Former Rotherham MOP Denis MacShane has been jailed for false expenses
Former Rotherham MP Denis MacShane has been jailed for false expensesReuters

Disgraced Labour MP Denis MacShane has been jailed for fleecing the taxpayer by making bogus expenses claims.

MacShane, who served as Europe minister in Tony Blair's government, pleaded guilty to falsely claiming £13,000 in expenses.

The 65-year-old got the money by submitting 19 bogus claims for "research and translation" between 2005 and 2008. Fake signatures were used on receipts from the European Policy Institute, a publishing company set up by MacShane in 1992.

At the Old Bailey, the ex-politician sardonically told the judge "cheers," as he was jailed for six months.

The court heard MacShane had shown "a flagrant breach of trust" with his "calucated" fraud. Mr Justice Sweeney told him: "You have no one to blame but yourself."

MacShane's lawyers had said in mitigation that he was not himself when he committed the offences, following the death of his daughter and divorce from this wife.

He resigned from his safe Rotherham seat last year when allegations against him emerged, which he initially blamed on a plot by the far-right BNP. Evidence against MacShane first emerged in the 2008 expenses scandal which rocked parliament, but examination of documents was delayed by parliamentary privilege.