Denis MacShane jailed for six months over bogus expenses

Denis Macshane

Judge tells former Labour minister the £13,000 claims represent a "flagrant breach of trust"

LAST UPDATED AT 11:46 ON Mon 23 Dec 2013

DENIS MACSHANE, the former Labour minister, has been jailed for six months after he admitted making bogus expense claims totalling almost £13,000.

The 65-year-old used the cash to pay for trips to Europe, including one to judge a literary competition in Paris, Sky News reports. He pleaded guilty last month to false accounting by filing 19 fake receipts for "research and translation" services.

MacShane, who served as Europe minister under Tony Blair, said "cheers" as the sentence was read out. As he was lead from the dock, he said: "Quelle surprise."

Mr Justice Sweeney told the former MP his dishonesty had been "considerable and repeated many times over a long period". He added: "You have no one to blame but yourself."

The judge added that MacShane, who resigned as MP for Rotherham last November, had shown "a flagrant breach of trust" in "our priceless democratic system".

MacShane was told he must serve half his sentence in prison and was ordered to pay costs of £1,500 within two months, The Guardian reports.

MacShane is the fifth MP to be handed a jail sentence after 2009's expenses scandal.

During his trial he insisted that he did not personally profit from the claims which totalled £12,900. He told the court the cash had been used to cover legitimate expenditure on trips to Europe. · 

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