Elliot Morley

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Elliot Morley
Elliot Morley, March 2008.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Scunthorpe
Glanford and Scunthorpe (1987–1997)
In office
11 June 1987 – 6 May 2010
Preceded by Richard Hickmet
Succeeded by Nic Dakin
Personal details
Born (1952-07-06) 6 July 1952 (age 61)
Liverpool, England
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Patricia Hunt
Children Son and daughter
Residence Winterton, Lincolnshire
Alma mater Hull College of Education
Profession Teacher
Religion Church of England
Website elliotmorley.co.uk

Elliot Anthony Morley (born 6 July 1952) is a former Labour Party politician, who was the Member of Parliament for Glanford and Scunthorpe from 1987 to 1997 and then Scunthorpe from 1997 to 2010. In 2009, he was accused by The Daily Telegraph of continuing to claim parliamentary expenses for a mortgage that had already been repaid.[1] Morley was duly prosecuted and on 7 April 2011 pleaded guilty in the Crown Court at Southwark to two counts of false accounting, involving over £30,000. On 20 May 2011, he was sentenced to 16 months' imprisonment.[2][3][4][5] He was released from prison on 20 September 2011 having served one-quarter of his sentence.[6]

Early life[edit]

He attended St Margaret's C of E High School on Aigburth Road in Aigburth in south Liverpool and received a BEd from Hull College of Education.[7] He was head of Special Needs at Greatfield High School in Hull.[8]

Political career[edit]

Morley in Birmingham in September 2005, in his role as Minister

Before entering Parliament, Morley was a Labour member of Hull City Council representing Drypool Ward from 1979 to 1986.[9]

He served as Fisheries Minister from 1997 to 2003, followed by Minister of State for the Environment and Agri-Environment in DEFRA, but left government in the May 2006 reshuffle. During his time in government, Morley pushed strongly for a series of environmental causes. In 2004, he sought to strengthen the United Kingdom's efforts to purchase legally harvested lumber[10] and aided the launch of a programme to manage flooding and coastal erosion called 'WaveNet'. In 2005 Morley assisted in the establishment of a Governmental Decontamination Service,[11] to provide decontamination and cleansing assistance after chemical, radiological, biological, or nuclear incidents and major accidental releases of harmful materials.[12]

On 19 December 2006 he was appointed to the Privy Council.[13] This was revoked on 14 June 2011.[14] He was Chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, leaving this post when his expenses claims came under investigation. In 2007 Morley voted to support the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill,[15] which would have given Parliament a blanket exemption from the Freedom of Information Act and thereby prevent the release of any information on expenses claims by Members of Parliament.[16] However the Bill was defeated.

Expenses claims[edit]

As part of its disclosure of expenses of British Members of Parliament, The Daily Telegraph alleged on 14 May 2009 that Morley claimed £800 a month in respect of a property in Winterton, near Scunthorpe, for 18 months after the mortgage ended, and received an overpayment of £16,800 in total.[1]

The Telegraph also alleged Morley let a London flat designated as his main residence to another Labour MP, Ian Cawsey, a close friend and former special adviser. Cawsey named the property as his second home, allowing him to claim £1,000 a month to cover the rent which he was charged by Mr Morley. In November 2007, the newspaper claims Morley 'flipped' his designated second home from his Scunthorpe property to his London flat, and for four months the two men claimed expenses on the same property.[17]

Morley told BBC News that he had repaid the money two weeks before The Telegraph story breaking upon realising he had mistakenly continued claiming for his mortgage payments after the mortgage had been paid off in 2006.[17] On 14 May 2009 he was suspended from holding office in the Parliamentary Labour Party because of this scandal.[17] Morley referred himself to John Lyon, Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, in an effort to clear his name.[17] It was reported that this inquiry was put on hold pending a police investigation.[4] On 29 May 2009 he announced that he would not stand for re-election, but refused to resign immediately.[18]

Prosecution[edit]

On 5 February 2010, it was reported that Morley would face criminal charges over his expenses,[5] and the Labour whip was subsequently suspended.[19]

On 27 May 2010 Morley, David Chaytor, Jim Devine, and Lord Hanningfield (Paul White) appeared at Southwark Crown Court for a preliminary hearing.[20] They faced charges of false accounting under the Theft Act.[5]

