March 7th, 2012

Exclusive: Gov Response to Ken Slams Company Tax

Ken wrote to the Prime Minister asking for a change in the law so that the Mayor of London could only have one job. The reply fell under the purview of Grant Shapps:

Dear Ken,

Thank you for your letter of 27 February 2012 to the Prime Minister; he has asked me to reply on his behalf as the Greater London Authority Act is the responsibility of the Department for Communities and Local Government.

I have considered your request carefully, but my department has no plans to amend legislation in this way.

I believe the electorate are best placed to make judgments on whether elected representatives are able to pursue other interests in their spare time. Indeed, it would be quite illiberal to pass laws restricting and regulating what individuals can do in their evenings and on weekends.

Indeed, the effect of your proposed regulations would have meant you were unable to serve as Mayor of London when you were first elected in 2000, since you were a Member of Parliament, had paid columns in The Independent and the Evening Standard, had a book contract with Victor Gollancz, and received five-figure sums from after-dinner speaking agencies. Subsequently, during the period you were Mayor, you had a continuing commercial interest in Localaction Ltd, receiving payments for television, radio and writing.

In this context, I view your new-found interest in this issue to be wholly inconsistent and a further argument against ill-thought-out regulation. Calling for regulation on ‘full-time mayors’ whilst running a part-time company is as consistent as calling for a clampdown on tax dodging whilst using a company to avoid paying income tax.

Obviously, outside interests must open and transparent – and the Coalition Government has taken steps through the Localism Act 2011 and the new local government Transparency Code to entrench such transparency in law. I would note that the Greater London Authority has been at the forefront of promoting the transparency agenda in the last four years, such as being the first local government body to start publishing its spending online.

Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP
Minister of State for Housing and Local Government

Well Guido laughed…


  1. 1
    Tea leaf! says:

    Ken is a typical socialist.

    a tlying thief.

  2. 2
    Centre Parting says:

    Not the usual wet-arsed reply from a Tory!

    Keep it up Grant and get your mates to get stuck in an’ all!

  3. 3
    Popeye says:

    I had no idea that Shapps could be amusing.

  4. 4
    Tom Tomos says:

    Well Guido laughed…

    And so did I! Nice one, Grant.

  5. 5
    Selohesra says:

    I suspect it was one of his minions who was amusing

  6. 6
    Grammar School Boy says:

    Cutting but bang on the money…taxed of course!

  7. 7
    Andy Gray says:

    Fairly comprehensive slap-down.

  8. 8
    Phantom` says:

    There is nothing more potent than a slap-down with eloquence and manners. Perhaps Ken can learn something about that from this letter too.

  9. 9
    Steve Miliband says:


  10. 10
    Ah! Monika says:


    I wonder who leaked this?

  11. 11
    Professor Henry Brubaker, Institute for Studies says:

    “Calling for regulation on ‘full-time mayors’ whilst running a part-time company is as consistent as calling for a clampdown on tax dodging whilst using a company to avoid paying income tax.”

    That brought out a proper laugh out loud from me, not a fake interwebs lol.

    This treacherous hypocrite needs hammering with this constantly.

    Good work Shaps!

  12. 12
    Hugh Janus says:

    Splendid response, even if it wasn’t all GS’s own work. Livingstone redefines magnificently the words ‘thick’ and ‘hypocrite’.

  13. 13
    I can't be arsed to think up a new pseudonym says:

    What a great response to the sniveling, lying, newt fancying, hypocritical twat!

  14. 14
    purpleline says:

    He should have said this is an interesting idea and would look at it retrospectively with anyone found guilty liable for a massive fine and confiscation of all properties and prison sentence of 10-years & be excluded from running for the office of mayor unless already in position.

  15. 15
    michael says:


  16. 16
    PK says:


    I’ll bet Shapps loved composing that.

  17. 17
    Will says:


  18. 18
    Grommit says:

    Best slapdown I’ve seen in ages.

  19. 19
    Muggins says:

    Excellent! Thank you for being on the side of responsible citizens.
    However, you will need to be careful Grant. Much more of this will upset cameron and the bbc. Then you will be in trouble for being in touch with your electorate.
    Keep up the good work.

  20. 20
    Ken's crap even by Labour's standards says:

    That’s Ken comprehensively trashed. Hopefully the sniveling little newt-lover will crawl off, never to be seen again.

