Scotland Yard Chief Says More MPs Could Face Investigation

(Telegraph) – SIR PAUL STEPHENSON, the Scotland Yard chief, has disclosed that more MPs could face criminal investigations in the wake of the expenses scandal.

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner said that ‘robust’ inquiries about a ‘handful’ of politicians are being continued, but added that the number of cases could ‘change significantly at any time’ as detectives examine more MPs’ expenses claims.

Five politicians have been under investigation since June, including Labour MPs Elliot Morley and David Chaytor, who claimed for ‘phantom” mortgages. Three peers, including Baroness Uddin and Lord Hanningfield, are also part of the Scotland Yard probe.

Sir Paul confirmed his officers are focussing on a ‘handful’ of individuals. Asked how many inquiries are under way, he said: ‘It is a handful, more single figures than double figures.

‘I have got to be really careful because it does not seem to me that we are at the end of this trail and suddenly we could have more people being referred.

‘I would stick at around a handful but it could change significantly at any time. It does not seem to me that the story is going away.’

Asked when files of evidence might be passed to prosecutors, Sir Paul added: ‘We will do it as soon as possible.

‘We will do it properly and we will make sure it is thorough and when we do put something across we will make sure it is something that the CPS can make a decision on.’

Sir Paul said he has a team of ‘fantastic detectives’ who had involved prosecutors earlier after learning lessons from previous sensitive investigations.

Detectives have yet to make any arrests; but have been liaising closely with the Crown Prosecution Service and parliamentary Fees Office.

The Daily Telegraph has disclosed that 27 MPs are also being investigated by the tax authorities, amid concerns that some MPs who abused their expenses may have broken tax laws.

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