Police investigate Tory peer over £100,000 expenses
A Tory frontbench peer is being investigated by Scotland Yard after claiming £100,000 over seven years for overnight stops in London despite living less than 50 miles from the capital, it was reported last night.
According to the Daily Telegraph, detectives are investigating whether Lord Hanningfield travelled home to Essex while claiming "overnight allowances" for staying in London.
Lord Hanningfield is a Conservative transport spokesman in the Lords and leader of Essex County Council. He has a full-time chauffeur provided by the authority and lives in West Hanningfield, near Chelmsford. He is said to have claimed £99,970 in "overnight subsistence" over seven years, including £17,120 for the 12 months ending March 2008, the last year for which figures are available.
The rules on Lords expenses state that peers can claim £174 a night if their main home is outside London and their stay is "for the purpose of attending sittings of the House". They say: "Members who travel home each night or whose main residence is within Greater London cannot claim overnight subsistence." Peers are required to "clock in" at the Lords in order to receive their allowances.
Lord Hanningfield blamed a "vindictive campaign against me" and insisted he could justify all of his expenses claims. He told the Daily Telegraph: "I work extremely hard on the front bench and am satisfied that I can account for my expenses."
The police disclosed last month they were investigating the expenses claims of a "small number" of MPs and peers. Also under scrutiny are Baroness Uddin, a Labour peer, as well as two Labour MPs Elliot Morley and David Chaytor.
A Met spokesman last night refused to comment on whether Lord Hanningfield was among those under investigation. The disclosure of the police inquiry could put pressure on David Cameron, the Conservative leader, to suspend the peer until it is completed.
Lord Hanningfield reportedly claimed £25,000 from taxpayers for overnight accommodation and daily allowances in 2007-08. As well as the £99,970 in "overnight subsistence" over seven years, he also claimed £49,955 in "day subsistence", which covers meals and incidental travel.
Lord Hanningfield can also claim expenses as leader of the Essex Council. He claimed expenses of £59,110 in 2006-07, including £36,030 as leader, £5,319 for travel and £7,466 for fares and subsistence.
- 1 Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
- 2 McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
- 3 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 4 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 5 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
Putin accuses US of causing global instability
Eleven members of same family hospitalised after eating deadly pufferfish
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Phone-hacking: The Piers Morgan connection - Mirror admits some stories during Morgan's tenure may have been obtained by illegal means
Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
Poppy Appeal 2014: This is why I won't be wearing a red poppy this year
£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...