How Much Did Hugh Muir Pocket Courtesy of Ken?

The Guardian’s diarist, Hugh Muir, gave Boris a good going over yesterday in his diary column, all but accusing him of being a supporter of the Ku Klux Klan.

Only on Saturday another Hugh Muir piece also appeared in the Guardian, headlined Boris Johnson Faces Conflict of Interest Charge Over Office, over Boris taking free office space from a Ken hating business.

Conflict of interest charges are serious indeed and should be answered. So how much did Hugh Muir get for his contribution to a report commissioned by Ken – The Search for Common Ground? We know it cost the Mayor’s taxpayers £22,000. We know of course it had a foreword by Mayor Ken. What we don’t know is how much of the taxpayers £22,000 Hugh pocketed courtesy of Ken.

Guido has tried to contact him to find out, but no reply so far. Hugh’s article on Boris concluded that Boris “should know there is no such thing as a free lunch”. Quite, so how much did Hugh get from Ken Livingstone?

Conway is Gone Away

At least he had the sense to go without making a scene. Word is that David Davis understood that his friend’s position was impossible and told him so.

Conway’s statement says “I have advised the Chief Whip and the chairman of my local Conservative Association that I shall not seek to continue as the Conservative Party Candidate for Old Bexley and Sidcup at the next election. Though not an original supporter of David Cameron for the leadership of my party, I believe that he has shown he has both the ability and the character to be Prime Minister of our country and I do not wish my personal circumstances to be a distraction in any way from the real issues that have to be addressed.”

No bed blocking in Bexley now…

Lobbyist Regulator to Investigate Morgan the Organ Further

The Spin Industry’s APPC Management Committee (background here) has decided to consider and investigate the complaint against Morgan Allen Moore further. The Committee is looking for more information about the conduct of MAM and Morgan the Organ. Further evidence and consideration of specific charges under the APPC Code of Conduct will be considered at a meeting on February 4.

So you have another 24 hours to put in any further complaints…

Sleaze, Sleaze, Sleaze and More Sleaze

The Conway family firm will presumably go into liquidation come the next election. Guido understands that Derek is not unpopular in his constituency, nevertheless having a candidate who is known to have enriched himself out of the public purse to the degree that his family has, will provide ready capital to his opponents.

Duncan Borrowman, his LibDem challenger has complained not only to the police about Derek, but about his son to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.

More sleaze due today : Lord Hoyle is up in front of a Lords disciplinary committee this afternoon. He got caught taking cash for introducing an arms company lobbyist to the minister in charge of weapons purchases in the Lords.

Doug Hoyle was a former Labour MP and government whip before hopping on the unelected gravy train, although not a hereditary peer his son Lindsay is the MP for Chorley, so the family will suckle on the teat of the taxpayer for many years to come. If Doug is found guilty of abusing his position will Gordon Brown remove the Labour whip from him? Has the moral compass lost all sense of direction?



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Quote of the Day

Labour’s Austin Mitchell muses on the campaign:

“What’s the problem? No use pointing at the leader. Too late to change and unnecessary for Miliband is doing well at Question Time. His problem is connecting with the real world. He doesn`t speak people and his protective team of naive kids are playing West Wing rather than letting the leader relate to real people. We could point at the party, shrunk in numbers and enthusiasm because everything, from policy formulation to candidate selection, comes top down rather than bubbling up from below so campaigning becomes the opium of members deprived of any real role, though they`re not even sure what they’re campaigning about, with or for, but its role is marginal.”

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