LibDem Who Complained to Police About Tory Election Fraud Broke Spending Rules

Former LibDem MP Adrian Sanders has been at the forefront of police complaints about election spending fraud. He even wrote a template letter for concerned constituents to dob candidates in to the cops:

“The criminal offence allegations if proven are very serious indeed. They may have determined who governs our country. It strikes at the very heart of democracy. It therefore affects everyone whether or not they reside in one of the constituencies mentioned in the media. If you want to help get this matter investigated a letter along the following lines to your Chief Constable might assist…”

Oh really…

The Representation of the People’s Act 1983 states that only candidates can send Election Addresses to voters. It explicitly says that only “a candidate” can “send free of charge for postage” an election communication, and that these must be candidate-specific rather than part of the national campaign. The Royal Mail confirm “a candidate mailing that is designed to secure the election… in another electoral constituency is unacceptable“. By definition candidates’ Election Addresses are therefore local spend and must be declared as such…

Adrian Sanders has confirmed to Guido that this was his invoice for his Election Return. As you can see, the £4,900 cost was split between national and local spend, in manifest breach of the rules:

When Guido phoned up Sanders to ask for an explanation, he angrily replied:

“You’d better report me to the police then. If you think there is an error here, report me to the police.”

He then hung up. If he’d declared it correctly, he’d have been £783 over the maximum limit…

Labour Won’t Allow Conference Delegates to Self-Identify

gender

Labour are only accepting “cisgender” applications for their party conference in Liverpool in September. Attendees are being forced to revert to their anatomical birth-gender, warning “gender must match your passport”. While the party claims “this does not discriminate” against non-gender normative delegates, it means non-binaries won’t be able to self-identify with their “true” gender expression. What will Eddie Izzard do?

Worst Beatles Tribute Band Ever

On Craig Oliver’s grid today it is “culture”. Luvvies against leaving is the theme, “Back in the EUSSR” the tune, Cameron is getting by with a little help from his friend (Tessa). Dave’s hoping we can’t work it out – all we need is Leave….

Worth noting that on the day Downing Street have decided to talk about culture, the Eurosceptic Culture minister has been sent to China on government business. Guido hears Whitto was not told about today’s events when they put him on the plane…

Celebrity Consumer Champion Hits Back at BSE

Celebrity consumer champion Martin Lewis is the expert who, according to the polling, is one of the most trusted among the public when it comes to finances. So you can understand why Britain Stronger in Europe wanted to put his face on a leaflet. Well, Lewis is not happy with BSE this morning:

“I see a quote from me is being used by the Stronger in Europe leaflet. The quote is accurate, but to clarify I do not back either side. As so many have asked me questions on this, and wanting to know facts for EU debate. Im going to carefully write my (hopefully balanced views) should publish in a week or two.”

So BSE are suggesting on their leaflets that Britain’s most recognisable consumer champion backs Remain, when he doesn’t. Naughty…

Who is on Question Time Tonight

qt

Paul Mason’s Brexit sellout means there’s just one Outer on tonight’s panel…

Campaign Report: 34 Days to Go

lord owen

Leave message: Lord Owen bashes TTIP and the failing Euro.

Remain message: The Fujitsu chairman calls UK the centre of the EU.

Cut through: Rebel Tory MPs backing an anti-TTIP amendment to the Queen’s Speech.

Leave social media count: 381,270 likes, 42,938 followers.

Remain social media count: 405,469 likes, 28,771 followers.

Odds: Remain 2/7 Leave 7/2

Latest poll: Remain 44%, Leave 40% (YouGov, online). Poll of Polls is now Remain 53%, Leave 47%.

Yesterday’s Ipsos-Mori poll effect on financial markets:

ipm-brexit

Momentum Rejoice! Only 65% Think Corbyn Not Ready to be PM

corbyn READY TO BE PM

Corbyn has always had a popularity problem within Labour. He was less popular than both Gordon and Red Ed when he took over in September, and scored an identical net dislike for both himself and his party as Tony Blair was quitting in 2007. Things may have got a little better…

According to Ipsos Mori, just 22% think Corbyn is ready to be PM – one point higher than Ed in 2015 – while 65% think he is not ready. While this figure would be crushing to any other candidate, for a beleaguered Labour Party this figure might show some hope. The figure ties with Ed Miliband’s second best ever score (his best being 63% thinking he was not ready). When asked whether Labour were ready to form the next government, Corbyn’s Labour trumped the former leader’s last score in November 2014, with a whopping 27% saying they were ready (and just 63% saying they weren’t). Of course, for context David Cameron’s lowest score in 2008 was 43% believing he wasn’t ready to be PM (43% also agreed he was ready), while at the same time 45% agreed the Conservative’s were ready to form a government. Corbyn is more divisive than Ed, but not more popular. Join the Tories if you want to vote for the next PM in their leadership contest…

Taxpayer Funded ASH Lobbied Government for Plain-Packs

tobacco lobbyists

Outraged anti-smoking charity ASH reacted with glee to the news that an attempt by a consortium of tobacco manufacturers to overturn the government’s plain-packaging legislation had been lost. The charity’s chief executive, Deborah Arnott, was particularly exultant:

“Millions of pounds have been spent on some of the country’s most expensive lawyers in the hope of blocking the policy. This disgraceful effort to privilege tobacco business interests over public health has rightly failed utterly.”

Arnott is not averse to using cash to influence government policy – our cash. ASH waged a half-decade campaign, involving top Civil Service officials, to introduce plain packaging. In a string of emails between Arnott, Hunt, the Department of Health’s top ranking official Andrew Black and surprisingly the PM’s Chief of Staff – Ed Llewellyn, the organisation appears to have broken the department’s rule on the use of its grant money. The Department of Health rules, as stated in November last year, prohibit government lobbying at the taxpayers’ expense:

“Funding applications from voluntary sector organisations are assessed against a number of criteria, but Departmental policy clearly states that grants will not be awarded if there is any indication within the application that some or all of any funding awarded will be used to support political activities, including political lobbying activity.”

Between 2011 and 2015, ASH received a whopping £745,650 in taxpayer funded grants from the Department of Health, their £200,000 grant last year was specifically for assisting the department to implement the “Tobacco Control Plan” (page 22). In that same period, documents seen by Guido highlight 74 separate incidents of lobbying contact, reaching as high as the PM’s office. Taxpayer grants form by far the largest donations given to ASH, and it would appear that they have been used to lobby the government against the Department of Health’s own regulations.

Remain’s Gillian Duffy Moment

Pro-Remain Labour MP Pat Glass, the Shadow Europe minister no less, has called a voter a “racist” for airing concerns about immigration from Eastern Europe:

“The very first person I’ve come to is a horrible racist. I’ve never coming back

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Northerners Mock “Grim Up North” Burnham

northerners

Burnham played up his Northern credentials when he threw his hat in the ring to be Labour’s Greater Manchester Mayoral candidate:

“It’s hard growing up in the north: if you say you want to be a doctor, lawyer or MP

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Long-Term Rise of Anti-Politics

This morning in Portcullis House researchers from the University of Southampton are presenting findings from a project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council on the rise of anti-politics, Tristram Hunt and Isabel Hardman are going to stick […]

+ READ MORE +

Supreme Court Finds in Favour of PJS

The Supreme Court has found in favour of PJS, ruling that the rich and powerful can hide their misdemeanours from public knowledge. Farcically, Judge Mance concluded that PJS is “likely to be granted a permanent injunction notwithstanding the internet and […]

+ READ MORE +



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