February 14th, 2013

Labour MP Allows Access For Lobbyist Friend

Back when they used to actually post stories, the Political Scrapbook team employed the services of Matt Zarb-Cousin, a lefty up-and-comer occasionally capable of scoring the odd point. Zarb-Cousin left Scrapbook to work as a researcher for Labour MPs Pamela Nash and Andy Slaughter, but sadly things didn’t quite work out. Now he seems to spend most of his time working as a lobbyist for the anti-bookies Campaign for Fairer Gambling. Why, then, does he still hold a parliamentary pass?

Guido contacted Nash’s office to ask for an explanation, but they had never heard of Zarb-Cousin. “He definitely, definitely doesn’t work in this office”, Guido was told, “he might be a friend of Pamela’s”. No wonder, it turns out Zarb-Cousin hasn’t worked for Nash since 2011, despite the fact that he still holds a parliamentary pass under her name, which he continues to use regularly in his job as an anti-gambling lobbyist. Naughty.

Zarb-Cousin has confirmed to Guido he has used the pass to access Parliament in his capacity at Fairer Gambling, and that he takes a wage from the organisation: “since it is not a commercially-motivated campaign I don’t consider myself a lobbyist, so I didn’t think I’d have to declare it. It’s my fault, I shouldn’t have kept hold of the pass”. Nash isn’t happy, she tells Guido: “I was not aware he was still using his parliamentary pass and have instructed the Pass Office to deactivate the pass immediately”. How many more lobbyists have access based on their interpretation of the rules around influencing MPs?


130 Comments

  1. 1
    Socialists = Sociopaths says:

    Shock, horror.

  2. 2
    Karl Schennedy says:

    Influencing MPs ?

    I’m normally under the influence.

  3. 3
    Bent Badshow says:

    Anyone can use my pass.

  4. 4
    Cut-me-own-throat Dibbler says:

    Typical sloppy, incompetent public sector. If the public sector was private and had to compete it would have gone bust a thousand times over.

  5. 5
    Oscar P says:

    I’d better do a runner.

  6. 6
    Jimbo says:

    ” I should not have kept hold of it ” Yes Right !! we all believe that.

  7. 7
    Alan Rusbridger, upright pianist says:

    Today I will be mostly playing Polly Wolly Doodle by Anonymous.

  8. 8
    Eddie says:

    A campaign that has given thousands to the Lib Dems over 18months. A parliamentary pass – surely that would be huge advantage for a pro lobbyist. Access to MPs all day every day. What other resources – scandal in the making me thinks. Could be huge.

  9. 9
    Cut-me-own-throat Dibbler says:

    Germany contracts 0.6% and France 0.3%. How are the Militwits going to blame that on Osborne and the Tories?

  10. 10
    Raving Loon says:

    Oscar Pistorious P.D

    Shoot first, ask questions later!

  11. 11
    One Term Dave says:

    I can well understand why people say that I’m a traitorous tosser. I say I want to put a block on immigration and then I welcome the whole of the subcontinent into the country. It goes to show what brilliant PR operator I am. Toodle pip!

  12. 12
    Eddie says:

    Okay, he has a pass. Surely he declared his employment if he earns over £400? Register of interests?

  13. 13
    D S Owin Jones says:

    Ali Dizaei awaits appeal decision http://bbc.in/15eya5N

  14. 14
    Oscar says:

    I missed her so badly.

  15. 15
    King of Mervyn Gardens says:

    I will be resigning soon to spend more time with my pension. I think most people would agree that I have done a splendid job.

  16. 16
    We need to know the truth says:

    Do you know how many of the 650 crackpot members have passes? And how many of them get “sponsorship” from commercial interests which could in no way influence their behaviour?

  17. 17
    I've Always Found the AK47 a Great Leveler says:

    Can’t he get a proper job in Pound Stretcher? No doubt he’ll move from the world of ‘lobbying’ to HOC in good time. Another tosser who thinks that democracy is getting leverage on Ministers that no one knows about.

  18. 18
    RetardEd says:

    I will be soon making a major speech on the economy which will have no new policies in it. What is a good word for that kind of speech?

