Tory peer faces theft charges over expense claims


LONDON – Conservative peer John Taylor was accused yesterday of dishonestly claiming £11,000 (€13,000) of parliamentary expenses, the latest politician to face criminal proceedings in a scandal that shocked Britain.

Lord Taylor, faces six charges under the theft act for false accounting, prosecutors said. He will appear in court on August 13th. Disclosure last year of taxpayer-funded claims submitted by politicians provoked public anger at a time of economic retrenchment.

Director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer said Lord Taylor had dishonestly submitted claims for overnight subsistence and car mileage on six occasions in 2006 and 2007, falsely stating that he lived outside London when he was actually resident in the capital.

“Having thoroughly reviewed the eighth file of evidence we have received from the Metropolitan Police in relation to parliamentary expenses, we concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to bring criminal charges against Lord Taylor,” said Mr Starmer.

The Conservative party said Lord Taylor had resigned the partys whip, meaning he would now sit as an independent peer in the House of Lords.

Lord Taylor (57), a qualified lawyer, became the Conservatives’ first black peer in 1996 after unsuccessfully standing for the party in Cheltenham in the 1992 general election. – (Reuters)