Such are their number it is getting difficult for Guido to keep track of all the politicians who are either under investigation, currently facing charges or are actually in the dock as defendants.
It is worth bearing in mind that 52% of MPs in the last parliament were found to be guilty of over-claiming – the vast majority of whom paid-up quietly in an admission of guilt.
Some of the worst cases have finally made it to the courts, former Labour MPs Jim Devine (reported to the police incidentally by the Sunlight Centre), Elliot Morley and David Chaytor are trying to avoid criminal trials and are currently in the Supreme Court arguing that they are above common criminals and should be tried by MPs. Don’t think so…
Sitting Labour MP Eric Isslley is facing charges. Labour MPs confirmed to be under police investigation include Denis MacShane and the former MP Margaret Moran.
Reported to the police we have Sadiq Khan, who has been reported on the exactly the same expense-fiddling grounds as Margaret Moran. Ironically he is a Shadow Justice Minister.
Tory Lord Hanningfield is facing trial but Lords Paul and Bhaita as well as Baroness Uddin have escaped prosecution by promising repayment.
LibDem MP David Laws is awaiting the report of the Committee on Standards and Privileges with regard to him having the taxpayer pay rent to his boyfriend. The Committee has ordered former Labour MP Shahid Malik to repay his claim for the cost of insuring his wife’s diamond ring. No, really.
Bill “Piggy” Wiggin was ordered to apologise and repay £4,009 of expenses for which he claimed but did not actually incur. Shamefully the Old Etonian has been allowed by David Cameron to keep his Whip’s job despite a pre-election promise live on TV to sack Wiggin if he was found to be “claiming money that he wasn’t entitled to”. Change we can believe in… not.
UPDATE : Forgot Tory Lord Taylor of Warwick is pleading not guilty to six charges of dodgy accounting. His bother is over claiming overnight expenses in relation to properties which he didn’t live in. He claimed to the Sunday Times he had lived at his mother’s home in the West Midlands. This turned out to be false as his mother’s house was sold in 2001 when she died. His former wife confirmed that he lived in London, and nowhere else, until their separation in 2003.
See also: Labour’s Dirty Dozen