By popular request, watch Blinky’s face:
By popular request, watch Blinky’s face:
“The Party has failed to deal with local breaches of its rules and electoral irregularities, and with criminal activities over a long period and there are now corruption and other investigations, surrounding certain senior members of my local Association. It is with great sadness that I therefore felt compelled to resign the Party whip. I hope my action in resigning will bring the necessary changes and therefore be in both the public and the Party’s best interests.”
Tories lose another MP at Westminster
MP Dr Bob Spink has resigned the Conservative Party whip because he is disappointed with the Party’s failure to address crime and corruption within the Party.
Dr Spink remains a committed and principled Conservative.
UPDATE II : Bob Spink emails again with a press release setting out his side of the spin:
“For the Conservative Party to now imply they withdrew the whip from me is brass-necked dishonesty. This sort of low-political deceit is why the public hold politicians in such deep contempt.
The Chief Whip said my resignation would disrupt the Party Spring Conference this weekend and asked me to reconsider, or at least to delay announcement. I refused.
He also asked me to meet with him, the Party Chairman, Chairman of the 22 Committee, and Dominic Grieve MP a Tory solicitor, and I did so this morning when they sought to get me to change my mind. I refused and at 12 noon today I informed Sir Michael Spicer, the Chairman of the 22 Cttee, that I was irrevocably set on resignation. I announced my resignation on the floor of the House this afternoon.
I remain a committed and principled Conservative and will continue to sit on the Tory benches.”
Extracts of an Email sent by Bob Spink on 11th March 15.47 to the Chief Whip Patrick Mcloughlin
Dear Patrick, It is not in the public interest for me to remain within a party that supports improper and criminal actions against an MP or democracy. I therefore intend to resign the whip….
If you wish, we can discuss how to handle my resignation, including publicity and the withdrawal of facilities.
Extracts from letter dated 12th March from the Chief Whip to Dr Bob Spink MP:
Further to your letter of resignation received by email yesterday afternoon, and our discussion today, I am writing to confirm the removal of the Whip with immediate effect.
‘The Chairman has counselled you strongly to await the Executive Council next week….’ 12/3/08
Guido suspects that Spink is going in a huff because he faced deselection by his own constitutency association who were not happy about him employing his lover / wife / lover’s daughter etcetera. This promises to be an enjoyable bun fight…
His office confirmed rumours to Guido.
There is no reason why this should not be abolished and a more honest and transparent picture of the compensation package of MPs given to the public. At the very least Alistair Darling should announce today that it will be taxed in the normal way as a benefit. Guido does not see why MPs should be treated differently from other self-employed business people who have to account for every penny to the revenue commissioners.
*Guido is guesstimating, we do not know the details of the payment system and the authorities are resisting FoI requests.
“The Tories are isolated in Europe. Their position is the biggest foreign policy failure since the 1930s.”
So the Tory plan to pull out of the EPP factional grouping arrangements is worse than Suez, Vietnam or the Iraq War? This is the view of the Miliband’s personal Special Adviser? Obviously Madlin has a deep sense of historical perspective…
You can download the full briefing here, Guido has digitally disguised the source of the leak because it has a warning on every page stating:
PLP briefings are the property of the Labour party. They are confidential and are for the use of registered members only. Any publishing or dissemination of PLP political briefing is prohibited and may be unlawful.
With New Labour’s characteristic inability to distinguish between party and state they seem to fail to realise that a document produced by a civil servant, in office hours at the taxpayer’s expense should by rights not be the property of the Labour Party. So sue Guido…
*Madlin is the daughter of Blairite MP Barry Sheerman. Another no doubt meritocratic appointment from the people’s party.
UPDATE : Guido accepts that there is a loophole provision in the Code permitting SpAds to produce briefings for MPs on government policy. This is not a briefing on government policy, it is a crib sheet on Tory policy and positions intended to be used to attack the Conservative position in media interviews and in the chamber. This breaches the spirit and the letter of the Code. There is in any case no way a taxpayer funded document produced by civil servants can become the exclusive property of the PLP. These type of briefing documents should be produced by Labour HQ at their own expense, not the taxpayers expense. If the PLP would care to test this proposition in court Guido is more than ready.
