Khan’s Terror Link Confusion

If you’ve never heard of Babar Ahmad a quick glance at why he is being detained while awaiting extradition to the US gives you a pretty good idea about the sort of man the Americans think he is:

“BABAR AHMAD, a resident of the United Kingdom, provided, and conspired to provide, material support and resources to persons engaged in acts of terrorism in Afghanistan, Chechnya and elsewhere. Specifically, AHMAD provided, through the creation and use of various internet websites, email communication, and other means, expert advice and assistance, communications equipment, military items, currency, monetary instruments, financial services and personnel designed to recruit and assist the Chechen Mujahideen and the Taliban, and raise funds for violent jihad in Afghanistan, Chechnya and other places.”

Ahmad came to prominence when it was revealed his meetings with his old friend Sadiq Khan were bugged by the spooks. The first time the new Shadow Justice Secretary went to visit Ahmad was as a friend in 2004 and he went again in 2005 “as his MP”. As one fellow MP commented at the time “I’ve never gone to visit a constituent in prison for whatever reason, ever.”

Around the same time the story about Khan’s relationship with Ahmad broke in 2008, a page mysteriously disappeared from Khan’s website. A cached version of what he wrote in June 2006 is still available though. Crucially it stated “I have known Babar Ahmad for over fifteen years. We both grew up in Tooting.” Given Khan was 36 at the time it puts him meeting Ahmad in his early twenties. But that isn’t what he told the House…

Khan’s links to Ahmad  go far beyond the professional and his campaign to have Ahmad freed went beyond his role as his local MP. On the 12th July 2006 a month after writing on his website that he had known Ahmad for 15 years, Khan told a House of Commons debate on the UK-US extradition treaty “Babar Ahmad is of a similar age to me and, like me, he was born and raised in Tooting. I have known him on and off for the past 12 or 13 years.” That would have him meeting Ahmad in his mid twenties…

Fast forward to 2008 and the bugging story breaks. Khan is under fire and the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman is put in an awkward spot where he quite clearly does not defend him. But it was the added detail that Guido finds most interesting:

“Asked if the Prime Minister was happy that a Minister of the Crown had close ties, all be it professional, with people connected to the 9/11 attacks and organisations that some believed should be banned, the PMS replied that Mr Khan was a Whip, and therefore part of the Government. In this case he was acting as a constituency MP in relation to, as we understood it, somebody he had known since childhood.”

“Since childhood” is a new one, a direct contradiction of what Khan had said previously and something that is seconded by someone who might just know the truth – Sara Ahmad, Babar’s little sister who said in 2008 “Sadiq Khan has been a friend of Babar’s since they were boys and a wonderful supporter since his arrest.” Another direct contradiction to what Khan told the House. What is it about his relationship with Babar Ahmad that make him so sketchy with the details, resulting in three different versions of events.   How long has Sadiq Khan known Babar Ahmad? Did Sadiq lie on his website, to the House, or was it to the former Prime Minister?  More importantly, why?

Shadow Cabinet of Millionaires

Guido has noticed a few Shadow Cabinet members using the phrase “Cabinet of Millionaires”, a charge usually made by trots selling papers. Red Ed clearly calculates this will harm the government in an era of cuts. Over the weekend he said it didn’t matter if millionaires were given child benefit because “there aren’t that many millionaires in this country”. Well there seems to be disproportionate amount in his top team.

There are quite a few millionaires around the Shadow Cabinet table, some inherited their money, some made their money. If the politics of envy is back we should look at the net worth of those making the charge. Guido is estimating net worth based on pension assets, property and other known assets.

Millionaire Ed Miliband inherited a share of a multi-million pound property from his Marxist father, some nifty footwork by him and his brother David allowed them to avoid paying six-figure inheritance taxes. Combining marital assets and his inheritance from his father Ralph, Ed himself is comfortably a millionaire.

Millionaress Harriet Harman, privately educated at St Paul’s girls school (Osborne went to St Paul’s boys school) is, given her eighteen year parliamentary career, set to get at least a half a million pounds from her pension pot. Along with her husband’s salary and pension, things are looking comfortable with one house in Herne Hill and a country pile in Suffolk. Putting the trade unionist and the toff well into the millionaire’s class…

Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper trousered a joint household income of some £300,000 per year for their five years or so in goverment positions. Ed trousered nigh on £100,000 in 2005 for writing a few pamphlets for Gordon Brown’s now struck-off dubious charity known as the Smith Institute. With the couple’s triple-house-flipping, generous expenses claims, on top of their ministerial salaries and taking into account their gold-plated ministerial pension pots, they will comfortably have a net worth that puts the power couple in the millionaire’s bracket by now. Though they are however down to a meagre two homes…

But it’s not just the big names at the forefront, Baroness Scotland spent many years at the top of the Bar and the ennobled QC’s bank balance would reflect that. The millionairess will have had no problem paying her five-thousand pound fine for employing an illegal immigrant as a maid…

Baldemort himself, Liam Byrne, benefitted handsomely from his time as an investment banker at Rothchilds. He certainly won’t have left their employ without having trousered enough to put him in the millionaire bracket before counting his six-figure government salary…

Oh and let’s not forget Shaun Woodward whose property empire includes a castle. He even has his own butler.

Can co-conspirators crowd-source evidence of other millionaire members of Red Ed’s new generation?

See also: More Millionaire Shadow Cabinet Members

Into the Dock

With the appeals dismissed, all the wriggle room shut down, finally the trial dates have been set for the piggies:

Former minister and Labour MP Elliot Morley, November 22; Labour MP David Chaytor, December 6; Lord Hanningfield, December 13; sitting Labour MP Eric Illsley, January 10; Lord Taylor, January 17; former Labour MP Jim Devine, February 2.

