Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Lady in Red



The lady in red won't be smiling over her muesli this morning.  After detectives spending several months looking into the claims Margaret Moran made when MP for Luton South, it is reported she is expected to be charged within weeks.

Miss Moran, you will remember, claimed for than £20,000 for the treatment of dry rot at her Southampton home which is almost 100 miles from either Westminster or her former constituency. When her claim came to light she insisted she had done nothing wrong by 'flipping' her second home between Westminster, Luton and Southampton and, over four years, spent thousands of pounds on decorating each one in turn.  Since that statement she signed off sick from Parliament because of the 'stress' of the situation and within months had been deselected by her local Labour party.  Since leaving, with what is thought to be a £55,000   'golden handshake', she is in the process of selling her taxpayer-funded constituency home for £250,000 - a profit of £177,000.

According to the Telegraph, the police have been very thorough in their investigations.  One receipt, for work to replace a boiler and associated work at her Luton property for more than £14,000 is from a company which is not registered.  The VAT number provided on the invoice is not valid according to HMRC.  The address on the invoice is residential.  The builder who lives there said yesterday that he had been contacted by the police and he denied fitting a boiler for Miss Moran.

She is now set to join four other Labour politicians facing court over their expenses claims.  The first trial, of former minister Elliot Morley, is due to begin on 22 November.

Ms Moran has built up quite a property portfolio so she has plenty in the bank to provide the fees for a top legal team.  The evidence appears to be stacking against her so she'll need the best.

18 comments:

Demetrius said...

This is all a huge mess and almost incredible in its scope and stupidity. Yet these are the people we elected to serve and maintain the Rule of Law. The UK is now in rapid decline and the future looks bad. And it appears there is nobody we can trust.

Richard said...

Most of the MPs expenses stories were disappointing and predictable, but this one made me really angry. One of the worst cases of sheer selfish greed and manipulation, and then the self-serving whingeing when she was caught. I hope she goes dahn for a long time. She won't, of course. Ten biob fine and a slap on the wrist, tops.

Oldrightie said...

She might end up Lady in Orange.

Richard said...

Oh please, God, please.

Dramfineday said...

She is now set to join four other Labour politicians facing court over their expenses claims. Good - the rotten trougher!

Dean said...

So we may have a fifth room mate for Elliot Morley at the crew?

But in all seriousness, some of the accusations being levelled in the Telegraph are pretty serious.

Not only miss-applying expenses funds, but also inflating or outright forging expenses claims. That is fraud, and given the numbers in play here; running perhaps into the hundreds of thousands of taxpayers pounds ...

does anyone know what the sentencing guidelines are for fraud cases like Ms Morans?

Richard said...

If the info in the DT is correct (e.g. with regards forged receipts) than she's in serious shit. That's not just "well, the rest were doing it", that's criminal.

"does anyone know what the sentencing guidelines are for fraud cases like Ms Morans?"

Ten and twenty minutes, unless you're *not* an MP, in which case get used to the taste of porridge.

Joe Public said...

If it wasn't for it being our (taxpayers') money that paid it, isn't it deliciously ironic that Trougher Moran is the victim of an expenses-fiddling entrepreneur who took money for fitting a boiler, which he now claims not to have fitted.

[If he did fit a new boiler, and it is gas fired and he wasn't CORGI / GasSafe registered at the time of installation, he'll get the book thrown at him. A multi-thousand-pound fine / imprisonment. No wonder he denies fitting it; its nothing to do with 'protecting' Ms Moran, it's his own arse he's protecting.]

Richard said...

Unless, of course, it was fitted by a 'friend' and then she just picked the guy's name out of the phone book and made up the VAT number for an 'official' receipt that would pass muster with the fees office, who never seem to check anything anyway.

Billy said...

Is is probably the money that she has fiddled from the tax-payers that have paid for her property portfolio Subrosa and will also pay for her legal expenses as well just like the case of Labour Councillor Tommy Williams here in Renfrewshire who was defrauding the tax-payers for the last couple of decades will probably be doing also whose trial starts next week here in Paisley.

subrosa said...

The future doesn't look great right enough Demetrius. There are possibly more like this. It wouldn't surprise me.

subrosa said...

What annoyed me is that she never returned to her constituency after she was caught Richard. I detest cowards.

subrosa said...

I doubt it OR. It'll be a fine. Just hope I'm wrong.

subrosa said...

The Telegraph article says two others are still being investigated Dram but their names are being withheld.

subrosa said...

No idea Dean, sorry.

subrosa said...

Strangely enough Joe, I did wonder about that when I read it. CORGI don't like lawbreakers.

subrosa said...

Will we hear the full story in court Richard? It'll be her word against the resident at the invoice address.

subrosa said...

Very possibly Billy, because, if I remember at the time, her partner doesn't make much in his business. They set up a joint enterprise didn't they?

I must google Tommy Williams and see what's going on there.

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