Expenses Four to Fight Prosecution Using 1689 Law; 'Parliamentary Privilege' Claim

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), March 12, 2010 | Go to article overview

Expenses Four to Fight Prosecution Using 1689 Law; 'Parliamentary Privilege' Claim


Byline: Tomos Livingstone

THREE Labour MPs and a Conservative peer told a judge yesterday they will use a 320-year-old law to argue they should not be prosecuted over the expenses scandal.

MPs David Chaytor, Elliot Morley and Jim Devine, along with Lord Hanningfield, will insist their case should not be tried by a jury and instead dealt with by House of Commons authorities.

Their case is set to cast a shadow over the general election campaign with all four politicians to appear at Southwark Crown Court on March 30, potentially within weeks of polling day.

With the Budget on March 24 and the election widely expected on May 6, Prime Minister Gordon Brown could ask the Queen for a dissolution of Parliament on March 29. But the new court hearing date could force a rethink of the timetable.

In the unprecedented hearing at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court, the politicians said they would plead not guilty to fiddling claims for allowances.

The MPs asked to be excused from standing in the secure glass dock at the back of the court but their request was refused.

District Judge Timothy Workman agreed the case was so serious it should be heard at a higher court and released the four defendants on unconditional bail to appear until the next hearing on March 30.

If convicted, they face a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.

Barrister Julian Knowles, for the MPs, told the court they would argue they were protected by parliamentary privilege, covered in the 1689 Bill of Rights.

"My clients should not be understood as saying that they are above the law - that would be quite wrong," he said.

"Parliamentary privilege is part of the law - and it is for Parliament to apply the law in their cases."

He said the case was of "high constitutional importance" but added the criminal courts had "no jurisdiction" over them.

In a separate hearing immediately after the MPs', the court was told Hanningfield would also argue he was covered by Parliamentary privilege. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Expenses Four to Fight Prosecution Using 1689 Law; 'Parliamentary Privilege' Claim
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.