UPDATED: Lord H investigation into county council expenses dropped

No further action: Lord Hanningfield

No further action: Lord Hanningfield

First published in News Braintree and Witham Times: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

POLICE have announced no further action will be taken against Lord Hanningfield over his county council expenses.

Former Essex County Council leader Lord Hanningfield, real name Paul White, was being investigated by the City of London Police into claims he had fiddled his expenses while at the authority.

But the force today said no charges would be made and the investigation was closed.

A City of London Police spokesman said: "Allegations of unauthorised expenditure against a 71-year-old man from Essex, originally made to Essex Police by Essex County Council, have been fully investigated by the City of London Police Economic Crime Directorate, after being referred to them in December 2011.

"Following a full review of the evidence obtained from this investigation and consultation with the CPS, a decision has been made to take no further action regarding these allegations as there is insufficient evidence to justify any criminal charges in this case.

"The police investigation into this matter is now closed."

Lord Hanningfield said: "I am relieved that this chapter has closed and that the police and CPS have confirmed I did nothing wrong.

"My commitment to Essex remains. During my time as leader we did many things to help the county’s residents including reopening a dozen post offices and delivering £300million in savings."

A spokesman for Essex County Council said: "We are glad that the police investigation into Lord Hanningfield’s Essex County Council corporate credit card is over and we are now able to move on.

"He was obviously a large part of the authority for a number of years, but it is three years since he stepped down as Leader and a lot has changed since then.

"We will now be making the information we have available to the public to view on the council’s website."

  • Read the full story and reaction in Wednesday's paper.

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