Tory peer accused of expenses fraud said today he believed he was entitled to the money because most other members of the House of Lords claimed the full amount available.
Lord Hanningfield, 70, who denies six counts of false accounting, said he "quite honestly assumed" he could claim the maximum amount after learning that this was what 85% of peers did. Lord Hanningfield said he spent "a minute a month" completing the Lords' expenses claim form in exactly the same way each time........ "If I had known how important some people saw those forms, I would have done much more. I didn't see it as self-certifying, I saw it as means of getting expenses," he said... "No-one ever told me those forms were so important. I am horrified to be where I am now because of those forms."
My comment: How an earth did this man get to be leader of Essex County Council and a Lord without knowing the importance of correctly filling in claim forms. I hope Essex County Council taxpayers take notice and force their council to undertake a full investigation into all his expense claims whilst he was their leader.
Read the full story from the source The Independent
Read more about the background here
UPDATE 26/5/11: Lord Hanningfield found guilty of expenses fraud.
My comment: The first MP jailed for fraud only served a quarter of his sentence.
Read the full story from the source Guardian
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