Tory Leader resigns after Theft Act charges

February 5, 2010 1:14 PM

Lord Hanningfield, leader of Tory-controlled Essex County Council, has been charged in connection with his expenses and has resigned as leader.

Tories gather for High Street opening: Lord Hanningfield with MP Eric Pickles and Brentwood Council Leader Cllr Louise McKinlay

Tories gather for High Street opening: Lord Hanningfield with MP Eric Pickles and Brentwood Council Leader Cllr Louise McKinlay

The Crown Prosecution Service said:

""...six charges under section 17 of the Theft Act 1968 for false accounting have been brought against Paul White, known as Lord Hanningfield. The charges allege that between March 2006 and May 2009, Paul White dishonestly submitted claims for expenses to which he knew he was not entitled, including numerous claims for overnight expenses for staying in London when records show that he was driven home and did not stay overnight in London."

A summons has been issued for Lord Hanningfield, and three Labour MPs, to appear in court on 11th March 2010.

Following this announcement, Lord Hanningfield resigned as Leader of Essex County Council. He has also had the whip removed from the parliamentary party and has stood down from the front bench.