Tory MP Justin Tomlinson Suspended From Commons

tomlinson

Tory MP Justin Tomlinson has been suspended from the Commons for two days for leaking a Public Accounts Committee report to Wonga. Extraordinarily, Tomlinson thought it acceptable to share a draft report on regulating consumer credit with a Wonga employee. The Wonga employee replied with a series of recommendations, which Tomlinson then put to his committee. The Standards Commissioner ruled he “committed a serious breach of the Rules of Conduct” and the Privileges Committee today found:

“Mr Tomlinson committed a contempt in disclosing a draft committee Report to a third party and that his actions constituted substantial interference in the work of that committee… We recommend that Mr Tomlinson apologise to the House by means of a personal statement and that he be suspended from the service of the House for two sitting days. These days should be consecutive and not be divided by non-sitting days or recesses which would inadvertently extend the period of suspension beyond that specified.”

The Privileges Committee say Tomlinson made no financial gain from the exchange of information. He did however nominate his local football team for a big money sponsorship deal from… Wonga. He’s lucky just to get a slap on the wrist…

Polly Toynbee’s Shameless Grammar Schools Front

toynbee

Polly Toynbee today attacks Theresa May’s grammar school plans, arguing that segregation by social class is “irrational” and claiming grammars add to “splits and divisions” in society. She has some front. Polly herself failed her 11-plus and attended the independent Badminton School. Earning £110,000-a-year at the Guardian meant she was able to send two of her children to private school as well. Today Toynbee writes that “inequality is monstrously unfair… it means birth is almost always social destiny”. Some children are evidently more equal than others. Is there a bigger hypocrite in the grammar schools debate?

Owen Smith Donor’s Firm Incorporated in Caymans

watson2

Owen Smith has accepted almost £70,000 worth of donations from a businessman whose company was incorporated in the Cayman Islands. Smith took £67,550 from financial services guru Anthony Watson to help pay the rent for his campaign office. As Guido has previously revealed, Watson’s company Uphold Inc was originally registered in the Caymans. He took charge of the firm in April 2015, when it went by the name Bitreserve. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission documents seen by Guido show that Bitreserve’s jurisdiction of incorporation was the Caymans. Its address is a PO box.

The largest donor to the Owen Smith campaign runs a company incorporated in the tax-free Caymans…

Red Len’s “Stunning” Luxury Apartment Paid For By Unite

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Today’s Guardian reveals Unite bunged Len McCluskey £400,000 to help him buy a central London flat in February. So where has Red Len been living it up with his members’ money? This is the luxury apartment block where Unite generously decided to help Len buy, described as “stunning“, “stylish” and “superb” by estate agents.

len2

The plush flats in the contemporary block are all kitted out like the one in these show apartment photos. Wood flooring, an open plan fitted kitchen and floor-to-ceiling windows. Len has a “sought after” two bedder. The views aren’t bad either:

len3

Nothing’s too good for the workers…

Corbyn to Schmooze Big Pharma at Labour Conference

pharma

Jeremy Corbyn and members of his Shadow Cabinet are set to schmooze Big Pharma at Labour conference, despite attacking Owen Smith’s links to the pharmaceutical industry. Labour are offering representatives from the “pharmaceutical and health” industry a private reception, lunch and “roundtable discussions with politicians” for the price of £1,163. The “business forum” advert is accompanied by a photo of Corbyn addressing business representatives last year, suggesting the Labour leader will be meeting the drugs companies and would-be NHS privatisers himself. Red Tory…

Vaz Didn’t Declare Hotels Used For Encounters With Young Men

hotel

Tuesday’s Sun reported that between September 2013 and December 2014 Keith Vaz “often” stayed at the Washington Mayfair hotel, and “sometimes there were other young men with him”. The paper says Vaz does not appear to have been charged for the bookings. Receipts were signed off “As per Mr J. Sanger”, suggesting they were freebies from the hotel’s mega-rich Indian owner Joginder Sanger. MPs are required to declare all hospitality over the threshold in the Register of Interests:

“Over £660 for the total of benefits of whatever size from the same source in a calendar year”

Vaz made no declaration of free hotel stays in 2013 or 2014…

Just three stays plus a few drinks bills would have put Vaz over the threshold. Hotel workers suggest it was more regular than that:

“Keith Vaz would often arrive at very short notice. Sometimes there were other young men with him. There were a number of times when he didn’t stay the whole night. He would stay for just a few hours before checking out.”

If Vaz stayed there often and for free, the hotel rooms used for liaisons with young men should have been declared to the Commons authorities. All this seems so far removed from Vaz’s promise when he was first elected that he would only accept a workers’ wage and donate his parliamentary salary to his constituency Labour Party:

vaz-worker

Somehow he has managed to make millions and the mystery source of his wealth is unexplained, least of all to his local Labour Party…

Farage: I’ve Never Taken a Penny From Putin

neera tanden hillary clinton

On Monday top Hillary Clinton aide Neera Tanden sensationally claimed “the Russians” were “directly funding” UKIP. Quite an allegation, and one for which Team Clinton alas offered zero evidence. Nigel Farage has addressed the claim :

Breitbart: “According to her, Nigel, you are a far-right politician funded by the Russians. Is that right?”