  21. 21
    Bystander #4 says:


    More, – much more please! And across the spectrum of concerns!

  22. 22
    Infuriated of West Mids says:

    Well, I did enjoy that! Big, fat slap across the chops!

  23. 23
    keredybretsa says:

    Now that was great for Voter Value Management.

  24. 24
    Loungelizard says:

    Happily Shapps attended The Poke In The Eye With A Sharp Stick school of politics…only thing these twonks understand.

  25. 25
    Tuscan Tony says:

    When will we see this letter prominently reported at the Beeb?

    Thought not.

  26. 26
    annette curton says:

    Lol, forensic destruction time.

  27. 27

    O/T but Guido. How come the unread Dr Eion Clarke green Benches blog is number 1 in the Ebuzzing ranking? Order-order is 7th. The widely read Political betting is below 50.

  28. 28
    The Direktor of PolitKlee Krect and Konvenient Troof at Al Ja Beeba, the Brown Bullshit Corpse says:

    Oh Darrrhhhlings – this is DREADFUL!!!

    Oh do something to help poor Ken quickly, – I feel quite faint.

    Mount a national campaign and install a 24/7 noos team and presentational advisors.

    And make a series of mockumentaries on Ken as quickly as you can.

    I must lie down, – Charles don’t go far away will you darrrhhhling!

  29. 29
    Some Geezer wot would welcome a little candour says:

    One wonders whether Ken, or any other politician for that matter, will ever simply come right out and say, “I’m in favour of certain sorts of legislation because it is needed to curb abuses in our system, but until things change, I intend to keep on engaging in those abuses– no sense playing a Holy-Joe mug’s game of being ‘honest’ whilst all around me are not!”

  30. 30
    Elvis says:


  31. 31
    I don't need no doctor says:

    Ken Livingstone is really, really, really, really STUPID.

  32. 32
    blinkered broadcasting corporation says:

    Come on BBC, claim you were leaked this

  33. 33
    Brent says:

    Shapps for PM… now!

  34. 34
    JayKay says:

    Can we get this response on posters all over London so that voters can see what a complete w***er Livingstone truly is.

  35. 35
    Clear evidence of Political bias at the BBC says:

    Ot but as has been noted The BBC has decided to pull the Youtube recording of Ed Milibands car crash re launch interview yesterday on 5 Live on the basis of “copyright”.
    As you can still download numerous items of BBC material on youtube and always could do, can they explain why the “Copyright” issue only appears to have raised its head on this item?
    I think we know the answer to that one dont we children.

  36. 36
    Pedant says:

    Good letter but the word “be” missing from the last paragraph. Probably indicates GS wrote it and not a civil servant

  37. 37
    Moscow Mike Handycock (sex Tourist on Taxpayer's money) says:

    On this one I have to agree with the Tories. MP’s should have other interests in their spare time and be able to earn money for doing so. That is why I am head of planning in Portsmouth as a councillor, not only for the £23k a year extra as a cabinet member, but also for the backhanders and political donations. My commercial interests in eastern Europe, especially Russia would also be affected and that would do me no good at all. Boaz and dosvedania. By the way you can see how important I am in Portsmouth:

  38. 38
    Deep Froat says:

    Oh thats just priceless. What a great letter. Grant Schapps eh? Good man.

  39. 39
    Ah! Monika says:

    PMQs Harperson still wearing her dressing gown.

  40. 40
    Penfold says:

    You got Ken full marks for trying………

    But really, the man is living in “la-la-la-la land” if he thought he was going to pull that one over with his track record.

    Yet another demonstration of the arrogance of the left, and how they must never be trusted again.

    As for Ken, let us never forget that perfiduous act of his in 1981 against an elected candidate, Andrew McIntosh…………..

  41. 41
    81IIy 8owden i5 7he gre@test ump1re ever ! says:

    love it

  42. 42
    legal alien says:

    What a great letter, Ken must have blown his fuse reading that.

  43. 43
    Rumor has it... says:

    A Greek default will happen on Friday the 23rd through to the 25th of March.

  44. 44
    The Avenger - Emma Beal says:

    I offer this explanation

  45. 45

    What a brilliant letter!

