Disgraced MP faces jail

Eric Illsley
Eric Illsley
Share this article
Have your say

SHAMED Barnsley politician Eric Illsley is due to be sentenced today for fiddling his expenses claims while serving as an MP.

The 55-year-old, who quit as an MP on Tuesday, represented Barnsley Central when he falsely claimed expenses worth £14,000.

He is due to be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court today after admitting the offence last month.

Illsley could be jailed for the offence – former Labour MP David Chaytor was jailed for 18 months after admitting he falsely claimed more than £22,000.

Although Illsley admitted dishonestly claiming expenses he could still have served as an MP if the sentence handed down today is less than 12 months in jail.

But he came under mounting pressure to quit, with both Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband urging him to resign.

Illsley, a former Labour MP who then sat as an independent, is believed to have been receiving his £65,000-a-year parliamentary salary over the past month – meaning he will have pocketed around £5,400 since being convicted.

The married father-of-two grew up in a council house in Kendray and attended Hunningley Lane Junior School, Agnes Road Junior School and Holgate Grammar School before going to Leeds University to study law.

He worked for the NUM from 1978 before being elected as a Labour MP in 1987. He has served as Opposition spokesman for the NHS, Local Government and Northern Ireland.

n A by-election for his seat is due to be held on March 3.