BREAKING: Police Reopen MacShane Investigation

Is it too early to open the champagne on a Monday morning?

The Met have just announced that they are to reopen the investigation into Denis MacShane’s mystery £7,000 fraud.

As mystic Guido alluded to on Friday afternoon.

It looks like he will be needing those files on his “welcome back to the Labour Party” cake after all.

Developing…

MacShane Gets Off…This Time

macshane-cakeShamed expenses cheat Denis MacShane will not be prosecuted…for swearing down a megaphone during a demonstration last year. The former Rotherham MP was reported to the police after launching a four-letter tirade in front of a crowd in October, but no further action is to be taken due to lack of evidence.

He might not be so lucky the next time the cops come calling…

Fabians Elect Denis MacShane to Committee

The history of the Fabian Society is full of evil, though Guido was under the impression they were pretending they had cleaned up their act. Their AGM takes place on Saturday in SW1, and a certain fraudster is due to take up his position on their committee:

Fabian Society Executive Committee Elections 2012/13

Elected

Stephen Twigg 607
Rachel Reeves 600
Sadiq Khan 556
Vera Baird 478
Denis MacShane 471
Jessica Asato 454
Austin Mitchell 429
Kate Green 401
Seema Malhotra 392
Suresh Pushpananthan 390
Kate Groucutt 385
Sara Ibrahim 372
Sundar Thavapalasundaram 287
Ivana Bartoletti 277
Sally Prentice 276

The last famous Fabian to go to prison was Oswald Mosley.

UPDATE: Fabians get in touch to say Denis is out.

MacShane Grovels as CPS Hover

MacShame’s grovelling is starting to look as pathetic as it is empty. Today he apologised to the people of Rotherham in a letter to the Yorkshire Post:

“How do I say sorry? Rotherham has been such an important part of my life and I have let this wonderful town, its terrific people and my constituency down so very badly. I accept fully the responsibility for my actions. That I was at grievous fault there can be no doubt. I cannot convey how much I will miss Rotherham. I am not from South Yorkshire but the people took me into their bonds of friendship and made my young family…feel very much at home. I finish by apologising from the bottom of my heart for the damage I have done, I hope only temporarily, to the good name of Rotherham, through my folly and mistakes.”

Meanwhile the CPS met with cops this week to discuss reopening the criminal investigation. He will need to do more than say sorry when they come calling…

Parliamentary Privilege and Criminality

Parliamentary privilege was cited last night by David Grossmann in his Newsnight report as being an obstacle to bringing Denis MacShane to trial, the Labour MP John Mann disagrees:

On Friday Guido was tipped off by a source close to the Standards and Privileges Committee that once they had published their report the way was open for the police to resume their investigations. After consulting a barrister, who was in absolutely no doubt that parliamentary privilege was no longer an obstacle, Guido wrote to Scotland Yard asking them to resume the case – as did the Tory MP Philip Davies.

In 2009 we did the same for Jim Devine who, like Denis MacShane, submitted falsified invoices to back up expense claims. You may recall that David Chaytor, Elliot Morley and Jim Devine went to the Supreme Court to argue that they were protected by parliamentary privilege. They attempted to use the 300-year-old law to argue that any case against them should be dealt with by Parliament rather than the courts. The Supreme Court ruled that expense fiddles were ordinary crimes not covered by parliamentary privilege. Devine was sentenced to 16 months…

Flashback: The Foresight of MacShame

Denis was overheard in February 2011:

Friday Caption Contest (Sponger-Cake Edition)


To celebrate Denis MacShane’s demise this week’s caption contest sees the shamed expenses cheat pose with the cake given to him upon his return to the Labour Party just this July.

The winner will receive a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape courtesy of the charitable souls at Oddbins.

Their ‘Wine Not War’ campaign calling for peace between Dave and Nick will donate £1 to War Child for every bottle of CNDP sold.

See what they did there.

The winning entry better be good.