Here is the news you won’t read in the papers or hear from broadcast by our fearless Lobby lushes:-
The total subsidy paid by the taxpayer to the press gallery bar and restaurant last year was £201,100. They drink at the taxpayers expense to the tune of a £1,000 every working day. They really are taking the piss getting pissed at the public’s expense.
Perhaps he has good reason to explain Tory economic policy out of sight, being too timid to put the case for tax relief for the struggling middle classes and reducing state over-spending. The Tories basically accept that because of the dire fiscal position Chancellor Osborne will stick with Gordon Brown’s tax and spending plans. As we tip towards worldwide recession and a global financial crisis the Tories are advocating “tax hikes on alcopops!” and the LibDems “tax cuts for smoothies!” Pathetically unambitious.
He also gave £2,500 to Gordon’s leadership non-campaign.
UPDATE : If he has been brought in to clean-up Labour’s finances post the Abrahams scandal this will be tricky. Chris Grayling points out that he was a secret just-below-the-£1000 reporting threshold donor of £990 to Wendy Alexander’s campaign. He was with Peter Watt, the disgraced former Secretary-General of the Labour Party, director of a fund which has donated £110,000 to the Labour Party and a leading figure in an unincorporated association (LFIG) which has given hundreds of thousands of pounds to the Labour Party without revealing the original sources of funds – just like the Tory supporting Midlands Industrial Council. Does that fill you full of confidence that Gordon really means to be more transparent and straight about political funding?
The point of Guido giving this background is to highlight that during all this long unbroken period of economic growth, Gordon failed to pay down the government debt – a truly prudent Chancellor would have done it at some strong point in the economic cycle. He did however forecast the budget surplus this year to be of some £9 billion, in fact the budget will probably be in deficit £9 billion. As Michael Fallon points out, despite many predictions to the contrary, the budget has never been in surplus* under this government. Gordon’s imprudence over the last 5 years alone has led to £69 billion in unplanned and unfunded spending hikes. The public sector has been bloated by a governing Labour party beholden to public sector unions for funding.
Who pays for this unfunded spending? Middle class taxpayers of course. The interest on the government’s ballooning debts consumes an ever increasing share of tax revenues. The nationalisation of Northern Rock further smashed the golden rule by £110 billion. We are now heading for G.F.T.** in a weakened fiscal position compared to other major economies. Alastair’s response? The word from the Treasury is that they plan to fiddle the statistics so that the golden rule will magically become unbroken. An illusion that will fool no-one.
Remember this when the new Chancellor talks about budgetary control or prudence in his budget speech. Treat any promises of future surpluses as a bad joke. Any “Green” tax hikes should be seen as what they really are, an excuse to tax the middle classes even more. The truth is Labour’s out of control unfunded over-spending hikes have added to Britain’s economic woes.
The budget should:
Instead we will probably get higher consumer taxes to pay for higher government spending.
**Global Financial Turbulence in the vernacular of the Treasury.
Labour’s Plan to Attack Part-Time Boris | Standard
Ex-Sun Hack Cleared After 582 Days on Bail | MediaGuido
11 Times Boris Denied He Would Stand for Parliament | Buzzfeed
Attacking UKIP’s Posters is Counter-Productive | Guardian
Sarkozy Tried it on With Hollande’s Ex | Times
Another Spare Room Subsidy Cut Success | Harry Phibbs
Rich Now Have Less Leisure Than Poor | Economist
UKIP’s Immigration Policy Promotes Migrant Entrepreneurs | Breitbart
Another Feminist Lecture | Laura Perrins
UKIP Posters Bad Economics But Good Politics | James Delingpole
Tories Losing to UKIP in Scotland | ConHome
A confused Nick Griffin says Nigel Farage is a shill for the City, forgetting that City banks want to stay in the EU:
“Farage is a snake oil salesman, but a very good one. His supposed anti-immigration stance is all smoke and mirrors, as is his carefully cultivated image as a ‘man of the people’. The truth is that UKIP is a pro-immigration party that exists to lobby for the interests of the City of London.”