Friday, August 10, 2012

Furious Wandsworth Fraud Councillor Loses Party Posts

Guido hears that next week’s Wandsworth Guardian are going heavy on the Wandsworth Conservatives fraud cover up that Guido has been exposing over the last month.  Guido has the full evidence of Councillor Robert Morritt having his hand in the till while he was the Transport Secretary’s agent at the last election. As a result of pressure applied from various angles, today we learn he is to stand aside as Deputy Chairman of Justine Greening’s constituency party.

Morritt has broken cover, and despite already being suspended by a Wandworth Council, he is trying to claim he is standing aside voluntarily because he is so squeaky clean. His long and rambling statement is about two weeks too late:

“It is a sad fact in politics that malicious individuals can fire off accusations about people who are elected to serve their communities, and in certain quarters have their vicious claims taken at face value. In the past few weeks I have been on the receiving end of a number of scandalous accusations of fraud and wrongdoing during my time working for Wandsworth Conservatives, all of which are completely untrue. In addition, I have been subject to vile attacks by individuals unknown in an attempt to damage me politically, professionally and personally. Therefore I would welcome an independent review of the work I delivered for my previous employer, and for this to be conducted by a suitable person as soon as is possible. I will be writing to Wandsworth’s Chief Executive later today so that he is aware I will be voluntarily not attending any committees until the report is concluded. I will be adopting the same approach in respect of any posts I also hold in the voluntary party. There is no doubt in my mind that I carried out my duties in a highly professional manner and the results achieved in various elections are a testament to that. The chairman of Wandsworth Conservatives has been very clear that in his view there was no wrongdoing and I was warmly regarded by my colleagues and by the volunteers. As for those persons behind these unprincipled and false accusations, I can only express my disgust and disappointment.”

An interesting use of the term “voluntarily” there. The whole statement has a touch of the Huhne to it…

See also:

Piri Piri Mili

Guido has already reported the efforts to which the Labour Party are going in order to hit the ground running in the Corby by-election. There is only so far the back-room operation can take things though.

Out on the stump events, and indeed pictures say it all…

Guido’s favourite anecdote so far is the report that Ed asked a group of teenage girls: “what can politicians do for you?“, to which they replied: “Get us a Nandos in town!“.

Finally a policy!

Friday Caption Contest (Keep Your Friends Close Edition)

Tax Avoidance Firm Slammed By Guardian Advises Guardian

The Guardian has criticised PricewaterhouseCoopers in the past, noting that they are a key player in the “tax avoidance industry” and have a suspiciously “cosy relationship” with HMRC. The paper has also described PWC’s role as an auditor for major banks as “poor and unaccountable. Nasty bunch!

So what a surprise to see the Guardian Media Group employing the services of, you guessed it, PWC:

It’s like fish in a barrel today.

Guardian CEO Caught In a Spin

Guardian CEO Andrew Miller Spins Losses to Staff

From: Andrew Miller
Date: Fri, Aug 10, 2012 at 10:22 AM
To: Guardian Staff

Today GMG is publishing its annual report for 2011/12. This provides details of the financial performance of the group, its wholly owned businesses (including GNM) and its investments during the year ended 1April 2012.

The past year has been remarkable for GNM – we embarked on a radical new digital-first strategy, our coverage of the phone-hacking scandal, UK riots, Arab Spring and more helped our journalism reach record audiences, and we opened our doors to our readers for our first ever Open Weekend.

Yet despite this fantastic year of great journalistic success we can not overlook the financial challenges we face at GNM. As I said in July’s staff briefing, our aim is to reduce GNM’s losses to a sustainable level within five years and it is to be expected that as we invest in the future of the Guardian, we will see some increase in GNM’s losses. This is indeed the case for 2011/12.

GMG’s portfolio of assets have performed well over the past year and the view of the Board is that the ongoing value of our assets is more than sufficient to see us through this period of change.

You can download the full annual report here.

You can read the press release here.

If you have any questions, please post them in the comment thread underneath the story on Spike. Alternatively, please email me direct or via transformation@guardian.co.uk.

Andrew

Guido’s emphasis…

Guardian Media Group Horror Accounts in Full

Intern Aware Slam Slave Labour Bloggers

There was a time when broke blog Left Foot Forward could do no wrong in the eyes of Intern Aware, but the fair pay campaigners have attacked their old friends this morning after Guido exposed their slave labour internship scheme.

“We’re unimpressed. Organisations should live their values even when times are tough.”

This morning the bust progressives sent out their third email begging for money in just a week, but you have to wonder who is going to dip in to their pockets to prop up such rank hypocrisy…

Bradford Routing Haunts Labour –
Watson Amassing Troops in Corby

The joke doing the rounds this morning in Labour circles is:

“Rupert Murdoch has three months to take out the trash. If he wanted to kill someone he could probably get away with it. Tom is now so obsessed with Corby he thinks it’s Ed’s Crewe.”

Labour sources tell Guido that they are determined not to see a repeat of their Bradford by-election shambles. Former Brownite boot-boys Watson and Ian Austin are off to Louise Mensch’s old constituency, along with half the party staff. They’ve despatched a team to find a decent office as at the moment they are working from the Labour Club. Gordon Paterson, former Labour Yorkshire organiser, is in charge of field operations at the moment and will probably be the agent. Labour confirmed to Guido last night that leave has already been cancelled. Dozens of HQ staff have been told they have to go up there full time.

Political advisers and the policy team are rather grumpy because they are being told there will be daily mini-buses from London and that they are all expected to be on them. Ed has also told staff in the leader’s office that he wants them up there: “some of them don’t mind to be honest because nice to be out of office but others moaning.” One insider even says there has been talk of conference being scaled back. General Secretary Iain McNicol has apparently told staff that Corby is the single biggest party priority now until November. Everything else is now secondary, including Police Commissioner elections. 

Gone is the complacency of Bradford and it’s all hands to the deck. Obviously that is not what they are saying publicly though – as Guido revealed last night – the line is “we’re not going to win”.

Thankfully the candidate has deigned to cut short his south of France holiday and is out on the stump.

Better late than never…


Seen Elsewhere

Treasury’s Laws There to Be Broken | Jill Kirby
Dave’s Pro-Free Markets Speech | ASI
Forget the Nimbys, Bring on the Bimbys | ConHome
Emily is No Snob | Islington Tribune
Cam’s Red Line | Sun
Politicians Must Examine Their Extincts | Laura K
Immigration Lies | Nigel Farage
Take That Mr Speaker | Quentin Letts
How Avoidable Scandals Destroy Stupid Politicians | Alex Wickham
UKIP Mosque Confusion | The Week
Let’s Ban the Word Internet | Padraig Reidy


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Tony Blair threatens Ed:

“If you had a strong political lead that was combining the politics of aspiration with the politics of compassion, I still think that’s where you could get a substantial majority…  If I ever do an interview on [the state of the Labour Party], it will have to be at length…”



Left on Left says:

The lefties are attacking because the panellist is a millionaire and lives in a London home worth upwards of two million. Someone had best tell them he’s called Ed Miliband.


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