Denis MacShane, 65, an ex-Member of Parliament and minister of Europe under the Labour government of Tony Blair, was sentenced to six months in prison, and a fine of £ 1,500, for false accounting of official expenses.
The former minister, admitted in November to making bogus expense claims of nearly £13,000. He filed 19 fake receipts for “research and translation” services between January 2005 and January 2008, using the money to fund a series of trips to Europe. The funds were drawn from the European Policy Institute, which he had founded in 1992.
He resigned from an 18-year career as MP in November. He represented Rotherum at the time of his resignation.
Investigations into Mr. MacShane’s official expenses began four years ago. He is in fact the fifth MPs to be arrested in the 2009 expenses scandal that engulfed Westminster in 2009.
The expenses scandal was exposed by the Telegraph group of publications in 2009. It published a damning list of false expense claims made over several years by MPs and Peers from across the political divide. The scam led to a political shake-up that saw resignations, sackings, retirements, and public apologies.
Mr. MacShane, a former BBC journalist and a former president of the National Union of Journalists, admitted to having made a “grotesque mistake,” arguing that he did not profit from the money, which covered legitimate expenditure on travel in Europe.
The judge accepted his contention and said the case was different from several other parliamentarians who had submitted “wholly false claims.”
However, the judge also said that Mr. MacShane had shown "a flagrantbreach of trust" in "our priceless democratic system".