Den Dover expenses fraud probe: Former MEP faces no further action

Den Dover
Image caption Den Dover was an MEP for 10 years

A former Conservative MEP at the centre of an expenses fraud probe faces no further action, police have said.

Den Dover was investigated over European Parliamentary expenses claims that the parliament argued were unjustified.

The former MP for Chorley in Lancashire said he submitted his expenses in "good faith", but was ordered to repay £345,289 in expenses claims in 2011.

Mr Dover, 75, said he was delighted to be exonerated after a six-year fight.

'Used as a scapegoat'

Mr Dover was expelled from the Tory Party in 2008 for "gross misconduct" and originally faced a demand to repay £538,000.

He said: "I enjoyed my time as a Chorley MP for 18 years and 10 years as NW MEP and chief whip then suddenly I was seen as a bad guy and expelled.

Mr Dover said he was "used as a scapegoat" when the party knew the whole system for expenses was "completely flawed".

"I had to pay all the money back even though I had all the receipts and they were perfectly legitimate items."

He added: "It was totally unjustified."

A police spokeswoman said: "Hertfordshire Constabulary sought early investigative advice from the Crown Prosecution Service regarding an allegation of fraud relating to European Parliamentary expenses.

"Hertfordshire Constabulary have subsequently made a decision that no further action is to be taken regarding this matter."

Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies had urged the police to investigate whether Mr Dover, who represented the North West of England in Brussels until 2009, had committed a criminal offence.

The Conservative Party said it would not be commenting on the latest development.

Mr Dover said now he had been "completely cleared" he would reconsider his future.

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