Paul White, known as Lord Hanningfield, has been convicted of six counts of theft by false accounting by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court this afternoon. Stephen O’Doherty, reviewing lawyer for the CPS, welcomed the verdict:
“The defence of Lord Hanningfield, also known as Paul White, was that he was not paid a salary and that justified him claiming for expenses that he had never incurred – this was in our view completely unacceptable and clearly the jury agreed in returning guilty verdicts. It is common knowledge that a peer does not receive a salary for their services, and anyone accepting a peerage does so in that knowledge. Peers in the House of Lords are supposed to serve the public, not top-up their income at the public’s expense.
“The jury has today seen through this feeble excuse for his conduct and rightfully agreed with the prosecution that such behaviour is blatantly dishonest.”
We decided to prosecute Lord Hanningfield last year. He was convicted on all counts.