Former MP denied expenses appeal

By Jessica Elgot, March 18, 2011
Harry Cohen

Harry Cohen

The former Labour MP for Leyton and Wanstead, Harry Cohen, has lost his appeal to keep the £65,000 “golden goodbye” he received when he left Parliament.

In January 2010 the Standards and Privileges Committee concluded he had received over £60,000 in expenses to which he was not entitled. He was ordered to apologise and forgo the £65,000 paid to MPs on retirement. Mr Cohen stood down as an MP at the last election.

But the case was reopened for retired High Court judge Sir Paul Kennedy to review the findings, when a police investigation uncovered a telephone log between Mr Cohen and the Commons Fees Office.

Sir Paul found the new evidence did not affect the original ruling, calling the forfeit of the resettlement grant “unassailable.”

He said that Mr Cohen’s actions had been "a particularly serious breach" of the regulations, and that the matter was now closed.

Last updated: 2:20pm, March 18 2011