  46. 46
    AC1 says:

    I didnt know Grant Shapps could write

  47. 47
    AC1 says:


  48. 48
    Ichabod says:

    I thought I saw a pretty scrumptious female Labour MP —I didn’t think they existed–in the Commons today at PMQ. Sitting behind ‘Ed’ Miliband: blue dress, plenty of cleavage ( not really appropriate in that place, though ), almost voluptuous. Alas she started to wave he papers about, and standing up ‘cos she wanted to ask a question, and she was shown to be a fatty. Shame really. Quite a looker, and Labour needs every so/so looking woman it can get.

  49. 49
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    Having written to Grant over the oldies-being-nudged-out-of-their-houses-thing, I can assure you that Mr Shapps has an input to mail signed in his name. The refreshing style lacking in officialese is exactly his, but he does seem to have problems with his help, hence the missing, “be”.

  50. 50
    Forlornehope says:

    It is encouraging to see that the art of putting the boot in with exquisite politeness has not yet died.

  51. 51
    Forth Multiplication says:

    A bit long-winded for “fuck off”, isn’t it?

    Shapps must have had three shredded wheat this morning.

  52. 52
    Scamp - The Excitable Dog. says:

    All this bile is just jealousy over just how sexy he is really isn’t it?

    The reason Ken’s the right man for London is basically because he’s personally told me I’ll be able to afford a monthly holiday on the money I’ll be saving on off-peak tube fares, amazing as I don’t even use tubes.

    I’ve also just had an election leaflet through my door saying Ken’s going to leave a brown envelope stuffed full of tenners down the back of a toilet in Victoria station for every single Londoner if he gets in again.
    With dynamic policies like that, how can he lose? Especially to that trillionaire Tory buffoon ‘2-Jobs Johnson’.

    Ken’s a no-brainer, the man of the people, he’s getting my vote and no mistake guv’nor.

  53. 53
    Anonymous says:

    Just realised Grant Shapps looks a bit like Robert Webb.

  54. 54
    Not a spokesperson for the BBC says:

    Yes, we got a copy of this and no, we didn’t think this letter newsworthy.
    Not once did it mention the NHS bill, horses, phone hacking or anything nasty done by this Tory led coalition zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    We did however send the recipient of this to a salt mine ‘just to be sure’.

    thank you for your money

  55. 55
    YorkshireLad says:

    I think thios is an alarming waste of taxpayer-funded time. Mr Shapps’ reply, as eloquent as it is and as unequivical, much time would have been saved by issuing a two-word response. That being “F*ck off”

  56. 56
    Not a spokesperson for the BBC says:

    We’ll be round later to collect the ‘license fee’ – capiche?

  57. 57
    Ah! Monika says:

    Only one thing for Ken to do. Increase his advertising on a well known political blog.

  58. 58
    and there's more says:

    i would add that for every Pound Sterling that they gain in outside interests, one Pound Sterling should be taken off of their mp’s salary.

    that way they we would not be paying for their extra curricular activities.

  59. 59
    stanley-presumably says:

    its good that there’s no law against livingstones

    but the cost……oh,dear

  60. 60
    and there's more says:

    maybe not – he has probably worked out he is not going to win and wants to queer the pitch of Borry Baby

  61. 61
    Weybridgeman says:

    Ken should be put on the endangered species list pronto! Can’t be too many two-faced dinosaurs left…..

  62. 62
    and there's more says:

    maybe not – he has probably worked out he is not going to win and wants to q u e e r the pitch of Borry Baby

  63. 63
    Kevin T says:


    Boris should reprint that on billboards all over London.

  64. 64
    roy says:

    I thought they’d already defaulted?

  65. 65
    Red Pond Life's ReButtal Team says:

    He nevva dunit his insent he nevva dun nuffin hoynest guv serch me knowotoimeen?

  66. 66
    Rumor has it... says:

    Officially, no.

  67. 67
    Perse O'Nally says: Swallow that Ken. you despicable lump of dogmeat!

  68. 68
    Deep Froat says:

    Everything except Capiche.

  69. 69
    dwmf says:

    Yup. Nicely done. GS must have risen a few points in the character league.

    Any chance of it being read out in The Weekly Politics show?

  70. 70
    will says:

    the tories come out fighting for boris good for them.

    the more the politicians do outside work the less thay can screw the people.

  71. 71
    Titford Hat says:

    And me. I particularly enjoyed the dig about tax avoidance.

  72. 72
    Don Corleone's Grammar Tutor says:

    Capiche is mafioso for ” Understand ? — ‘cos if you don’t you may find your dead horse’s head sleeping with the fishes in a swimming pool at the bottom. of your bedspread “.

