I Call EU App

Taking a policy straight out of The Thick of It, the European Commission is offering €800,000 in prizes to whoever can design the best smartphone app. Students, geeks, Romanians and Bulgarians are invited to take part in the competition, with €400,000 going to the finalists and winners of each of the two categories: Smart Cities and Smart Business & Industry. Guido’s suggestions of a Herman van Rompuy app that creates red tape at the press of a button, or a ticker at border crossings counting the success of Dave’s immigration policy, may not take home the cash…

Guido Has a Question for Wandsworth Metropolitan Police

Given that Wandsworth Council Conservative Group have expelled a councillor from their grouping after he was found to fiddle his expenses and fraudulently con the local Tories out of over £50,000, perhaps Wandsworth police would like to have a look at this?

Guido has all the evidence.

Drop him an email

Bercow: “No Shared Malice or Corruption” From Jailed MPs

Bercow was spinning hard for jailed MPs caught fiddling their expenses during his speech to the Hansard Society last night.

“The House appeared to be little more than a cross between a rubber stamp and a talking shop which had taken to collective activity such as the imaginative interpretation of what might be a legitimate expense claim as much as an odd form of displacement activity as out of any shared sense of malice or corruption.”

Jim Devine must have submitted claims for cleaning, maintenance and printing work that the judge said were “entirely bogus”, pleading guilty to dishonestly claiming £8,385, and been jailed for 16 months because he was bored.

David Chaytor’s three counts of false accounting worth £18,000, submitting claims for the rent of a flat in Westminster which he bought in 1999 and had paid off the mortgage for in 2003, seeing him sentenced to 18 months, must have been a “displacement activity”.

Certainly no malice or corruption from Elliot Morley submitting 19 claims for excessive mortgage payments and 21 second home allowance forms for a mortgage he had already paid off. Costing the taxpayer £32,000 and seeing him sentenced to 16 months.

And what of Eric Illsley, who made false claims for his second home worth £14,000 and was jailed for 14 months.

Let’s not forget Denis MacShane, awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to false accounting. These MPs were not bored, they were crooks who were banged up for breaking the law…

Ex-UKIP MEP’s Missing Money Mystery

West Midlands MEP Nikki Sinclaire has been taking full advantage of the media limelight ahead of her new book coming out. But has she said too much? The Times reports:

“She claims to work 70-hour weeks and pointed out that she has donated £120,000 of her own money to her party since 2009. Last year, however, she was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud the European Parliament, allegations she denies, and remains on bail.”

£120,000 donated to her party, she says. Well according to the latest Electoral Commission figures, Sinclaire has made five donations since 2009, totalling just £28,583.61. That money went to UKIP, of which she was still a member, and the ‘Solihull and Meriden Residents Association’, which is itself registered as a political party. What about the other £90,000?

Perhaps the accounts of Sinclaire’s breakaway party, ‘We Demand A Referendum Now’, will clear things up? Up until December 2012, the latest accounts available, the party had total donations of a mere £566.56. Indeed that was the total income of the party for that financial year. The Electoral Commission website meanwhile says the party has never received any registrable donations. Guido is sure there is a perfectly innocent explanation, but where is the missing £90,000? Very odd…

UPDATE: Nikki’s office gets in touch, claiming that the £120,000 figure is what she calls a “subsidy” rather than a donation:

“Ms Sinclaire was misreported in The Times, something that has been discussed with the reporter in question, Lucy Fisher, who is issuing a correction. Ms Sinclaire told Ms Fisher that she subsidises her work to the tune of £120,000. In terms of her work, this £120,000 was audited as article 28, permissible expenditure by the EU.” 

Labour MP Doubles Up on Taxpayer Cash to Pals

Full marks to Labour foghorn Tom Blenkinsop, who is missing no opportunity to line the pockets of his paymasters with taxpayers’ money. Blenkinsop is a classic ‘re-renter’, he claimed £4,000 last year for constituency office rent in a building owned by his own local Guisborough Labour Party. Apparently fleecing the taxpayer by recycling cash to his party is not enough for Blenkinsop, however.

The Middlesbrough MP also claims £10,200-a-year on expenses to rent his London home. IPSA documents show that Blenkinsop’s landlord is one Christian Matheson, who also happens to be Unite’s industrial officer and the Labour ­parliamentary candidate for Chester, one of Unite’s infamous list of 41 seats they planned to take over. Coincidentally, Unite have given Blenkinsop £2,000 since 2010. A prime example of a Labour MP pushing the limits of the rules to sort out his party and his trade union with taxpayer cash…

GALLERY GUIDO: Smear Executive Decided to Smear Labour

We’re making up a Labour smear story.