  19. 19
    Nothing to see here...move along please says:

    So…at LAST…the truth has come out about THOSE immigration figure oredictions of the number of Bulgarians/Ruomanians that will enter into the UK from 2014….Pickles lied on live television on BBC Sunday Politics Show January 13..there is NO actual study been commissioned and there is no intention to actually commission one out…Ministers and Officails have no idea of the numbers and are too afraid to tell the public !! Meanwhile Officials confrm that the campaign to tell the Bulgarians/Rumanians that the UK is “shit” gains momentum. As Littlejohn is fond of saying…..”You couldn@t make it up!!”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2278373/Clueless-Ministers-attempt-estimate-number-Romanian-Bulgarian-immigrants-come-Britain.html#comments

  20. 20
    The man with no name says:

    Hang him, and hang him high

  21. 21
    So long Mervyn and thanks for all the easing says:

    Just another banker who having screwed us all now wants to spend some time with his ill gotten pension.

  22. 22
    Just a thought Mr Megashambles says:

    If it’s all part of the no policy policy why not call it WUNASHUN.

  23. 23
    Fabians ARE EVIL says:

    They don’t need to – the BBC will do it on their behalf

  24. 24
    Seth the pig farmer says:

    How hard would it be to produce a list of passes and their sponsoring MP and asking them to certfy annually if, under the rules, they should continue to hold a pass?

    Is such a list FOIable?

  25. 25
    Nuff said says:

    Something along the lines of “It’s all the fault of this Prime Minister and his Chancellor”.

  26. 26
    MacGuffin says:

    He hasn’t got a leg to stand on.

  27. 27
    Terry Dactyl says:

    Putting him in a lasagna would stop this sort of horsing around.

  28. 28
    Labourunionsbbc we are one under the EU says:

    He looks pretty high born to me. A must now-a-days if you want to be a true lefty.

  29. 29
    Seth the pig farmer says:

    They do, and they (we) are bust.

  30. 30
    Klampit says:

    If the truth is known the poor of Britain are eating horses cocks on a regualr basis

    Socialist Corpratism is about the state giving money to the poor, so they can spend it at state sponsored Corporates on horse’s cock meat

  31. 31
    Anonymous says:

    Funny, I thought the only persons allowed to influence MPs are the voting public they are supposed to represent. I don’t think I’ll bother voting any more, they only see it as a mandate to trough and lord it.

  32. 32
    Joss Taskin says:

    Wonder how much compo the British taxpayers will have to stump up this time ?

    P.S. I do hope that the same mug British taxpayers are paying for the legal aid to fund his QC.

  33. 33
    Oscar says:

    Robin Ashby of the UK Defence Forum (Defence Lobbyists) used to have one… He might still do. Think it was from a Lord, could be worth checking out…

  34. 34
    Anonymous says:

    “I wasn’t aware”?

    If MPs had ever had management responsibility in private business they would know that employees are relieved of passes, keys, laptops, business cards, mobile phones, business lists etc etc etc when they quit or get fired.

    She is telling us MPs don’t do that when they part company with interns?

  35. 35
    To tell the truth says:

    He’s even less use than a one legged man in a bum kicking competition.

  36. 36
    Steve Miliband says:

    They could use Gordon’s – he never uses it.

  37. 37
    Oppositions don't win elections;government's lose them says:

    An Opposition doesn’t NEED policies..they just need to keep “sticking it” to the government…Miliband’s suggestion that people feel worse off at the end of 5 years of Coalition Government than they did at the end will sway it….after all it worked for Regan in 1980 against Carter

  38. 38
    Dee Lusional says:

    Meanwhile in the EU, they are debating welcoming Turkey to join. Dave supports.

  39. 39
    Curly says:

    From your villa in the Highgate Hills?

  40. 40
    Raving Loon says:

    Talk about putting your foot in it.

  41. 41
    Owin Jones says:

    Had a fight with an erection this morning.

    I beat it single handedly.

  42. 42

    *whistles cheerfully*

    Anything happening today?

  43. 43
    T'Old Fella says:

    Well we know it has happend in Tory circles in the past with Foxy and Werritty who didn’t know each other but one was the other was sure to follow, Geedo was one of those that highlighted the matter, in every probability there will be many more, in all parties, as the control of the HoC seems to to rely on self regulation and mps being jolly good chaps, someone wants to extract their fist from where the sun does not shine and tighten up the regulations.

