Ex-Tory peer Lord Taylor in court on expenses charges

Image caption, Lord Taylor became the first black Tory peer in 1996

A former Tory peer has appeared in court accused of false accounting after he was questioned in connection with the parliamentary expenses scandal.

Lord Taylor of Warwick resigned the Tory whip after being charged with dishonestly claiming more than £24,300 in overnight subsistence and mileage.

His defence counsel indicated he would plead not guilty to the charges.

He was summoned to face six charges at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court and was granted unconditional bail.

Election candidate

The first charge alleges that, on or about 31 March 2006, Lord Taylor dishonestly submitted claims for overnight subsistence and car mileage stating that his main place of residence was outside London when he did not reside at the address he had given but actually resided in the capital.

The subsequent charges allege similar claims were made on 3 July 2006, 31 October 2006, 5 April 2007, 2 July 2007 and 31 October 2007.

District judge Jeremy Coleman ordered Lord Taylor to appear for a plea and case management hearing at Southwark Crown Court on 17 September.

Lord Taylor, 57, became the first black Tory peer in 1996 after standing unsuccessfully for the Conservatives in Cheltenham at the 1992 general election.

He was born in Birmingham, full name John David Beckett Taylor, and has been a practising barrister, ministerial adviser and television presenter.

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