Mayor Boris confirms the replacement.
UPDATE : Quick has not resigned from the police service, he remains on full pay and keeps all his entitlements and pensions despite what is technically a breach of the Official Secrets Act.
UPDATE II 09.30 : Sky News reporting he has resigned from the Metropolitan Police. How un-New Labour, to do the honourable thing. Did Boris push him?
UPDATE III 10.20 : Boris Johnson said “I have this morning with great reluctance and sadness…… accepted Bob Quick’s resignation as head of counter terrorism”. Guido was unable to reach Damian Green for comment.
Nick Clegg had his constituency home renovated at our expense and claimed 100% of the maximum allowed expenses last year, so perhaps he has a guilty conscience. Nevertheless he has come up with some good reform proposals that most voters would welcome:
Clegg’s proposals would also see an end to taxpayers picking up the bill for flat screen TVs, furniture, building work and taxis. Just utility bills and council tax would be paid for by the taxpayers. Mr & Mrs Balls, Mr & Mrs Keen, Mr & Mrs Winterton and Mr & Mrs Robinson would only be able to claim half each. Guido’s heart bleeds for these millionaire troughers.
The Times reports that hair shirts would become compulsory wear:
Ministers with grace and favour accommodation, such as the Prime Minister and Chancellor, would not be allowed to claim rental on any additional property. On travel, MPs would be permitted standard open return tickets when travelling to and from their constituencies. MPs’ salaries would not be raised while the country is still in recession.
Mr Clegg told The Times: “It is easy enough for politicians to talk about how the current system for pay and expenses needs to be changed, but what people want to know is what we are actually going to do about it.”
On the whole this is a basis that many would see as fair and in line with best practice in the private sector. Guido would also like to see a “no receipt, no claim” system – as all of us in the private sector work on that basis – HMRC doesn’t believe taxpayers are honourable and the taxpayers no longer believe members of parliament are honourable. Cameron’s proposals are expected next week, they should be no less stringent if he wants to be credible. The parliamentary gravy train needs to be halted…
In case you are wondering why Guido has yet to name and shame some more scamming MPs, it is not for lack of will. They are being elusive – genuinely on holiday in some cases. Would like to hear their explanations before putting them in the stocks. Though am close to just outing without speaking to the MP who boasted he had 400,000 airmiles as a result of junkets and wouldn’t have to pay for his family holiday.
You, know who you are…
Police brutality is in the news again. Here is Gordon being brutal towards a copper. How can anyone watching this (video here) not think Brown is socially autistic? The Prime Mentalist is an emotionally retarded weirdo.
The Irish budget yesterday was a tough budget. The type of budget that in reality Britain needs to implement to get the economy back on track. Welfare cuts and tax hikes are never popular moves. Brian Lenihan, the finance minister, said right at the beginning of his speech
… before we ask anyone else to give, we in this House and in this Government must examine our own costs. Those of us in politics have been entrusted with a great privilege by the people. We must lead by example.
Irish politicians rightly feel they need to share the pain – pensions for serving politicians are to be discontinued and allowable expenses cut by 10% across the board. The Irish President Mary McAleese has already announced that she will be taking a 10% pay cut in light of the current budgetary troubles. The finance Minister Brian Lenihan and his ministerial colleagues took a 10% wage cut last year. The opposition leader has instructed his party’s parliamentarians to take a 5% cut. The governor of the Irish Central Bank and Financial Services Authority has volunteered to also surrender 10% of pay. The state broadcaster RTÉ’s top six executives are taking a “significant reduction” in pay.
In contrast last week British MPs accepted a 2.33% pay rise…
Guido is digging into a whole new seam of scams that have come to his notice. MPs are renting out buy-to-let properties that they own, to members of their own staff, to whom they authorise payments out of parliamentary expenses. Laundering their expenses via their staff back into their own pockets.
Like a Victorian mill owner paying his tenanted workers in their own coin to pay back in rent and spend in their tied shops. Except MPs use our money…
UPDATE : Have just been given information about MPs renting properties to other MPs who claim for the rent on expenses, which they then pay into their MP mate’s pocket. Nice.
