June 28th, 2010

Up in Arms: Back Again Despite Being Twice Stripped of Pass,
Loophole Lets Lobbyist Back into Parliament for Third Time


On first impression the aims of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Armed Forces - “to promote in Parliament better understanding of the UK’s armed forces, and their objectives and activities” - seem reasonable. Alarm bells start to ring when you look at the make-up of this particular cross-party group. Any organisation that has Lord “Cash for Influence” Moonie as its treasurer needs investigating…

So far all the group seems to have done is get some army officers drunk on the Common’s terrace. They deserve a beer you might say, but when you look at who is organising this whole jolly grouping, the true purpose of it all comes into question. The first meeting “agreed that the offer of the UK Defence Forum to provide support for the APPG and single service groups within it be accepted (subject to appropriate disclosures in the Register of Interests).” Now what would a group funded by a bunch of weapons contractors have to gain from pouring money into such a group, eh?

The background of the employee brought in to organise the APPG is laughable. Robin Ashby was subject of an exposé in the Indy two years ago. It was revealed this defence lobbyist had a pass sponsored by a LibDem peer. He was subsequently stripped of the pass. That didn’t stop him getting another one from Lord “Cash for Influence” Moonie in 2009. Again this was exposed, this time by the Telegraph and for a second time he was stripped of that pass. He now has a third pass, this time through the back door of an APPG of which Lord Moonie holds the purse strings.

Ashby runs the defence industry funded UK Defence Forum and owns lobbying firm Bergmans.* Bergmans, according to the Indy, do work “on behalf of more than a dozen large defence and aerospace companies including BAE Systems, Northern Defence Industries, UK Defence Forum, Boeing and Rolls-Royce, which has been criticised for its past links to the Burmese regime.” A nice bunch, and just the man we want mingling with law-makers.

In his secretarial role to the Armed Forces APPG, Ashby has been given a third new parliamentary pass and email address, and is once again free to roam the corridors of power and take full advantage of the parliamentary hospitality and entertainment, for himself and his clients. So embedded is Ashby that this morning he even signed off emails on behalf of an MP.  In what way does the group’s chairman James Gray think it acceptable to grant this arms lobbyist, who has twice before been stripped of passes, unfettered access to MPs and Lords when the rules about this are so clear?

UPDATE : Just got off the phone with Robin Ashby. He says he is more of a hobbyist than a lobbyist, his hobby being the UK defence industry which doesn’t pay him much more than expenses. He claims he is basically semi-retired, with an office and a staffer. The Millbank, Brussels and Washington office addresses on his website are all “rubbish” he says.  When Guido pointed out the obvious commercial advantages of having a parliamentary pass for someone who offers a parliamentary monitoring service he said he does that all online. All clear?


61 Comments

  1. 1
    Gone fuckin mental says:

    Same old same old , corrupption in all partys

  2. 2
    Gone fuckin mental says:

    are there any mps that actully serve there voters or are they all bent as a 9 bob note?

  3. 3
    pest control says:

    In like rats up a drainpipe.

  4. 4
    All Party hands dipped in blood and expenses commitee says:

    Bollocks to the rules. They’re only for mug voters and squaddies with a deathwish.
    We’re all making a mint.

  5. 5
    Fees Office bean counter says:

    Do you really need an answer?

  6. 6
    Popeye says:

    Would you believe CORRUPTION?

  7. 7
    Gone fuckin mental says:

    no , was hoping new goverment new ways , but have been let down again

  8. 8
    Gone fuckin mental says:

    why cant we just have a honest goverment and honest parliment , is it to much to ask?

  9. 9
    Fees Office bean counter says:

    Did you vote for them? Did you really believe anything would change?

  10. 10
    Gone fuckin mental says:

    I just wanted brown out first

  11. 11
    Smig says:

    Guido, you’re earning your salt for this. Keep at it, and thanks for showing these “lobbyists” up for what they truly are.

  12. 12
    Can't remember my moniker says:

    Sie denken, es ist alles vorbei, ist es nun

  13. 13
    Nadine Dorries says:

    ‘Fraid so.

