Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting BWNNEWS to 80360 or email us »
Hanningfield: "I've done nothing wrong"
12:00pm Wednesday 18th December 2013 in Local news
LORD Hanningfield claimed he has done “nothing wrong” by spending just a few minutes a day in the House of Lords.
A national newspaper revealed on Tuesday the disgraced peer spent no more than 40 minutes in Westminster on 11 out of 19 visits during July.
By doing so the former Essex County Council leader was still able to claim £300 a day in expenses for attending the house.
No suggestion has been made of any rules being broken by the former Conservative party member.
The 73-year-old said he was only claiming a salary for legitimate work, even if the work was not always in the House of Lords.
He said: “Work in the Lords is in offices and committee rooms, not in the House, but the mechanism is where you check in.
“Whether this is the right way to do it I don’t know. Maybe we should sign in and out and whether or not it is the right system is not for me to judge, but I have abided by the system.
“If you’re not making a speech there’s no point in staying in there.
“Perhaps it does need a review. There are a lot of people doing the same thing.
“Peers are about ten times cheaper than an MP.”
Lord Hanningfield also said July had not been a busy month because he was recovering from a nervous breakdown, depression, and a back problem.
“I have done nothing wrong and intend to carry on working hard,” he said, “particularly for the benefit of people in Essex and East Anglia as I have always tried to do.”
In 2011, Lord Hanningfield was jailed for parliamentary expenses fraud totaling nearly £14,000, serving nine weeks of a nine month sentence.