At least disgraced former MP David Chaytor will be home for Christmas as he faces jail in the New Year after admitting thee charges of falsely accounting his Parliamentary expenses totalling just over Â£20,000.Â It carries a sentence of up to seven years, though leniency is expected to be given for his guilty plea.
It’s a sad day for politics, but a good day for justice, and the public needs to see justice is done when cases of dishonesty like this comes before the courts. Anyone who serves the electorate as their MP holds a very privileged position and to betray their trust in this greedy way is shocking. Chaytor is the first Parliamentarian to face trial over his expenses and will be sentenced on 7 January.
The Daily Telegraph described Chaytor as having among the “most controversial” expenses arrangement of all the MPs it had investigated; he had claimed five different properties were his “second home” since 2004. He was even said to have drawn up a tenancy agreement using his daughter’s first and middle names. Yet the Labour’s MP for Bury North initially claimed it was an accounting error – and his attempt to escape police prosecution by claiming Parliamentary privilege quite rightly failed; this protects MPs from legal action arising from events in Parliament.
As countless decent families struggle to make ends meet and fear for their jobs, this court case will only remind many of the contempt they feel for politicians. The long road to rebuilding public trust in MPs still has many miles to go, butÂ I assure you they do work extremely long hours and are passionate about their work; a few bad apples should not sully them all.