Page last updated at 18:35 GMT, Tuesday, 16 June 2009 19:35 UK

Claims row MP cannot stand again

Jim Devine
Mr Devine submitted receipts from a company that did not exist

A Labour MP accused of submitting a bogus claim for electrical work at his flat has been deselected by the party's special endorsement panel.

Livingston MP Jim Devine became the fifth Labour MP to be "struck off" when he was told he cannot stand again for the party at the next election.

He is alleged to have submitted receipts for £2,157 of electrical work from a company that does not exist.

He maintained the electrician he employed provided false information.

Mr Devine, 56, said the man must have been trying to avoid paying tax by providing a false VAT number, and he had notified the Commons fees office when he found out about it.

Questions were also raised about 66 metres of office shelving, said to have been provided by the landlord of his local pub, for which he charged the taxpayer £2,326 .

The move comes as the Westminster parliament said it would publish the details of all MPs' expenses, the subject of a recent Daily Telegraph investigation, on Thursday.

'Highest standard'

A Labour Party spokesman said: "After considering in detail the case of Jim Devine and speaking to him, the Labour Party's special NEC endorsements panel today unanimously recommended rescinding his endorsement as a Labour candidate.

"He will not be able to stand as a Labour candidate in any constituency at the next General Election.

"The Organisation Committee of the Labour Party's NEC agreed with the panel's recommendations and a new Prospective Parliamentary Candidate will be selected as soon as possible.

"As both Gordon Brown and the National Executive Committee have made clear the Labour Party demands the very highest standard of its MPs."

Last week, Mr Devine received the backing of his constituency Labour party over the affair after being questioned by about 40 members of the group in an hour-long meeting.

Mr Devine was elected MP for Livingston in September 2005 following the death of Robin Cook.

He had previously been Mr Cook's election agent, and had worked as head of health for the Scottish branch of the public sector union Unison.



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SEE ALSO
Claims row MP wins local support
07 Jun 09 |  Scotland
Key details: MP expenses claims
19 Jun 09 |  UK Politics

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