LONDON – A former British government minister quit the House of Commons Friday after a committee ruled that he should be suspended as a lawmaker for a year over a string of illegitimate expenses claims.
Denis MacShane, who served as Europe minister in former Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour government, said he would step down after Parliament's Committee on Standards and Privileges ruled that he had submitted 19 false invoices over four years.
Known as an outspoken advocate of closer ties with Europe, MacShane said he took "responsibility for my mistakes." His resignation will trigger an election for a replacement lawmaker in the northern England town of Rotherham.
In its report, the committee had said that his invoices "plainly intended to deceive" Parliament's expenses authority, calling MacShane's actions "so far from what would be acceptable in any walk of life."
The legislator had made claims for extensive travel across Europe, including a trip to Paris during which he purportedly interviewed personal assistants.
In 2009, an expenses scandal shocked Britain, revealing that U.K. lawmakers had billed the public for items including pornographic movies and an ornamental duck house. Six legislators were jailed and public trust in its politicians was seriously dented.
The Labour Party said that it welcomed MacShane's decision to resign.