This blog’s comment threads have been rife with rumours that Ed and Yvette have got an injunction preventing reporting of their financial affairs. Guido hasn’t had an injunction, nor has anyone he knows received one. So if the Telegraph is injuncted no one is letting on. If you know different get in touch.
Sky reporting that Andrew MacKay has resigned as Cameron’s senior adviser over “unacceptable” expense claims. Andrew MacKay was last seen having a run-in with the police over Damian Green.
UPDATE : MacKay is of course married to Julie Kirkbride MP. So this could be double interesting…
UPDATE II : MacKay has just described the situation with his expense as an “anomaly” to Andrew Neil on the Daily Politics. They are shameless.
Guido was on the Commons terrace last night drinking subsidised Guinness. In the bar were some of the shadiest racketeers in Britain, hanging around for a Finance Bill vote on Bingo (Guido kids you not). In the bar were wannabee Red Rag bloggers Charlie Whelan and Kevin “Make it up” Maguire – they made a swift exit before Guido could say “hello”. Gordon’s thuggish enforcer and chief whip Nick Brown was holding court like the mafia boss he resembles. A glum Lembit was literally propping up the bar all night. Outside on the terrace another disgraced LibDem, Andrew George, was glued to his mobile phone – no doubt still spinning that his daughter “sometimes” stays at his taxpayer financed flat – in reality it is him who sometimes stays there from Monday to Wednesday night and his daughter is there all week. (If he wants to challenge Guido on this he’ll be sorry).
Geoff Hoon was glumly sipping his beer, he downed his last pint and did that “I know who you are” stare thing that Labour figures have taken to doing with Guido, before presumably leaving for the bed we have bought for him. Rosie Winterton, Phil Woolas and a large gang of Labour cronies all looked pretty miserable. The low morale of Labour MPs was palpable, the perfect storm of smear and sleaze revelations has broken them. Guido will drink to that for some time…
On Tuesday Guido saw confirmation that the Metropolitan Police were preparing to make enquiries into MP’s expenses. Separately the Serious Fraud Office was referring enquiries to the Committee on Public Standards – who as far as Guido knows do not have powers of arrest.
This situation is so bad that it seems clear to Guido that only prison sentences will satisfy the public. Politicians have been operating a racket costing the taxpayers millions, stealing from the public purse on a scale that beggars belief. Labour MP Elliot Morley now claims he made a mistake. Morley deliberately lied to the fees office to steal from the taxpayers – he expects us to believe that he forgot he (we) had paid off his mortgage and carried on claiming long afterwards. That is unbelievable. He is not the only one who should be prosecuted for theft and fraud.
UPDATE : The Prime Minister is “very concerned” about allegations Elliot Morley claimed £16,000 for a non-existent mortgage.
Guido is looking forward to summering at the Maison Secondaire even more this year. France has just cut booze and restaurant sales tax from 19.6% to to 5.5%. Booze taxes are already reasonable in France, this makes going out even more reasonable. A three course meal in the best restaurant in the town near Chez Fawkes costs about the same as a starter in London or Dublin. We all have to do our bit to boost international trade…
He has been troughing for years and employing his children as well. The real pressure on him is coming from his local paper which has really got the measure of him. Expect to see more local papers bringing pressure to bear on troughing incumbent MPs. The next general election may see the biggest turfing out of incumbent MPs for generations.
After Dave wowed even Brown nosers like Sir Michael White and Steve Richards with his crackdown on Tory grandees and shadow cabinet troughers, Harman wrote to the chairman of the Member’s Allowance Committee proposing that he should set out a procedure whereby MPs might perhaps be asked nicely to repay claims that were outside the rules. Possibly. Not exactly a decisive response from the government.
The Member’s Allowance Committee is chaired by the Labour MP Don Touhig. It was he who led the Labour backbench revolt last July that threw out proposals for a full external audit of MPs’ expenses and an end to the “John Lewis list”. Does that fill you full of confidence?
Harman’s proposal is that if an MP has broken the rules they will have to repay the money. Guido’s view is that only the minimum expenses wholly necessary for the job should be allowable, however the cry of every single troughing MP from every single party is that “it was all within the rules”. So no one will have to pay anything back under Harman’s plan.
- House of Lords: claimed £54,441 in allowances for 94 days attendance (£579/day)
- Earns £36,000 as a Parliamentary Consultant to Eversheds LLP for 36 days work (£1000/day)
- Claimed £3061.17 in allowances from the Scottish Parliament between April 2008 and March 2009