Labour MP Morley: possible fraud

Time for an election in Scunthorpe?

Elliot Morley: MPs' expenses

The Telegraph reports that Labour MP Elliot Morley claimed expenses for over £16,000 for a mortgage which had already been paid off:

Elliot Morley, the former agriculture minister, continued claiming for the mortgage interest on his constituency home for more than 18 months after the loan had been repaid.

Lawyers last night said that the claims could constitute a criminal offence under the 2006 Fraud Act and the 1968 Theft Act.

The disclosure is the most serious to be uncovered so far by The Daily Telegraph during the week-long investigation into MPs’ expenses.

It can also be disclosed that, in November 2007, Mr Morley “flipped” his designated second home from the Scunthorpe house to his London property – and the dubious mortgage claims were never uncovered.

Mr Morley, a former government whip and privy councillor, was renting out the London property, which was designated as his “main residence”, to another Labour MP.

For four months after Mr Morley “flipped” his homes, the former minister claimed full mortgage interest on the London house and Mr Cawsey, who had designated the house as his second home, continued to claim £1,000 a month for the same property in rent. The rent money was paid to Mr Morley.

Mr Morley was a minister under Tony Blair and was made a privy councillor in December 2006. Since January, he has been the chairman of the House of Commons energy and climate change select committee. He has claimed close to the maximum amount allowable in expenses over the past four years.

Steven Barker, a lawyer who specialises in fraud cases, said: “The Fraud Act was designed to deal with these types of offences. There is also a possibility of an offence of false accounting under the Theft Act.”

Read the full article.

Will he be charged with fraud? Somehow, I doubt it – not while McMental is at the helm.

Morley’s voting record makes him enemy number one in my book; a plaything of the whips, a man lacking integrity.

He might find life in Scunthorpe a little uncomfortable on the weekend. I hope so.

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