Tags: UK | politicians | expenses | crime

Four UK Politicians Face Charges on Expenses

Friday, 05 February 2010 10:12 AM

LONDOIN - Three Labour MPs and one Tory peer will face criminal charges over their expenses, Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer said.

MPs Elliot Morley, Jim Devine, David Chaytor and Lord Hanningfield will be charged under the Theft Act.

All four have said they denied any charges and would defend their positions robustly.

Revelations about MPs' expenses emerged in May last year with the police going on to investigate a handful of cases.

Mr Starmer said there was "insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction" in the case of Labour peer Lord Clarke but said a sixth case remains under police investigation.

All four Parliamentarians will face charges of false accounting under section 17 of the Theft Act 1968. Anyone convicted faces a maximum sentence of seven years' imprisonment.

The four men will not be arrested but will be sent a summons to turn up on 11 March at City of Westminster magistrates court, a short walk from the Houses of Parliament.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he was "very angry about what has happened" as he arrived in Exeter for a regional Cabinet meeting.

He said: "We took steps some months ago to remove the right of these people to stand as candidates for the Labour Party. These are very serious criminal allegations. All criminal allegations have got to be investigated. It's a matter now for the courts."

A Conservative Party spokesman said: "Lord Hanningfield has today resigned his position in the House of Lords as shadow business spokesman.

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