Prosecute the Troughers – All of them

The troughing exposed has been spectacular and mostly the culprits have just laughed it all off, or blamed their staff.

In the UK however things are quite a bit more serious for troughing MPs.

Troughing MPs

(photo courtesy Guido Fawkes)

Three former Labour MPs and a Conservative peer are to face criminal trials for alleged expenses fraud after a judge threw out their attempts to claim parliamentary privilege.

Elliot Morley, David Chaytor, Jim Devine and Lord Hanningfield had argued that they could not be tried in court because of a 300-year-old law exempting MPs and Lords from prosecution over proceedings in parliament.

But Mr Justice Saunders rejected their application, saying there was “no logical, practical, moral or legal justification” for expenses claims being covered by privilege.

You would think that would curb their troughing ways, but no. They plan to appeal costing the poor British taxpayer even more.

However, the four men have announced they will appeal against the decision, meaning the taxpayer will face a bill running into six figures for another hearing.

The judge granted permission for the men to take their case to the Court of Appeal for a hearing which is likely to take place later in the summer.

If their appeal is unsuccessful they will face juries at Southwark Crown Court in south London on charges of false accounting in separate trials which could begin before the end of this year.

All four were charged following a police inquiry which was trigged by The Daily Telegraph‘s investigation into MPs’ expenses which began in May last year.

They face a maximum prison sentence of seven years if convicted. None of the defendants, who deny the charges, was in court to hear the judge’s decision.

Time for our own prosecutions here. Start with Carter, Anderton, Cosgrove (the three suits is a dead giveaway) and toss in Groser as well for good measure, or Bill English for his little housing rort.

Watch their eyes go like saucers if that happens. It is definitely time for some real sunshine to be shone on the greedy little piggies of our parliament.