Friday, November 2, 2012

Labour ex-minister Denis MacShane to be suspended from the Commons for a year after claiming expenses on 19 fake invoices, unforgivable major breach of trust

Dear All

I was going to start back on Monday, but this story caught my eye.

Trust in politicians is falling; it seems that people can’t trust them to do the right thing anymore like telling the truth. 

Former Europe Minister Denis MacShane is to be suspended from the Commons for a year for submitting 19 false invoices to claim parliamentary expenses.


In cases like this, although he is suspended for a year, it rather lends weight for a system to be introduced to recall MPs and force a by-election.

The Committee on Standards and Privileges said today said it was the 'gravest case' it had come across which had not gone to court which begs the question, why not?

You would think, and expect as a minimum that MacShane as a former government minister would fully co-operating with the parliamentary inquiry by the Committee on Standards and Privileges.

Not a bit of it, contempt was the order of the day.

The committee said:

“This is so far from what would be acceptable in any walk of life that we recommend that Mr MacShane be suspended from the service of the House for twelve months.”

The committee dealt out a recommendation of a 12-month suspension punishment after finding Mr MacShane submitted 19 false invoices worth £12,900 which they said was ‘plainly intended to deceive’ Parliament's expenses authority.

In response Macshane said he was 'shocked and saddened' and was now considering his position.

Presumably that means what to do between the hours of 9 to 5.

As is their way, the Labour party said his ‘career as a Labour MP is effectively over’, Labour is quick, post event to act. It kind of gives the impression that they are dealing with rogue MPs when they sat on the fence.

Part of his ‘scam’, MacShane submitted false invoices to claim public money which he used to travel around Europe. They said that this only 'indirectly' benefited his work as an MP.

European travel does broaden the mind.

The Committee said:

“The bills were signed with a “nom de plume” purporting to come from a General Manager who did not in fact exist.”

Between 27 January 2005 and 11 January 2008 Mr MacShane submitted 19 invoices from a body called the European Policy Institute (EPI) for work including 'research and translation work as agreed' and 'research and translation consultancy'.

Who are these people, it appears pals of Macshane from his younger days!

In investigating the EPI, the committee found there was 'no formal structure', names given on letterheads for General Manager, an Acting Director and four associate Directors were old friends from the early 1990s.

It had no office and no salaried staff.

The bank account was controlled by Mr MacShane himself.

It is ironic that some people in politics who have benefited so much get swept away by such out and out greed.

In today’s modern political era, the term Rt Hon and Hon member rings very hollow indeed.

MacShane has fallen so far below what is acceptable that his position is untenable, and all the public money should be recovered.

In a statement, Mr MacShane said:

"I am shocked and saddened that the BNP has won its three-year campaign to destroy my political career as a Labour MP despite a full police investigation which decided not to proceed after investigations and interviews”.

Regardless who reported him; we shouldn’t lose sight of the evidence and comments of the Committee on Standards and Privileges.

“The bills were signed with a “nom de plume” purporting to come from a General Manager who did not in fact exist.”

That is the pertinent point.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

another example of MPs not giving a toss about thieving they think they are above the law pfison is where he should be fucking rat