Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 2°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Essex: County council recommended not to pursue Lord Hanningfield for expenses claims

Lord Hanningfield leaving Chelmsford Crown Court where he stood trial for fiddling his House of Lords expenses.

Lord Hanningfield leaving Chelmsford Crown Court where he stood trial for fiddling his House of Lords expenses.

The Essex County Council audit committee has recommended the authority shelves plans to claim back £50,000 from former leader Lord Hanningfield.

County Hall, ChelmsfordCounty Hall, Chelmsford

Lord Hanningfield was leader at County Hall from May 2000 until February 2010, when he stepped down after a criminal investigation into his expenses at the House of Lords.

He was found guilty and sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment on those charges in the summer of 2011.

But a separate investigation into almost £288,000 he claimed in council expenses and spent on council credit cards in the last five years he was leader was dropped in November 2012 by Essex Police, the City of London Police and the Crown Prosecution Service, who said there was insufficent evidence to charge the disgraced peer.

Since then Essex County Council (ECC) has been considering whether it should take its own legal action against Lord Hanningfield and sue him for money it considers he incorrectly claimed.

However following legal advice the council’s audit committee has today recommended plans to pursue Lord Hanningfield, real name Paul White, for almost £50,000 be dropped.

Councillor Susan Barker, chairman of the audit committee, said: “Terry Osborne, director of corporate law and assurance, advised that the costs of pursuing this case would be significant, with uncertain chances of success.

“She advised that in addition to the significant cost, the council would also have to invest further considerable officer time trying to prepare for and pursue the case, with unlikely prospects of success.

“It is with huge regret that, having taken account of the legal advice and the advice of our external auditors, we feel we have no alternative but to recommend that no further action be taken in this matter.”

Council leader David Finch has the final decision on whether to launch legal proceedings, and he told councillors today he intended to make a decision within one week.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

File picture of Essex County Fire & Rescue Service at work.

A house in Essex was “completely destroyed” during a fire in the early hours of this morning.

Detectives look at the body of Bernard Oliver, whose body was found in a field at Tattingstone

A Suffolk man is convinced he had a chilling encounter with the Tattingstone suitcase murderer just two days before Bernard Oliver’s dismembered body was found 50 years ago today.

Morrisons Petrol Station in Sproughton. Stock image

Motoring is an expensive business, even if you only use you car for a short journey to and from work each day.

Where will the Northern Bypass go?

Today the potential routes for the northern bypass - taking traffic away from Ipswich town centre - have been revealed but it could take at least 15 years for any work on a new road to start.

Bradley Soden leaves Ipswich Magistrates 
Court

A driver who caused the death of a much-loved family man has been spared prison, leaving his victim’s family feeling justice has not been done.

Britannia Primary School in Ipswich is closed.

A burst water pipe has forced a school in Ipswich to close for the day.

The scene on the beach at Thorpeness, where a cliff collapsed at high tide, resulting in the death of a man

A seaside Suffolk community is today recovering from the shock death of a dog walker crushed underneath the weight of a collapsed cliff.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24