Northamptonshire MP will not face fraud charges

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The county council is still “vigorously pursuing” the non-payment of an outstanding bill relating to the care of Northamptonshire MP Peter Bone’s mother-in-law, despite the fact he will not face criminal charges, a local authority spokesman has said.

The CPS announced today there was “insufficient evidence” to bring charges against the Conservative MP for Wellingborough and Rushden who was questioned by police in relation to a long-running dispute with Northamptonshire County Council about the funding of residential care for his mother-in-law.

Mr Bone had denied any wrongdoing and said the claims had been made “without foundation”.

But a spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said the local authority was continuing to pursue vigorously the non-payment of an outstanding bill in relation to the care of Mr Bone’s mother-in-law.

The spokesman said: “These legal proceedings are separate to the police investigation which was carried out into allegations of fraud and the decision of the CPS has no bearing on our position.

“This is the usual course of action where we believe payment is due to the council for care services provided.”

In a statement, Mr Bone said he had suffered a “trial by media” and said he had done nothing wrong.

He said: “What has been so frustrating about this whole episode is that it has been going on for over a year, without an opportunity for us to clear our names.

“Recently, we have suffered trial by media. One newspaper in particular has printed information that is incorrect and made allegations that are totally untrue.

“It seems that certain newspapers feel able to print information that is without foundation, despite being told in advance that information is factually incorrect.

“Jennie and I have just heard that we are not going to be charged with any criminal offence.

“This is obviously very good news and a vindication of our stance all along.

“As we have done nothing wrong and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) only considered the evidence, not newspaper innuendo, we have been proven innocent.

Malcolm McHaffie, deputy head of the CPS Special Crime Division, said the evidence showed that Mrs Bone’s mother considered the her daughter and son-in-law’s conduct to be acceptable and the couple acted openly in declaring the sale of the mother’s house to the council.

Mr McHaffie said that no element of dishonesty could be proved, therefore the police had been advised to take no further action.

Mr McHaffie said: “We understand there is ongoing civil litigation.

“For the avoidance of doubt our advice to police relates solely to possible criminal action.”

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story stated that the county council was actively pursuing Mr Bone specifically. This was incorrect. We apologise for any upset caused and are happy to clarify the situation.