MPs to be jailed over expenses
Posted by Jamie at 9 40 PM on Saturday, October 31
FOUR MPs could be jailed over the expenses scandal.
Elfyn Llwyd - a member of the House of Commons standards watchdog - warned “at least three or four” could end up behind bars for criminal claims.
The Plaid Cymru MP and former lawyer refused to name the MPs. But he said prosecutions were inevitable.
He said: “According to the information I am aware of there will be at least three or four prosecutions and they will end up in jail.
“I don’t want to prejudice the inquiry by naming them. But the over-riding principle is that MPs are not above the law. The same rules that apply to everyone else apply to MPs.
“If people from other walks of life had been caught doing what these MPs have been caught doing they would go to jail. And these MPs will too.”
MPs found guilty of handing in “misleading or false” claims will be punished with unlimited fines and up to a year in jail.
Former Labour Minister Elliot Morley is the most likely to face prosecution.
He claimed around £800 a month mortgage interest for more than 18 months after the loan was repaid, totalling £16,000.
Labour MP David Chaytor is also sweating after admitting he claimed £13,000 for a mortgage he had paid off.
Labour last night tried to turn the attention on the Tories claiming they had failed to deliver on David Cameron’s promise to come clean over expenses.
The Tory leader pledged all his MPs would have to publish their expenses online. But Labour figures show 14 Tory frontbenchers and 85 backbenchers have failed to do so.
The Tories rubbished the attack. A spokesman said: “Some of our MPs have stopped claiming expenses. Others will put them online when they have got six months’ worth of claims. Everyone is signed up to this.
“It is a bit much for Labour to criticise us when they are not publishing their expenses.”
Labour MP Martyn Jones vowed to take the Commons to court if his £64,000 “golden goodbye” is slashed.
The Clwyd South MP faces losing £54,000 of his resettlement grant under the expenses crackdown.
The money is paid to MPs when they quit at an election.
But the 62-year-old, who is standing down after 22 years as an MP - would only get £10,000 under the new rules.
He said he needed the cash because ex- MPs were now “basically unemployable”.
"The payouts we get are quite fair considering the strange nature of our job.
"I will be incandescent with rage if these changes are brought in before the next election. If it is after, then fine because everyone will know when they are standing for election.
"I made my decision to stand down long before this rubbish about expenses. I still have a mortgage to pay off. I'm 62 and the resettlement grant will go a long way towards that. I would take it to court.
"It is outrageous. People have made life decisions based on the system, it is wrong to change it retrospectively."
MPs are to be banned from claiming the cost of mortages on their expenses.
An inquiry by Sir Christopher Kelly will recommend that MPs should only be allowed to rent second homes in future.
It will also call for MPs to be barred from employing relatives.