UKBA Want to Know the Truth About the Missing Passport

Tongan PassportGuido has established that the passport found in the UK Border Agency raid on Lolo’s flat was expired long before Lolo got her job with Baroness Scotland.  There is quite simply no way that she could have used that passport to prove anything to the Baroness.  The UKBA raid found the documents as described in Lolo’s interview in the Mail on Sunday.

What does this mean?  It means that so far no evidence has been uncovered to support Patricia Scotland’s claim that she saw a valid passport – obviously if the passport existed and she had taken a copy of it she would  have been in the clear. Noticeably in the earliest comments briefed to the press there was no mention of a passport, “She hired Ms Tapui in good faith and saw documents which led her to believe that Ms Tapui was entitled to work in this country”. Later in the week when investigators from the UKBA interviewed the Attorney General informally, not under caution, she claimed to have seen a passport. That is her line with the press now.

The Sunday papers have all been spun the same line

A spokeswoman for Scotland said she had given the same details to the UK Border Agency when they interviewed her, adding: “They completely accepted our version of events.”

Privately UKBA investigators don’t entirely accept Lady Scotland’s version of events without reservation, which is why they have been trying, without success so far, to establish with the Tongan High Commission in London whether or not a second subsequent passport for Lolo had been issued.  As yet they have been unable to establish conclusively the truth of Lolo’s claim that she has never applied for a second passport.

Consider the implications: if, as Lolo claims, she did not have a second passport it would mean that for the Baroness to be telling the truth, Lolo would have had to presented her with a false forged passport.  Forged passports do not come cheap, demand from drug traffickers, terrorists and other criminals ensures that the black market in passports commands high prices.  How would a cleaner applying for a £6 per hour job afford to obtain a forged passport? If Lolo is telling the truth than the Baroness has possibly lied to investigators from the UK Border Agency.

target-baronessThe only alternative explanation which would support Lady Scotland’s story is that Lolo did in fact obtain a second passport from the Tongan High Commission in London or from the issuing authority in Tonga.  She could then feasibly have faked a permission to stay stamp in the passport.  The UKBA investigation is going to find out the truth this week.  If there is in fact no second passport (the raid of course did not find one) we will be expected to believe the assertions of the Attorney General, despite there being no evidence to support her assertions.  We will be expected to believe that Lolo had the ability, finances and motivation to obtain a forged passport merely to get a minimum wage cleaning job.  Does that make more sense than the reason the Baroness did not make a copy of the passport is that there simply wasn’t a passport to copy?

The Baroness better hope the Tongan authorities uncover a second passport application…

UPDATE : In the comments the question is posed as to why the UKBA determined and issued a fine so fast.  The simple answer is they were under tremendous political pressure.  The fine was half the maximum £10,000 because the Baroness had “cooperated”Summary justice in 36 hours is amazing.

The Magical Disappearing Tongan Passport

Guido is off for a picnic and possibly a post-picnic snooze. When Guido gets back he’ll be blogging information which will give the Baroness a sleepless night…

+++ Marr Asks : Are You Taking Pills? +++

Gordon denied it in unclear terms.

UPDATE : Who Will Ask the Prime Minister? was Guido’s question earlier this month.  All credit to Andrew Marr, who has often been criticised by Guido for pulling his punches in interviews with Gordon Brown. 

Gordon looked furious.

UPDATE II : James Forsyth and Sam Coates both question whether it was right to ask the Prime Mentalist if he was on pills, Guido suspects they don’t think it right.  However there are not only persistent rumours going around about Gordon’s mental health, there are also rumours and speculation (even in the Spectator and Times) that he will be removed from the leadership in a choreographed ill health waltz off into the sunset.  Gordon was given a chance to slap those rumours down.  After the Charles Kennedy cover-up the Lobby needs to get these issues out into the open instead of worry about getting the cold shoulder from a Downing Street press officer.  Bravo Marr.

UPDATE III : Strangely Guido is unable to find the clip on the BBC site so this is courtesy of ToryBear

Sunday Sleaze Repeat

Sunday SleazeFiddler

This Sunday the central sleaze story is still Patricia Scotland…

Sunday Times on how the Cabinet Office turned a fiddle into a farce.

Mail on Sunday with Lolo’s own story.

Guido will have more after he has his breakfast…

Featherstone, Cable and Clegg Quit PoliticsHome Panel

According to James Graham, Nick Clegg and Vince Cable have followed Lynne Featherstone and quit the PoliticsHome Insider panel following Lord Ashcroft’s purchase.  Lynne was however happy to speak at a Total Politics (proprietors M. Ashcroft and I. Dale)  LibDem conference fringe meeting.