  44. 44
  45. 45
    T'Old Fella says:

    It would seem that no one knows becuse the record keeping seems so lax

  46. 46
    Ah! Monika 2013 +1 says:

    The jury’s still out.

  47. 47
    T'Old Fella says:

    And the elite (by which I assume you are one of them) suck each others

  48. 48
    Anonymous says:

    Hacked Off’s John DL still declaring he works for Sense…

  49. 49
    The Fabian Society says:

    That is a sexist remark, excluding horses of the unmale kind, and you will be sent to a suitable camp for re-education.

  50. 50
    Curly says:

    King was in the counting house counting out his money
    Plebs were in the sh*t house saying that’s not funny
    Just tell us cos we’d like to know what happened to our cash
    Ah, now we see it’s all come clear, it’s in your pension stash.

  51. 51
    Curly says:

    Maybe, but you forget one tiny detail – the internet was in its infancy in those days.

  52. 52
    Steve Miliband says:

    So will Ed mention today that Germany, France and Italy economies all contracted in the final three months of 2012?

  53. 53
    T'Old Fella says:

    “Funny, I thought the only persons allowed to influence MPs are the voting public they are supposed to represent. ” don’t be silly, constituents are just the means to an end, enabling them to jump on the gravy train, constituents are only useful when it comes to being elected and that is only about 200 seats the rest are jobbies for life one party states.

  54. 54
    SCP says:

    Grampian Police have decided that they will take no further action against Helena Torry after holding her in a store room since their prosecution failed.

    Renee Slater reunited with election mannequin Helena Torry

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-21442142

  55. 55
    Curly says:

    Find any horse meat in your bacon sarnie?

  56. 56
    Bert says:

    What is it with these so-called “liberals” who want to restrict other people’s behaviour — gambling, drinking, smoking? Who the fuck gave them the right to decide what is and what is not in the best overall interest, and even if they knew the answers, who the fuck made them into fucking prefects?

    This Zarb thing looks foreign to me. His remarks about Brenda in that tweet are seriously offensive and I suggest 45 years in the nearest dungeon, dangling in chains. After which, let’s fire him into space.

  57. 57
    Owin Jones says:

    Roses are shit, violets are wank, fuck off fuck off fuck off.

  58. 58
    T'Old Fella says:

    Most of them are. why else would they have a booze and wine store full of the stuff

  59. 59
    Curly says:

    Not surprising since they can’t sell their Mercs, BMWs, Peugeots and Alfas to skint Brits any more.

  60. 60
    Raving Loon says:

    What did Oscar Pistorious valentine’s day?

    20 years.

  61. 61
    Horsemeat in Burgers , wait till you see how much Donkey is in your Salami says:

    Mornin mate , nothing much
    Oscar Pistorius gave his girlfriend an unusual valentines present

  62. 62
    Ned Ludd says:

    Internet – WTF is t’internet?

  63. 63
    Bert says:

    No, she is telling us that she is a moron.

  64. 64
    Bert says:

    As Sarah will confirm.

  65. 65
    Catty Comment (Ms) says:

    You silly mare…

  66. 66

    A man cannot be too careful in his choice of weapons…

  67. 67
    Not paying says:

    So, a Labour goon Takes over BBC news. Bias? Never

  68. 68
    Hal AL says:

    Lamb’s the story to come.
    Don’t let the wool be pulled over your eyes.

  69. 69
    Horsemeat in Burgers , wait till you see how much Donkey is in your Salami says:

    She was expecting 9 inches but he only had 9 millimeters

  70. 70
    Ned Ludd says:

    Any news on how long it will take the masons, sorry Grand Master, I mean the Judge to decide what sentence Huhne should receive? Will we be able to have a good laugh today or will he wait for sentencing to reports to confirm that Chris is a bit of a knob?

  71. 71
    Catty Comment (Ms) says:

    To my ear Zarb does not sound a very British name. Where’s he from?

  72. 72
    Catty Comment (Ms) says:

    Just “resting” in your wallet, no doubt.

  73. 73
    Horsemeat in Burgers , wait till you see how much Donkey is in your Salami says:

    I bought some 100% oak flooring from B and Q
    When i read the packet it said it had lamb in it

  74. 74
    Catty Comment (Ms) says:

    He should try making remarks like that in Thailand or Malaysia. He would get a rapid introduction to the local Big Bubbas – and no remission for good behaviour either.

