Denis MacShane facing 12-month ban from Commons, career “effectively over”

November 2, 2012 12:19 pm

Rotherham MP Denis MacShane has been suspended from the Labour Party after a report by parliamentary watchdogs found that he “knowingly submitted nineteen false invoices” to expenses administrators which were “plainly intended to deceive”.

The report from the Standards and Privilege Committee, which examined expense claims relating to his concludes:

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.

A statement from the Labour Party:

“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.”

A statement released on MacShane’s website reads:

“I am shocked and saddened that the BNP has won its 3 year campaign to destroy my political career as a Labour MP despite a full police investigation which decided not to proceed after investigations and interviews. I am glad the Committee notes that there is no question of personal gain. Clearly I deeply regret that the way I chose to be reimbursed for costs related to my work in Europe and in combating anti-semitism, including being the Prime Minister’s personal envoy, has been judged so harshly. I remain committed to work for progressive values, for Britain playing a full part in Europe, and for combating anti-semitism even though I can no longer undertake this work as a Labour MP. I am consulting family and friends as I consider my position and study the full implications of the report. I am obviously desperately sorry for any embarrassment I have caused my beloved Labour Party and its leader Ed Miliband whom I greatly admire.”

This is the second — and presumably final — time the MP has had the Labour whip withdrawn over expenses.

  • hgsfc

    and the difference re David Laws is what?

  • keithunder

    Good riddance!!

  • http://twitter.com/KulganofCrydee Kulgan of Crydee

    Well done to Labour HQ for prompt action in withdrawing the whip from this shamed MP.

  • AlanGiles

    Surely there should be a case to be made for MPs to be instantly dismissed for gross misconduct?. As it is, like Eric Joyce, he will be allowed to remain as an MP until 2015. Effectively, as McShane stands a very good chance of being suspended for 12 months, his constituents will not be represented.

    As regards the excuse McShane has given that his career has been ruined by the BNP, though the BNP is a vile, disgusting party, he did wrong, he appears to have admitted wrongdoing, and therefore it hardly matters where the original complaint came from.

    He should just feel himself lucky he has not ended up where Elliott Morley and David Chater did.

  • Brumanuensis

    A pity. I always thought MacShane was an intelligent man who often talked a lot of sense, particularly on European issues.

    But none of that excuses this conduct and in light of this report, his immediate resignation is the only acceptable course of action. I hope he recognises this too.

    • JoeDM

       He clearly would have been more suited to be an MEP !!!

  • MikeHomfray

    Why is it that only Labour MPs are punished? What David Laws did was worse but there he is, a Minister

  • AlanGiles

    Hello Brum. Although he doubtless feels differently today, at the time of the expenses scandal he seemed to regard the whole thing as a bit of a laugh, dismissing it thus in a piece in the Guardian:
     
    , “There will come a moment when moats and manure, bath plugs and tampons will be seen as a wonderful moment of British fiddling, but more on a Dad’s Army scale than the real corruption of politics.”.

    He (and others like him) remind me of those minor “celebrities” who, when they are pulled over for a driving offence, their first words are “don’t you know who I am?”

    • Brumanuensis

      Hm, I think MacShane had a small point in those remarks, given that some of the reaction to the smaller-level claims was out of proportion to the amount paid out.

      But it is poetic justice in way, I’ll agree.

  • Robert_Crosby

    I have been a Labour Party member for 29 years. Let’s say first
    that this isn’t a case of “yet another MP with his hand in the till” as might try to say.

    What this is is a particularly long-running example of expenses abuse. I
    do not believe that it is fair to label all Labour – or other MPs – for
    that matter because of this one man who has done everything he can to
    thwart and delay an investigation into his conduct and cover up what he
    did.

    For MacShane to attempt to hide behind the tragic deaths of his daughter
    and of Carol Barnes tells you everything about the kind of man he is.
    His dodgy claims actually trace back to 2005, so those could never be
    excuses in any case.

    People will have noticed that Labour has effectively already expelled
    him and wants the by-election held as soon as possible. I would like to
    know where Clegg’s much-promised “recall of corrupt MPs” measure went.
    Decent Labour people in Rotherham could already be planning to elect
    somebody more worthy. The problem is that Clegg wanted David Laws back,
    a man similarly mired in sleaze. Both he and MacShane are fortunate
    that they aren’t in custody. 

  • AlanGiles

    I agree with you Mike. I have said so before, I think any MP or minister regardless of party should be treated exactly the same as “ordinary” people would if caught theiving or fiddling at work. Laws has no self respect otherwise he would have turned down the offer of returning to government. I would also have liked to seen Iain Duncan-Smith persued over “Betsygate”

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