Gordon's Million Pound Face Saver Backfires

Sir Thomas Legg will report on Tuesday the long awaited results of his audit of MPs expenses. Right about now Members are opening letters revealing whether their appeals against Legg’s stringent payback requests have failed or not. Someone who has read the report told the Standard that it is a “brutal … unexploded bomb”.  Not only will over three hundred of the troughing piggies be slammed on Tuesday, but Legg also goes after the officials who allowed the pocket lining to continue without raising eyebrows. Great news.

Legg LettersThe decision to bring in Legg was a rushed one taken by Downing Street at the height of the expenses scandal and it has come back to bite Gordon. Not only was he himself ordered to pay back over twelve grand but his measure designed to restore faith in Parliament has come full circle and in the end will reopen the expenses scandal, reignite all that hate and anger, with less than one hundred days until the election.

Another great tactical move from the bunker.

What Smoking Ban?

Rumours are swirling around about the near daily smell of fine Cuban smoke emanating from the loos on the fourth floor of Portcullis House first thing in the morning.

Who is this iconoclastic lone law flouter willing to start the day in style?

Guido has his suspicions…

MPs' Scams

Austin Mitchell has an EDM up supporting Scams Awareness Month,

“this House welcomes the Office of Fair Trading’s Scams Awareness month blah blah blah”

By coincidence this week Austin Mitchell was ordered to repay £10,000 he over-claimed on his mortgage.

At 4 p.m. today MPs find out if Legg has rejected their appeals to be allowed to get away with such scams…

Why Did You Join the Labour Party?

John Prescott is Tweeting followers asking

Why did you all join #Labour? Personal experiences? Shared values? Same vision of a progressive Britain? Let us know!

Guido is offering a copy of The Big Red Book of New Labour Sleaze to the most amusing answer (in character) for different Labour figures.

Prezza : For the sex and expenses.
Blair : To conquer Mesopotamia.

Well, you can probably do better…

Quote of the Day

ToryBear exclaims

“HM Revenue is following me on Twitter.  S**t”

Champagne Induced False Memory Syndrome

Guido gatecrashed last night’s launch of Inside Out, Peter Watt’s tell-all book on the dysfunctional Labour Party.  His co-writer Isabel Oakeshott (pictured) looked glamorous rather than ghostly.

Charles Clarke, one of the few people on the planet who dislikes the Prime Mentalist more than Guido, was the only Labour MP spotted at the event.   Button-holing him was an opportunity to verify the truth of a story that has tickled Guido for a while.   The scene was a champagne lubricated event hosted by Blair’s former SpAd turned power lobbyist, Darren Murphy, back in the spring of last year at the time Smeargate was unfolding.  Murphy is of course no friend of Damian McBride.  Alan Milburn, with Charles Clarke at his side, says a few words to the assembled über-Blairites.  He finishes his speech with a smirk and raises his champagne-filled flute  to say “the toast is Guido Fawkes”.

Clarke told Guido grumpily that he had no recollection of the event, so we’ll just have to put it down as apocryphal. Though too much champagne can play tricks with your memory…

UPDATE : Darren Murphy calls to say he didn’t host an event, or pay for the champagne and certainly wasn’t there. Another Labour source says that the gist of the story is true.  Perhaps.



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Quote of the Day

George Osborne paraphrases Boris, telling the FT:

“If the ball came loose at the back of the scrum, I wouldn’t fumble it”

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