It began as a simple story of some unscrupulous Honourable Members of Parliament flaunting rules to partake what they werent legally or at least morally entitled to but the Westminster MP Expenses Scandal story is now headed for a very big hit.
Today, with the Metropolitan Police Service delivering four main files of evidence relating to parliamentary expenses to the Crown Prosecution Service, it looks pretty certain like it wont be long since we see a conviction.
Now we know, that a team of detectives has been assessing and investigating cases for five months since the Telegraph’s Expenses Files investigation disclosed widespread abuse of parliamentary allowances and up to four MPs and peers could face jail terms of up to 10 years.
The four have not been named by Scotland Yard. Kier Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions, is expected to decide whether to prosecute the politicians within a month.
There are souls out there who will be extremely worried. From the Commons to the Lords and back to Lords, this is a mess that has shaken British politics and made the taxpayer more angry. Many struggling taxpayers in the country want the full force of the law to come crashing upon these chappies-who despite being the architects of some of the rules-have maliciously bent them so often, usually to satisfy their egos and blatant thuggery.
From phantom mortgages, duck houses, virtual and existing second homes to useless stationery, judgement day promises to be one that our honourable members of parliament will remember accused or convicted.
Telegraph sources claim the most serious suspected frauds are considered to be those of Mr Morley and Mr Chaytor who both claimed thousands of pounds for “phantom” mortgages they had paid off.
Mr Morley, the former agriculture minister, claimed more than £16,000 for a mortgage that did not exist and also admitted claiming £20,000 for mortgage capital repayments in contravention of the rules. Mr Chaytor admitted an “unforgivable error” in “accounting procedures” when claiming almost £13,000 in interest for a mortgage that he had paid off.
Police have also investigated why the Bury North MP also claimed almost £5,000 in office allowances to pay his daughter, Sarah, under an assumed name.
While all these investigations raise doubts over the transparency of the whole expenses system, they cast a shadow over the trustworthiness of the same shamed MPs as to whether they ought to have been honourable members in the first place.
When you have peers in the House of Lords going for every penny that can be salvaged using the highest available means of swindling, there is little you can do as a taxpayer. That’s why everyone will be rejoicing at the news. For 2 years now, i have duly paid my taxes as a law abiding citizen and i deserve no right to see them swindled by a big bellied lady or gentleman who owns 10,000 more than i do and earns more than i hope to make in 3 years.
But who are the likely four? No one really knows and until the police files have been made public or names disclosed, we can only speculate.
Lord Hanningfield, the Conservative peer who is also leader of Essex County Council, claimed £100,000 over seven years for staying in London despite living 46 miles from the capital. He has been investigated over whether he was returning to his home in Essex while claiming “overnight allowances’’.
Lord Clarke, a former Labour Party chairman, admitted his “terrible error” in a newspaper interview after claiming up to £18,000 a year for overnight subsistence when he often stayed with friends in London or returned home to St Albans, Herts.
Baroness Uddin allegedly claimed £100,000 in allowances by registering as her main home a property in Maidstone, Kent, that was apparently barely occupied.
Any lessons to Africa? For another day!!!