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Nightmare over, Lord Hanningfield dreams of prison reform

By Essex Chronicle  |  Posted: August 02, 2012

SLEEPY HEAD:  Lord Hanningfield grabs forty winks on a London train

SLEEPY HEAD: Lord Hanningfield grabs forty winks on a London train

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LORD Hanningfield is hiring a parliamentary researcher and judging by this photograph – he needs it.

The former leader of Essex County Council was snapped by a fellow passenger at 3pm last Tuesday, grabbing forty winks on the train from London.

The 71-year-old returned to the House of Lords in April after his suspension and is now on the lookout for an assistant.

According to the advert, posted on political jobs website w4mpjobs.org, the 71-year-old peer is on the hunt for an "exceptional individual" to help him in his quest to highlight the need for prison reform and change attitudes to mental health.

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The advert read: "Lord Hanningfield is a non-aligned member of the House of Lords.

"In 2011, he was convicted around his parliamentary expenses and sentenced to nine months imprisonment, serving just over two.

"Previously he was leader of Essex County Council and a front bench spokesman for the Conservative Party.

"Lord Hanningfield is keen to use his recent experiences and position in the House of Lords to highlight the need for penal reform and a greater understanding and acceptance of mental health issues. To do this he is looking for an exceptional individual to assist him."

The peer had previously told the Chronicle that he was eager to get back to work after a "nightmare" two years and that prison reform and mental health issues would be his main focus.

The position, the advertisement continues, needs someone with astute political, diplomatic and communication skills. with experience of working in a political environment.

Salary is dependent on experience and the position starts in October.

Lord Hanningfield, real name Paul White, was found guilty in May of falsely claiming nearly £14,000 in overnight accommodation and fraudulent travel expenses from the House of Lords when, in fact, he had returned to Essex by train or car.

He was banned from the second chamber in November and was forbidden to return until he repaid £28,000 to the House.

He told the Chronicle: "I'm trying to carve out a new future for myself.

"I'm getting back into the swing of things and I'm really trying to get organised for the autumn.

"I want to get back to being a full time peer – I've been in public service for 40 years, had a blip, and now I'm desperate to get back to work."

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