UK jury finds peer guilty of swindling taxpayer of over 11K pounds

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

LONDON - The British Conservative Party’s first black peer, Lord Taylor of Warwick, has been found guilty of defrauding the taxpayer of 11,000 pounds in false claims for travel and overnight subsistence.

Lord Taylor, 58, now faces the prospect of going to jail, but will not lose his peerage. A member of the Lords can only lose his title by an act of parliament, the Daily Mail reports.

Lord Taylor is the son of Jamaican immigrants who rose from humble beginnings to become a barrister and a member of the Upper House, and has been convicted by the Southwark Crown Court.

He has been accused of registering a house in Oxford as his main residence, enabling him to claim expenses for travel to and from London and for overnight stays in the capital. But in reality, Tristram Wyatt, a university academic who lives with Lord Taylor’s step-nephew Robert Taylor, owned the property.

Lord Taylor never stayed at the house in Oxford but continued to live at his home in Ealing, West London, for which he also claimed second home expenses.

Taylor was made a Tory peer four years after unsuccessfully fighting the 1992 general election in Cheltenham, during which he claimed he encountered racist opposition including death threats. (ANI)

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