Ex MP is allowed to delay hearing

Former MP Denis MacShane, who has been charged with false accounting over expense claims
Former MP Denis MacShane, who has been charged with false accounting over expense claims
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Former Rotherham MP Denis MacShane was given permission not to appear in court, where he was due to face a charge yesterday of false accounting over his expense claims.

The 65-year-old was due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court accused of making fraudulent claims for £12,900 for research and translation services.

Prosecutors announced earlier this month that he would face one count of false accounting following claims that he had faked receipts.

It is alleged he claimed expenses for research and translation services carried out by a company that did not carry out the work.

But his case was adjourned yesterday after his lawyers said they needed more time to make progress with his case.

Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle said he was ‘a little mystified’ that another district judge had granted permission the day before for the former Rotherham MP not to appear, but adjourned the case until September 10.

He said: “There must be a large amount of paperwork that the solicitors need to go through. I’m a little mystified that the decision has been made and I can’t look behind that decision.”