Friday, 3 December 2010

Former Labour MP David Chaytor admits expenses fraud

Former Labour MP David Chaytor has pleaded guilty to fraud charges, becoming the first politician to be convicted over his expenses claims.
Chaytor, 61, who was MP for Bury North, admitted three charges of false accounting at the Old Bailey on Friday involving expenses claims totalling around £20,000.

He was granted unconditional bail and will be sentenced on January 17 after changing his plea ahead of a trial which was due to start Monday.
Chaytor stood down as an MP at the general election after stories about his expenses emerged in the press, apologising for what he called an "unforgivable error" in his accounting.

He had claimed £12,925 between 2005 and 2006 for rent on a flat in Regency Street, near Westminster, but it turned out he owned the property. He had produced a tenancy agreement falsely showing he was paying £1,175 a month in rent.

Between 2007 and 2008 he also falsely claimed £5,425 for renting a home in Bury -- again producing false documents -- when the property was actually owned by his mother.
A third charge related to falsely charging £1,950 for IT support services in May 2006 -- money which was not paid to him.

The charge said that he supplied two invoices for professional services from a man named as Paul France "when in fact the services had not been provided or charged for".
Three other former MPs and two members of the House of Lords are due to face separate trials over their expenses claims.

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