At the beginning of 1976 Stonehouse was on bail awaiting trial and still attending the House of Commons as Labour MP for Walsall North. Once he was ordered to leave the Commons for disorderly conduct, and in April he resigned from the Labour Party to sit as an independent.
A week later he joined the English National Party, remaining an MP until he resigned on 27 August. By then he had been sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment after being found guilty on eighteen charges involving theft and false pretences.
His secretary Sheila Buckley received a two year suspended sentence.
Both Stonehouse and Buckley were found not guilty of conspiring to defraud creditors of his company, Export Promotion and Consultancy Services.