We’re going for their most cherished example of mutual, collective endeavour. The Co-op. Ethical, modest, decent. Let’s make it go bust through filthy capitalist greed. And let’s get it taken over by US vulture funds who have the power to call in Labour’s loans, but don’t because they act more ethically than the previous management.

But you want more.

Okay, let’s have the outgoing chairman of the ethical bank to be a most complete representative of the Labour movement – a Co-op member for years, a Methodist minister who could be your dad, who gives money to Labour from Co-op funds. How much?

Half a million! Why half a milion? It’s a smear, make it a million!

Let’s have him only being an amateur in banking with no qualifications except “a professional requirement to be charitable”, and he gives a million to the party generally and also smaller donations to – who do we hate most? – Ed Balls.

Let’s get this perfect Labour guy who looks like your dad to give, what’s a really large private sum, fifty thousand pounds to Ed Balls’ office. Perfect.

But you want to have him personally corrupt? Is that really necessary? What, watching porn on his work computer as a Labour councillor? Okay, it’s a Harriet Harman sort of crime but –

You want him to be contracting rent boys? The chairman of the Co-op bank hiring rent boys? I guess it’s not imposs-

You want him to be doing DRUG DEALS? Now it’s too much. What sort of drugs? CRYSTAL METH?

You want him to look like everyone’s father, chair a Labour bank, give money to Labour shadow cabinet names, and be a rent-boy-seeking Labour councilor buying CRYSTAL METH in a car? It’s too much.

Smear-wise it’s beyond anything previously attempted.

More seriously, it will damage the whole smearing industry.

Co-op Funded Spokesman Ride Out

Three of the most vocal Labour MPs sticking up for the Co-op are the ones who have had their pockets lined by the group. Ed Balls isn’t giving back that £50,000 cash bung, though he did his best to repay them in kind by loudly asking if Cameron had ever done cocaine at PMQs.

Balls has once again sent out poor little Chris Leslie to fight his corner this morning. The deeply unimpressive Shadow Chief Secretary tried to spin with a straight face (and fear in his eyes) that “there are now serious questions for George Osborne to answer about how the Co-operative Bank got into trouble on his watch”. The Co-op have given Leslie’s local party £3,040 in the last two years. More of a wet fart than a bang for their buck.

Co-op MP Jon Ashworth fresh from paternity leave has penned an article defending the mess. It goes without saying that he is also in their pay. Labour owe the Co-op millions so should be glad the group are only calling in favours rather than the actual cash.

The Laws an Ass

https://twitter.com/TomHarrisMP/status/402446611244384256

Whatever could he mean. That’s the £40,000 question…

Rich’s Monday Morning View
Balls Owes Office to Coke Sniffin’ Rev

You had to wonder what they were smoking over at the Co-op, and now you know. It was crystal meth…

Ed Balls did not have a very good weekend either. Not only was he publicly described as a “nightmare” by […]

Re-Renting Name and Shame: The 131 Tory Re-Renters

David Amess: Southend West Conservative Association
Richard Bacon: South Norfolk Conservative Association
Steve Baker: Wycombe Conservative Association
Greg Barker: Bexhill & Battle Conservatives Association
Henry Bellingham: North West Norfolk Conservative Association
Richard Benyon: West Berkshire Conservative Association
Jake Berry: Rossendale […]

Names of Every MP Caught in Re-Renting Scandal

Below are the constituency office rent arrangements for every MP. A quick browse of the landlords and you can see the names of every MP who pays his own party using taxpayer money.

Stay tuned…[…]

IPSA Confirm Re-Renting Scandal
244 MPs Exposed, Cost to Taxpayer of £3.6 Million

Readers will remember Guido’s preview of the “re-renting” scandal, well today the full figures have been released. The taxpayer has been charged a total of £3,632,220 for 244 constituency office leases where the landlord is a political party. MPs […]



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Quote of the Day

Adam Spiegel, producer of Nazi themed “The Producers” musical says…

“Margate seemed a perfect place to start the promotion. I’m disappointed but not entirely surprised to see that UKIP are trying to hitch a publicity ride on the back of the show.”

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