Mystery of ‘£5 Million’ Taxpayer-Funded Website That Ran For 3 Months

How much would you pay for this website about why we should all “back climate action”? £4,000? £40,000? Well, according to a data dump from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, ministers blew a staggering £4.9 million of taxpayer’s money on the beta site, which only ran for three months. Surely some mistake?

Curiously, a DECC source is at pains to tell Guido that the department’s own numbers are wrong. For some reason they won’t give an actual figure, though they say the real cost will be a fraction of what they declared. It can’t just be a simple typo though, because the data also states that DECC originally wanted to earmark £9.1 million for the site to “promote the government’s climate change narrative”. It would be a bad enough mistake to get the £4.9 million figure wrong, how did they come to the £9.1 million one as well?

UPDATE: DECC now say the actual figures are £9,116 and £4,900. “Extra 0’s added due to admin error.”

Guardian Cutting 250 Jobs

Guardian Media Group chief executive David Pemsel emails staff:

Given that over half our current costs are people, we propose to reduce our UK headcount by around 250 people. While protecting journalism remains our priority, we anticipate the impact will be spread across all departments, including editorial. We hope to achieve the target reductions through voluntary redundancy. If we do not achieve the reductions we are targeting through voluntary means, we will consider whether voluntary redundancies are necessary. 

Around 100 editorial redundancies expected. Will Seumas Milne be one of them?

UPDATE: The Midland Goods Shed is also dead. 20% cuts across the board mean that crazy idea “new space for debate, culture and curiosity” is no more. Thankfully…

Penny Mordaunt Given Pearl Necklace

A freshwater pearl necklace from the Chief of the Bahrain Defence Force, no less. The brutal regime also bestowed upon Penny a pricey Omega watch, revealed in the latest declarations of ministerial gifts out today. Gay-flogging Qatar meanwhile bunged Philip Dunne “Concord gents & ladies watches in gift box”. But that isn’t quite as good a headline.

Labour Flog Corbyn’s Signed Little Red Book For £400

Labour are holding their annual northern conference, which kicked off at last night’s private gala dinner and auction hosted by Jeremy Corbyn and Tom Watson. Interest piqued at one lot in particular – a copy of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book, signed by Tom and Jerry themselves. According to a co-conspirator in the room, the pocket-sized communist pamphlet went to a lucky bidder for £400. As Mao once said, “a revolution is not a dinner party…”

MEPs Open Book on When Kamall Will De-Syed

Capture

Fierce Tory Eurosceptic Syed Kamall’s continued dithering on his referendum decision has inspired MEP colleagues to open a book. Beatrix von Storch and Marcus Pretzell, both Alternative for Germany MEPs, have a £50 bet on whether he will actually manage to decide by June 23rd:

From: VON STORCH Beatrix
Sent: 10 March 2016 13:43
Cc: MEPs & ASSISTANTS-8th-Legislature
Subject: RE: BREXIT

Even in the ECR group we are wondering where Syed stands on this crucial issue. I personally think Syed would like to campaign to Leave – in line with his convictions. However, I also think that he, talented politician that he is, might in the end be campaigning to Remain, for whatever reason.

I have a £50 bet with Marcus Pretzell that Syed will actually manage to decide before June 23rd. Marcus is betting that Syed will not have decided then and completely miss the Referendum.

Best wishes,

Beatrix

UKIP’s Gerard Batten and Paul Nuttall have also entered into a wager: Nuttall thinks Kamall will back Leave, Batten thinks he’ll come out for Remain. Kamall’s delaying tactics have seen Batten attempt to settle the issue once and for all:

From: BATTEN Gerard
Sent: 09 March 2016 22:31
To: KAMALL Syed
Cc: MEPs & ASSISTANTS-8th-Legislature
Subject: BREXIT

Dear Syed,

Your speech this morning contained much to agree with, well done. Unfortunately I did not get the opportunity to Blue Card you and ask a question.

In short, can you let me know which side you are going to campaign on in the Referendum: Leave of Stay?

I have a €50 bet with Paul Nutall that you will campaign to Remain, he is betting you will campaign to Leave. Can you please confirm one way or the other so that one of us can collect.

Regards,

Gerard

A reply was not forthcoming…

Labour MEP ‘Claimed Hawaii Scuba Diving on Expenses’

Wanker

Peter Skinner is the former Labour MEP who allegedly tried to get the taxpayer to pay his £10,000 divorce settlement, in addition to claiming a whopping £480,000 through his Parliamentary Assistance Allowance. What on earth did he spend the dough on?

Well he’s in court today answering allegations that he used the taxpayer cash to buy expensive jewellery and stay in hotels around the world. It is alleged he even used the money to pay for scuba diving equipment in Hawaii and for fancy gourmet meals in Texas. The Euro gravy train case continues…

H/T Court News UK

Feldman Gets Cricked

An out of breath Michael Crick at his best…

EU Spending €3,000,000 More on Chauffeur Driven Limos

Chauffer

Just when you thought the European Parliament couldn’t possibly waste anymore of taxpayers’ money, Brussels technocrats are trying to push through a new initiative to spend millions on limousines and chauffeurs’ uniforms. The proposal would see an extra €3,000,000 a year added to the already hefty €7,000,000 annual transport costs, with  €116,000 of this spent on drivers uniforms alone. MEP’s will vote Wednesday. Lucky there are no more pressing issues for them to consider…

UPDATE: UKIP point out that the Eurocrats plan to spend €1,000 per year, per Parliament driver for uniforms. Tailored Hugo Boss? An over-priced mass purchase of off-the-rack outfits? Or is it for weekly dry-cleaning?

EU Gives Turkey €6 Billion and Vows to Scrap Visas by June

The midnight deal struck in Brussels means the EU and Turkey have agreed:

  • to return all new irregular migrants crossing from Turkey into the Greek islands with the costs covered by the EU
  • to accelerate the implementation of the visa

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Cash-For-Access MP Faces Standards Commissioner Probe

Laurence Robertson, the Tory MP at the centre of a cash-for-access row following Guido’s two stories yesterday, has been reported to the Standards Commissioner. Edward Buxton, who was Labour’s candidate in Robertson’s Tewkesbury seat, writes to Kathryn Hudson:

Dear Mrs

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Cash-For Access Tory MP Paid £30,000 By Lobbyist’s Client

This morning Guido revealed a Tory MP has given a parliamentary pass to a lobbyist who paid him thousands of pounds. Laurence Robertson was paid £10,000 by a firm run by Jennifer Bryant-Pearson, for whom he subsequently arranged a parliamentary […]

+ READ MORE +

Tory MP Cash For Access: Pass For Lobbyist Who Paid Him Thousands

A Tory MP has given a parliamentary pass to a lobbyist who paid him thousands of pounds. Laurence Robertson, the infamous cad who employed both his wife and girlfriend on the taxpayer, has authorised access to the parliamentary estate to […]

+ READ MORE +



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