A judge held a pre-trial hearing today in the case of Tory peer and former leader of Essex CC Lord Hanningfield who is accused of fiddling his House of Lords expenses.
Lord Hanningfield, 70, who faces six charges of false accounting, was not at the Old Bailey for the brief hearing.
It is alleged that between March 2006 and May 2009 he submitted claim forms to the House of Lords which he knew were false.
The charges are said to relate to overnight allowances for accommodation in London when records allegedly showed he was driven to his home near Chelmsford, Essex.
Lord Hanningfield’s trial is due to take place at Southwark Crown Court in May. Another hearing is due to take place next month.
Lord Hanningfield was charged - under his name Paul White - in February last year.
He was suspended from the parliamentary Conservative Party and stood down as a frontbench business spokesman in the House of Lords and as leader of Essex CC.
He said at the time that the claims had been made in good faith.