Dining at public expense: Essex council’s £289,000 chief executive
Credit to the Essex Chronicle for teasing out the latest revelation in the saga of Lord Hanningfield’s expenses. It was revealed two months ago that his lordship spent £287,000 using a corporate credit card provided by Essex County Council, while he was council leader. This is aside from the House of Lords expenses that he was fraudulently claiming, for which he has spent time in prison – though he has since returned to the Lords and claims yet more expenses, legitimately.
When Essex police dropped an investigation into his council expenses, Lord Hanningfield rounded in fury on the council staff who had reported him. We begin to see why. Sleuths at the Chronicle have found out that when Lord Hanningfield spent £540.25 on a meal at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Restaurant in Newquay in November 2006, and when he spent £518.25 the next day at Rick Stein’s The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, and when he spent £906.60 at Sam’s of Sevendials Restaurant during the 2007 Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton – all courtesy of Essex council taxpayers – the guests at his table on all three occasions included Joanna Killian who was and is chief executive of Essex County Council. Ms Killian’s salary in 2010-11 was £289,000.
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