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Former environment minister Elliot Morley gets 16 month jail term for expenses fiddle

Former environment minister Elliot Morley was today sentenced to 16 months in prison, after having pleaded guilty in April to dishonestly claiming more than £30,000 in parliamentary expenses.

Morley was made an honorary ICE Fellow in 2004 for his “proactive engagement” with the ICE.

His Fellowship was suspended in April when it emerged that he faced prosecution for making fraudulent expenses claims while serving as a member of Parliament.

He stepped down as an MP at the 2010 general election, having represented Scunthorpe since 1987.

Morley was honoured by the ICE for implementing recommendations on flood policy when he served as environment minister between 2003 and 2006.

Biggest claim

Of the four former MPs charged with criminal offences over the expenses scandal, Morley’s claims total the most.

The claims included cash for a mortgage that had already been paid off and more interest on another mortgage than he was actually paying.

Morley originally insisted that the overpayments were a result of “sloppy accounting” rather than fraudulent activity.

The chairman of the ICE disciplinary board decided to suspend Morley under by-law 40 (1), which provides for ICE membership to be suspended when a member is found or pleads guilty to a serious criminal offence.

The matter is subject to formal consideration by the ICE’s professional conduct panel for possible referral to the disciplinary board. If found guilty of misconduct, Morley could face a fine and possibly expulsion from the Institution.

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