Lord Hanningfield

5 Feb 2010 11:25:56

Three MPs and one peer charged with false accounting under the Theft Act

Picture 7
The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, has just announced that charges are being brought against four politicians under section 17 of the Theft Act 1968 for false accounting.

They are:

  • Elliot Morley (Labour MP for Scunthorpe) - Two charges: for dishonestly claiming mortgage expenses of £14,428; and for dishonestly claiming £16,000 when there as no longer a mortgage on the property;
  • David Chaytor (Labour MP for Bury North) - Three charges: for dishonestly claiming £1,950 for IT services by using false invoices; for dishonestly claiming £12,925 purportedly for renting a property when he was owner of the property; and for for dishonestly claiming £5,425 purportedly for renting a property from his mother;
  • Jim Devine (Labour MP for Livingston) - Two charges: for dishonestly claiming £3,240 for cleaning services using false invoices; for dishonestly claiming £5,505 for staionery using false invoices;
  • Lord Hanningfield* (Conservative peer and Essex County Councillor) - Six charges: for dishonestly claiming expenses to which he knew he was not entitled, including for staying overnight in London when he had not done so.

Mr Starmer said that there was insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of a conviction of Lord Clarke of Hampstead and that a sixth case was still under investigation.

Read his full statement here.

* Noon update: Lord Hanningfield has resigned from the Conservative frontbench and had the party whip suspended. And by 4pm he had also resigned as Leader of Essex County Council.

Since legal proceedings are now underway against four individuals, comments are closed on this thread.

Jonathan Isaby

15 Dec 2008 16:48:40

How good are school meals?

Lord_hanningfieldLord Hanningfield, who leads Essex County Council and is a Shadow Transport minister, has had a written answer about school meals:

"To ask Her Majesty's Government how much is spent each day on school meals for pupils attending (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in Essex. [HL89]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): The department does not collect this information. However, the latest annual survey undertaken by the School Food Trust reports average costs across all authorities as follows:

Primary Secondary

2007-08—price per meal



Ingredient cost


Not available

Labour cost


Not available

The department is providing £240 million subsidy to local authorities between 2008 and 2011 towards the cost of producing school lunches."

This seems very good value. However, is the food good quality? What do ConservativeHome readers make of school meals?