Porter case costs commission £3.5m

22 Jul 99
The Audit Commission has run up a bill so far of £3.45m investigating the Westminster 'homes-for-votes' case, according to its annual report.

23 July 1999

The report shows that the commission spent £850,000 in the year to October 1998 alone. But a spokesman for Dame Shirley Porter claimed this week that the final figure will be much higher.

Roger Rosewell said: 'This is a deceptive figure, because the total cost of the investigation is not £3.45m. This may go up to at least £10m.'

Whatever the final cost, the commission's figure of £3.45m is certain to rise, as it does not take into account the ruling in the appeal courts in May this year.

Law Lords overturned the £26.5m surcharge against Dame Shirley and awarded costs against the commission, although these have been stayed as the case is set to continue.

The district auditor's appeal against the decision last May will go to the House of Lords next year, meaning further rises in the legal bill.

The commission charges a levy against councils in England and Wales in order to meet the costs.


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