Victoria’s Secret Lingerie and 5 Star Hotels: Welsh Govt’s £7.5 Million Credit Card Spend

VICTORIAS SECRET

The Welsh government spent £7,508,490.17 of taxpayers’ money on credit card transactions over the last Assembly, including purchases from lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret, iTunes subscriptions, Yachtwear, and items from IKEA, as well as stays in luxury five star hotels. A Freedom of Information response reveals that in total, ministers and civil servants spent an average of £1.5 million a year, with an average spend of £5,893.50 per card last year alone – more than double the UK average.

Expenses cleared on the cards included:

  • £103.91 at Victoria’s Secret, whose website describes the brand as having “The world’s best bras. The sexiest lingerie. The most beautiful Supermodels.”
  • £377.31 on iTunes subscriptions.
  • £370.70 on Yachtwear from high-end provider Yachtshop.
  • £2191.43 at IKEA, and a further £279.90 at Toys R Us.

Luxury hotel trips were also thrown in, including £1,450.76 on the £313 per night (cheapest room) on the five star Hotel New Otani, and £9043.79 on the five star Raffles, Beijing. They even totted up 842.99 on a jolly in Cannes which included bills for the four star Hotel Belle Plage and the prestigious beachfront restaurant Plage le Goeland. Most amusing of all is the officials’ £1569.10 expenditure on Welsh Cakes, including a single spend of £808.35. Living it up while the Welsh NHS collapses. They’ve literally had their cake and eaten it…

UK Taxpayers’ £245 Million Loan to Corruption-Hit Brazilian Oil Firm

PETROBRAS

Scandal-hit Brazilian oil company Petrobras received £250 million from the UK taxpayer last year, extending its credit line to over £1.1 billion. While loans to companies buying British goods is fairly standard practice, the government decided to extend Petrobras’ line of credit after it became embroiled in a huge corruption and bribery scandal that led to the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. What’s worse, the state-owned company has had a plummeting credit rating in recent months, with Moody’s giving them a rating of B3 and the Wall Street Journal calling them “the World’s most indebted oil company”. What could go wrong?

H/T Greenpeace Energy Desk

Secret Labour Funds Offering £25 to Vote for Corbyn

25

Guido can reveal the existence of several new funds offering to help people pay the £25 charge to vote for Corbyn, after Labour yesterday shut down a Just Giving page doing the same thing. One private Facebook group named “Gimme 25” has amassed almost 3,000 members. It avoids explicitly saying that the money will pay for votes for Corbyn. But the intention is clear:

“Sometimes if you just had £25 to help towards something important it would make all the difference. There are many people who could probably spare £25 for someone who needs it much more than they do. This group is about bringing those categories of people together. Don’t think of it as begging, just think of it as direct socialism”

A second group named the “Hardship fund” claims to have raised almost £10,000:

Meanwhile Labour supporters have received unsolicited phone calls from Corbynista activists directing them to Facebook groups offering to pay the £25 charge. One Labour supporter says:

“Just got off the phone to a dude who offered to pay me 25 quid so I can go vote for Corbyn. He definitely got my number via ‘Momentum’, but it seems like a personal mobile. He suggested a few pages that are unofficially paying for peoples memberships, when I said I didn’t have the money.”

£25 is a small price to pay to Save Jez…

‘Barry Boy’ Owen Smith Lived in Stunning Surrey Home

owen smith

Self-proclaimed “Barry boy” Owen Smith lived in a huge house in Surrey while he worked as an £80,000-a-year lobbyist for Pfizer, Guido can reveal. Despite his much-vaunted working class credentials, our pictures show the Labour leadership contender lived in a stunning four bedroom home in the desirable stockbroker belt village of Westcott. Smith registered the address on the electoral roll and declared it to Companies House when he was a director at the Bevan Foundation. He moved to Wales shortly after he was elected in 2010, and the property was sold in November that year for a £250,000 profit. The estate agent described it as “a beautiful family home which has been the subject of much recent improvement and extension”. According to Zoopla it is now worth well over a million pounds. Only one kitchen though, otherwise Oily Smith really would be the Welsh Ed Miliband…

£1,800 on ‘Social Media Strategy’, But SNP MP Has Just 6 YouTube Subscribers

anne mclaucghlin

Have you ever heard of SNP MP Anne McLaughlin? Guido hadn’t either. So it’s perhaps forgiveable that she’d want to boost her profile by claiming £1,800 on expenses for “Social Media Consultancy” as part of an attempt to build a “Social Media Strategy”. What’s less forgiveable is that, despite this taxpayer cash, her Twitter account has just a few thousand followers, her Facebook just a couple of thousand likes, and her YouTube channel – inactive for five years – has just six subscribers. Your money well spent.

Max Mosley Gives Tom Watson £200,000

watson

Tom Watson has declared a massive £200,000 donation from multi-millionaire former Monaco-based tax exile Max Mosley. The Murdophobe fan of German-themed parties had previously written Watson a cheque for £40,000 last year. Watson says the new cash is “to support my office as Deputy Leader and Shadow Cabinet Office Minister”:

mosley

Mosley of course spent years avoiding tax in Monaco, returning to the UK in 2010 when he complainedI now have to pay tax here”. Curious that as he sharpens his knife Watson needs so much money just to “support his office”…

FOI Reveals Sexual Harassment and Corruption in Brussels

juncker

A well-timed Freedom of Information request into the European Commission’s internal disciplinary committee has revealed the extent of misconduct cases investigated in the last year. No names are disclosed naturally, but this is the sort of thing that goes on in Brussels:

  • Staff rebuked for sexual harassment
  • The abuse of diplomatic status to smuggle in duty free for a friend
  • Trying to dodge tax by supply of a fake document
  • ‘Passive’ corruption
  •  Collusion in a rent scam
  • A staff member operating as an industry insider and changing reports
  • The use of a de facto ‘company car’ from an outside interest
  • Employment of family members as a quid pro quo
  • Moonlighting
  • A person AWOL for most of the year (while running their own business)
  • Sleeping off campus

Despite all this, only 16 members of staff received cautions. Surprise, surprise…

Fizz All Gone from Cam’s Champagne

cameron champagne

Selling £90 bottles of champagne signed by the PM used to be easy money for Tory fundraisers. Is it a sign of the times that local associations have cut the price of an autographed bottle in half to a bargain £45? Everything must go…

Police Granted One-Year Extension to Investigate Cat Smith

Lancashire Constabulary confirm they have been granted a year-long extension to investigate Cat Smith’s election expenses. Here we go…

How Guido uncovered Cat Smith’s expenses irregularities:
[…]

+ READ MORE +

SPANISH FLEE: Remain’s Messina Off to Madrid

MESSINA

Remain’s “senior strategic advisor” Jim Messina has learned from David Axelrod how to fly in for a couple of days, shake a few hands, send a couple of tweets and then jet off having trousered a thick wedge. With ten days to go Messina is forgetting about the referendum – he has just been hired by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to help with his election strategy.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Clegg’s £30,000 Bung from Offshore Pal of Putin

putin paulsen

Shameless Nick Clegg has trousered a massive £30,000 payment from an official ‘friend of Putin’ whose company is based in an offshore tax haven. Clegg received the bung from Frederik Paulsen, the billionaire chairman of drugs firm Ferring Pharmaceuticals. As you can see above, Paulsen was personally awarded an “Order of Friendship” medal by Putin himself.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Labour Spin Buses Were National Campaign, Internal Report Says “Dedicated to Marginal Seats”

Crick covered Guido’s story last night that the Tories had lawyered up in their row with the Electoral Commission. Meanwhile, the Labour press office are spinning a line responding to our revelation that 17 of their candidates failed to declare battle buses.[…]

+ READ MORE +

BUS-TED: Labour Didn’t Declare Expenses in 17 Key Marginals

BUSTED

Labour candidates in 17 key marginals failed to declare battle buses packed with activists in their election expenses. According to the party’s official General Election Report, Labour Students operated a fleet of four buses “dedicated to supporting marginal seats across the country”. […]

+ READ MORE +

Clegg’s Costless Magical Mystery Tour

clegg-bus

As police confirm they are investigating Nick Clegg’s campaign expenses, Guido thought he would focus on another example of his undeclared costs. Clegg’s battle to retain Sheffield Hallam declared zero expenditure for transport costs, despite paying for loyal activists to travel to campaign for him (as well as paying for their accommodation).[…]

+ READ MORE +

LibDems: Deceiving Here!

CLEGG-SPEND

On Wednesday evening Nick Clegg’s lawyers sent Guido a three-page letter demanding we take down our story Nick Clegg Cooked the Books for £17,652 or else they would sue. They also threatened The Telegraph for following up our story (who complied).[…]

+ READ MORE +

Clegg Failed to Declare Activist Travel Expenses

Nick Clegg did not declare travel expenses for activists who campaigned for him in his constituency, Guido can reveal. On May 2 2015, Clegg held an “Action Weekend” in Sheffield Hallam. Activists were told the event was specifically “to campaign with our amazing leader Nick Clegg”.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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