Lord Hanningfield and Lord Taylor of Warwick released after serving only a quarter of their sentences

September 13, 2011 10:35 AM

Lord Hanningfield and Lord Taylor of Warwick have both been released from prison, having each served only a quarter of their respective nine and twelve month sentences. It is deeply disappointing that they are out so soon and sends out the wrong message to the taxpayers they ripped off.





Lord Hanningfield (pictured), the former leader of Essex County Council, falsely claimed nearly £14,000 for staying in London when he was not there; on one occasion he was in fact on a flight to India. Lord Taylor of Warwick falsely claimed over £ 11,000 for a house in Oxford that he did not live in. Both of these men stole money from taxpayers and lied when confronted with evidence of their crimes.

Three former MPs jailed over their parliamentary expenses - David Chaytor, Eric Illsley and Jim Devine - have already been released. Now that these two peers are also out it means almost all of those convicted over their parliamentary expenses have been let out after serving barely a quarter of their sentences (Elliot Morley was moved from rough Wandsworth prison to a softer open prison in within weeks of being locked up and could also be in line for an early release).

The length of the sentences the expenses cheats served is important. It is about more than just any perceived danger to the public. It is key that their time inside reflects the impact and seriousness of their crimes. The taxpayers they stole from need to see that justice has been done and that it is not one rule for politicians and another rule for the rest of us. A large part of the expenses scandal was a result of some politicians believing they were somehow 'above the law'. The jail time served needs to dispel this myth and act as a proper deterrent for any future would-be expenses cheat.

It remains to be seen if these two Lords have understood the gravity of their actions or the damage they have done. The continued presence of convicted criminals, who stole taxpayers' money, in the House of Lords is totally unacceptable. The public must be left wondering what the deterrent is for stealing thousands of pounds from taxpayers.

The expenses cheats should have served more of their sentences to help restore public faith in Parliament after it was so badly damaged by the expenses scandal. Many voters will not think that justice has been served following these lightweight punishments.Lord Hanningfield and Lord Taylor of Warwick have both been released from prison, having each served only a quarter of their respective nine and twelve month sentences. It is deeply disappointing that they are out so soon and sends out the wrong message to the taxpayers they ripped off.





Lord Hanningfield (pictured), the former leader of Essex County Council, falsely claimed nearly £14,000 for staying in London when he was not there; on one occasion he was in fact on a flight to India. Lord Taylor of Warwick falsely claimed over £ 11,000 for a house in Oxford that he did not live in. Both of these men stole money from taxpayers and lied when confronted with evidence of their crimes.

Three former MPs jailed over their parliamentary expenses - David Chaytor, Eric Illsley and Jim Devine - have already been released. Now that these two peers are also out it means almost all of those convicted over their parliamentary expenses have been let out after serving barely a quarter of their sentences (Elliot Morley was moved from rough Wandsworth prison to a softer open prison in within weeks of being locked up and could also be in line for an early release).

The length of the sentences the expenses cheats served is important. It is about more than just any perceived danger to the public. It is key that their time inside reflects the impact and seriousness of their crimes. The taxpayers they stole from need to see that justice has been done and that it is not one rule for politicians and another rule for the rest of us. A large part of the expenses scandal was a result of some politicians believing they were somehow 'above the law'. The jail time served needs to dispel this myth and act as a proper deterrent for any future would-be expenses cheat.

It remains to be seen if these two Lords have understood the gravity of their actions or the damage they have done. The continued presence of convicted criminals, who stole taxpayers' money, in the House of Lords is totally unacceptable. The public must be left wondering what the deterrent is for stealing thousands of pounds from taxpayers.

The expenses cheats should have served more of their sentences to help restore public faith in Parliament after it was so badly damaged by the expenses scandal. Many voters will not think that justice has been served following these lightweight punishments.

Latest Blogs:

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

The sugar tax and the public finances

6:00 AM 05, Dec 2016 Harry Fairhead

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Working for the taxman

6:00 AM 26, Nov 2016 Harry Fairhead

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Further thoughts on the Autumn Statement

4:56 PM 24, Nov 2016 James Price

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Have we had too much austerity?

10:57 AM 23, Nov 2016 Alex Wild