Ex-minister gets 16 months for £30,000 expenses fiddle
Published 21/05/2011 | 05:00
ELLIOT Morley, the most senior politician to face trial over the expenses scandal in the UK was sentenced yesterday to 16 months in jail for fiddling more than £30,000 (€34,400).
The former Labour MP, who has been praised by environmentalist as one of the best 'green' ministers to serve in any British government, pleaded guilty to the largest fraud by any MP to come before the courts in the UK but drew a comparatively light sentence, partly because the crime was so unsophisticated.
He was entitled under Commons rules to reclaim the interest paid on the mortgage on his second home, near Scunthorpe. For three-and-a-half years he submitted claims for £800 (€915) a month, which, despite written requests from the Fees Office, were never backed by any documents.
Having paid off his mortgage, he carried on claiming, and the Fees Office carried on paying, until he had defrauded taxpayers of more than £30,000. (© Independent News Service)