Lord Taylor of Warwick guilty

The BBC reports: Ex-Tory peer Lord Taylor of Warwick has been found guilty of making £11,277 in false parliamentary expenses claims. The 58-year-old peer claimed travel costs between his Oxford home and Westminster, as well as subsistence for staying in London. He claimed he had made the false claims “in lieu of a salary”, and had been acting on the advice of colleagues. But a jury at Southwark Crown Court found him guilty by an 11-1 majority verdict. He has been released on bail pending sentencing at a date to be confirmed.

 

I did find this quote from the BBC report astonishing: “Lord Taylor said it had been a common practice among peers to claim for fake journeys and enter expenses claims with a false address as a main residence, and he believed it was acceptable to do this provided there was a “family connection” with the property.”

David Allen Green writes in The New Statesman:

I’m not a criminal lawyer – will Taylor be jailed?  I suspect so, given the circumstances and the guidelines. How long?  Any criminal lawyers prepared to offer a view?

8 thoughts on “Lord Taylor of Warwick guilty

  1. I rather doubt that confiscation will be pursued in Lord Taylor’s case.

    But, interestingly, if it were, then Lord Taylor would be found to have a ‘criminal lifestyle’ (since he has been convicted on the same occasion of at least four offences from which he has benefited and the total benefit is at least £5,000 – s75 PoCA 2002).

    David

  2. R v Chaytor gives an indication. Mr Chaytor received 18 months – sum involved almost £23,000. Lord Taylor has been found guilty in relation to just over £11,000. Thus, 9 months seems appropriate. Of course, there may well be several other factors to be considered. We will not see the pre-sentence report.

  3. It’s fairly clear that, at the very least, quite a few members of the House of Lords have been pushing the bounds of ethical behaviour in claiming expenses, and that some have crossed the boundary into outright dishonesty.

    My guess is anything up to about 9 months, but I’m rather guessing on this. It’s a sad fall, but I guess a barrister really ought to know better.

  4. If, ObiterJ, you are referring to the Cheltenham episode, there is indeed a tragic element to this. I lived near there at the time, there were many reports in the local media of comments which could only be desribed as racist, often from within the local Tory community, and one local prominent was awaiting trial at the time for for inciting racial hatred because of his comments about Taylor, although he died and was generally considered to have “cheated the gallows”. I recall many barbed comments in the same vein from certain colleagues. I had the impression that the Libs won partly from people voting against Old Tory racism rather than against Taylor, who somehow maintained his dignity throughout but, I suspect, was traumatised by the experience. A rather prominent example of racial discrimination snuffing out a law-maker’s career before it started, ironically by individuals who consider themselves suitable to make laws in the general interest.

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