Disgraced Essex Peer Released Early

Lord Hanningfield has been released from prison after serving just nine weeks of a nine-month sentence.

Former Tory peer Lord Hanningfield from Chelmsford has been freed from prison after serving only a quarter of their sentences for fiddling their parliamentary expenses.

Lord Hanningfield, 70, received a nine-month sentence in July after falsely claiming nearly £14,000.

Three former Labour MPs jailed over the parliamentary expenses scandal - David Chaytor, Eric Illsley and Jim Devine - have already been released.

Lord Hanningfield is a former pig farmer from West Hanningfield who served as a Lords opposition frontbencher and leader of Essex County Council. He falsely claimed £13,379 in parliamentary expenses for overnight stays in London when he was not in the capital, including one occasion when he was actually on board a flight to India.

It is understood that he was freed under the home detention curfew scheme, which allows prisoners who pose a low risk to be tagged and released early after serving at least a quarter of their sentence.