UK Politics

Barnsley Central by-election date announced

Eric Illsley
Image caption Eric Illsley pledged to stand down before his sentencing

A by-election triggered by the resignation of Barnsley Central MP Eric Illsley will be held on 3 March, it has been announced.

Illsley resigned two days before he is due to be sentenced for dishonestly claiming parliamentary expenses.

The former Labour MP had come under pressure to step down after admitting £14,000 of expenses fraud last month.

Illsley had earlier said he "deeply regretted" his actions and would resign before his sentencing.

The hearing is due to be held at Southwark Crown Court on Thursday.

A Treasury spokesman confirmed that Illsley had resigned on Tuesday night.

The spokesman confirmed that Illsley had been granted the ceremonial post of Crown Steward and Bailiff of the three Chiltern Hundreds of Stoke, Desborough and Burnham - the traditional way of resigning from Parliament.

A writ has been moved for a by-election in his Barnsley Central seat, where Illsley enjoyed a majority of over 11,000 at the last election.

Illsley was re-elected as a Labour MP last May, having first entered Parliament in 1987.

But he was suspended by Labour after being charged with abusing his expenses and has since been sitting as an independent MP.

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