A BY-election is to be held in three weeks for an MP to replace disgraced politician Denis MacShane.
Labour formally started the process by moving the writ in the Commons to trigger the contest in the former Europe minister’s Rotherham seat.
Mr MacShane resigned after a damning report into his use of parliamentary expenses to fund European trips and computers was published last week.
At the last election he had a 10,642-vote majority.
Parliamentary Standards Commissioner John Lyon found Mr MacShane entered 19 ‘misleading’ expenses claims for thousands of pounds of research and translation services from a body called the European Policy Institute, signed by its supposed general manager.
But the institute did not exist ‘in this form’ by the time in question and the general manager’s signature was provided by Mr MacShane himself or someone else ‘under his authority’.
As the MP controlled the EPI’s bank account, he was effectively ‘submitting invoices to himself and asking the parliamentary authorities to pay’.
The Standards and Privileges Committee recommended that Mr MacShane should be suspended for 12 months and said it was impossible to say how much the claimed ‘outside the rules’ but it ‘may have been in the order of £7,500’.