  14. 14
    Us and Them says:

    But he’s still there drawing a fat salary and expenses for sitting on his arse, and what do his political “opponents” do about it?
    Close ranks and protect each other.

  15. 15

    Didn’t the U.K illegally seel arms to Indonesia that were used in East Timor?

  16. 16

    Bergmans with links to the Burmese regime.

    That’s classy.

  17. 17
    jb says:

    Way too much to ask.

  18. 18
    herr stickelbruger says:

    Roughly translated, that means….

    Zis year ze vorld cup, next year, ze vorld!!

  19. 19
    Gordon Brown MP {Mental Patient} says:

    Do they want an aircraft carrier? I ordered two but forgot to put any money aside to pay for them.

    G-7
    G-8
    G20 – Whaaa! You sunk my battleship!

  20. 20
    Call me Dave says:

    You can certainly ask for it but you won’t get it.

  21. 21
    The Axeman Cometh says:

    I see mong zoo’s point now. We have to do some thing other than moan about it.

  22. 22
    Sir Mark Thatcher. Multi millionaire and Al Yamamah *rms de*ler extraordinaire says:

    Especially when Mummy gets me vast kickbacks from arms sales.

  23. 23
    Georgie Porgie says:

    We’re all wanking members together.

  24. 24

    Shame that bailing the Euro is going to bankrupt you.

  25. 25
    Anonymous says:

    Could be in the words of the blessed Margaret of Finchley, “Is he one of US” time will tell, keep an eye on him Guy old chap.

  26. 26
    Diane Abbott says:

    Who cares about arms? The world needs more…

    …Rice an’ Pea! Andrew, Andrew, I have nothing more to say.

  27. 27
    Anonymous says:

    Well you have nothing else to do

  28. 28
    The Honourable Member says:

    get down.and stay down.

  29. 29
    Can't remember my moniker says:

    I was suprised to see how bad dyslexia was when I browsed the ‘Dyslexic’s social forum’.

    Or”Order Order”as some people call it.

  30. 30
    Gordon McMental says:

    Oh hold on
    I have the money for those carriers, unfortunatley I am wearing a very tight jacket that my Dr assures me will stop me biting my nails by at least 13% on 20/6/2011 so cannot reach my purse just this minute
    This morning I enjoyed a video conference with Tony who seems to have lost three fingers, the poor man kept waving the remaing two at his webcam and pumping his other hand uncontrollably
    The poor man is very obviously suffering from MS
    Gordon (Via head wand)

  31. 31
    Close to Scotland says:

    Why do all these fiddle always have a north east address.Best we take the place back to the days of the Jarrow march

  32. 32
    Gordon Brown says:

    I gave the armed forces all the equipment they needed. Isn’t that right, nurse?

  33. 33
    You appear to have nothing to contribute says:

    Just go away

  34. 34
    South of the M4 says:

    Es war vorbei, bevor es begann

  35. 35
    Palin's drone says:

    How’s that hopey changey cleaned up politics thingy going for you then?

  36. 36
    A Nurse says:

    Mr Gordon, how did you struggle out of your hands behind the back body armour?

  37. 37
    English Republic Army says:

    .Join us and do some thing real.

  38. 38

    Show us your tits.

  39. 39
  40. 40
    Tap Tap Tap says:

    This information has Guido’s members typing furiously. The members of the HOC have another drink and cigar at their expense and make more plans to fiddle.

  41. 41
    Tap Tap Tap says:

    This information has Guido’s members typing furiously. The members of the HOC have another d*rink and cigar at their expense and make more plans to fiddle.

  42. 42
    Gordon Brown says:

    Mr Doctor, this morning I had meetings with my egg soldiers. In addition to my duties in my bedroom, I will be having further such meetings later today.

  43. 43
    john in cheshire says:

    Very witty. So true.

  44. 44
    AC1 says:

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/gordon/320821

    So thanks to a regulation that could have been waived in a second, rather than skim up most of the oil, the Obami chose to leave it all in the ocean. It gets worse:

    So rather than clean up the spilling oil, the Obami chose to put the interests of organized labor first.