Usual rules apply…

Privileged MacShane Evidence Now Available to the Police New Police Complaint Made

A source close to the Standards and Privileges Committee pointed out to Guido that the police could not use the evidence gathered by the Committee during their investigation because it was subject to parliamentary privilege. Now that it has been published however it is no longer privileged and can be used by the forces of the law.

Guido has spoken to m’learned counsel and they have confirmed this is the case. He has therefore just put in a new complaint to the Met:

This ain’t over…

“The Gravest Case Which Has Come to Us for Adjudication”

The Standards and Privileges Committee report on Denis MacShane is so damning that Labour HQ have already said his career is over. The report found that MacShane:

  • Claimed nearly £20,000 a year in expenses for an office based in the garage of his South Yorkshire home.
  • Signed claims with a “nom de plume” purporting to come from a General Manager who did not in fact exist.
  • Knowingly submitted nineteen false invoices over a period of four financial years which were plainly intended to deceive the Parliamentary expenses authorities.
  • Claimed thousands of pounds for eight computers that got ‘lost’ or were taken by interns.
  • Claimed £12,900 for invoices from his EPI slush fund. He didn’t provide a single receipt for payments.

Do not pass go. Do not collect £200. Go straight to jail… if there was any justice.

Labour: MacShane’s Career is Over

Labour have been forced to suspend Denis MacShane yet again:

“These are very serious findings concerning Denis MacShane and we accept his statement this morning that his career as a Labour MP is effectively over. In the light of the report’s recommendations to the House the Labour Party has suspended Denis MacShane with immediate effect, pending a full NEC enquiry. We will be talking to Denis MacShane about his future and the best course of action for him and for his constituency.”

If MacShane has one shred of decency left he would resign today.

UPDATE:

Quote of the Day

Standards and Privileges Committee report into Denis MacShane…

“The real mischief of Mr MacShane’s actions was that the method he adopted of submitting false invoices, as the Commissioner said, bypassed the checks and controls the House had instituted in a way which enabled Mr MacShane to spend public money as he thought fit.”

BREAKING: MacShane Facing 12 Month Commons Suspension

Statement from Rt Hon Kevin Barron MP, Chair of the Standards and Privilege Committee:

“The Report states that this was the gravest case which has come to the Committee for adjudication. It sets out the Committee’s views and reasoning clearly, and is accompanied by the detailed memorandum from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, as well as Mr MacShane’s response. I am sure the House of Commons will consider our recommendation as soon as possible. It would not be appropriate for me or any other Member of the Standards and Privileges Committee to comment on the substance of the Report before the House debates the matter.”

Standards and Privilege Committee’s report conclusion:

“We accept that Mr MacShane is widely acknowledged for his interest in European affairs, and the funds he claimed could be said to have been used in supporting that interest. Those activities may have contributed to his Parliamentary work, albeit indirectly. He has expressed his regret, and repaid the money wrongly claimed. But this does not excuse his behaviour in knowingly submitting nineteen false invoices over a period of four financial years which were plainly intended to deceive the Parliamentary expenses authorities. This is so far from what would be acceptable in any walk of life that we recommend that Mr MacShane be suspended from the service of the House for twelve months. This would mean he lost his salary and pension contributions for this period.”

DEVELOPING…

UPDATE: Full background on MacShane’s expenses shame can be found here.

Rent-Swapper MacShame Exposed

The original expenses scandal cost dozens of corrupt MPs their jobs, the worst offenders ended up behind bars. Now the rent-swapping sleaze that John Bercow is trying to cover up has been blown wide open. This morning Guido is listing the most shameless rent-swappers…

The usual suspects kept cropping up when Guido started digging around last week. Top of the pile was surprise, surprise Denis MacShane, outed in the Times this weekend. In addition to his property back in Rotherham – remember he rented his garage to himself on expenses for £125,000 – MacShame owns a £700,000 house in Pimlico just a few minutes walk from Parliament, which he rents out under the IPSA rules and then claims £1,450-a-month expenses to rent another home in London. Making cash off the back of the taxpayers when he has no reason to exploit the IPSA loophole except to enrich himself…

When The Times confronted him he claimed he had stopped doing it – convenient. We have some further questions for him, when did he stop the fiddle? Why can’t MacShame live in his posh Pimlico pad right next to Westminster? Why does millionaire MacShane have to bill the taxpayer rent for a house he doesn’t need to rent?

