Scotland Yard has instructed the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to charge the 75-year-old life peer and former Tory council leader, Lord Hanningfield, with false expenses claims. Hanningfield, also known as Paul White, will now defend against the charge of false accounting over a series of claims made in July 2013 at the House of Lords.
Sources confirm that Hanningfield is accused of claiming a daily allowance after “clocking in” to parliament on 11 dates for no more than 40 minutes per visit. The Scotland Yard inquiry starting last November finally concluded today. Hanningfield’s lawyer, Daniel Godden, mentioned in a statement that his client would be “fighting this charge all the way.” He explained that “my client is very disappointed that the CPS is pursuing any offence in respect of his claim for expenses,” adding that “he has co-operated with the police inquiry into his expenses and has always maintained that he conducted parliamentary work both prior to, and after, attending the House on the requisite dates in July 2013.” Godden mentioned that “any day where he left the House after a short amount of time was linked to his continuing ill health, which was documented in evidence given to the Scotland Yard inquiry.” Hanningfield is scheduled to appear before Westminster magistrates court on 29 October.