Does this mean that rival politicians are going to boycott ventures owned by Tories?  If so LabourList could be in difficulties, it is hosted online by Tangent Labs, the same people who handle all the Labour Party’s online business.  Tangent Labs is owned by Michael Green, who is not only a Tory donor, he is a Tory who donated to David Cameron’s personal leadership campaign and gave young Dave his only experience of working in the private sector by hiring him as his corporate spin-doctor at Carlton.  The Labour Party pays Green’s company to do all their online work.  He then donates some of the profits to the Conservative Party. You have to laugh…

Steve Richards Says “No Bank Collapsed”

Steve Richards in the Indy begins his panglossian column with “Labour activists heading for their pre-election conference in Brighton this weekend have cause to be in a mood of giddy euphoria. The Government called it right during the recession. No bank collapsed.”

Apart from Northern Rock of course. Oh, the Royal Bank of Scotland as well. Errrm, didn’t Halifax Bank of Scotland almost bring down Lloyds TSB into the bargain?  Almost forgot Bradford & Bingley. Every UK household has the equivalent of £3,000 invested in shares in RBS and Lloyds.  The taxpayer 100% owns Northern Crock and Bradford & Bingley because they collapsed.

Giddy Steve Richards’ grasp of the facts is worse than his analysis…

See also The Case for Elite Politics and Not Listening to the People, Steve Richards: Fails Numeracy Test and Steve Richards : “Voters Aren’t As Clever As Me”.

Bad Al Campbell Tells Labour to Copy McCain!

With rumours circulating that Mandelson has lured Alastair Campbell back to take a role in the election campaign, the former Downing Street spinmeister’s prognostications on campaign strategy are becoming more relevant than in the recent past.  GoFourth might just be Al and Prezza’s cheer-up-the-base operation rather than a vote winning operation, but a return to Down Street would really signal taking the fight out of the party activist ghetto and to the media.  Alive to the charge that Cameron and Coulson are simply copying the Blair and Campbell formula he laments “Ah, go the Pot-Kettle-Black brigade, but it is what you and TB did, got the media all squared and onside.”

He reckons a strategic Labour line of attack should be to spin that the media has fallen in love with Dave:

Cameron is a mediaman. For the media. Of the media. By the media. Giving not two tosses about the public other than as the means to be delivered into power. So the Tories and the media have a shared interest in saying the game is over, and it is only a matter of time. There is the makings of a good line of attack in here – the media love him because all he cares about is what they say about him; they’ve decided he’s home and dry … but shouldn’t the public have their say first?  Meanwhile, instead of claiming he has achieved nothing, constantly point up his one big achievement – turning the media into pussycats.

The last election team that faced a national media in love with a candidate was Team McCain, their approach was precisely the approach Campbell is recommending, see here:

In 2008 McCain spun commercials comparing Obama to Paris Hilton and lampooning him as “the one”. Obama still won. When you are reduced to complaining that the other guy gets too good a press and taking campaign cues from a losing strategy, you really have run out of ideas…

Saturday Seven Up

7upIf you were not one of the 56,097 visitors viewing 375,669 blog pages over the last seven days, here are the seven most popular stories that you missed:

  1. Baroness Scotland Accused of £170,000 Expense Fiddle
    Got to fund illegal servant pay somehow.
  2. Source : Tapui Denies Showing Baroness Passport
    Her word against the Attorney General
  3. Max Clifford Takes Tongan to Tabloids
    Roll up, roll up for all the fun of the circus
  4. Baroness Scotland Reported to Bar Standards Board
    Sunlight Centre reports her for bringing her profession into disrepute.

  5. Obama Too Busy To See Brown
    Obama swerved no fewer than five requests from Jonah Brown

  6. Just Go
    Video from ToryBear on the only story this week: Baroness Scotland

  7. Guardian : Shriti Quitting for City ???
    She may yet end up in the Square Mile, after the G20

You’re either in front of Guido’s blog, or you’re behind…

Friday Caption Contest (Toff in a Bubble)

Quentin in a Bubble[…]


Telegraph Did it to Help Heroes, Right?

ducksAndrew Pierce was on Today this morning and his telegenic features are popping up on Sky and BBC news channels.  He tells us how the Telegraph’s noble role in the expenses scandal has saved the taxpayers hundreds of thousands already, […]


Telegraph Paid £110,000 for Expenses Evidence

Money well spent…[…]


Shriti G20 Conspiracy Theories


It does say at the top of this page “rumours and conspiracy”.  File this theory under conspiracy. Shriti is the most loyal of Brownies, you would expect her to remain in the bunker with the dear leader until the […]


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Quote of the Day

Lord Sugar on Jeremy Corbyn:

“If they ever got anywhere near electing him and him being the Prime Minister then I think we should all move to China or somewhere like that and let this place just rot.”

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