Lord Hanningfield in court on false accounting charge

  • 29 October 2015
  • From the section Essex
Lord Hanningfield Image copyright PA
Image caption Lord Hanningfield was making his first appearance in court since being charged with false accounting

The former Conservative leader of Essex County Council has indicated he will plead not guilty to a charge related to false Parliament expense claims.

Lord Hanningfield is accused of falsely claiming about £3,300 in attendance payments at the House of Lords.

He appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court as Paul White, Lord Hanningfield.

His legal team said he would deny the charge and his case was committed to Southwark Crown Court.

The prosecution was brought following an investigation by the Daily Mirror which alleged he would sometimes spend less than 40 minutes at the House of Lords after "clocking-on" to claim a £300-per-day attendance payment.

Magistrates heard the charge of false accounting related to expense claims filed on 11 separate days in July 2013.

Lord Hanningfield, 75, of West Hanningfield near Chelmsford, used to take the Conservative whip in the House of Lords, but he now has no party affiliation.

His next appearance, at crown court, is due on 12 November. Magistrates granted him unconditional bail.

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