Farage: “Hmm. Well, I can’t tell you how touched and thrilled I am that, starting with Hillary, and now one of her acolytes, they’ve chosen to make me a political football in this presidential election… All I can say to her acolyte is that I’ve never taken a penny piece from Mr Putin, so frankly what she’s saying is slanderous, there’s no other way of putting it.”

Now, about those Saudi donations to the Clinton Foundation:

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Bit rich of Saudi-funded Hillary, a “family friend” of Egyptian tyrant Hosni Mubarak, to accuse anyone else of having cosy relationships with foreign despots…

Mail Retracts “Escort” Story After Trump Hires Gawker-Bankrupting Lawyer

The Daily Mail has issued a lengthy, grovelling retraction after Melania Trump filed a lawsuit against them in a Maryland court for publishing claims she was once an escort. Trump’s attorney Charles Harder is suing them for $150 million:

“Defendants broadcast their lies to millions of people throughout the US and the world. Defendants’ actions are so egregious, malicious and harmful to Mrs Trump that her damages are estimated at $US150 million.”

Harder is the infamous lawyer who represented Hulk Hogan in his successful suit against US gossip blog Gawker. Hogan was awarded damages of $140 million, Gawker was bankrupted and shut down. Late last night the Mail published a long retraction expressing “regret“:

“To the extent that anything in the Daily Mail’s article was interpreted as stating or suggesting that Mrs. Trump worked as an ‘escort’ or in the ‘sex business,’ that she had a ‘composite or presentation card for the sex business,’ or that either of the modeling agencies referenced in the article were engaged in these businesses, it is hereby retracted, and the Daily Mail newspaper regrets any such misinterpretation.”

Calling a presidential candidate’s wife a hooker does seem a little high risk. Gawker went under for reporting the truth…

MacShelved Pound Shop Europhile

mc-shelved

It is a continuous struggle for Denis MacShame, the ex-convict fraudster, to make an honest living. He must look at Paul Flynn’s plans for receipt free expenses and think “if only”…

Picture courtesy of co-conspirator, Paul T Horgan.
[…]

+ READ MORE +

Flynn’s Expenses Plan Would Have Covered Up Own Troughing

flynn

Paul Flynn’s crackpot plan to abolish MPs’ expenses receipts has been met with the contempt it deserves. He is one of Corbyn’s top allies but even the Labour leader’s team are slapping down his ridiculous proposal. Flynn wants it so MPs don’t have to reveal what they’ve spent your money on.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Labour Plan to Abolish MPs’ Expenses Receipts Because Filing Them is a “Chore”

flynn

Labour have drawn up plans to end the requirement for MPs to provide receipts for expenses claims. The staggeringly opaque proposals have been made by Shadow Leader of the House Paul Flynn, who is responsible for his party’s policy on MPs’ expenses.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Sainsbury Broke Labour Rules, Purging Likely

LORD SAINSBURY

Top Labour donor Baron Sainsbury’s grant of over £2 million to the Lib Dems this year means, without any doubt, he has broken Labour’s strict membership rules. The 2016 rulebook, Chapter 2 clause I section 4 paragraph B calls for the automatic exclusion of any members who “supports a political organisation other than an official Labour group”.[…]

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MoD Spends More on Accountants Than Fighter Jets

jet accountant mod no ttext

The MoD spent £4.2 billion on “Technical, Financial Services and Other Services”. A handy statistical bulletin released today itemised the £20 billion of the defence budget spent within the UK in 2014/15:

“The industry group that received the highest level of expenditure from the MOD was ‘Technical, Financial Services and Other Business Services’, at just over £4.2 billion.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

PRCA Complain to Carolyn Harris Over Lobbyist’s Pass

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Following up Guido’s story Francis Ingham, the ever-lunching director general of the trade association for lobbyists the PRCA, has written an open letter to Carolyn Harris to complain about the lobbyist being granted a parliamentary pass by her. Guido revealed that Harris had granted a parliamentary pass to Lawrence Bailey of Whiterock Consulting, a man who was by his own admission “not an employee or member of Carolyn’s staff.” The PRCA’s Director General writes:

“I would like to remind you of your obligations to behave ethically as this story undermines the reputation of the lobbying industry and the integrity of MPs.

[…]

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Rio Judge Orders Arrest of Top Farron Donor

marcus evans

A judge in Rio has ordered the arrest of a top donor to Tim Farron. Marcus Evans, whose firm was previously under fire for selling unlicensed rugby tickets, is one of four men at the centre of a new Olympics touting scandal.[…]

+ READ MORE +

No Cap on SpAd Salaries

SPADS

This morning’s Times reported that special advisers’ salaries are to be capped at £72,000, a very low bar that would not only rule out talented candidates, it would mean current SpAds getting a pay cut. Guido is told that no such cap will be enforced.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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