Dave Orders Shadow Cabinet Pay-Back

Guido has just got back from a hastily* called Tory press conference, where we were told by Dave that he has ordered:

rsz_pay-it-back… Michael Gove will pay back the £7,000 claimed for furniture.  Oliver Letwin will pay back the £2,000 for the pipe under his tennis court.  Andrew Lansley will pay back the £2,600 for home improvements. Alan Duncan will pay back nearly £5,000 for gardening expenses. Francis Maude will no longer claim any money for his second home in London. And neither will Chris Grayling. Theresa Villiers – the only London MP in the shadow cabinet – will follow suit later this year. I’ve also dealt with some of the smaller, but nevertheless significant, claims that have caused concern, whether that is Ken Clarke’s council tax bill in Nottinghamshire or David Willetts’s electrical bill. George Osborne will pay back the cost of a particularly expensive car journey. And I will pay back the only maintenance bill I have claimed in eight years as a Member of Parliament.

Is this enough? Burglars don’t get off by giving back the telly.  Guido wants to see the small print, are they really going to be allowed to keep ill gotten gains because they were in the past?

*So hasty that Guido came late, straight from the pub dressed in traditional national dress – an Ireland rugby shirt. Guido naturally sat down right in front of Sir Michael White.

Orange Bookers Launch Website

liberal_vision_logoAs we await the forthcoming LibDem expenses – notice how silent their backbenchers have gone – the Orange Bookers have got their act together with a new website.

They say their first major project will be to press for a strict internal party code of conduct on the claiming of expenses by any Liberal Democrat member in either House of Parliament or any elected authority. They will be calling for the LibDem whip should be withdrawn from those who fail to abide by this code.

The grassroots of all parties now have genuine independent sites which do not care for their representatives misbehaving.  This is a good thing.

Headed by former LibDem media chief Mark Littlewood, he says “the blog will be blunt, iconoclastic, and fearless in our promotion of freedom. We aim to inject some life into the Lib Dem blogosphere and won’t be taking any prisoners. The party has the chance to advocate a popular and truly liberal agenda. To fail to do so would be an abdication of political responsibility.”

During the Liberal Democrat conference last year, Liberal Vision hit the headlines when Mark got wacked by an outraged LibDem MP after predicting in a publication that Liberal Conservativism would be electorally catastrophic for the party.  Expect more fireworks…

+++ Margaret Moran Paying Back £22,500 Dry Rot +++

Margaret Moran, Labour MP for Luton South, has announced she will pay back £22,500 claimed to treat dry rot in the house in Southampton (100 miles from her Luton constituency) that she shares with her partner as a result of “constituents’ anger at the current fees regime” Constitutents anger with her more like.

“Sorry” Isn’t Good Enough

pay-it-back

Serfs cleared moats in feudal times, Douglas Hogg submitted a receipt to the fees office listing the £2,000 cost of clearing his moat, Sir Michael Spicer, claimed £5,650 in nine months for his gardening and hundreds of pounds for hanging a chandelier in his main manor house.

David Heathcoat-Amory makes us pay for his shit, literally, with £380 claimed for horse manure for his garden.

David Davis, who made his name as a hawkish fiscal disciplinarian on the Public Accounts Select Committee, disappointingly spent more than £10,000 of taxpayers’ money on doing up the house and buying soft furnishings.

Michael Ancram, (the Marquess of Lothian), claims tens of thousands for the upkeep of his £8 million of properties.

Sir Alan Haselhurst, the Deputy Speaker, claimed £142,119 for the upkeep of his country home, despite having no mortgage to pay.

James Arbuthnot and Stewart Jackson have the good sense to have promised last night to repay their pool cleaning claims.  Notice this is only for a few hundred pounds, not exactly a great hardship.

green-book-signature

Sorry won’t be enough.  They should all pay back the money they have claimed for feather-bedding their nests.  Members are responsible for the probity and propriety of claims submitted. This bluster about it all being approved by the Fees Office, therefore it is not down to the individual MP, is spin and an abdication of responsibility by those culpable.  The rules are very clear, in signing for allowances, “the MP’s signature verifies that the expenditure was wholly, exclusively and necessarily  incurred in the performance of their duties”.

Swimming pools, roses and chandeliers are not necessary for the performance of an MP’s duties.  We want our money back, sorry won’t be good enough.  No matter how grand, no matter what the excuse, no matter which party.  If they won’t give it back, we want them sacked.

Tebbit : Don’t Vote Tory

TebbitTebbit has chosen his words carefully, he says don’t vote for the major expense fiddling parties, don’t vote BNP, vote for the other minority protest parties. By that it is taken he means “Vote UKIP”.  He could equally as well also mean Jury Team or Libertas.  This could be an interesting euro-election…

+++ Hogg Claimed for Moat Dredging +++

moat_telegraphIt is looting of the taxpayer.  There is no other word for it.  They are looters.

Alan Duncan is Stretching Things

Alan Duncan is going round telling broadcasters that he was the first MP to publish his receipts online and has always supported transparency. Go to his website and there is nothing published there about his expenses.

Eh?  Guido called his office for an explanation.  Tory HQ calls back with a load of waffle.  He did, but he doesn’t now, it was published on an old website blah, blah, blah.  When we get down to it, and Guido is reasonably certain about this, Alan Duncan did not publish his receipts for expenses.  He merely published the annual totals.  The same unrevealing annual expenditure totals published by the Fees Office for the last five years.  So we didn’t discover from his “transparency” anything we can’t now get from the parliamentary website.  Spin and bluster…

UPDATE : According to this archive Alan told us:

Additional Costs Allowance – Expenses Incurred by Staying in London
In line with parliamentary allowances, Alan claims £19,722 per year to cover the costs of maintaining a second home.

Not very informative or transparent is it?

Sleaze Meter Poll Looks Bad for Blears

PoliticsHome polled its PHI100 panel of Westminster insiders for their assessment this morning and on a scale of zero to 100 Hazel came out worst. Is this reallynot just a factor of visibility? Blears has behaved disgracefully, but twice as bad as the next sleaziest government minister? Hoon’s sleaziness seems grossly underestimated…

PoliticsHome Sleazemeter

Q. How Many Expense Claims Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb?

Two BrainsA. One.  According to a claim made by “two brains” David Willets.

In the great scheme of things £100 for a workman to change 25 lightbulbs is trivial.  What it does highlight is the undeserved sense of entitlement that politicians […]

+ READ MORE +

Sleaze Deluge Delays Guido’s Hoon Guide

Hoon's Flipping FiddlesThe promised guide to how to become a millionaire in politics has been delayed in order to incorporate a lot more information. Don’t worry it will be published, but it will be a lot more comprehensive than Guido first envisaged.[…]

+ READ MORE +

All Sorry Now

Dave said sorry last night, Alan Duncan said earlier this morning “every MP must apologise for what has arisen over time”.  Gordon has just jumped on the apology bandwagon:

“I want to apologise on behalf of politicians, on behalf

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Gordon Has His Own Powder Puff

Make UpThe Sun has got hold of  Gordon’s fashion tips.  According to a leaked typed guide sheet for the Prime Mentalist, his personal routine is;

1. Transparent Brush. Foam all over.

2. Small pot under eyes, dimple, creases, blend in.

3. […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Charles Clarke says Cameron is the most successful PM for over a century…

“Under Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives gained 99 seats. They lost 211 under John Major, gained one under William Hague, quickly and wisely got rid of Ian Duncan-Smith, gained 32 under Michael Howard and have so far gained 133 under David Cameron who, to the great surprise of many (including senior Conservatives), has turned out to be the most electorally successful Tory leader since 1900.”

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