All deny charges of false accounting. The trials will take place at Southwark Crown Court in London

It seems somewhat surreal that sitting Labour MP Eric Illsley has the cheek to pretend he will be able to properly represent his constituents while fighting to keep himself out of jail. Guido has waited for this moment for a very a long time.

He might even find the time to go watch…

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Atheist Clegg Sending Kids to Blair’s Catholic Oratory

The Mail asks on the front page: Why is atheist Nick Clegg considering sending his son to the same exclusive Catholic school as the Blairs? Could it be because the children are being brought up as Catholics? Clegg might be Godless but his wife is not.

Normally the non-Catholic partner agrees, at the request of the priest, to let the Catholic partner bring up the children in the faith if they are being married in a Catholic church. Hypocritical? Perhaps. He would however have likely been breaking his word to have done otherwise…

Continuity TaliBrown Not Happy

Kevin Maguire and Charlie Whelan are two of the most high profile former members of the inner-circle of the TaliBrown, now they are at the core of the continuity-TaliBrownies. Both are allies of, and boosters for Brown’s heir, Ed Balls. Both of them today are not happy…

Our Kevin says Not-So-Red-Ed was “scared of his shadow – or at least the notion of making either Ed Balls or Yvette Cooper his Shadow Chancellor. So the timid new Labour leader fluffed his first big call and played safe with Alan Johnson. As a result he missed a glorious opportunity to recast his party’s economic policy and to turn the tables on the Tories.” Maguire, in his role as TaliBrown propaganda chief, makes no secret of his preference for deficit denial.

Despite swinging the unions behind Red Ed to win control of the Labour Party, the TaliBrown bully and union-fixer Charlie Whelan is still unhappy; mainly with Peter Mandelson and David Miliband. Telling The Times that David Miliband was annoying and should “get a life” after his failed leadership battle, adding for good measure that his exit from the Shadow Cabinet was ungracious.

“It was slightly self-indulgent to just go off. It didn’t look good. It would have been best for him to say straight away what he was going to do. It’s a tragedy when you lose your job, you are on the dole and you have no money for your family. Politician losing top job is not a tragedy. It’s personally uncomfortable but that’s all. This is why David’s attitude annoys me. He didn’t get the job but it’s not a disaster. Get a life.”

Whelan also backs Ed Balls to be Chancellor in the Shadow Cabinet claiming “He’s got a grasp of the economy and his position on the economy is the right one”. Charlie adamantly rejects the accepted wisdom that Labour’s defeat in the last election was in any part down to Gordon Brown’s deficit denial, claiming

“We could have won that election. Peter Mandelson went round at Christmas saying it’s going to be a catastrophic defeat. Well, if you’re going into the election with your main man telling you you’re going to be defeated then you might as well pack up and go home. Obviously the campaign was an unmitigated disaster.”

Guido can see Balls and his boosters waging low intensity political warfare on Red Ed for as long as he seeks to get on the reality-based side of the deficit denying dividing line. That is something Balls and the rest of the continuity-TaliBrown will be determined to block…

Saturday Seven Up

7upLast week saw 78,876 absolute unique visitors make 230,365 visits to view 368,552 pages. Guido had a couple of exclusives that were followed up by the Dead Tree Press, the fighting Tory MPs in the Hyatt in particular. Guido’s favourite story of the week was “Scud Stud” Fires Hilton’s Rocket, because it illuminated the low intensity conflict simmering between Steve Hilton and Andy Coulson in Downing Street.

The top stories last week in order of popularity were:

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

5 Things You Should Know About the Shadow Justice Secretary

Sadiq Khan has somewhat controversially been made the Shadow Justice Secretary by Red Ed. He was  also put in charge of constitutional and political reform, which is ironic. A relative unknown before his promotion there are all sorts of mysteries about the man that  Guido feels need some light shedding on them…

  • Did you know that Khan has been exposed three times for fiddling his expenses, even after the public outcry last year? Using a thief to catch thief?
  • Did you know that five members of Khan’s family and various clients belonged to fundamentalist group Hizb ut-Tahrir? Something he called “irrelevant” and “trivial” Well they must be proud of his line of work…
  • Did you know Khan got the bent copper Ali Dizaei off the hook. He was later jailed in Wandsworth Prison, in Khan’s own constituency.
  • Did you know Khan tried to join the defence team of Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person convicted of the 9/11 attacks. The US government refused him clearance. As they did over a Guantanamo suspect’s trial. What do the Americans know about Khan?
  • Did you know Khan voted for post office closures at 7pm in Parliament and spoke out against closures at 8pm in a public meeting in his constituency? What was that about two faced liars…

Come back next week for five more facts that raise serious questions about the new Labour leader’s judgement…

Friday Caption Contest (Big Lie Edition)

[…]

+ READ MORE +

+ + Alan Johnson Shadow Chancellor + +

The union man gets the top job. Yvette Cooper is Shadow Foreign Secretary. Balls will tear chunks out of May as Shadow Home Secretary. Family bullet dodged, humiliating for Ed though…

BREAKING:

Leader of the Opposition Rt. Hon. Ed Miliband

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Dave’s Rap

It was only a matter of time before certain sections of Dave’s conference speech were turned into this:

All innit together.[…]

+ READ MORE +

“Scud Stud” Fires Hilton’s Rocket

When the Big Society (B.S.) came up on Question Time last night it was greeted by the audience and the panel with an above average level of scepticism. However there was one surprising defender of the the B.S. dream. Step […]

+ READ MORE +



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