Sunday Sleaze

Sunday Sleaze

David Chaytor, the soon to be former MP for Bury North, drew up a tenancy agreement with his daughter but disguised their relationship by giving her middle name as her surname.  That is deception.  That cannot be spun as an over-sight in the way he is trying to make out that continuing to claim for a phantom mortgage was an over-sight.  Chaytor claims his mother  was sick, he was so busy he didn’t notice the mortgage was paid off, the dog ate his conscience etc.

The Sunday Times reveals that Chaytor

“claimed that he was renting his flat from a woman he called Sarah Rastrick. These are the first names of his daughter Sarah Rastrick Chaytor, who had recently graduated from university when the arrangement started.”

We already knew that Chaytor had also used the name Sarah Rastrick when paying his daughter £5,000 from his Commons office allowances for research while she was a student.  Using his daughter’s name to commit fraud is particularly low.  Guido thinks there is a good chance that Chaytor will go to jail.  Rightly so…

pork-spotlight

The semi-official LibDem policy of exploiting the expenses system for political rather than personal gain is looking likely to become a campaign issue.  This is in some ways a more insidious form of sleaze.  There is circumstantial evidence that Hampshire’s LibDem MPs; Sandra Gidley, Mike Hancock, Christopher Huhne and the retiring Mark Oaten have manipulated the Communications Allowance to save their party spending some £17,000 on envelope stuffing machines, which they claim are not used for political communications.

LibDem MPs like Sarah Teather have subsidised their constituency offices out of public funds for partisan purposes.  She like many LibDems candidates uses an unincorporated association (controlled by LibDem activists) which publishes no accounts to produce her party literature.  The not unfounded suspicion is that this is effectively a slush fund used to gouge the taxpayer at inflated costs for ‘official’ literature which subsidises the printing of unofficial party leaflets. These are not isolated cases, Cowley Street advises MPs to be “imaginative” in exploiting “grey areas”.  They are still ripping off the taxpayer just as much as David Chaytor.

Guy News : Out Now to Guidogram Subscribers

This week’s Guy News exclusively reveals who is to be the new chairman of the Lobby.

Guido sent Emily Nomates undercover in a Burqa to see UKIP leader Lord Pearson. No really, he thought he was being interviewed by Al Ja Guido.  Tory Bear went to Brent to doorstep Sarah Teather at her rent-free (to the LibDems) constituency office paid for out of expenses.

Guidogram subscribers* see Guy News first and you’ll have to wait until next week if you didn’t subscribe. Click here to join the thousands of subscribers who get the Guidogram first...

*Last night the video-link in the Guidogram was not working, it is now, try it again. Apologies.

Saturday Seven-Up

7upIf you were not one of the 55,172 visitors viewing 340,150 pages over the last seven days, here are the seven most popular stories (in order of popularity) that you missed:

Incidentally Clifford Singer has been boasting that the very enjoyable airbrushed myDavidCameron poster site is the most popular political website of the moment, David Prescott is even soliciting advertising. Guido has enjoyed the posters but just to get the facts straight, on January 6 this blog had 109,788 page views that day.  In the two weeks following, according to Clifford, his site had 105,928 page views in total. Some way to go Clifford. Functionally the Cameronizer and Barefoot sites are much better…

Osborne Misled Today Show

On the Today programme this morning Osborne described claims that the Tories would increase road tax to pay for tax breaks for married couples as “bizarre”, saying “it bears no reality to our thinking in this area”.

Hold on, what is this from page 4 of the Tory “Plan for a Strong Economy”?

Looks like a green tax to reduce other taxes on families.  How bizarre…

Devilish Gordon Looks Down on Labour Candidates

Guido knows what you are thinking.  Here is yet another puerile, disrespectful image of the Prime Minister which reflects more on the producer of the poster than our great leader.

Perhaps.  However the poster is not hanging on the wall of Guido’s office.  It is not hanging on the wall in CCHQ.  It is  hanging on the wall of Gisela Stuart’s Birmingham Edgbaston constituency office.  She is a Labour MP.  For now…

Credit : from an amusing video report by John Harris in the Guardian.

Friday Caption Contest (UKIP Burka Banning Edition)

Gordon’s “Fund With No Name”

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards is taking longer than usual to indicate whether or not he intends to investigate allegations about a second secret slush fund used by Gordon Brown to pay his personal pollster and speech writer Bob Shrum, as revealed in former Labour general-secretary Peter Watt’s book Inside Out.

Usually John Lyon rejects complaints in 48 hours or so if he is not inclined to investigate. Why is the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards taking longer than normal in this case?

  1. It could be that John  Lyon is snowed in with complaints about our troughing political class.*
  2. John  Lyon could be referring to the scathing Charity Commission report into Bob Shrum’s involvement with Gordon’s other slush fund – the Smith Institute – before proceeding.
  3. The Commissioner could be looking for an excuse to not investigate a secret slush fund controlled by the Prime Minister in the sensitive run-up to a general election.

Nevertheless there is prima facie a case to answer, Peter Watt is not some insignificant peripheral figure. The allegation that Gordon Brown kept track of donor’s funds for his own use in an exercise book is not transparent and above board, keeping the details hidden from the person responsible for compliance with the law is just not acceptable and possibly illegal.   Gordon really needs to explain himself, during the last investigation he point-blank refused to answer any questions put to him by the Charity Commission. Where are the records? What is Gordon hiding about the Shrum slush fund? Something smells.

*Harry Cohen is to be fined £65,000 for his fiddles, the socialist fraudster claims it “smacks of class discrimination”.  He should really face criminal charges.

Tories Want Drivers to Subsidise Marriage

The Tories are scrabbling a bit to justify their marriage tax allowance plans, they will always be scrabbling to justify themselves on tax during this campaign unless they start making a more optimistic case for tax revenue growth based on policies that kick start the economy rather than just putting taxes up.  They are playing a zero-sum game devised by Brown and Balls, so they have to go through a charade of finding some way of funding the plan.

They have fallen back on green taxes on motorists, yet again.  How many times have they reached for green taxes to fund a spending commitment?

1.8 million voters signed a petition against more green taxes on car users.  Drivers already pay huge amounts of tax, more taxes would be extremely unpopular – when you go green, you lose votes. Think again.

UPDATE : Osborne just denied they were going to put up car taxes on the Today programme. Good. Time for a coffee.

Very Social Media

So from www.EyeSpy.MP Guido learnt that Lembit was on the razz in “the Sports & Social* Weds night regaling a pretty, leggy brunette & a blonde”. From there out of Facebook via a co-conspirator we get this picture…

*A bar […]

+ READ MORE +

iCampaign Hots Up

Labour has an iPhone App scheduled for release in early February.  Dithering is not the preserve of Downing Street, the digital team admit they have yet to finalise the specification.

They want it to sync to local campaign events using […]

+ READ MORE +

Parliament Spy is Now EyeSpy.MP

Guido was a bit late to the Parliament Spy twitter phenomenon, which sadly disappeared after James Kirkup  of the Telegraph scared them off.  It is back in a new web 2.0 way, crowd sourcing gossip from parliamentary staffers.

The […]

+ READ MORE +

+++ Osborne to Re-Pay £1,666 Expenses Over-Claim +++

Lyon’s report says Osborne’s breaches were not “major ones, were not intentional and did not provide Mr Osborne with any significant financial benefit.” He will not have to give an apology to the House. Nice to know the […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Liam Fox shreds Cameron’s Calais scaremongering:

“Sad and disappointed to see our Prime Minister stoop to this level of scaremongering, especially as he knows the Calais agreement is nothing to do with the EU and agreed between the two govts”

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