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Ex-Luton MP Margaret Moran facing 21 expenses charges

Margaret Moran
Image caption Former Luton South MP Margaret Moran is to be prosecuted over expenses claims

The former Luton South MP is to be prosecuted for allegedly claiming parliamentary expenses illegally.

Margaret Moran, who stepped down at the 2010 General Election, will face 21 charges in relation to claims, Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer said.

The former Labour MP is accused of claiming for a home in her constituency and a family house in Southampton.

The police inquiry was delayed because Ms Moran was suffering from ill health.

The former Labour MP, who allegedly claimed for dry rot treatment on a home more than 100 miles from her constituency, will be charged with claiming fraudulent expenses by more than £60,000, Mr Starmer said.

Ms Moran is due to appear before City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on 19 September.

The decision to charge the former MP by the Crown Prosecution Service comes more than two years after revelations surrounding illegal claims by some MPs came to light.

Ms Moran claimed more than £98,000 in second home expenses between 2004 and 2009, documents showed.

When the expenses scandal first broke, Ms Moran denied any wrongdoing.

'Forged invoices'

"We have decided there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to bring criminal charges against Margaret Moran," Mr Starmer said.

"These charges relate to fraudulent claims with a total value of more than £60,000.

"The summons relates to 15 charges of false accounting, contrary to the Theft Act 1968.

"It is alleged that she claimed expenses for the furnishing and improvement of main residences between November 2004 and August 2008 through a scheme intended for the maintenance of second homes or offices.

"Ms Moran also faces six charges of forgery, contrary to the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981, where it is alleged that she submitted forged invoices in support of some of her claims."

On 15 May 2009, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner agreed to set up a panel of senior officers and prosecuting lawyers to assess a number of complaints in relation to parliamentary expense claims.

A Labour Party spokesman said: "Margaret Moran is suspended from membership of the Labour Party and is no longer an MP."

The Director of Public Prosecutions said there were no more parliamentary expenses fraud cases awaiting review.

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