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HAZEL BLEARS REFERRED TO SCOTLAND YARD
 

Star date: 22nd December 2009

POLICE BROUGHT IN ON SALFORD MP'S EXPENSES…

We interrupt this Award ceremony to bring news of a possible police investigation into Hazel Blears' expenses…

The Hazel Must Go! campaign has, this afternoon, written to Scotland Yard formally requesting a criminal investigation into the Parliamentary expenses claims of Hazel Blears, MP for Salford….

Full details here…


In a letter to New Scotland Yard, Hazel Must Go! secretary, Steven North, writes that he believes Hazel Blears "may have committed fraud" in relation to expense claims submitted in June 2008 for cleaning and other items for which she was unable to provide receipts.

While the Parliamentary claims office rejected Blears' expense claim for these items, North adds that "I believe she deliberately made a false representation and intended to gain from it".

He continues… "The lack of a receipt for cleaning expenses is particularly significant because the claim continues an earlier pattern of claims at £120 per month. One presumes that Mrs Blears is unable to supply receipts for this or any of her earlier cleaning claims. It therefore suggests that Ms. Blears may have knowingly made false claims for some time. I believe the picture here is one of prima facie evidence of fraud. Can Ms. Blears verify her unreceipted expense claims? Can any cleaning service provider substantiate her claims?"

North points out that, once receipts have to be produced, Blears' cleaning bill suddenly drops substantially. He draws comparisons with other MPs whose cleaning bills also dropped after receipts had to be produced following the Sir Thomas Legg review of MPs' Additional Cost Allowances. These include Jacqui Smith, MP for Redditch, Dennis MacShane, MP for Rotherham, and  Lindsay Hoyle, MP for Chorley.

"My suspicion is that the un-receipted claims these MPs were making prior to April 2008 may not have been for cleaning costs at all" North concludes.

David Henry, of the Hazel Must Go! campaign adds "We're worried that Hazel's expense claims are not entirely correct and have offered observations and comments to the police which we anticipate will trigger a formal investigation".

For further details of Hazel Blears' most recent expense claims see here…

 

THE LETTER TO SCOTLAND YARD IN FULL

Acting Commander
Specialist Crime Directorate
Metropolitan Police Service
New Scotland Yard, Broadway
London SW1H 0BG

Dear Sir

MP's Expenses - Hazel Blears, MP for Salford – Fraud Act 2006 and Theft Act 1968

I am writing to you to formally request a criminal investigation into the Parliamentary expenses claims of Rt. Hon. Hazel Blears, MP for Salford.

This request follows the recently released records for MPs "Additional Cost Allowance" (ACA) and "Personal Additional Accommodation Expenditure" (PAAE) for 2008-09.

I have some grave concerns about the expenses claims of certain MPs and Ms. Blears in particular as I feel her actions may constitute fraud, as defined under the Fraud Act 2006 and as such may also come under the Theft Act 1968.

In submitting claims for expenses for which she was apparently unable to provide receipts, I believe that Rt. Hon. Hazel Blears, MP for Salford may have committed fraud. This was done for a claim she submitted under ACA on 30th June 2008.

Her claim was rejected by the Department of Resources in a letter dated 7/7/2008 as she was unable to provide receipts for £300 on utilities, £279 on Council Tax, £150 on Telephone and Communications, and most interestingly £360 on cleaning bills.
As a result Ms. Blears was apparently not reimbursed for these expenses, but in attempting to claim without receipts I believe she deliberately made a false representation and intended to gain from it.

The lack of a receipt for cleaning expenses is particularly significant because the claim continues an earlier pattern of claims at £120 per month. One presumes that Mrs Blears is unable to supply receipts for this or any of her earlier cleaning claims. It therefore suggests that Ms. Blears may have knowingly made false claims for some time. I believe the picture here is one of prima facie evidence of fraud. Can Ms. Blears verify her unreceipted expense claims? Can any cleaning service provider substantiate her claims?

Following the refusal to grant £360 in June owing to this lack of receipt her cleaning claims change. She does not claim for cleaning between 1st July 2008 and 30th November 2008. When she commences her claims for cleaning again in December 2008, she only claims £80 a month. Her cleaning claims then stop altogether in February 2009 – the month the Daily Telegraph exposed MPs' expenses claims.

These irregularities may seem incidental until we explore the fact that significant reductions in the amounts other MPs were claiming for cleaning took place after the introduction of the requirement for receipts for amounts of £25 or over in March 2008.

Jacqui Smith, MP for Redditch claimed £200 for cleaning for every month of 2007/08. However, she did not claim for cleaning after March 2008.

Dennis MacShane, MP for Rotherham claimed cleaning expenses of £200 a month during 2007/08, but only £24 a month after the requirement for receipts for expenses over £25 was introduced.

Lindsay Hoyle, MP for Chorley dropped his cleaning claims from £140-£185 a month in 07/08 to occasional claims for £45 for 08/09.

I feel that the nature of these cleaning claims needs to be investigated, as these reductions in the amounts claimed seem too closely linked with the date the requirement for receipts of purchases for £25 and over came into effect. The sums of money involved are significant and may amount to thousands of pounds for each MP

My suspicion is that the un-receipted claims these MPs were making prior to April 2008 may not have been for cleaning costs at all. Although, I accept that is only a suspicion.

Given the public interest, the accountability that must apply to politicians and the seriousness of these offences if proven, I am you to instigate a full criminal investigation.

Please acknowledge receipt of this letter.

Thank you for your help with this important matter.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Steven North

More on this story here...

H.C. Judge wrote
at 13:38:39 on 15 November 2011
Did I miss the dawn raid by a plethora of plods , with the media in tow , eager to force entry in their relentless and impartial pursuit of 'british justice ' ? .I Must have been asleep . Isn't the impariality and fairness of the british judicial system wonderful ?
 
A. Richardson wrote
at 06:03:52 on 23 December 2009
Denis MacShane claimed over £20000 for the use of his garage as an office for 3 years. A local property company made it known that they had offered him the rent of a office very close to his home. The rent was £3000 per year inclusive of heating and lighting, but excluding telephone. However he did not take up this offer and is still using his garage as an office. There was also the £8000 he had paid his 'poet' brother for translation services. His brother lives on the Isle of Wight, presumably he could not find any one in South Yorkshire to do the work!!!
 
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