Expenses report destroys Denis MacShane’s career

By Ian Dunt and Charles Maggs

Labour MP Denis MacShane's resigned from parliament today, after a Commons watchdog found him guilty of repeated false expenses claims.

The Rotherham MP, who was well respected in his 18 years in parliament for his campaigns against far-right activity at home and abroad, was found to have submitted 19 false invoices over a four year period.

"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," Kevin Barron, chair of parliament's standards and privileges committee, said in his report.

A Labour spokesperson said: "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 [National Executive Committee] enquiry.

"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."

MacShane blamed the British National party (BNP) for the suspension.

“I am shocked and saddened that the BNP has won its three 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," he wrote on his website.

"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 has been judged so harshly."

David  Cameron said: "It's a disturbing case. It looks like very serious things were done that were completely inexcusable."

The 19 false invoices totalled £12,900 and were "plainly intended to deceive’ parliament's expenses authority", the report found.

MacShane was loaned three laptops and three PCs free of charge by parliamentary services, but he made claims for a further eight computers. At least one laptop was given to an intern once they finished working for the MP.

The report detailed how MacShane claimed £20,000 a year for an office based in his garage and invented a 'nom-de-plume' of a fake general manager to sign off requests.

The committee branded it "the gravest case that has come to us for adjudication ".

The MP was suspended from the Labour party over his claims but was reinstated earlier this year – he has now been suspended from the party again.