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”. £2,125,000 to a rival party surely counts as support…

Sainsbury’s money, though much needed with the collapse of union donations on the horizon, can’t have been welcomed too much by the current leadership. Although Sainsbury has, particularly during the Blair years, donated some £15.6 million to the party, he’s given over £5 million to the New Labour faction’s Progress and £1.35 million to the Movement for Change – a now defunct front for David Miliband’s ambitions and that was once seen as integral to the New Labour continuity project in the way that Momentum is to Corbyn. The rules are however clear – with £2 million given to the LibDems – Sainsbury has to be purged by Labour’s Compliance Department…

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. This covers services for legal, accounting, management consultancy, and technical testing and analysis.”

The amount spent on pen pushers is nearly twice the level of expenditure on “Aircraft and Spacecraft” and approximately 350% more than on “Weapons and Ammunition”. Maybe the MoD is developing “keyboard warriors”…

PRCA Complain to Carolyn Harris Over Lobbyist’s Pass

prca-bailey

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.

… Mr Bailey should have never entertained the idea of a parliamentary pass, and as an MP you should have never employed a lobbyist and given him a pass. Situations like this can seriously damage the public’s trust in politics.

We hope that there will be some swift action to clarify the situation. Will this matter be referred to the Commons Authority by yourself? Will Mr. Bailey be questioned as well?”

Bailey, who has so far received at least £51,305.60 in taxpayers cash while working for Harris and her predecessor, is not a PRCA member but is still bound by Parliament’s rules, which strictly forbids granting passes to lobbyists. Quite something for an MP to be blasted by lobbyists for a lack of ethics…

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. His company THG Sports is alleged to have obtained vast quantities of Irish tickets to be resold to the public at exorbitant rates “under the camouflage of hospitality packages.” Pretty much every major sporting event of the last few years has seen Evans, his companies, or one of his employees embroiled in scandal and unseemly allegations. The 2010 football World Cup and Ryder Cup both led to Evans being embroiled in allegations of illegal reselling, even gaining the title “the biggest ticket tout in the world.” What is it with Farron and accepting dodgy cash?

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. A Downing Street source says:

“It is not true that there is a new cap on special adviser salaries. All special advisers will be appointed on merit and paid according to their experience and responsibilities. The rules have not changed.”

Guido also understands that reports each Secretary of State will be limited to two SpAds each are wide of the mark. Some ministers will be allowed larger teams. Someone has been giving some naughty negative briefings about the new regime… 

Bob Geldof Speaking Gigs: No Charity Requests Please

bob

Fresh from his ill-fated waterborne intervention during the referendum, Bob Geldof is looking for work as a corporate after dinner speaker. Bob’s agent has emailed round promising “Sir Bob’s keynotes are always bespoke and tailored completely to client’s requirements”. Apparently Geldof has “been paying a lot of attention to international politics” and is “very relevant to so many international businesses right now”. Sounds like he really needs the money:

“We also have a couple of other opportunities with Bob for ‘filler’ events where we can consider reduced fees and would already have the international airfares covered either in full or part.”

Geldof’s biography on his agent’s website boasts of his charity work but there is a message for anyone who tries to book him: “Please note: we are unable to assist with any charitable requests”.

bob2

Give him your f***ing money…

MP’s Social Media Expenses Paid to Labour Crony

RUTH CADBURY TECH

If an MP had spent a whopping £7,000 of taxpayers’ money on top tech gear, “comms management” and social media training, you would expect to see some results. Ruth Cadbury billed the taxpayer for a Macbook Pro, an iPad Air 2 and an office full of new computers, as well as funnelling £2,575 to former Gordon Brown SpAd Caroline Badley to teach her, among other things, how to use social media. Your money well spent? After the social media splurge Ruth has a measly 680 Facebook followers, just 5,000 odd Twitter followers, and a grand total of zero YouTube subscribers. Is this taxpayer cash actually being spent on anything or is it just lining the pockets of a Labour crony?