+++ Developing +++
Disgraced LibDem MP Mark Oaten tells the Press Gazette that the News of the Screws had known of his activities for three years but had chosen to wait until he was better known to report his use of rent-boys. He claims:
“They had my story for three years I think, but hung on to it and never did anything with it. They could have made that public interest argument at any point in the three years. I had always been a Member of Parliament, but they waited until it could sell most newspapers, at the point at which I became well-known and at my most famous…. What annoys me is when they essentially expose people’s private lives and pretend they’re doing society a great service.”
In response to Oaten’s claims, a News of the World spokesman said: “The allegations were proven true… Mr Oaten is correct that we are indeed in the business of selling papers, however we chose not to print details of his grubby activities on the front page of a family newspaper… With that in mind, perhaps it is the married MP who paid rent boys for kinky sex who should consider a more ‘upfront and honest’ approach.”
The question which arises in Guido’s mind is that if as Mark Oaten reckons the Screws had known about his rent-boy frolics for three-years, doesn’t that contradict his original excuses? He claimed that it was the sudden onset of male pattern baldness that unbalanced him. Sudden? Journalists knew for over three years?
Hat-tip : Pink News
Guido’s old friend Steve Morgan is not completely finished. Morgan Alllen Moore may have closed down, but you can’t keep a bad spin-meister down. The man who told his local paper he was the international spokesman for Obama, has a new operation – “Enviro Business Solutions”. They are focusing on green lobbying.
The website is strangely uninformative. It does not give an office address or name any staff members. Guido called Morgan’s home number which appears to double as the office number.
Mrs Morgan answered with a cheery “how did you get this number?”
Guido : It is on your website.
Mrs Morgan : What do you want?
Guido : A copy of your Code of Conduct as advertised on the website.
Morgan’s old firm was famously the first political lobbying firm in 17 years ever to be thrown out of the lobbyist’s trade group the Association Professional Political Consultants. Clearly Morgan has decided that he does not want that to happen again and will instead by abiding by his own Code of Conduct this time. Cunning. If they actually have one…
Cameron, Clegg and Brown now say they will meet to discuss reforms of MP’s expenses – even though the last set of “reforms” came into force only six days ago on April Fool’s Day. It isn’t hard to see that first and foremost any measure that increases the income of MPs is not acceptable.
Guido’s inbox is over-flowing with evidence of politician’s financial fiddles. High and low, Labour, Tory and LibDem alike. Front bench, back bench, Peers of the Realm, left, right and centre. They are nearly all at it.
Britain is in a recession verging on a depression, millions are hard-up. Yet politicians are becoming millionaires at the expense of the public. How can they explain how someone who has never had a job in the productive part of the economy can become a millionaire? They already have an all-in-package worth some £115,000* a year. Despite already making five times average earnings they still want a pay rise. How can they justify this greed?
This level of looting of the public purse by supposed public servants is grand larceny. It is on such a scale that we cannot possibly contemplate MPs themselves deciding on their own reforms. The Speaker’s fix which saw them change the Green Book’s rules is an absolute insult. How did they decide to tackle MP’s defrauding the taxpayer and claiming expenses that broke the rules? They scrapped the rules. What was once financial fraud now becomes permissable. If you take the time to compare the old Green Book and the new Green Book (the April Fool’s Day reforms) you will see that instead of tightening things up, they have loosened things up. Spitting in the faces of taxpayers who can do nothing because all the lawmakers are at it.
The revised “Green Book” is a licence for larceny:
‘The Green Book 2009′ : A Guide to Members’ allowances
‘The Green Book 2006′ : Parliamentary Salaries, Allowances and Pensions
They must think we are idiots – for them it is “Carry on Fiddling”, except it is no longer a fiddle, it is an entitlement within the rules.
*£115,00 is the pre-tax equivalent of all claimable personal permissable allowances. Do no be confused by MPs arguing speciously that most of their expenses are for staff. That amount is not included in the £115,000 figure. Bear in mind that a huge number of MPs also employ spouses, children, mistresses and cronies.
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Opinions on Key Issues By Constituency | Red Box
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Shapps Slaps Down Barroso “Propaganda” | City AM
Bookies v Pollsters: What We Learned From IndyRef | Paddy Power
Chris Bryant talks to the Times Diary about a famous gay actor:
“I don’t think I’ve had sex with him. He says we had sex in Clapham. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had sex south of the river”