Gordon is not enjoying power as much as Guido is enjoying the destruction of the Labour Party as an electoral force under his leadership. Odd is it not that what Guido was dreading and Gordon was craving – Brown as Prime Minister – has made him miserable and Guido cheerfully jump out of his bed every morning. Be careful what you wish for…
This morning Guido is looking at documents which show an MEP authorising six figure payments to himself – not a service company – an unincorporated, unregistered partnership of which prima facie he appears to be the beneficiary.
Guido is contacting the MEP’s office this morning with some serious urgent questions – looking for answers by the close of business today. It doesn’t look good on paper…
RTE News Flash 22:08
The latest opinion poll on the Lisbon Referendum is showing the ‘No’ side surging ahead in a dramatic reversal of opinion. The TNS/mrbi poll in tomorrow’s Irish Times shows opponents of the Treaty with a 5% lead over those in favour.
Up to now, opinion polls on the Referendum campaign have consistently shown the ‘Yes’ side ahead, although opponents have been closing the gap. But now the ‘No’ side has done more than that, surging into a commanding lead with just a week to polling day.
The poll shows the ‘Yes’ side at 30%, down five points since their last poll three weeks ago, while the ‘No’ side is at 35%, up a staggering 17%, with ‘Don’t Knows’ down 12 at 35%.
If that result is repeated next week, the political establishment is heading for a crushing defeat and the Lisbon Treaty is dead.
Could Ireland save European civilisation again? We are a contrary people…
Cameron has just made a statement on Giles Chichester:
Giles Chichester is right to stand down as leader of our MEPs to prepare a full explanation of how his office is funded. Just as I expect our MPs to adhere to the highest standards, so must our MEPs. The tax-paying public have a right to know how their money is being spent and politicians have a duty to ensure it is spent properly.
In reality it is criminal fraud. Returning once again to the subject, there are still, right now, 13 Tory MEPs who refuse to disclose what they have done with their expenses. Den Dover has a very similar set-up to Chichester, with hundreds of thousands of pounds paid to a family firm based in his home, he has a lot of questions to answer. Is it acceptable that public servants who work for the voters and spend public money won’t say where the money has gone? Guido doesn’t think so…
UPDATE : Apparently Chichester has already been re-selected to fight next years Euro-elections. Surely the Tories won’t want to run an expense fiddler? Surely?
UPDATE : BBC reporting Giles Chichester “set to resign”.
“I suppose I should be jumping up and down with glee but I’m afraid we all get tarnished with the same brush.”
He says that they have fully audited expenses for all Labour MEPs and that he is “not aware of any service companies… Any member of the European Parliament found to transgress the rules should be dealt with appropriately. Labour MEPs have their accounts monitored by independent auditors since 2000. Will you mention my blog?”
Guido is getting his tarnishing brush…
He didn’t mention that as well as paying his wife and daughter some £376,916 in salary, the company in question is based at his home address. The company has spent £32,462 on “repairs”. Presumably repairs to a property. Guido wonders which property could that be getting repaired at the taxpayers expense?
Did Guido mention that the family firm has had £56,411 in motoring expenses off the taxpayer as well? Finally, and this takes the euro-biscuit, the family firm makes five figure profits. Whoops-a-Bloody-Daisy….
Why is his wife’s family firm profiteering out of his expense claims? Shouldn’t the claims and payments be made on a costs basis, rather than a profiteering basis? The family is troughing enough at the taxpayers expense already without rubbing our noses into it and profiteering.
The profiteering factor from bills from his wife, authorised by him, to a business based in the family home is worse than Derek Conway. In total he has authorised payments of £758,143 to his family’s firm since he joined the Euro-gravy train…
The silence from Labour and the Lib Dems on this issue is revealing – top Tory MEPs are fiddling the system and they have nothing to say? Guido has tried to get comments from the Labour and Liberal Democratic Brussels press offices. Why would they be so silent? Could it be that they are all at it? Guido is coming for them too…
The only on the record comment Guido got was from UKIP’s Nigel Farage “Mr Cameron said he wanted to ‘clean-up’ British politics but so far Chichester has only been summoned to the bridge. He needs to take tough action if he doesn’t want to be a hypocrite.” Exactly…
…whoops-a-daisy I am shown up to have made a mistake. OK, hands up, mea culpa and I am putting it right.
Not “whoops-a-daisy”, not a “mistake”, Giles Chichester deliberately and disgracefully used a front-company to profiteer from his own expense claims. That is unethical, dishonest and a resignation matter. He is supposed to be fighting waste and EU-fiddles – not designing them.
He is now trying the Peter Hain ruse of reporting himself to the authorities, after he has been caught, no doubt he will go on to apologise for his “errors”, claiming that is was somebody else’s fault that he mistakenly profited from taxpayers funds in a shady under-the-counter arrangement.
He is not the only Tory MEP blatantly profiteering. Guido will be revealing another “whoops-a-daisy” later this morning…
So what was it doing last night? Any claim that the speech given by Jacqui Smith was non-political and made in her capacity as a government minister should be dismissed. Guido understands that senior civil servants ruled that it was a political speech – hence it was not reported or distributed via the official Government News Network or spun by civil service press officers. Quite correct and proper, she was after all making the case for a politically controversial policy.
So the speech was distributed only by the Labour Party’s press office. Which raises the question – what was the legally non-partisan Smith Institute doing getting involved in this controversial area a few days ahead of a close run vote, which theoretically could turn into a confidence vote for Gordon Brown? Another example of blatantly partisan politicking from the Smith Institute.
- Sir Robert Atkins
- Christopher Beazely
- John Bowis
- Philip Bushill-Matthews
- Martin Callanan
- Den Dover
- James Elles
- Malcolm Harbour
- Caroline Jackson
- Timothy Kirkhope
- John Purvis
- Struan Stevenson
- Robert Sturdy
That is an insurmountable conflict of interest. Even if, as is so often the way with political corruption, he faces no charges, he should at the very least be relieved of his position as Euro-Tory leader. David Cameron has publicly asked for “a full explanation and a detailed account of his Parliamentary expenses”. If it is not satisfactory or forthcoming, Chichester’s days on the Euro-gravy train are over…
UPDATE : Reuters, running Clinton campaign denial.