Brexit Boom! Post-Referendum Consumer Spending Surge

SPENDING

Despite claims from Remainers that a Brexit vote would see consumer confidence plummet, new figures out today show spending has surged since the referendum. Just a few weeks ago Remain doom-mongers were writing about a “dent in confidence”, how people were “gloomy” about their finances and wanted to “rein in spending” because of the Leave vote. Yet analysis from Visa and Markit shows a “sharp” rise in expenditure of 1.6% year-on-year in July, up from 0.9 percent in June. There’s been an 8.9% rise in spending at restaurants, a 5.2% rise in recreational spending and a 3.9% rise in spending on clothing. In the first week after the referendum consumer spending rose 2.14%. Rather than rein in spending, Brexit Britain is booming…

UN Deletes Article Calling Hamas Operative “Hero”

MOHAMMED KHALIL TEXT

The United Nations has deleted a webpage calling charity worker Mohammed El-Halabi a “humanitarian hero” after he was arrested for funnelling millions of pounds of aid to Hamas’ military wing. An archived version of the page quotes El-Halabi claiming to have “fully dedicated my life to helping people and children”, he said the best part of his job was “managing to restore the smiles of children”.[…]

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Dave’s New Landlord Blasted Brussels and Talked Up Brexit

cameron

David Cameron’s new landlord reckons Britain will be “richer” and “more plentiful” outside the EU. Dave and the family have moved into a three-storey end-of-terrace house in Chelsea, which would usually rent for £11,000-a-month. Its owner Dominic Johnson is an old friend and is letting the Camerons stay there for free.[…]

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60% Pay Rise for Manchester Council Fat Cats

RICHARD LEESE

Senior staff at Manchester council have been awarded pay rises of up to 60% while blaming the Tories for cuts in the city. While other staff see a standard 1% increase, council chiefs such as the “Head of Children and Families” will be receiving another £30,358 on top of their £50,442 salary – rising to £80,800 overall.[…]

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DfID Funding Hamas Scandal Charity

DFID HAMAS

DfID has given £27 million to a charity whose lead organiser in Gaza has just been arrested for funnelling 60% of his budget to Hamas. World Vision’s Mohammed El-Halabi was seized in an operation by Israeli intelligence and is accused of moving “tens of millions” of aid money to Hamas’ military wing.[…]

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Dave’s £225 Swimming Trunks From Designer Notting Hill Shop

dave

The Sun has snapped some unflattering pictures of Dave on holiday in Porto Vecchio – their headline across a double page spread reads “Blue Whale Spotted Off Corsica”. Even more eye-catching is the fact that the former PM is wearing a pair of £225 swimming trunks.[…]

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Woolfe’s £5,000 PayPal Receipt: Deposit Paid Just In Time

woolfe2

Guido has got hold of the PayPal receipt for Steven Woolfe’s £5,000 UKIP leadership deposit, showing he paid the money at 11:35am, 25 minutes before the midday deadline. His nomination papers were not received until 12:17pm due to a “technical glitch”.[…]

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Kinnock ‘Hid Daughter’s £29,000-a-Year Private School’ During Selection

KINNOCK

Stephen Kinnock has been accused of hiding his daughter’s private education during his selection process for his seat. In 2014 Kinnock told Wales Online that “it is highly misleading to say that our daughter attended a private school”. Except Johanna Kinnock did attend a private school from 2013 to 2015, the prestigious £29,000-a-year Atlantic College in the Vale of Glamorgan.[…]

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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.[…]

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Quote of the Day

Heather Wheeler talks to Burton Mail about her tweet…

“It was a tongue in cheek pop after the European Parliament tweet – it was purely that. I also wanted to congratulate Team GB on a brilliant result and thirdly congratulate the Commonwealth countries who also did very well. Fourth, I am also looking forwarded to establishing new trade agreements. That was it – nothing more. Let’s just enjoy the summer!”

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