Would-be Jacqui whacker told to try his hand with the Met

Judge denies application for private prosectution

A London man who is trying to bring a private prosecution against the Home Secretary for fraud has been told to go and have a chat with the Metropolitan Police first.

Anthony Weaver, from London, tried to apply for a summons before a district judge in Redditch today, the BBC reports. He is accusing Jacqui Smith of defrauding the public purse of £116,000 to £200,000 by designating her sister's London home as her main residence.

The judge today refused to grant the summons, saying Weaver should try his luck with the Metropolitan Police first.

"If they decide not to do so, that does not deprive you of your right to come back to court," the judge told Weaver.

Of course, the Met already has its hands full with MPs' expenses.

The Met and the CPS are in regular contact to discuss the MPs' expenses scandal, though there has yet to be a decision whether to bring any charges.

The one figure who won't be getting their collar felt over the whole affair is the still-anonymous leaker. The Met confirmed earlier this week that given the likely strength of a public interest defence, a prosecution would be unlikely to succeed. ®

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