Supreme court rejects expenses MPs’ appeal

By staff

Three former expenses MPs’ bid to avoid a criminal trial has been decisively thwarted by the supreme court.

Judges rejected the arguments of lawyers representing David Chaytor, Elliot Morley and Jim Devine that the trio were protected from facing trial in court because of parliamentary privilege.

They had argued they should be accountable to parliament rather than the courts because, under the 1689 Bill of Rights, their expenses claims fell under the category of ‘proceedings of parliament’ – and were therefore protected by privilege.

The trio had hoped their case would be dealt with by the parliamentary authorities. Instead their trial begins on November 22nd.

All three deny charges under section 17 of the Theft Act 1968.