1. ITV Report

Former Labour minister Denis MacShane jailed for expenses fraud

Former Rotherham MP Denis MacShane has been jailed for six months. Photo:

Disgraced former Labour minister Denis MacShane has been sentenced to six months at the Old Bailey after admitting making bogus expense claims amounting to nearly £13,000.

The ex-MP previously pleaded guilty to false accounting by filing 19 fake receipts for "research and translation" services.

ITV News correspondent Juliet Bremner reports from the court:

MacShane, 65, used the money to fund a series of trips to Europe, including one to judge a literary competition in Paris.

His guilty plea followed more than four years of scrutiny into his use of Commons allowances.

MacShane said "Cheers" as the sentence was delivered, before adding, "Quelle surprise" as he was led from the dock.

Denis MacShane admitted filing bonus expense claims. Credit: PA Wire

Mr Justice Sweeney told MacShane his dishonesty had been "considerable and repeated many times over a long period".

The judge said MacShane had shown "a flagrant breach of trust" in "our priceless democratic system", adding:

You have no one to blame but yourself. The deception used was calculated and designed.

He told MacShane he must serve half his sentence in prison and was ordered to pay costs of £1,500 within two months.

MacShane, 65, who served as Europe minister under Tony Blair, resigned as MP for Rotherham last November before the punishment could be imposed.

The Taxpayers' Alliance said "justice has been done". The political director of the organisation, Jonathan Isaby, said MacShane "routinely forged receipts to take taxpayers' money" and that it was not up to the taxpayer to fund Mr MacShane's trips around Europe.

However, MacShane's Labour colleague, the former transport minister Tom Harris, tweeted that it was an "awful day":