Jailed South Yorkshire MP’s prison diaries

Denis MacShane
Denis MacShane
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Jailed former MP Denis Macshane has revealed he felt someone ‘had it in’ for him after he spent six weeks in a high security prison.

The former Rotherham MP speaks of his first few days behind bars after he was sentenced last year for making bogus expenses claims worth £12,900 in his diaries, which are being published.

He has written of how he was locked up alongside gangsters and killers at Belmarsh prison before he was moved to Brixton, rather than doing his time in an open jail like some other politicians have.

One day’s entry in the diary was: “Cell door opens. ‘Macshane, you’re transferring to Brixton tomorrow at eight.’

“Brixton? ‘At least it is a step up from Belmarsh,’ the guard says.

“Who is it that has it in for me?

“Every other jailed politician has done his time in an open prison. I go to one of the sink-holes.

“I am utterly dismayed.”

Mr MacShane spent two weeks at Belmarsh, in London, over Christmas.

The snippets from his diaries also reveal how staff got his name wrong, writing it as Ian MacShane, in possible confusion with the actor.

Conditions inside the prison and his cell are described in detail, including a ‘disgusting’ toilet with ingrained dirt.

He complains of being denied writing implements and access to phones in jail and being fed ‘industrial turkey (and) a tiny cocktail sausage with a bit of bacon and a smidgen of stuffing’ for Christmas dinner.

Mr MacShane also told fellow prisoners how other MPs ‘abused’ the expenses scheme within the Parliamentary rules.

He said: “Most of my fellow inmates confess bafflement at my presence given both the small amount of money and, most bizarrely of all, the fact that I didn’t get rich.”

Mr MacShane pleaded guilty to false accounting by filing 19 fake receipts for ‘research and translation’ services and was jailed two days before Christmas.

He was freed six weeks into a six month sentence.