    Of course — for the grammatically pedantic purist — it should really be spelt ” Capisc ” to give it the required Lampedusa brogue .

  73. 73
    Mad Vlad Putin says:

    Schapps ?? what sort of a name is that ?? .

    In deference to our inimitably potent national drink he should at the very least spell it SCHNAPPS!! ( or Stolichnaya even ) .

  74. 74
    Evil Landlord says:

    It is still available on the BBC iPlayer as I listened to it last night – it starts at about 1hr 40 mins in.

    Car crash radio

  75. 75
    The Shorter English Dictionary says:

    Another spelling mistake !

    The name of Ken’s company should surely read Lactation Ltd. — purveyors of breast pumps , Directoire knckers nd other related paraphernalia.

  76. 76
    Charlie the Chump says:

    Dear Ken, Go fuck yourself

  77. 77
    A welcome contributor says:

    Moreover, for the grammatically extra pedantic, it should be spelt ‘licence’.

    Oy vey, vatever happened to edge you quay shun?

  78. 78
    A welcome contributor says:

    Now now, that’s very rude. The correct response is to refer Mr L to the verdict in Pressdram v Arkell.

  79. 79
    "Doc" Holliday ( Wyatt Earp's Dentist) says:

    Ken —

    The latest photo today on Guido’s ” organ ” ( above) indicates you have no teeth left at all .

    Was that my handiwork ?

    I recall having a bit of a heavy night on the Jim Beam last evening an I seem to recall indulging in some fancy shooting with my six gun after downing the first bottle– so my recollection is vague .

  80. 80
    Osama the Nazarene says:

    Well Guido laughed… not surprised it Grant has clearly been reading your blog.

  81. 81
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    Shapps is a prize hoon but full marks to the civil servant who drafted this letter for him.

  82. 82
    Polly Toybrain says:

    shurely this letter is actionable?
    Ken you must sue this fascist lick-spittle govt at once … its a national disgrace and unworthy to buff the buttock cleft of more intelligent and much nicer socialists! I blame evil nazi tories

  83. 83
    polythesis says:

    Seeing a rich far left hypocrite get busted? Priceless.

    The guardian is all over the story along with the BBC like a rash.. or not.

  84. 84
    Bloke says:

    Can I precis this letter for everyone?
    Dear Ken
    Why don’t you fuck off?

  85. 85
    Anonymous says:

    Doubtful that will happen;more likely he would emulate the chicken pox virus & after a period of time lying dormant would re-emerge as shingles to cause more pain & irritation.

  86. 86
    Pundit Too says:

    More likely the “be” is only missing in Guido’s translation. He does have form in grammar and spelling.

  87. 87
    Pundit Too says:

    He should have cc’d bbc Pravda.

  88. 88
    Stu says:

    Priceless destruction of another left wing utter fucking hypocrite. I hate scum like Livingstone who want to destroy everyone else’s aspirations while they line their own pockets.

  89. 89
    Lizard King says:

    Ouch. That newtered him.

  90. 90
    Ivor Tapeworm says:

    Deep Froat was quoting Bart Simpson.

  91. 91
    Ivor Tapeworm says:


    Dear Ken,



  92. 92
    Anonymous says:

    Difference is that you can’t do either of your jobs properly sweetheart – even his detractors would have to admit Boris does at least one of his properly.

  93. 93
    TheRealDave says:

    Wow, amazed the Tory spin doctors haven’t been all over this – or have they?

  94. 94
    LewesLefty says:

    I agree, an elegant, eloquent and succinct expose of a classic champagne socialist, GS doesn’t have to go for the jugular – all he states are the facts. Poor old Ken, he’ll be drummed out the regiment this time. A lot of people will miss him as was actually quite entertaining. The left have really had their day haven’t they? Bloody shambles. Shame

  95. 95
    Unaligned voter says:

    Only Tories are allowed capital and the means to retain it. If you are Labour you must rely on your earned income (or benefits). Don’t think about saving or the Tories will criticise you. You can only have money if you vote Tory.
    Bugger off Shapps you mealy mouthed excuse for a coalition minister.

  96. 96
    Gonkione says:

    No-one said socialists cannot have money. The problem is that once some socialists have aquired large sums and use all legal and possibly some not so legal methods to hang on to it they will go banging on about anyone else aquiring it.

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