4.40pm: And almost at the same time Mr MacShane did resign:
the light of the Parliamentary Commissioner’s decision supported by the
Committee of Standards and Privileges to uphold the BNP complaint about
expenses claimed in connection with my parliamentary work in Europe and
in combating anti-semitism I have decided for the sake of my wonderful
constituency of Rotherham and my beloved Labour Party to resign as an
MP by applying for the Chiltern Hundreds or as guided by the House
authorities. I have been overwhelmed by messages of support for my work
as an MP on a range of issues but I accept that my parliamentary career
is over. I appreciate the Committee’s ruling that I made no personal
gain and I regret my foolishness in the manner I chose to be reimbursed
for work including working as the Prime Minister’s personal envoy in
Europe. I want to thank the people of Rotherham for allowing me to
serve as their MP and the Labour Party for allowing me over the years
to fight for the causes I believe in. I have received so many messages
supporting me from Labour and Tory MPs as well as members of the public
but I love the House of Commons and I hope by resigning I can serve by
showing that MPs must take responsibility for their mistakes and accept
the consequences of being in breach of the House rules.”
Tory whip Greg Hands MP has called on Ed Miliband to call on Denis MacShane to resign as an MP:
"Ed Miliband needs to stop dithering and take action right now and call on Denis MacShane to stand down as an MP right away. Further, it is amazing that Ed Miliband and Labour restored the Party Whip to MacShane back in July, when it was clear that the case was not yet closed. This is weak leadership from Ed Miliband."
By Tim Montgomerie
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Labour MP Denis MacShane faces a 12 month suspension after "a parliamentary committee found he had submitted 19 false invoices which were "plainly intended to deceive" Parliament's expenses authority." The BBC has a full report and Guido lists the full charges against him, described by the Standards and Privileges Committee as “the Gravest Case Which Has Come to Us for Adjudication”.
In a statement on his website Mr MacShane made this comment:
"Clearly I deeply regret that the way I chose to be reimbursed for costs related to my work in Europe and in combating anti-semitism, including being the prime minister's personal envoy, has been judged so harshly. I remain committed to work for progressive values, for Britain playing a full part in Europe, and for combating anti-semitism even though I can no longer undertake this work as a Labour MP. I am consulting family and friends as I consider my position and study the full implications of the report. I am obviously desperately sorry for any embarrassment I have caused my beloved Labour Party and its leader Ed Miliband whom I greatly admire."
The Labour Party has suspended Mr MacShane but the committee's findings seem so serious that the MP for Rotherham should resign from parliament. Most members of the public, including in his constituency, will undoubtedly think he deserves much tougher punishment than losing his job.