MPs in the dock

Elliot Morley served time in an open prison over the expenses scandal

Elliot Morley served time in an open prison over the expenses scandal

First published in News

NIGEL Evans is not the first politician to end up in court.

Former cabinet minister Chris Huhne was jailed for eight months in March last year for perverting the course of justice.

The Liberal Democrat had admitted asking his then wife Vicky Pryce to take his speeding points to avoid losing his licence in 2003.

Since 1906, when Liberal party MP Jabez Balfour was locked up for property fraud, UK politicians have been put behind bars for a variety of scandals.

The MPs’ expenses affair saw four jailed, leading to the startling statistic that in 2011, 0.13 per cent of the general population was in jail compared to 0.61 per cent of the House of Commons.

David Chaytor was jailed for 18 months, Jim Devine for 16 months, Elliot Morley was sent to Ford open prison and Eric Illsley served four months of a year-long sentence.

In 2001, Conservative peer and millionaire novelist Lord Archer was jailed for perjury and perverting the course of justice over lying during a libel case.

Tory MP and former cabinet minister, Jonathan Aitken, was convicted of perjury and served a seven-month sentence in 1999.

One of few imprisoned for a moral stand was Terry Fields, a supporter of the Militant Tendency, who refused to pay his poll tax.

The most bizarre jailing involved Labour junior minister John Stonehouse, who faked his own death in 1974.

He was arrested by police in Copenhagen who suspected he was Lord Lucan.

After a 68-day trial, he was imprisoned for 21 charges of fraud, theft, forgery, conspiracy to defraud, and wasting police time.

Later he was alleged to have been a communist agent.

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