Sir Thomas Legg.



"In these and any other cases, the House itself may wish to consider the members' conduct, once the criminal proceedings are concluded," he wrote in a letter to accounting officer Malcolm Jack.



"In such cases, it is necessary to take sensible precautions to ensure that any restitution can effectively be made."



He said he had been supported by senior MPs on the cross-party Members' Estimate Committee in suspending the resettlement payments.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss