Monday, April 7, 2014

Labour Write to Labour to Complain About Miller

Labour have written to the Labour MP who let Maria Miller off the hook. Labour’s Shelia Gilmore has written to Labour’s Kevin Barron, who Guido covered in some depth earlier, to formally complain about Miller’s apology.

Dear Mr Barron,

I am writing to make a formal complaint over the personal statement given by Mrs Maria Miller to the House of Commons on Thursday 3rd April. This was inadequate to the point of being contemptuous of your Committee’s report and the Members’ Code of Conduct.

You will agree that adherence to the Code of Conduct and due respect for the Committee on Standards are essential to uphold trust in public life. Mrs Miller has demonstrated neither and the subsequent public condemnation of her behaviour highlights the risk to public trust such behaviour creates.

The Code of Conduct states that “Members shall cooperate, at all stages, with any such investigation by or under the authority of the House”. Your report concludes, however, that “Mrs Miller’s exchanges with the Commissioner repeatedly show a failure to provide information asked for, or to respond adequately to the Commissioner’s questions.”

Your report also states that, “Much of the delay and difficulty in this case has arisen from incomplete documentation and fragmentary information. Mrs Miller has to carry significant responsibility for that.”

These specific points were unaddressed and remain unexplained following Mrs Miller’s abrupt 32 second apology to the House last week.

Following the focus on Members’ expenses and subsequent reform to the system in 2009 there is now a higher bar for all Members to demonstrate the integrity of their conduct in public life. We must act at all times within the spirit as well as the letter of existing guidelines. It is clear that Mrs Miller fell foul of this not just in her conduct during the inquiry but in her apology to the House.

Rather than meaningfully address the arrogant and evasive attitude that characterised her behaviour during the inquiry, she chose to reinforce it in the House of Commons, revealing Mrs Miller to not be apologetic at all.

I want to ask whether you consider Mrs Miller’s apology sufficient given the significance of this issue and whether you would consider asking Mrs Miller to return to the House of Commons to address the specific issues raised in your Committee’s report.

Best wishes,

Sheila Gilmore MP

What a sorry mess – this highlights just how bonkers this system is.

End of the Jonah Jinx?

Has the curse of Jonah finally been broken?

Gordon Brown was present yesterday when his beloved Raith Rovers beat Rangers 1:0 to win the Ramdens Cup.

He even cracked a smile…

Gordon has always taken a keen interest in Raith Rovers, going as far as to negotiate the sale of players in a pub car back while he was the Chancellor. According to Damian McBride:

What spare time Gordon had up in Scotland he poured into not just supporting his beloved Raith Rovers, but pulling strings behind the scenes at the club, sometimes becoming a bit too involved. I rang him in October 2006 and said I’d had a call from a Scottish journalist who’d heard the bizarre rumour that Gordon was seen in a pub car park in Kirkcaldy after midnight apparently negotiating contract terms with Trinidad international Marvin Andrews. Gordon was silent, then said: ‘Have they got photos?’

Finally the long curse that has blighted sports teams, markets, aeroplanes, banks, companies, governments and nations looks to be lifted. If the curse of the one-eyed son of the manse has been lifted, we hope Gordon’s tormented soul will lighten too…

Barron of the Troughers’ Union Should Go Too

Labour are cautiously upping their attacks on Miller because they cannot escape the fact that it was a Labour chaired committee that watered down the Standards Commissioner’s report. Once again the Barron of the Troughers’ Union has ridden to the protection of an MP. Not only has Kevin Barron recently blocked attempts by IPSA to reform the expenses structure, his own history is hardly a shining beacon of purity. Thanks to Sir Kevin, MPs can still claim:

  • A £15 evening meal when Parliament sits after 19:30
  • Hospitality tea and biscuits
  • Hotels before 01:00
  • Taxis home before 23:00
  • Contents insurance for a second home
  • Installing a TV in a second home

He blocked IPSA’s attempts to scrap the lot last year.

Back in 2009, Guido pointed out to Barron’s face that he was not fit to lead the Standards Committee given his own tendency to overclaim:

He called Guido a very rude word after the TV ding-dong but did nothing to change his ways. After selling his taxpayer funded home for for a £500,000 profit, Barron began charging the taxpayer £1,500-a-month to rent a three-bedroom London home (also called “contriving a tenancy” by benefit fraud investigators)  owned by shadow cabinet office minister Jon Trickett. Last week Trickett was trying to clamp down on MPs’ outside earnings, but presumably not income channelled from public money.

