THE former leader of Essex County Council is understood to be taking legal action against Essex Police for wrongful arrest.

Lawyers acting for the 70-year-old former Conservative peer Lord Hannigfield have sent a “letter before claim” to Essex Police, informing them that he is seeking £3,000 for unlawful arrest and detention, £1,500 for trespass and £2,000 in costs.

Hanningfield, whose real name is Paul White, was released from prison nine weeks into a nine month sentence for falsely claiming £14,000 of parliamentary expenses.

But police rearrested him on September 14.

Lord Hanningfield is on police bail until January 18.