Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 18°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Essex: Lord Hanningfield wants to resume his political career after being cleared over council expenses

19:09 13 November 2012

Lord Hanningfield

Lord Hanningfield

DISGRACED peer and former leader of Essex County Council Lord Hanningfield wants to resume his political career, the East Anglian Daily Times can reveal.

His solicitor Mark Spragg, speaking yesterday after the 71-year-old was cleared of any wrongdoing over his council expenses, said his client still had “a lot to offer”.

The peer, from West Hanningfield, Essex, last year served nine weeks of a nine-month sentence after being convicted of falsely claiming £14,000 in parliamentary expenses.

Lord Hanningfield, who was born Paul White, was arrested by Essex Police in September last year on suspicion of making fraudulent expenses claims during his time heading up the county council. But the City of London Police, who took over the investigation two months later, yesterday confirmed he did not have a case to answer.

Lord Hanningfield expressed relief before calling for an independent probe into the actions of senior officers during his time at Essex County Council (ECC). Lord Hanningfield said: “I am relieved that this chapter has closed and that the police and Crown Prosecution Service has confirmed I did nothing wrong.

“I now believe that the council must examine its actions.”

But current ECC leader Peter Martin said he was “fully supportive” of the way officers had operated.

Lord Hanningfield added: “My commitment to Essex remains. During my time as leader we did many things to help the county’s residents including reopening a dozen post offices and delivering £300million in savings.”

Mr Spragg said Lord Hanningfield, first elected as an Essex county councillor in 1970, was keen to return to politics once his five-year ban from office had expired.

He added: “He’d love to be involved to some extent, he’s still got a lot to offer, he’s spent 40 years in public service.

“He’s a loss to the community regardless of having been convicted - he has to accept to that. Privately he still doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong.”

Councillor Martin said: “It was important that concerns about Lord Hanningfield’s use of the corporate credit card were independently investigated but I agree with Lord Hanningfield that enough time and taxpayers money has been spent on this.

“The senior officers at the council worked hard during Lord Hanningfield’s time as leader to get him to understand the seriousness of the situation and to recognise his responsibilities to be compliant with the governance processes. I am fully supportive of the way they handled the situation during what was a very challenging time, and they continue to have my full support.”

0 comments

Stock image of a fire engine.

Four fire crews worked for nearly three hours to extinguish a combine harvester blaze in Hoxne.

Dementia friendly pub, the Hadleigh Ram

A Hadleigh pub has been rewarded for its efforts to become accessible to all by being named the first dementia friendly restaurant in the town.

Suffolk Police PCSOs (stock picture)

Two new PCSOs will be patrolling the streets of Bury St Edmunds from next January in a new step for local policing.

The scene as emergency services mounted a rescue at Sea Palling. Photo: Contributed.

A man in his 50s has died and another in his 20s was resuscitated after they got into difficulty in the water at Sea Palling.

Eastbound A14 traffic near the Copdock junction. Image: Keith Mindham

Drivers are currently experiencing long delays after a car crashed into the central reservation on the A14 eastbound at Nacton this evening.

MP Dan Poluter and Christopher Hudson at Framlinghams  Radio Castle in 2012.

A community radio station has celebrated overcoming its “biggest hurdle” after being awarded an FM licence and broadcasting frequency.

Brendan Wright. Pic: Essex Police.

A Colchester man has been reported missing to police.

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:

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24