Disgraced former Rotherham MP Denis MacShane has taken a swipe at prosecutors for pursuing ‘celebrity’ cases - and compared himself with Coronation Street star William Roache - as he was released from jail.
Prison is the place to go to lose weight and get fit, and is ‘fascinating’, the ex-Labour minister said as he walked free just six weeks into his six-month sentence for bogus expenses claims totalling nearly £13,000
MacShane lashed out at former director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer for being ‘very keen’ on celebrity prosecutions and linked himself to Roache, who was cleared of alleged sex crimes.
He said: “It’s been quite a week for the celebrity prosecution people Keir Starmer was very keen on - the DPP.
“But I’m not talking about what happened or the other MPs who made so much money and haven’t been held to account.
“That’s for another time, another day, but I’m obviously glad to be out.
“I really met some very good people inside prison.
“I wouldn’t say I’d recommend it to anybody, but certainly if you want to lose weight and get fit it’s the place.”
MacShane, aged 65, pleaded guilty to false accounting by filing 19 fake receipts for ‘research and translation’ services and was jailed two days before Christmas.
As he was released from HMP Brixton the former Europe minister said: “It’s been a fascinating six weeks. I was last in prison in Communist Poland. I’ve met very interesting people. I’ve met a lot of people who know the difference between right and wrong, between truth and mendacity and are really prepared to admit to mistakes they’ve made in the past. It’s very different from the House of Commons in that regard.
“I’ve been well treated by the prisoners, I’ve learned a lot. It’s been a humbling, rewarding and enriching experience.
“I’ve lost weight, I’m fitter than I’ve been for the last 10 years and I’m glad now to get back and see my children, family and friends.”
He added: “I spent my time as I spent all my life, thinking, writing, talking to people, making notes.
“I’ve been keeping fit and for the first time eating more healthily and not drinking.”