Monday, November 14, 2011


Bercow’s Blind Eye to Labour Donor Balls Up

In November 2007, two months after being selected as Labour’s candidate for Leeds West, Rachel Reeves declared a donation from Unite in November 2007 of £1,979.50 to the Electoral Commission. As the election got closer, the cheques from Unite kept coming. They gave her Leeds West Constituency £1,500 in May 2009 and another £1,500 in the April before the election. All of these donations were declared with the Electoral Commission correctly. But funnily enough she decided not to put the details on her Register of Members Interests when she won the following month…

This lack of information on the Register of Interests is probably why nobody noticed that Reeves wasn’t declaring an interest throughout the life of the Pensions Bill in Parliament, but Rule 78 of the House of Commons Code of Conduct is very clear:

“Members are required to declare relevant interests on the Order Paper (when tabling any written notice initiating a parliamentary proceeding.”

When Bercow was asked in a Point of Order about this earlier, he decided he didn’t want anything to do with it. To the cheers of the Labour benches.

Odd, but not the end of the matter…

VIDEO: Guido and Co Giving Evidence at Privacy Committee

Up Yours M’Lord

Half a Day in and the Mirror Already Linked to Mulcaire

Just one day into the Leveson Show Trials and it’s already up to thirty “rogue reporters” at News International. And there’s a few more years to go yet...

Surprise surprise, it didn’t take very long for the obvious to filter through: Glenn Mulcaire hacked on behalf of the Mirror…

Live Feed: Guido’s Visit to Parliament

Entering Parliament With Honest Intentions

Guido is getting ready to appear before the Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions this afternoon. He’ll be giving evidence before the twenty-six parliamentarians at 14.15 in the Boothroyd Room of Portcullis House. It’s open to the public if co-conspirators were wondering, but you can watch the proceedings online here. Guido will magic the video up on the site soon after. This is going to be fun…

Liam Burned In Dodgy Donor Declaration

This Cash for Votes scandal is a growing problem for Labour. Since it broke last week, every day another leading party figure has been exposed for the fact that they are not declaring the interests of one of their donors. Rachel Reeves has done it. Sadiq Khan has done it. Kate Green had to apologise to the House for it, and now this morning it emerges that everyone’s favourite note-writer Liam Byrne has been at it. Byrne has taken £3,250 of public sector agitators Unison in the form of direct donations to his constituency campaigns in Birmingham. Unison’s view on current Pension Bill is well known: they oppose it. Loudly. You can see where Guido is going with this…

What did Liam forget to do when he was putting amendments down to the Pensions Bill? Rule 78 section E of the House of Commons Code of Conduct is pretty clear:

Members are required to declare relevant interests on the Order Paper (or Notice Paper) when tabling any written notice initiating a parliamentary proceeding, ie:

a) Questions (for oral or written answer, including Urgent Questions);
b) Early Day Motions, Amendments to them, or any names added in support of such Motions or Amendments;
c) a notice of a Motion for leave to introduce a “Ten Minute Rule” Bill;
d) a notice for the presentation of a Bill (including a “Ballot” Bill or supporting the presentation of a Bill);
e) any other Motions, Amendments, or added names in support of them

When section e) is undertaken an (R) is placed next to the Member’s name on the amendment. There is no (R) next to Byrne’s name

Guido was most surprised to hear that Liam, who is normally such a stickler for punctuality, wasn’t in his office yet this morning, but he has asked his staff when their boss will be following Kate Green’s example and apologising to the House…

Lord Hunt Reaches Out

The new chairman of the PCC, Lord Hunt, has been in touch to clarify his reported remarks in his Guardian interview with Roy Greenslade where he is quoted as responding to Roy’s suggestion that major problems occur because of the tabloids:

“No, I think the greater challenge is with the bloggers, whether it’s Guido Fawkes or whoever.”

His office says his comments

“…were a passing remark which has been amplified. He was not discussing standards in blogs, but rather the structural issue that they represent an area of free speech, which government may want to regulate, or may end up regulating. The point he was making was that work needs to be done to stave off statutory regulation for everyone, including blogs like yours. That is the challenge.”

The blog is publishing this Press Complaints Commisssion chairman’s statement, but we’re not going to make a habit of it…

In Guido’s view the first thing he should do is get rid of the Sunday Mirror editor Tina Weaver from the Commission. She has personally asked journalists to hack phones, illegally blag personal records and the evidence from the Operation Motorman investigation alone should be enough to establish that she is not a fit and proper person to sit on a self regulatory body. If he is serious about cleaning up the press, that would be a sign that the cuckoos are not welcome in the nest.

See Sunday Mirror’s Tina Weaver Isn’t “Fit and Proper” for the PCC

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Seen Elsewhere

Mirror Hacking: 50 Legal Action Claims | Press Gazette
Mandy’s £400,000 Tax-Free Loan From Own Company | Guardian
Why We Must Remember the Holocaust | Hugo Rifkind
“Adjustments” Not Cuts | Gary Gibbon
The New Puritans | Alex Wickham
British Minister in Watch Gaffe | Straits Times
New Tory, New Danger | Laura Perrins
UKIP Could Work With Dave If Price is Right | Douglas Carswell
Cops Catch Crims With B.O. Test | Techno Guido
Bashir’s “False Account” to His Own Lawyers | Times
Injustice of Tax Avoidance Hysteria | City AM

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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