Interesting that some of Chaytor's friends are claiming that he has been made a scapegoat. Implication is that other Labour MPs behaved as bad as Chaytor but were protected by the party machine from prosecution.
True, it is, I was in a hurry (and there's the other news story about election fraud where Phil Woolas lost his seat).
Chil, I don't think exes fraud and misconduct is a party political issue - MPs from all parties were at it (and two Tory Lords are up before the courts soon). Somehow the moat guy and the duck island guy have got away with it, at least in terms of not facing criminal charges.
The crucial difference is that the moat and duck house existed so the claim was valid (ish). I do think that many more MPs should be facing criminal charges but they won't because they are thecnically in the right.
Bollocks - I bet some councillors cream off just as much as MPs, it's just that no-one takes as much interest as it's only local stuff.
Lord Hanningfield (the Tory peer who is facing criminal charges) was Chair of Essex County Council until he was arrested. It took their district auditor well over a year to finally sign off and issue an audit certificate about the accounts (including members' expenses) and requests to Tory councillors for info were pretty much ignored until people started threatening them with the ICO.
Essex CC also decided that it was essential for councillors to continue to have their own dining area at a cost of tens of thousands to residents as it provided valuable networking opportunities or some such twaddle!
I'm very much looking forward to the remaining court cases relating to expenses...
Yes, there are plenty of means other than expenses for councillors to line their ample pockets. Planning decisions in favour of 'friends'/contacts, spheres of influence, enough hospitality to make you truly sick.
If you want an idea of exactly how much creaming happens at council level read the 'Rotten Boroughs' section in Private Eye.
I'm glad they managed to convict one. It's just a shame it wasn't more. There is so much nasty stuff about 'benefit scroungers', when this was worse - amoral people playing the system for what they could get, except the MPs playing the system weren't even in financial need, just greedy.