    The evidence is piling up that the Obama administration, through a combination of hubris, incompetence, and special-interest butt-kissing, has greatly worsened a very serious situation. I wonder when the American mainstream media is going to start reporting it.

  45. 45
    walletandwatch says:

    bog off moosey

  46. 46
    That cleaned up coalition of honest Johns says:

    Keep on trying to divert attention away from us, there’s a good chap. We wouldn’t want the electorate to see that the old gravy train is still running, would we?

  47. 47
    Nick Clegg says:

    I had sex with a dwarf tonight.

    It was OK, but I sure won’t be making a hobbit of it.

  48. 48
    The Enforcer says:

    assume the position brown…

  49. 49
    Gone fuckin mental says:

    You cant trust any of em

  50. 50
    Diane Fat Butt says:

    Andrew! We’ve just had the most important Budget in a generation. Let’s talk about that.

    No, I want to talk about this. What did you mean by West Indian mums go to the wall for their children? Isn’t that racist?

    Andrew, Andrew, I have nothing more to say.

    But if Michael had said white mothers go to the wall for their children, that would’ve been called racist, wouldn’t it?

    Andrew, Andrew, I’ve got nothing more to say. Because I’m a stupid, morbidly obese, vacuous, talentless fucking c-unt who can’t even defend her own words. Rice an’ pea!

  51. 51
    Gone fuckin mental says:

    your jokes are shit

  52. 52
  53. 53
    Doc Willoughby says:

    Too much rice will affect the bladder .
    No charge.

  54. 54
    Friend says:

    they are all trolls now .

  55. 55
    Anonymous says:

    Rules are made for fools!

  56. 56
    Anonymous says:

    It will always be too much to ask whilst the system does not allow for the recall of mp’s by their constituents.

  57. 57
    Robin Ashby says:

    Not that I suppose anyone wants their prejuduces debunking, but the Indescibably-boring got it wrong some time back and Guido recycles their canards, lies, misapprehensionsa etc etc.

    Yeah yeah I would say that, but that’s the poblem with the truth. The Lie Direct swamps it in the minds of those who want to believe the worst of everyone.

    So folks, the stuff Guido dragged up is not true.

    I can’t afford a libel lawyer, being now semi retired. Suffice it to say no good deed goes unpunished.

  58. 58
    Swamp Creature says:

    Instead of being offered a cooling drink on the Commons Terrace, Ashby should be force-fed dog pie through a funnel, like Robert Morley in ‘Theatre of Blood’ (1973)

  59. 59

    The Millbank, Brussels and Washington office addresses on his website are all “rubbish” he says

    So at best he’s a liar and at worst a fraud. Mmmmmmm.

    How much bung has passed between this loathesome character and the other lowlives in Westminster?

  60. 60

    You’d prefer Hilary?

  61. 61

    Yes Peter … er, sorry, sorry …. Yes, my Lord. Assuming the position, sir.

    Would you like me to lick it clean when you’ve fnished, sir?


Seen Elsewhere

UKIP on 23% With Survation | Mirror
UKIP Could Deal With Dave | Douglas Carswell
Tories Would Lower Benefit Cap | Telegraph
Bashir Twitter Meltdown | Mirror
Bashir is a Wrong’un | Norman Tebbit
Natalie Bennett Says it Should Not be a Crime to Belong to ISIS | Indy
LibDems Fifth in London | Standard
45 Mirror Group Stories Linked to Phone-Hacking | Press Gazette
Dave’s Diet | Speccie
Pink’O’Flynn | HuffPo
Trojan Horse Destroying British Values | Nick Wood


Find out more about PLMR AD-MS


George Galloway says of his former Respect candidate the UKIP MEP turned Tory, Amjad Bashir…

“Clearly Bashir does not have any real political principles or commitment, only naked opportunism and self-interest. He represents the revolving door principle in politics. The Tories are welcome to him because he will cause them embarrassment. Fortunately Respect was able to act before he did it to us.”


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