Ex-jailbird Lord Hanningfield claimed £24,600 in 2012

Andy McSmith
lord 300x225 Ex jailbird Lord Hanningfield claimed £24,600 in 2012

(Getty Images)

Lord Hanningfield, the trougher in ermine, has extracted another wodge of cash from the public purse. The latest published list of expenses from the House of Lords show that Hanningfield, who has done time in jail for fiddling his expenses, claimed another £3,600 in attendance allowances last December.

The Hansard record shows that he  has not spoken or asked any oral or written questions in the House of Lords since he was originally charged under the Theft Act in February 2010, but since April of last year, the man who rose to prominence as Paul White, leader of Essex County Council, has been turning up regularly to sign in and claim the £300 a day to which he is still legally entitled. We now know that in the nine months to the end of 2010, he pocketed £24,600 in attendance allowances, plus £2,045 in travel expenses.

Lord Taylor of Warwick, another ex-Tory, is another beneficiary of the archaic rule that makes the Lords the only workplace in the country where someone who has been to prison for fiddling expenses has an absolute right to go back and claim some more.  He has not made a speech since his release from jail either, though he has put down some written questions. He trousered £15,600 worth of allowances in June to December last year.

The former Labour peer Pola Uddin, who was not prosecuted but was made to repay more than £125,000 worth of dodgy expenses, claimed £19,200 over the same period.

For purposes of comparison, the most recent figures from Office of National Statistics say that the average annual earnings of people who actually work full time for a living is £26,500.

  • Viberunner

    Kill them.

    Kill them all.

  • Junius

    It is very wrong for Mr McSmith to continue this witch-hunt against defenceless peers of the realm simply because they have succumbed to creative expense claiming. He would be far better employed campaigning for the abolition of the archaic rule to which he so strongly objects. Also, who is to say that the ermine-robed objects of his wrath are not donating their attendance allowances and travel expenses to charity, or doing good works as did John Profumo after his fall from grace?

    Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that hath done their bird and repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons which need no repentence. And so on and so forth.

  • 3aple

    If he is doing so, perhaps the sinner in question will announce to which charity he is donating his expenses.

    “Lord” Hanningfield does not appear to be doing good works by cleaning floors, as John Profumo did.

    And has he repented?


  • Susan G.

    Lovely thought, Junius. Forgive my scepticism, but I’d be delighted to be proved wrong and to see some evidence of the the good Lords’ beneficence from their charity recipients. Somehow, I don’t expect to. They seem to be the personification of that oft- misunderstood axiom: charity begins at home. And, well, they have the bird to prove their willingness to ensure that they interpret this in the most dishonest and self-serving way.

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