Page last updated at 15:59 GMT, Friday, 10 July 2009 16:59 UK

MP couple win squatter court bid

By Caroline Briggs
BBC News

Squatters outside Brentford County Court
The squatters say they occupied the Keens' house in protest

Married Labour MPs Ann and Alan Keen have won a court hearing to take their "main" home back from squatters.

A judge at Brentford County Court granted the couple an interim possession order at a civil hearing.

It comes as the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner confirmed the pair are facing a probe over the property.

Under Commons rules, they should have spent most of their nights there but it emerged last month that it had not been lived in for up to a year.

The couple insist they were only staying full-time at their taxpayer-funded "second" home - which is just nine miles away in Westminster - while renovations took place.

But a spokeswoman for standards commissioner John Lyon said: "The commissioner has received a complaint, and agreed to investigate it."

'Party'

The squatters, who entered the empty property on 26 June, will have 24 hours to vacate the terraced home once the notice has been served.

Mr and Mrs Keen were not at the hearing. A second hearing for a final possession order will be set at a later date.

Labour MPs Ann and Alan Keen's 'main home'
The Keens say they are very upset by the squatters' actions

Speaking after the hearing, defendant James Lloyd, 29, said: "It's done, our message is out there. Now we are going to go home and have a big old party and really enjoy our last few nights in the Keen house."

The squatters claim to have been occupying the house in protest at the Keen's alleged abuse of the expenses system.

"As far as we are concerned, any money that has gone into their pocket, if they are misusing that money, they should be held accountable for that," added Mr Lloyd.

The Keens say they have lived in the house for 22 years and insist it is being renovated.

In a statement two weeks ago they said: "It is our home and has been very special to us for a long time.

"We find it extremely upsetting to know that our house is occupied by squatters who appear to believe that they are entitled to do what they wish in our property."



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