He says in his statement he is “winding down his office” and will stand down before his next court appearance – which is in a month. Based on past precedent he’ll get sentenced to more than a year in jail at his next court appearance and would therefore lose his membership of parliament anyway without resigning. Meantime he’ll claim more than £5,000 further off the taxpayers he has already been convicted of robbing…
The Speaker has decreed that because Eric Illsley’s case is still sub judice no move to expel him can be made until sentencing. So the thief can continue troughing on his taxpayers salary for another month. To the public such a measure looks absurd and antiquated. Nearly 2,000 people have signed the petition calling for Illsley to do the right thing and fall on his sword. Guido hears there are plans to deliver the names to the disgraced member in person…
UPDATE: Paul Waugh reports of the distinct unease at the Speakers ruling:
“Well, to all of us hacks we found this jaw-droppingly wrong. How on earth can something still be sub judice when a judge rather than a jury is the only person left in the legal process? Judges cannot be influenced by words in newspapers, unlike juries. We’re not the only ones who think the Speaker’s advice was misguided. Labour clearly have their doubts and are desperate to call for the resolution and avoid getting the blame for Illsley being allowed – let’s not forget this – to pick up at least another month’s taxpayer-funded salary as an MP.”
Apparently Downing Street aren’t too impressed either…
Tell the Speaker what you think.
Sky’s Jon Craig is reporting that Labour’s Sir Stuart Bell is gearing up to table a motion to expel Eric Illsley. Over a thousand people have signed the petition calling on the disgraced Barnsley MP to fall on his sword, and the PM and Ed Miliband have both said his position is untenable.
Is Guido still allowed to use cross hairs?
UPDATE: It seems Sir Stuart is attempting some sort of expenses penance:
“If this was received by unauthorised means, it is disgraceful that a national newspaper should stoop so low as to buy information which will be in the public domain in July. It undermines the very basis of our democracy and is against all the rules of fair play.”
A very different tune today compared to the dark days of May 2009.
The Sunlight Centre have launched a petition to gently encourage Eric Illsley to quit. Guido thinks it would be quite good fun to hand deliver the names to Illsley’s house on Renfrew Road, Kennington that got him into so much trouble. Or maybe it will be to one of Her Majesty’s prisons. In all seriousness do help put the pressure on by signing here.
UPDATE: Ed Miliband says Illsley should quit as an MP as he cannot “credibly” represent his constituents. Andrew Sparrow reports that the Labour Party is moving to expel the guilty trougher from the House. Keep the pressure up, keep signing.
Unless Eric Illsley is sentenced to more than twelve months in jail he can technically remain an MP and we would be paying his salary while he is in jail. The Labour Party have already kicked him out, but that is not good enough. Illsley has admitted stealing from the very people he was elected to defend and represent. If he has any semblance of public duty left he should take the Chiltern Hundreds job and trigger a by-election immediately.
Once again Labour’s judgement is called into question. How did they even let this man stand as one of their candidates at the last election? At least Milband didn’t put him on the front-bench like Phil Woolas, but that didn’t stop the photo-ops still displayed proudly on the “independent” MP’s website:
If Illsley won’t walk, the House must move immediately to expel him.
Sitting Labour MP Eric Illsley has pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud. He was already expelled by Labour and was technically an independent. The LibDems and Tories are tied in his Barnsley constituency for second place, by six votes:
- Labour: 17487 (47.26%)
- Liberal Democrat: 6394 (17.28%)
- Conservative: 6388 (17.26%)
How many more by-elections will there be this year….
UPDATE: PA reports:
“His barrister William Coker QC said his client admitted wrongly claiming a revised sum of about £14,500. The claims were made for council tax, telephone usage, service charges and maintenance, and insurance and repairs at his second home in Renfrew Road, Kennington, south London. In a five-minute hearing, the disgraced MP sat in the dock rubbing his face and frowning. He spoke only to confirm his pleas, saying ‘guilty’ to the three charges.”
After months of denial, is conviction politician Illsley now eyeing up a similar reduction in sentence granted to David Chaytor on Friday?
UPDATE II: Sentencing in around a month.
In a Commons debate in 2001, Mr David Chaytor (Lab, Bury North) lamented the downfall of the last government:
“Others ended up in jail—if they did not end up there, they should have done. The record of the last Conservative Government is dire.”
Almost as funny as the Telegraph’s Jon Swaine revealing that the reply he got when he put the allegations to Chaytor back in May 2009 was written in Comic Sans. Not so funny now is it…
Lets take a moment of quiet reflection as David Chaytor faces his last night of freedom. It will be an outrage to justice and shame this country’s legal system if the former Labour MP is not given a custodial sentence. Chaytor has admitted he shamelessly stole £13,000 from the taxpayer for a mortgage he had already paid off. Under section 17 of the Theft Act 1968 lawmakers are not above the law.
Don’t drop the soap David…
M’learned friend says the case has been listed before the trial Judge at the Old Bailey today (this could change) for his ruling on an application (he believes) to stay the proceedings on the grounds that they can’t get a fair trial because of adverse publicity. He suspects the fact that the Supreme Court’s judgement was been released in full yesterday is connected with this (judgement here [pdf]).
