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Thursday, 13 December, 2001, 14:07 GMT
MP's son accused of theft
Stuart Bell MP
Mr Bell represents the Church of England in Parliament
The son of a Labour MP has appeared in court accused of stealing money from a leading politician.

Malcolm Bell, 19, son of Middlesbrough MP Stuart Bell, is charged with the theft of 850 from George Galloway, MP for Glasgow Kelvin.

Mr Bell, who was working as a House of Commons researcher for his father at the time, is also accused of obtaining an Egyptian figurine worth 1,788 by deception.

Four blank cheques belonging to Mr Galloway's firm, Finjan Ltd, were allegedly stolen from the Scottish MP's office in Portcullis House, Westminster.

George Galloway MP
Cash was allegedly stolen from Mr Galloway
Mr Bell, of Richmond Hill, Richmond, appeared in the dock for just two minutes in Thursday's hearing at Bow Street Magistrates Court in central London.

He is charged with theft on 31 August, 2001, obtaining property by deception on 11 September, 2001, obtaining a money transfer by deception on 31 August, 2001 and attempting to obtain a money transfer by deception on 8 October, 2001.

Mr Bell, smartly dressed in a dark blue suit, black tie and white shirt was remanded on unconditional bail and ordered to return on 17 January.

District Judge Penelope Hewitt warned him that failure to attend the next hearing could result in a fine or imprisonment or both.

His 63-year-old father, the MP for Middlesbrough since 1983, played a central role in exposing the Cleveland child abuse scandal in 1987.

Mr Bell, who represents the Church of England in the Commons, recently wrote a best-selling book 'Tony Really Loves Me' detailing his career in Parliament.

See also:

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30 Oct 98 | The Jenkins Report
Anti-reformers set to join forces
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