Because he is taking us for a ride. Again…

Jail Dodger MacShame Gloats: Cops In Crisis

Jail-dodging Denis MacShane has some nerve. Next week the shamed expenses cheat will speak at a “Crisis in Policing” debate to mark the launch of the 2013 Orwell Prize. The only crisis in policing is the fact that the phone-hacking investigation took specialist officers away from nailing him over his £125,000 expenses fiddle. A man who should be behind bars gloating about the problems faced by those who failed to nab him. Ballsy…

MacShame Own Goal

Self-proclaimed Russian expert Denis MacShane has been sticking the boot in to the Conservative Friends of Russia today. There is plenty to attack CFoR for, but Denis was up to his usual trick of stretching the truth:

Imagine Guido’s surprise when that turned out to be rubbish:

He just can’t help it…

Met Police Say MPs Can Claim for Fake Offices

Denis MacShane has had his police investigation dropped. It was triggered in October 2010 after the Parliamentary authorities suspected him of fraud due to the £125,000 in rent that he claimed for a constituency office that turned out to be the grotty garage at the end of his garden. He also put in a plethora of invoices for translation services, paid in cash. To his brother Edmund Matyjaszek. 

Guido suspected this announcement would be coming after he was tipped that the specialist crime cops that investigated MPs expenses had all been transferred to Operation Weeting and the associated investigations. MacShane will not get the opportunity to ever clear his name in court, instead the enduring image that remains in the public mind will be this:

No further questions Your Honour…

Yesterday’s Daily Star Sunday Column

You could already be gossiping about Vicky Pryce and Denis MacShane if you had got your Daily Star Sunday yesterday…

You would already know where the latest slap for Lansley’s plain packaging has come from and which hot blonde Tory MP is making wives nervous. And much more too…

Guido’s Sunday column is now online here… 

MacShane’s Brass Neck

When he’s not fibbing on Twitter, Denis MacShane is sounding off in the House. Take yesterday’s gem of an intervention during DCLG Questions:

“Frankly it’s not good enough because the department is not publishing spending between 50p and £500 and that is where on credit cards and other areas a lot of things go wrong, so can we actually have some transparency in this wretched department instead of the cover-up they are currently practising?”

Not only did MacShane’s facts “go wrong” – credit card spending under £500 is published, but this is from a man under police investigation for his dubious use of public money and the subsequent “cover-up”. Scotland Yard are still looking into those “wretched”  invoices, laptops and that garage. Labour have withdrawn the whip from MacShane, yet he still insists on hanging around on their benches like a bad smell.

Time for someone to have a quiet word…

The Alternate Reality of Denis MacShane II

Q: How do you know when Denis MacShane is lying?

A: When he’s tweeting.

Yesterday Guido brought  you the disgraced, de-whipped Labour MP’s fibs about the Olympics and the pound. Now this morning a psephological co-conspirator gets in touch to point out another howler:

Except, the polls in Croatia, see here, were correctly predicting that Yes would win, and were showing support for the EU growing. A MacShameless porkie…

MacShane’s Twitter Fibs

No this isn’t about his fraudulent expense claims, this is about the whoppers MacShane tells on Twitter:

Without even checking the records, Guido recalls that the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 were officially opened by President Ronald Reagan and saw him re-elected in November 1984. […] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Alan Sugar on Jeremy Corbyn:

“It’s clear you alluded to students refunds to get votes from young impressionable people. You are a cheat and should resign.”

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