Expenses MP sentenced to 18 months

By politics.co.uk staff

The first MP to be convicted over expenses has been sentenced to 18 months in jail.

Former Labour MP David Chaytor faced up to seven years in jail, but his guilty plea allowed the judge to reduce the sentence.

The former lecturer falsely claimed £5,425 for renting a house from his mother, who died from Alzheimer’s recently. Mr Chaytor did not pay her the money, but even if he had, claims from family members were outlawed under the rules governing expenses.

He also claimed £12,925 for a flat near Westminster which he owned.

A third charge, which related to claims for IT services, was also made against the former MP.

Matthew Sinclair, director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “While it has been a long time coming, it is good to see that at least one MP is finally facing justice for stealing taxpayers’ money.

“It was an outrage that they were able to rip off taxpayers on such a scale, and other MPs also need to be punished for what went on, but now that the public can see that politicians are not above the law we can start to move on from this crisis.”

Mr Chaytor initially denied the charges but he changed his plea in early December ahead of the trial.