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Friday, 14 December, 2001, 15:27 GMT
Panorama cited in Lords judgement
Dame Shirley Porter
Panorama cited in Lords judgement

A Panorama investigation into Dame Shirley Porter is cited by a Law Lords judgement ordering her to pay a 27m surcharge over the "homes for votes" scandal of the late 1980s.

The scandal was the subject of two major Panorama investigations in 1989 and 1994.

House of Lord Judgements - Magill v. Porter Magill v. Weeks. House of Lords December 13 2001

Point 18 of the Judgement says:

"On 19 July 1989 the BBC transmitted a Panorama programme on the designated sales policy in Westminster. Charts presented to the BSC members' steering group after 28 July recorded rights to buy and designated sales in all 23 wards in the city, not just the key wards. The audior was appointed following objections made by a number of local government electors in letters dated 18 July, 20 July and 8 November 1989."

Dame Shirley Porter and her former deputy David Weeks were cleared in May 1999 by the Court of Appeal for willful misconduct and improper gerrymandering by selling off council homes.

They had been accused of selling them to possible Tory voters in Marginal Wards to try and boost the Conservative Party's election prospects.

An appeal by district auditor John Magill was allowed to go ahead and five Law Lords have now ordered Lady Porter and her former deputy to pay the surcharge.

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