Lord Hoyle was paid a “counsultancy” fee by lobbyist Michael Wood, of Whitehall Advisers, a firm specialising in the murky world of lobbying for arms deals. The firm boasts in publicity of their ability to influence MoD purchases and that they have played a role in £10 billion of UK equipment procurement.
The undeclared payment is the subject of evolving explanations by Hoyle. He originally admitted to the Guardian
Lord Hoyle accepts he was asked to arrange the lobbyist’s introduction “to say hello to the new minister”. He told the Guardian that Lord Drayson was asked to come for a drink. Mr Wood was already there. He says he told the minister: “Mike Wood of Whitehall Advisers would like to meet you.”
At the meeting, which Lord Drayson, the Minister for Arms Procurement, appears to have correctly and formally noted, Mike Wood made his pitch for his firms clients.
So we have an undeclared, under-the-counter payment to a peer to introduce a lobbyist pimping on behalf of arms dealers to the Minister, Lord Drayson, in charge of buying arms – who himself bought his way into the legislature. Remember the 1997 promise of New Labour to be “whiter than white”…
UPDATE : As a co-conspirator points out in the comments, Tory MP Gerald Howarth obtained a parliamentary pass for Mike Wood. Why? He does enjoy a lot of defence related junkets…
Guido Fawkes “Is Hollobone there?”
Guido Fawkes “Can I speak to him?”
Guido Fawkes “Thanks.”
Guido waits patiently.
Office “It is me.”
It turns out that the reason he is some £23,340 cheaper than even Dennis Skinner (£67,891) is that he doesn’t employ any office staff. He answers his own correspondence (he can type) and he says dealing with constituents is his favourite part of the job. So it is no surprise that he is rated in the top decile for responsiveness by WriteToThem.com, whereas Liam Byrne, despite all his staff and great expense, comes 158th.
According to data from TheyWorkForYou.com, Philip Hollobone
How is it that he can be an excellent constituency MP for a third of the average cost of the rest?
*Thanks to Bloomberg for doing the number crunching.
Dacre’s other public services; warning the public about gypsies, immigrants, alco-pops and such-like are deemed not good enough to earn him the ermine. Guido thinks editors should sup with politicians with a long spoon, getting in their tent and having a cozy breakfast in the morning with them is unwise. Perhaps it was secrecy that they discussed over the breakfast kippers…
Don’t forget incumbent MPs have voted themselves an extra £10,000 of taxpayers money for propaganda and already have well funded office teams of staff. They have all the incumbent advantages and they are up against candidates who invariably have jobs to do as well. To lever out an incumbent MP takes some doing…
“I, of course, apologise for any actions or omissions on my part which contributed to the problems encountered in the Scottish elections…”
A sign of the underlying weakness of his position.
UPDATE : The Lobby today asked the PMS again “if the Prime Minister had full confidence in Douglas Alexander”. This is the formula the Lobby uses when they mean “is the PM going to sack ‘im”. Two days in a row, not a good sign…
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Chris Bryant talks to the Times Diary about a famous gay actor:
“I don’t think I’ve had sex with him. He says we had sex in Clapham. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had sex south of the river”