Police alerted as MP quits in ‘gravest case’ of false expenses claims

One of Yorkshire’s most-high-profile MPs and former Minister for Europe has resigned from Parliament after it was found he submitted false invoices and wrongly claimed thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money on foreign trips.

Denis MacShane, the Labour MP for Rotherham, announced his decision to quit after the House of Commons standards and privileges committee recommended he be suspended without pay and pension for a year – the longest suspension of an MP in living memory.

In a damning report released yesterday, which will be examined by the Metropolitan Police, it said Mr MacShane submitted 19 false invoices “plainly intended to deceive” Parliament’s expenses authority as he travelled on official trips across Europe.

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Chairman of the committee and fellow South Yorkshire Labour MP, Kevin Barron said it was “the gravest case” which has ever come before it.

A by-election will now be triggered in Rotherham after Mr MacShane said he would take responsibility for his “foolishness”.

“I have decided for the sake of my wonderful constituency of Rotherham and my beloved Labour Party to resign as an MP by applying for the Chiltern Hundreds or as guided by the House authorities,” Mr MacShane said in a statement.

“I love the House of Commons and I hope by resigning I can serve by showing that MPs must take responsibility for their mistakes and accept the consequences of being in breach of the House rules.”

The committee said it is estimated he may have claimed up to £7,500 outside of the rules, while he also obtained 14 computers from the Commons authorities and through expense claims, some of which was passed on to interns.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “We are aware of the report and will be assessing its content in due course.”