  75. 75
    50 Calibre says:

    Usual level of professional control then…

  76. 76
    Sir William Wade says:

    A Miliprattle?

  77. 77
    Horsemeat in Burgers , wait till you see how much Donkey is in your Salami says:

    Not the banging she was expecting

  78. 78

    No shotgun wedding likely, then.

  79. 79
    Catty Comment (Ms) says:

    It’s a sea faring term – something to do with phishing I believe. Hope that helps.

  80. 80
    Tory Fat Cat says:

    Frothing right wing anger!

  81. 81
    albacore says:

    A little lad with access to M P’s
    What can he do, then, climb up on their knees
    And whistle short excerpts from The Red Flag?
    An M P today’s just an E U slag
    Lib, Lab or Con, they just ain’t worth a toss
    Parliament’s useless. The E U’s the boss

  82. 82
    Curly says:

    My wood had some jamb in it. Does that count?

  83. 83
    Well it's a thought says:

    I thought that they were going to put a stop to lobbying or was that put out to shut us plebs up, while the lies and corruption still carries on and inept politicians still still shuffle at the trough.

  84. 84

    Press passes! Just visit Holyrood, no invite required, and have coffee or go to the loo next to MSPs. Enjoy the whisky exibition etc. You might even find yourself talking to an elected msp and sharing a laugh.

  85. 85
    Kerching EU calling all horses says:

    LOL
    +1000000

  86. 86
    Po a tick licence says:

    Barosso had a little lamb
    Rumpy had some beef
    But now they moan and shout a lot
    The meat’s stuck in their teef.

  87. 87
    Anonymous says:

    “the record keeping seems so lax”
    I was well & truly clobbered by HMRC for that some years ago & they don’t appear to have forgotten it since.
    Amazing how it continues to be the case that politicons remain un-affected by the rules, regulations & laws applied to the rest of us.

  88. 88
    Horsemeat in Burgers , wait till you see how much Donkey is in your Salami says:

    When she said come on Oscar “Empty your load” It wasn’t what she was expecting

  89. 89

    It would appear to be Maltese and of Semitic origin.

    I really must get out more.

  90. 90
    Ah! Monika 2013 +1 says:

    Advice from the RSPCA but none from the NSPCC !!!

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/4794297/How-to-make-a-fox-trot-off.html

  91. 91

    I have it on good authority that Michael Morpurgo is writing a follow up to War Horse, called War Burger.

    I do apologise.

  92. 92
    Horsemeat in Burgers , wait till you see how much Donkey is in your Salami says:

    I bet it needs emptying !

  93. 93
    Horsemeat in Burgers , wait till you see how much Donkey is in your Salami says:

    Off to do a bit mate , catch you later

  94. 94
    Bert says:

    The problem with that is that you have to go to fucking Scotland.

  95. 95
    FSA says:

    Well, Turkey is better than horsemeat!

  96. 96
    Anonymous says:

    Zarb-Cousin, double barrelled name = thick socialist on the make for quick get rich scheme.

  97. 97
    John O'Farrell says:

    Fear I have already turned into political robot. Valentines card to wife just said ‘Vote Labour in Eastleigh for a One Nation alternative’.

  98. 98
    Aldi Niti says:

    Findus not in the winners enclosure.

  99. 99
    Maqboul says:

    Coz they cut the EU budget.

  100. 100
    Pawn Sandwich says:

    How many Trade Union officials have passes?

  101. 101
    Labour Treason says:

    Ex MP James Purnell is to be employed by the BBC at a salary; wait for it £300,000 plus pension. Taxpayer money wasted again!

  102. 102
    Owin Jones says:

    Middle Class worst off since 2003 but, hey, they’re “behind” the strivers all the way to their bank.

  103. 103
    A. Einstein says:

    Why?

  104. 104
    Cut-me-own-throat Dibbler says:

    Miliband’s one nation sounds good but not when you realise the one nation he is talking about is Romania.

  105. 105
    Cut-me-own-throat Dibbler says:

    For same reason people climb mountains. Because it is there.

  106. 106
    Cut-me-own-throat Dibbler says:

    The shirkers have done very well since 2003 though.

