Disgraced former Labour minister Denis MacShane has taken a swipe at prosecutors for pursuing "celebrity" cases and compared himself with Coronation Street star William Roache as he was released from jail today.
Prison is "the place" to go to to lose weight and get fit and is "fascinating", the ex-MP added as he walked free just six weeks into his six month sentence for bogus expenses claims totalling nearly £13,000.
MacShane criticised former director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer for being "very keen" on celebrity prosecutions and linked himself to Roache, who was yesterday cleared of alleged sex offences.
He added: "Bill Roache yesterday, me today. It's Keir Starmer's little angels."
MacShane, 65, pleaded guilty to false accounting by filing 19 fake receipts for "research and translation" services and was jailed two days before Christmas.
The jailing of ex-MP Denis MacShane for making bogus expense claims was "not justice", said his former Labour colleague Tom Harris.
The former transport minister tweeted that it was an "awful day":
Harris also made a reference to Liberal Democrat David Laws, who has been appointed a minister despite revelations that he claimed allowances to pay his partner rent for the London flat where they lived.
The Taxpayers' Alliance have said "justice has been done" after Denis McShane was sentenced to six months in prison after claiming more than £13,000 in fraudulent expense claims.
The political director of the organisation, Jonathan Isaby, said the former Labour minister "routinely forged receipts to take taxpayers' money" and that it was not up to the taxpayer to fund Mr MacShane's trips around Europe.
The deception shown by Denis McShane was "calculated and designed" a judge has said during the sentencing of the former Labour minister.
Mr Justice Sweeney told MacShane, who was sentenced to six months in prison, his dishonesty had been "considerable and repeated many times over a long period".
The ex-MP pleaded guilty to false accounting by filing 19 fake receipts for "research and translation" services, and subsequently used the money to fund a series of trips to Europe.
"You have no one to blame but yourself," the judge said.
The judge said MacShane had shown "a flagrant breach of trust" in "our priceless democratic system".
Mr Justice Sweeney has sentenced former MP Denis McShane to six months in jail saying that he had been deliberately dishonest on many occasions and over a prolonged period.
He accepted that the 65-year-old had not personally profited from the faked expenses claims, which totalled £12,900, but said that his action had risked damaging "our priceless democratic system".
He pleaded guilty last month to 19 counts of false accounting.
As the sentence was delivered, McShane muttered "cheers" in an ironic manner and has he was led past the press bench on the way down to the cells he said "quel surprise", suggesting that this was a punishment he had anticipated.
Disgraced former Labour minister Denis MacShane has been jailed for six months at the Old Bailey after admitting making bogus expense claims amounting to nearly £13,000.
Former Labour minister Denis MacShane will be sentenced later today after admitting making bogus expense claims amounting to nearly £13,000.
MacShane, 65, pleaded guilty last month to false accounting by filing 19 fake receipts for ''research and translation'' services.
The former Rotherham MP used the money to fund a series of trips around Europe, including one to judge a literary competition in Paris.
During a hearing at the Old Bailey on Friday, Mr Justice Sweeney heard from both defence and prosecution lawyers.
The maximum jail term available for false accounting is seven years.
Disgraced Labour MP Denis MacShane admitted to using a fake name to fraudulently claim expenses for trips to Europe, it emerged.
Allegations were made against MacShane as far back as 2009.
However, he confessed to submitting invoices signed with what he called a "nom de plume" in a 2010 letter to the Parliamentary commissioner.
The former Labour MP repeatedly put in receipts from the “European Policy Institute”, a group he subsequently described as a “loose network” with “no office, no staff, and just a post-box address.”
He used a name on the receipts which he explained was “a nom de plume used over the years to cover expense claims and payments from the EPI.”
A former Labour MP is due to be sentenced later today after pleading guilty to false accounting over his expenses.
Former Rotherham MP Denis MacShane admitted filing 19 fraudulent invoices between January 2005 to January 2008 back in November.
The former Europe minister received over £100,000 in allowances on top of his salary of £67,000 a year.
Among them, he submitted fake receipts for £12,900 of "research and translation" services.
Four MPs and two peers have been sent to prison as a result of the expenses revelations from 2009. The maximum sentence for false accounting is seven years.
Their sentences ranged from nine to 18 months. One further MP, Labour's Margaret Moran, was given a supervision order instead after suffering mental health problems.