Morley eventually pleaded guilty in the Crown Court at Southwark on 7 April 2011 before Mr Justice Saunders, who had presided over the other prosecutions in the Parliamentary expenses scandal. On 20 May 2011, Morley was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment on two counts of false accounting.[2][3] He served four months in prison – a quarter of the sentence – and was then released under the home detention curfew scheme.[6]

On 8 June 2011, he was expelled from the Privy Council, the first expulsion since Edgar Speyer in 1921.[21]

Morley was previously a Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers for services to flood and coastal defence. He was expelled from the Institution of Civil Engineers on 4 July 2011, when the Institution's Professional Conduct Panel ruled that due to his breaching of "Rule 1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, which require all members to uphold the dignity, standing and reputation of the Institution" by "committing offences of False Accounting in connection with his responsibilities as a Member of Parliament" he should be expelled from the Institution.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Morley married Patricia Hunt in 1975[7] in Hull. They have two children: a daughter (born 1980) and a son (born August 1984).[citation needed] He is Honorary Vice President of the Association of Drainage Authorities and Wildlife and Countryside Link. He is Honorary President of North Lincolnshire Royal Society for the Protection of Animals. He has an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Lincoln for services to nature conservation.[8]

He is a former President of Hull Teachers Association.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Winnett, Robert; Watt, Holly (13 May 2009). "Elliot Morley claimed £16,000 for mortgage that did not exist: MPs' expenses". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Ex-MP Elliot Morley jailed for expenses fraud". BBC News (London). 20 May 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Ex-MP Elliot Morley pleads guilty to expenses fraud". BBC News. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Sharma, Sarah (17 October 2009). "Tax affairs of 27 MPs under investigation". The Times. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c "Three MPs and one peer to be charged over expenses". BBC News. 5 February 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "Expenses fraud ex-MP Elliot Morley freed from jail". BBC News. 20 September 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Elliot Morley (Ex-MP)". Westminster Parliamentary Record. Westminster Parliamentary Research LLP. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Climate Change 07 – Speaker Biographies". Public Service. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  9. ^ "Parliament's biggest expenses cheat, who started career in Hull, faces jail". This is Hull and East Riding. 8 April 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  10. ^ "Environment Minister Elliot Morley Announces Move to Ensure Government Sourcing of Legal and Sustainable Timber". Illegal-logging.info. 9 November 2004. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  11. ^ "Environment Minister Elliot Morley launches WaveNet project". Cefas. Archived from the original on 22 May 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  12. ^ "Written Ministerial Statement by Elliot Morley, Minister of State for Environment and Agri-Environment announcing the Government's intention to set up a Government Decontamination Service". DEFRA. 25 January 2005. Archived from the original on 2 March 2005. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  13. ^ "Privy Council Appointment of Elliot Morley". Number10.gov.uk. HM Government. 19 December 2006. Archived from the original on 8 December 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  14. ^ The London Gazette: no. 59820. p. 11257. 14 June 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  15. ^ "How your MP voted on the FOI Bill". The Times. 20 May 2007. Archived from the original on 8 May 2009. Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  16. ^ "Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill 2006–07". UK Parliament website. HM Government. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  17. ^ a b c d "Brown suspends mortgage claim MP". BBC News. 14 May 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2009. 
  18. ^ "Eliot Morley to stand down as MP". BBC News. 29 May 2009. Retrieved 29 May 2009. 
  19. ^ Press Association (8 February 2010). "Labour suspends fraud charge MPs". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  20. ^ "Four in court over expenses". The Scotsman (Edinburgh). 28 May 2010. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  21. ^ McSmith, Andy (9 June 2011). "Elliot Morley's Privy Council expulsion is first for 90 years". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  22. ^ "ICE kicks-out disgraced MP Elliot Morley". Construction Enquirer. 6 July 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  23. ^ "Elliot Morley MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary". Government News. 14 June 2001. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 

External links[edit]


Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Richard Hickmet
Member of Parliament for Glanford and Scunthorpe
19871997
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Scunthorpe
19972010
Succeeded by
Nic Dakin