To top it all off, Barron also employs his wife Andrea part time in his office. Which is nice little £15,000 boost for the family income.

You can see why Barron did not go public during the threats from Miller and her lawyers – the MP who marks other MPs’ homework is a trougher of the highest order. Labour are struggling with this story because they were in cahoots to undermine Kathryn Hudson. Barron could have blown the whistle at any time during the last year. Guido would never suggest the gong that Sir Kev got during the negotiations had anything to do with his unwillingness to rock the boat.

Hunt for the @DCMS Truth Tweeter

@dcms

The Maria Miller media witch hunt took a surreal twist on Saturday evening when the official Department of Culture, Media and Sport Twitter feed started tweeting the truth. This morning there will be an embarrassing situation in the department. Should they have a Whodunnit? investigation to find out the culprit and fire them for telling the truth? Meaning the only person fired as a result of, as the Twitter feed rightly said, Maria Miller embezzling and cheating the taxpayer, will be the only person who told the truth? Probably best if the Permanent Secretary just has the password changed and no more is said about the matter…

Rich’s Monday Morning View

miller's tale480

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Read Guido’s Column in the Sun on Sunday Online

Don’t miss out on all the latest gossip in Guido’s Sun on Sunday column:

  • The_Sun_6_4_2014Guido has first look at Jezza Browne’s new book. Nick Clegg might want a read…
  • Newsnight of the Long Knives: Paxo in fight to keep his job
  • Which greedy Labour MPs ain’t happy at Ed Miliband’s ban on second jobs?
  • Major changes at CCHQ ordered by Craig Oliver
  • Clegg’s new Porsche driving spinmeister has a history of playing fast and loose with the rules
  • Cam’s campaign director Lynton Crosby has plans for Farage
  • Does grandstanding TV star Margaret Hodge have an ulterior motive?

Just 70p in the shops or just £1 a month to subscribe online

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Saturday Seven Up

Friday, April 4, 2014

Like Guido’s Facebook Page

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Kim Jong Ed

Steve Richards has written in the New Statesman about the mood of paranoia and suspicion around Ed Miliband. His fearfully supportive team resembles the North Korean inner circle daring not to offer even constructive criticism of their dear leader:

“Miliband’s staff are loyal to him personally but in their determined or fearful supportiveness there is little space for critical candour. Nearly all those who work for Miliband are dependent on his patronage. He chose them and they are pleased to be close to him. They do not want to say things that he does not want to hear. The contrast with Tony Blair’s office is marked. Blair had to plead with Alastair Campbell to join him, going out to see him while Campbell was on holiday in France as part of the energetic wooing process. Campbell could be brutally candid because he knew Blair wanted him so much. Other advisers, such as Peter Mandelson, had been senior to Blair in the 1980s. They, too, could be ruthlessly or constructively critical, sometimes both. This does not happen very much in Miliband’s office; indeed, the opposite can happen. I am told that sometimes his staff applaud him when he returns from making a mediocre speech.”

Shame he doesn’t have the cult of personality to go with it…

UKIP Attacking “Scared Ed” U-Turn on TV Debates

scared-ed

Something’s happened to change Ed’s mind about having Nigel Farage join the TV debate. Only a few weeks ago he thought it would be a good wheeze to have Cameron haemorrhage votes to UKIP on immigration and Europe live on TV. After seeing Nick Clegg get slaughtered twice in the TV debates with Nigel Farage he seems to have changed his mind. Scared?


Seen Elsewhere

Corrupt, Incompetent UN Has No Right to Lecture Us | Dan Hannan
Mirror’s Lazy Lie | Guardian
Hungary’s Heir to Thatcher | Conservative Woman
Farage and Salmond Both Want Outopia | David Aaronovitch
More Missing UKIP Money | Times
Church Should Fight Evil of Welfare Dependency | Stephen Glover
1 in 16 Pick Up Infections in Filthy NHS Hospitals | Mail
Let’s Get Evangelical | David Cameron
From the IRA to Windsor Castle | WSJ
Coulson: Everything You Need to Know in 6 Seconds | MediaGuido
Mo Ansar’s Silence | Adrian Hilton


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Cathy Jamieson MP, Labour’s Shadow Treasury minister, commenting on Treasury analysis of the economic impact of tax changes…

“If the Treasury is looking at the economic impact of tax changes, then surely it should examine the impact of the rise in VAT and cuts to tax credits? George Osborne’s £12 billion VAT rise knocked confidence, helped to choke off the recovery and has cost families £1,350 over the last three years.”



orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?


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