A FORMER MP who was ordered to forgo a £65,000 'golden goodbye' for overclaiming expenses, could yet get his hands on the money.

Former Leyton and Wanstead MP Harry Cohen wrongly claimed more than £70,000 after designating a property in Wanstead, where he spent most of his time, as his second home.

The House of Commons watchdog, the Standards and Privileges Committee, ruled in January that Mr Cohen had committed a "serious breach" of rules by designating a house in Colchester as his main home although he did not live there for long periods and rented it out.

Mr Cohen bought the home in Colchester in 1998 and "consistently designated this property as his main home" between 2002 and 2009, the committee report in January stated.

The report states that Mr Cohen received rental income on the Colchester home between 2004 and 2008 and he began living more frequently in Wanstead from 2003 because his wife was ill and it was easier for Mr Cohen to care for her there and carry out his Parliamentary duties.

The Standards and Privileges Committee withheld the £65,000 payment, which would have been given for length of service, when Mr Cohen stepped down as an MP at the general election in May.

But the committee has now said an independent review will be carried out because of "new evidence".

A statement says: "The Committee on Standards and Privileges has appointed the Rt Hon Sir Paul Kennedy to carry out an independent review of the Committee’s Seventh Report of Session 2009–10, on Mr Harry Cohen, who at the time was the Member for Leyton and Wanstead, in the light of new evidence.

"Sir Paul’s report will be published by the Committee in full."

Sir Paul Kennedy, a retired High Court judge, was the fourth knight appointed after the expenses scandal to look over claims.

Earlier this year he cut the amounts owed by many of the MPs who appealed.