By Jonathan Isaby
The BBC is reporting that Lord Taylor of Warwick, formerly a Conservative peer, has been found guilty of making false parliamentary expense claims to the value of £11,277.
He was convicted at Southwark Crown Court by a jury on an 11-1 majority verdict.
More to follow as further details emerge.
The Press Association reports:
The 58-year-old told the House of Lords members' expenses office that his main residence was in Oxford, when he lived in west London. Taylor was the first parliamentarian to be tried and found guilty by a jury over the expenses scandal. Lord Taylor stood impassively in the dock as the guilty verdict on all six counts was delivered. The jury took just over five hours to reach the verdict. Lord Taylor, of Lynwood Road, Ealing, west London, was standing trial for making £11,277.80-worth of claims on various dates between March 2006 and October 2007. The first claim was for £1,555.70, the second for £2,042.80, the third was £1,600.70, the fourth £2,309.50, the fifth £2,421.80, and the final claim was for £1,347.30... Throughout the trial, Lord Taylor maintained he was following the advice given to him by fellow peers, that nominating a main residence outside of the capital was a way to earn money "in lieu of salary".
By Jonathan Isaby
In December last year, the Sunday Times accused Conservative peer Lord Taylor of Warwick of claiming tens of thousands of pounds in expenses to which he should not have been entitled.
The accusations surrounded alleged claims using his late mother's address as his main home six years after her death.
Today the Crown Prosecution Service has announced that Lord Taylor Taylor has been charged with six counts of false accounting under the Theft Act , relating to claims for more than £11,000 overnight subsistence and mileage.
The Telegraph has more details.
I now understand that he has resigned the Conservative whip in the Lords.
Since legal proceedings are now underway against him, comments are closed on this thread.
Lord Taylor of Warwick has received a written answer that got me thinking:
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The Government attach a high priority to the needs of service personnel and their families. For that reason we plan to spend in excess of £3 billion on improving and upgrading Armed Forces accommodation over the next decade. Included within this sum is over £600 million for upgrading and refurbishing family accommodation. We are having to make good decades of underinvestment and the process will inevitably take time."
Would readers care to shed some light on the true state of the living quarters in which we expect our service personnel to live? Are there marked differences between the Army, Royal Navy and RAF? Did the low quality of family housing lead anyone to expedite their departure from the Forces?
All input gratefully received!
Update: The Armed Forces Families Continuous Attitude Survey 2007-08 showed that 45% of Army officers' spouses and 69% of RAF officers' spouses said that they were dissatisfied with their living quarters. The other ranks weren't too happy either.
Thanks to CCHQ for the figures.
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