Given that some MPs (Chattor, Devine, Morley) were given money under the LEGAL AID system (when they were very well capable of self-funding) to fight their case of false accounting etc, and given that some of these MPs have been rightly found GUILTY of submitting false expense claims, my questions under the FoI Act 2000 are:
- Have they paid back the LEGAL AID funds so given to them?
- If they have NOT paid back these taxpayer's backed funds, what were the sums involved for each MP found guilty so far?
- Whilst Mr Morley has yet to appear before the Southwark Crown Court (11 April 2011) how much Legal Aid has this man been given thus far?
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request. I'm afraid that IPSA does not hold the information you have requested for the following reasons:
- the cases in question stemmed from the previous Parliament, for which IPSA has no remit. IPSA's new system of setting and regulating MPs' expenses came into effect on 7 May 2010, the day after the last General Election. The individuals you refer to had ceased to be MPs at that time.
- the Legal Services Commission is responsible for legal aid matters. I would recommend that you contact the Commission to further your request. Contact details are as follows:
Legal Services Commission
4 Abbey Orchard Street