  107. 107
    Oscar Pissedorius says:

    My favourite band is Bullet for my Valentine.

  108. 108
    Cut-me-own-throat Dibbler says:

    It is easier to work out which trade unionists don’t have passes.

  109. 109
    Oscar Pissedorius says:

    I asked my girlfriend what she fancied doing this evening. She said “I’d love to see Bullet to the Head”. So I obliged. How was I to know she meant the film?

  110. 110
    Oscar Pissedorius says:

    Despite what Bruce Willis says, today is a good day to die easy.

  111. 111
    Harbottle says:

    What was he saying/doing when the lunatic Brown opened up massive gambling temptation to what used to be called ‘the working class’?

  112. 112
    Oscar Pistolius says:

    Her heart went out to me. And landed on the floor.

  113. 113
    The public says:

    Hiss, Boo

  114. 114
    Ann Woodward, merry widow, says:

    I pulled this same one off in 1955 in New York, killing my husband, the horse breeder William Woodward. And I got the idea after reading about Ty Cobb, the famous American baseball player, of the Cobb County Cobbs, whose mother pulled the same one off on her husband in 1915 in Atlanta. When you’re a Social Register type, and can afford to hire a really good mouthpiece to get you off on self-defense, you can literally get away with murder. And Pissed-Off has the additional bonus that he lives in a crime-ridden country, to boot.

  115. 115
    Things Could Be Much Much Worse says:

    Get real.

    On the continent there are countries with 25% unemployment rates and you are worried that a few middle class people are having to buy their Valentine’s day roses from ASDA and drink Cava instead of Krug

  116. 116
    keredybretsa says:

    What a chaos island Westminster is. NO wonder they want to blast Guido off the radar when he comes up with nice little find-out like this. Keep on digging the rats out!

  117. 117
    Blodwen says:

    This would be done monthly at stalagluft stratford, aka the Olympic Park. Can’t see how it can’t be done in the house of scroungers

  118. 118
    A theory says:

    Greed equals MP’s share.

  119. 119
    Andrew Efiong says:

    More Labour sleaze!

  120. 120
    oops says:

    Shoot your load at me, Oscar

  121. 121
    YorkshireLad says:

    Why doesnt he get a proper job?

  122. 122
    Damned Impertinent Questions says:

    time to Lobby bookies I think. Are they aware that they are represented by this slimy anti-monarchist Labourite individual

  123. 123
    Owen's Boyfriend says:

    Come on Owen. Let’s kiss and make up.

  124. 124
    Penfold says:

    Has not some sort of criminal event taken place here……..??

    We have mis-representation,
    Illeagal use of a pass, not as issued for,
    Failure to give proper disclosure,
    Conspiracy,

    Indeed, how as the card renewed? one assumes they are valid for a 12month.

  125. 125
    Go get 'em Guidio says:

    That lad will go far. Expect he’ll be PM one day

  126. 126
    Anonymous says:

    Life in the 3rd Bedroom .That was someone’s daughter

  127. 127
    LittleTeddyBear says:

    I’m not sure how he can claim the campaign isn’t commercially motivated. The guy running it is a multi-millionaire casino and poker magnate who in the last DCMS submission proposed…

    “Remove licensing requirements for all casino employees except senior executives.

    Reduce the tax rate on casinos to parity with other sectors.

    Remove geographic and numerical limitations on casinos.

    Introduce parity in local authority control over gambling licenses. If “aim to permit” is acceptable for one sector it should be acceptable for all sectors.”

  128. 128

    Another double-barrelled champagne socialist, making a good living from admonishing other folks.

    Twit.

    (Oops. Misspelling!)

  129. 129
    Derek says:

    How is this not front page news!

    If I have understood this correctly:

    Las Vegas Casino Tycoon bankrolls Lib Dems AND campaigns to ‘ban casino content’ on gaming machines in betting shop THEN Lib Dems announce policy which is anti-betting shops AND the spokesman for the campaign has had unlimited access to MPs, researchers and other resources for nearly 5 months!

    (Of course these events may not be linked)

    Wonder if he booked any Commons rooms or got the Library to do work for the campaign. Is investigative journalism dead (other than Guido)

  130. 130
    Anonymous says:

    Shut up, mate.


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