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MPs' expenses: David Chaytor pleads guilty to charges


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David Chaytor will be sentenced in January


Former Labour MP David Chaytor has pleaded guilty to three charges relating to his expenses claims.


Chaytor, 61, the former MP for Bury North, was charged with false accounting totalling just over £20,000. He claimed rent for his own flat in London and rent for a house in Bury, which was owned by his mother.


He would have been the first Parliamentarian to stand trial over his expenses but changed his plea before it was due to start on Monday. Chaytor stood down as an MP at the general election - having been barred by Labour from standing for them again.


He was granted unconditional bail and will be sentenced on 7 January at Southwark Crown Court. He faces a maximum seven years in jail but is likely to receive a more lenient sentence because of his guilty plea. Two other former MPs, one current MP and two members of the House of Lords are due to face separate trials over their expenses claims.


Chaytor had claimed £12,925 between 2005 and 2006 for renting a flat in Regency Street, near Westminster, which he owned - producing a fake tenancy agreement which said he was paying £1,175 a month rent.


He also falsely claimed £5,425 between 2007 and 2008 for renting a home in Castle Street, Bury, which was owned by his mother. He admitted he had not paid his mother, who had moved into a home because of illness. Under Commons rules he was not allowed to rent from a family member. A third charge related to falsely charging £1,950 for IT support services in May 2006. The charge said that he supplied two invoices from a man named Paul France for his professional services "when in fact the services had not been provided or charged for". However in that case, Chaytor had not received the money claimed.


He had denied the charges but appeared at the Old Bailey on Friday to change his plea, having failed in a court bid to argue that expenses cases should be heard by Parliament, not the courts. Chaytor's QC James Sturman told the judge, Mr Justice Saunders that £13,000 had already been repaid: "There are many misconceptions about the case which we will wish to put right on January 7.


"Obviously he accepts this is a serious matter. There is no loss to the public purse. Any sums claimed have been, or will be, repaid."



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Ex-MP David Chaytor changed his plea to guilty shortly before his trial was due to start


MPs' expenses: David Chaytor jailed over false claims

Ex Labour MP David Chaytor has been jailed for 18 months for fraudulently claiming more than £20,000 in expenses.


Chaytor, 61, the former MP for Bury North, last month admitted three charges of false accounting.


He made claims for IT consultancy work he was never charged for and renting two homes which, it turned out, were owned by him and his mother.


The maximum sentence was seven years in jail but his guilty plea was taken into account.


He had been due to be the first MP to stand trial over expenses but changed his plea days beforehand.


Prosecutors said Chaytor deliberately tried to "siphon off" public money he was not entitled to by providing false documents to back up claims for rent which he never paid.


But his defence said Chaytor would have been entitled to the money if he had gone about it "honestly and frankly" - and he showed "stupidity" in submitting fraudulent documents.



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