Monday 19 September 2011

Ms Moran, 56, looked a shadow of her former self as she arrived to face 21 charges at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in central London.


One count alleges that she falsely claimed £22,500 for dry rot on a home in Southampton more than 100 miles from her constituency.

The former Labour member for Luton South sobbed throughout the brief hearing and was passed a tissue by a court official.

No plea was entered and jurisdiction in the case was declined by District Judge Daphne Wickham on the grounds of the nature and complexity of the charges and sums involved.

They allegations consist of 15 counts of false accounting and six of forgery.

Moran, of Ivy Road, St Denys, Southampton, was remanded on unconditional bail to appear at London’s Southwark Crown Court on October 28 for a plea and case management hearing.

The former politician spoke only briefly, in a faltering voice, to confirm her name and date of birth.

Moran looked almost unrecognisable as she arrived at court this morning with a dark grey beret over her head, wearing glasses, and clutching a handkerchief to her mouth.

The auburn tresses and bright clothes seen in previous photographs were replaced by a sober dark suit and blonde hair.

In court she continued to sob into a handkerchief as she waited for the hearing to start.

The criminal probe into Moran began after an investigation by The Daily Telegraph.

Margaret Moran in May 2009 and arriving at Westminster Magistrates Court today (PA/NICHOLAS RAZZELL)