Jailed former MP ‘may be out in weeks’

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Disgraced former Barnsley MP Eric Illsley, who was jailed for a year after admitting defrauding taxpayers to the tune of £14,500, could be out of prison in just eight weeks.

Illsley, aged 55, was convicted of expenses fraud in January after he admitted three charges of false accounting in relation to bogus claims amounting to £14,500 for his second home.

The former Labour Barnsley Central MP was sent to London’s Wandsworth Prison last month. It has now been revealed he could be released on an electric tag just over three months into his sentence.

It has been reported Illsley will be eligible to be freed on a tag from the third week in May.

If Illsley applies for the Prison Services Home Detention Scheme and is successful, he will have to stay at home between 7pm and 7am, but will be free to do as he wishes for the rest of the day.

Illsley submitted inflated claims for utilities, phone bills and council tax between 2005 and 2008, averaging about £100 a week. He was able to siphon off taxpayers’ cash because at that time MPs did not have to submit receipts for claims under £250.

When this was reduced to £25 in May 2008, Illsley’s expense claims decreased too.