Guido has previously reported on how the three former Labour MPs have attempted to avoid justice by insisting their case was heard by parliament not the courts, how they tried to have the case heard in secret, how they tried to avoid standing in the dock like common criminals and how they now seek to avoid prosecution on the grounds of bad publicity. Guido is certain this latest attempt to avoid justice will fail.
They are entitled to a fair trial and they will get one, the sooner the better.
Denis MacShane was unceremoniously suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party after his expenses claims were referred to the Metropolitan Police. Though his friends in the media downplayed it somewhat, shouldn’t he start telling the truth on his still very active Twitter account? Honesty is the best policy Denis…
Panic on the streets of London:
SW1 totally locked down and there are a lot more coppers this time. Though to be honest that was a pretty stupid place to leave a police van.
Ninja studies must surely qualify as a micky-mouse subject.
UPDATE II: Attempted invasion of the FCO and Treasury held back:
Eighteen year old Edward Woollard has pleaded guilty to throwing the fire extinguisher from the top of CCHQ. No word on any sentence yet. Guess his lawyers told him that the excuse that he was throwing it into a space where nobody would or could get hurt, wasn’t going to wash…
Especially given he grazed a copper.
As Elliot Morley’s trial gets underway today, the MPs’ expenses bee will simply not leave the Westminster bonnet. ePolitix reports that IPSA are going to spend a million pounds releasing the MPs expense claims data, though there is some confusion over whether receipts will be included in that. While this undoubtedly a good move theoreatically, ironically it will happen on the same day, the 2nd December, that the future of the omnishambolic IPSA is debated in the House. Guido cannot get his head around why it’s going to cost such a staggering amount of money though? He is pretty sure he could do the job with a couple of scanners and some interns for half the price…
The Supreme Court has upheld a ruling by the Court of Appeal that parliamentary privilege does not apply in the expenses cases. David Chaytor, Elliot Morley and Jim Devine had argued their case should be heard by Parliament, not the courts. The three defendants, who all deny theft by false accounting, will face separate trials at Southwark Crown Court.
Let justice be done…
FLASHBACK: A prelude to the day in court:
Disgraced, expelled Labour Party smear – merchant and convicted liar Phil Woolas is entitled to keep thousands of pounds worth of taxpayer funded office equipment under the House rules that have still not been updated since the expenses crisis. Woolas also billed us for a fridge, microwave and an air conditioning system costing over £2,000 from his Incidental Expenses Provision. He gets to keep the lot.
Both the Department for Resources, (the body winding up the affairs of the old Fees Office,) and the omnishambles that is IPSA both told Guido they do not even have an inventory of what each MP has. Woolas also bought a computer on his expenses. He’s probably using it to email his lawyers right now.
A spokesman for IPSA admitted yesterday that they hadn’t taken any action on this issue but said they would consult on changes “over the next few months” and claimed that this “was one of the things we will be consulting on”. By the time IPSA gets anything done, Woolas is likely to be long gone.
IPSA must change the rules to stop outgoing MPs walking off with the office equipment, printers, computers and even envelope stuffing machines – all of which are vital in future election bids and are often kept by political parties regardless of who footed the bill for them. When a member loses, it is absurd that they walk away with all the kit. Phil “send ’em home” Woolas declined to comment…
As the judgement day approaches for the four MPs and two Lords facing trial, an FOIing co-conspirator makes a very valid point. Asking how much Lord Paul (£41,982), Bhaitia (£27,446) and Baroness Uddin (£0) have paid back to date, they were informed that no interest was added. The same logic must have applied to all the money from the fiddlers in the Commons, much of which is still being chased from MPs…
If the repayments, which were quiet admissions of guilt that no ordinary citizen could use as penance for a crime, do not include interest then surely the honourable Members and Peers have profited from their little “borrowings”?
In about half an hour this question from Tory David Morris MP will appear on the Order Paper for justice questions concerning the axe man John Hirst:
“To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if the Probation Service will (a) consider the compliance of John Hirst with the terms of his licence for release from custody and (b) recall him from his release on licence.”
The butcherer has openly admitted flouting his terms of release. Ken Clarke has bottom and should send the scum back to Her Majesty’s Pleasure…
Fresh from using the European Convention on Human Rights to give prisoners a right to vote – which will make plans for elected police commissioners farcical – Hirst is trying to organise prisoners’ associations.
He is urging convicts to set up “Prisoners Representative Associations” under Article 11 of the European Convention. Prison governors will, he hopes, be forced to facilitate such associations, guaranteeing free communication with prisoners on other wings, allowing the holding of meetings and elections. In other words: unionising criminals.
Unfortunately for the out-on-licence killer he has confessed on the Jeremy Vine Radio Show to breaching the terms of his licence (smoking dope). A formal complaint has been made to the police. It could mean Hirst will soon be able to organise his prison union from inside…
After axe-murderer and state-leech John Hirst was destroyed by Andrew Neil on the Daily Politics at lunchtime regarding votes for prisoners, Guido put the boot in on Jeremy Vine Show earlier this afternoon:
It’s not everyday you hear someone call for the return of hanging on the main-stream media, but after John Hirst’s gloating it’s the least he deserves…