Friday, June 11, 2010

Expenses

Four parlimentarians who were caught with their hand in the cookie jar, have been asserting that their claims are subject to parliamentary privilege, and that they cannot stand trial. A judge in the High Court has just thrown that claim out, noting that there is 'no logical, practical, moral or legal justification' for expenses claims being covered by privilege'. Ouch.

They have permission to appeal, and will be doing so. Court of Appeal will take a while, but I'll keep my eyes open.

The charges are interesting -- false invoices feature in some! The 'a bigger boy made me do it' defence, as given short shrift by headmasters everywhere, is one thing, but just forging documents is quite another. Hopefully the sentencing will match this disgraceful behaviour.

Planning, erosion of public confidence, abuse of trust, sophisticated offence, high value, long duration...lots of aggravating features racking up against the Right Honourable Gentlemen and the Noble Gentleman. I'll add suitably mocking quotation marks around 'honourable' and 'noble' if they get convicted.

Extraordinary behaviour.

3 comments:

  1. Bow Street RunnerJune 14, 2010 at 1:50 AM

    This case should be expedited so that this whole sorry mess can be put to one side and we can get back to normality- oops the HoC is not a normal place though :-)

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  2. It seems to me that 'normality' is what went wrong in the first case. I suspect there is still a lot to be uncovered, and much that never will.

    The David Laws situation is a good example.IMHO all those implicated should be properly investigated and brought to justice. If we were talking about fraudulent benefit claimants instead of MPs I doubt there so much reluctance to act.

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  3. I said the whole time that this was an argument that would be thrown out very quickly. Seemed like basic A-level law to me, but there you are. Maybe the lawyers were just making a hopeless application for tactical reasons should the case reach the Court of Appeal some day.

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