Essex: Bail Extended In Hanningfield Probe

Police have extended the bail of disgraced peer Lord Hanningfield as they continue a second investigation into expenses fraud.

The 71-year-old, from West Hanningfield served nine weeks of a nine-month jail sentence after being convicted of falsely claiming #28,000 in parliamentary expenses.

Less than a week after his release in September, he was re-arrested following allegations over his expenses claims while leader of Essex County Council. He was due to answer bail today.

A spokesman for Essex Police said the case had now been passed to City of London Police.

A spokesman for City of London Police confirmed that the force had reached an agreement with the Essex force in December to adopt the investigation into "unauthorised expenditure''.

He added: "A 71-year-old man remains on police bail.''

Lord Hanningfield was suspended from the House of Lords following his conviction.

But this week he told the Essex Chronicle that he hoped to return to the Lords - if he can repay the money claimed.

His lawyer, Mark Spragg, said: "People make mistakes in life and he has admitted that what he has done is wrong.

"He is 71 years old but is a man of great vitality and ability, and has over 40 years of experience in public service.

"Some people may think it is wrong. But he has first-hand experience of how people are treated in the criminal arena, and thinks he can make a significant contribution to debates on the issue.''

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