Carter-Ruck caved in.
Image credit : ToryBear.com
This just in* from a bit of Hansard that Carter-Ruck have not tried to injunct:
Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many hours were worked by each special adviser in his Department in each week between 8 June 2009 to 3 July 2009.
Mr. Straw: As working for me as a Special Adviser is, I am told, pure pleasure and stress free, my Special Advisers work exceptionally long hours, often at weekends and late into the evening without complaint, and have not therefore felt the need which they otherwise might to complete timesheets to show that I was sweating their labour.
*Paddy from Grayling was the tipster co-conspirator.
Guido is grateful to Newsnight’s David Grossman for revealing how it passed that Jacqui Smith’s investigation by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner and critical report to to the Committee on Standards and Privileges resulted in a mere slap on the wrist.
Guido has, for once, no complaints about Commissioner John Lyon’s report to the Committee. Paul Waugh says that the Commissioner “confided during the course of his inquiry that he has to “keep a keen eye on the blogs”. Government sources feel that Lyon believed he was under heavy pressure to do a tough report…” Good. It is fair to say that John Lyon and the Sunlight Centre for Open Politics were in correspondence from the outset – remember the Commissioner at first rejected Sunlight’s original request for an investigation into Jacqui Smith. Sunlight persisted, citing precedent and the existence of witnesses and he reluctantly began an investigation. (Sunlight’s correspondence was noticeably omitted from the final report.)
The former Chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, Sir Alastair Graham, is shocked that despite the findings, which include that the former Home Secretary attempted to mislead the investigation as to where she spent most of her nights, the MPs’ Committee on Standards and Privileges ruled she just had to apologise. Guido has said it before; MPs judging MPs will always give them the benefit of the doubt, it is like selecting jurors from prison. In this case the composition of the Committee was disgraceful. One Tory, Greg Knight, was outnumbered by five Labour MPs, Andrew Dismore, Chris Mullin, Kevin Barron, Paddy Tippin and Dr Alan Whitehead. So despite being found to have wrongly claimed £116,000, to have mislead the investigation and broken the rules, her ‘honourable’ friends ruled she had to merely apologise. She was not ordered to repay a single penny. This is crime without punishment…
According to the Guardian, despite the 1688 Bill of Rights, it has been gagged from reporting a question to be asked in parliament later this week. The gag was obtained by Carter-Ruck. Wonder if it is this question:
Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of legislation to protect (a) whistleblowers and (b) press freedom following the injunctions obtained in the High Court by (i) Barclays and Freshfields solicitors on 19 March 2009 on the publication of internal Barclays reports documenting alleged tax avoidance schemes and (ii) Trafigura and Carter-Ruck solicitors on 11 September 2009 on the publication of the Minton report on the alleged dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast, commissioned by Trafigura.
Note to Carter-Ruck – Guido’s publishers will only accept service as per the requirements of the Hague Convention. Come to Charlestown, the weather is fantastic…
UPDATE : Apparently Carter-Ruck are trying to suppress this report. Not doing a very good job of it are they?
Nick Clegg is repaying £910 that he spent on his roses.
David Cameron has been asked to provide more information about his mortgage.
Legg is kicking a few troughs over…
No offer of repayment.
The Standards and Privileges Committee concludes
Whilst we acknowledge that there are mitigating circumstances, Ms Smith clearly breached the rules of the house by wrongly designating her main home from 2004 to 2009. We recommend that Ms Smith apologise to the House by means of a personal statement.
Guido is not sure that it should rest there.
Ms Smith accepts that she also breached the rules by failing to notify the house authorities for one year that she had changed the address of her designated main home. Ms Smith gained nothing from this lapse, and the public interest was not harmed. We therefore recommend no further action.
Absolutely untrue. If she had only been able to claim for the rent of her sisters spare room she would not have been able to refurbish her main family home at the taxpayers’ expense. She gained everything from the kitchen sink to bath plugs – which she would not have been able to do if she was just claiming for the rent on her sister’s place.
When her duplicity was first exposed in the media she also, let us not forget, claimed in interviews to spend most of her time in London. When her diary and police records were examined by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, this was found to be untrue.
She has not been asked by the Standards and Privileges Committee to repay a single penny.
The Political Porker-in-Chief, Sir Stuart Bell, who sits on the discredited Commons Members Estimate Committee, is going from broadcast studio to broadcast studio squealing that Sir Thomas Legg “is not staying within that remit, he’s not respecting the decisions […]