Breaking: MacShane reported to police over expenses

Labour MP has the whip withdrawn after expenses complaint is referred to the police.

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The pugnacious Denis MacShane has been suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party after the Privilege and Standards Committee referred him to the police over his expenses.

The complaint is thought to have been submitted in June last year by the BNP in connection with claims for his constituency office. The claims include £125,000 over seven years for an office in the garage of his South Yorkshire home. MacShane also claimed for eight laptops in three years.

"I have been informed by the parliamentary commissioner for standards that he has written to the Metropolitan police in connection with his inquiry into a complaint against me filed in June 2009," he said.

"While I obviously regret this development I will of course co-operate fully with the police as I have with the commissioner. I will make no further comment."

MacShane, a vociferous critic of the new Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, recently admitted that he bought "the biggest box of chocolates" for an official moved to tears by his outburst. But he attacked IPSA for "releasing inaccurate and one-sided material" in an attempt to smear him.

George Eaton is senior online editor of the New Statesman.

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