Hedge Funds Put Roof Over Tory Heads – Literally

One of Labour’s favourite lines is that the Tories are in the pay of rich City traders, so no doubt they will be pleased to hear millionaire money men will literally be putting a roof over their heads. The Tories will share their new headquarters at 4 Matthew Parker Street with Polar Capital, a hedge fund. And the building is owned by Morley Fund Management who describe themselves “one of the UK’s largest fundmanagers”At least the Treasurer’s Office will not have to travel far for a whip round.

£17 Million Windfall Sends Hunt to Top of Cabinet Rich List

Jeremy Hunt is set to trouser a cool £17 million if a deal to sell Hotcourses, an education listings service he holds a 49% stake in, is sold to Inflexion Private Equity. Merci, big drink tonight!

Taxpayer's £2 Million on Written Questions Since June

Oral questions tabled in the House make up only a fraction of the total questions asked in parliament. Hundreds of written questions are tabled each day, most with the aim of political point-scoring and each at an average cost of £164 to the taxpayer. New figures show that there have been 11,327 written questions between June and October, costing the taxpayer an approximate total of £1,857,628. The number was released in an answer to a written question, obviously…

Unite’s Beef With the TPA

Guido thought he had herd it all, but the Taxpayers Alliance have raised the steaks with their suggestion of saving money on grass-cutting by using cattle and sheep to graze on council land. Clearly a vealy good way to provide the taxpayer with value. Surprise, surprise then that Unite are milking it, coming out with an udderly ridiculous statement trying to butcher the policy:

“The credibility of the Taxpayers’ Alliance has to be seriously questioned when ideas taken from medieval times, such as grazing sheep, are wheeled out in its endless quest for publicity. Has the alliance worked out how much it is going to cost to buy these animals and pay the substantial veterinary bills? The prospect we face is hundreds of these animals freely roaming around municipal parks ignoring health and safety considerations when children are playing – and being a prime target for urban rustlers.”

That’s grazy talk.

“Ex-Politician” Gordon Paid £349,501 in One Month

No wonder the Prime Mentalist has forgotten he is still an MP. In October alone he has declared payments for outside work of £349,501, including for speeches and junkets to Shanghai, Johannesburg, Monaco and New York. As ever Gordon warns the press:

“I am not receiving any money from this role personally. It is being held by the Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown for the employment of staff to support my ongoing involvement in public life.”

Presumably that’s the “ongoing involvement in public life” he cannot remember he is still supposed to be doing.

That “office” flies Gordon around the world first class and puts him up in five star hotels, refuses to disclose how much it gives to charity, how much it pays Sarah Brown, how much is sitting in its bank account for when he finally quits. Who does he think he’s kidding…

Flashback: Indian Spaceman Thanks British Taxpayer

As India prepares to launch a giant up yours to China by sending a probe to Mars, lets just remember how grateful the Indian spaceman was to receive the £800 million in British aid since 2010. Blast off!

Re-Renting: Davey Claims Expenses for LibDem Owned OfficeMoney Paid to Company of Which Wife is Director

Dozens of  MPs claims for their constituency office on expenses even though it is already owned by their local party or a friendly donor. Taxpayers end up effectively making a donation to party funds or refunding donations given privately. Parliamentary authorities have cottoned on to the “re-renting” scam and are preparing a report which will once again out dozens with their snouts in the trough. Yet another round of expenses scandals…

Guido can reveal one of the big name ministers set to be exposed is the LibDems’ Ed Davey. He claims £12,352 for 2012/13 on expenses for his constituency office rent in Surbiton – which is more than enough to cover any mortgage. As revealed in yesterday’s Sun column, deeds seen by Guido show that the property is already owned by the Kingston Liberal Democrat Property Company Ltd, and his wife Emily is a director of the company. The building is also being used by local LibDems as their headquarters for party political activity, subsidised nicely by the taxpayer.

We put the £200,000 mortgage borrowing into our calculator with a standard 25-year term and found the LibDems should have been paying just over £900 a month in mortgage repayments, yet Davey is claiming for over £1,000 a month towards rent. The rules state that for an office shared between party political and constituency work the costs should be apportioned to fairly reflect the dual use. So how is he is claiming not just a proportion of the property cost for rent, but more than the entire property costs to mortgage?

A quick browse of comparable local offices available to rent shows that Davey is charging taxpayers double the market rate for office space. The cash is being recycled from the taxpayer into party funds. There is no chance of the Energy Secretary or local LibDems going cold this winter either. Davey claims for the office’s gas and electricity bills on expenses as well.

Labour Owe Troubled Co-Operative Bank £3,391,000

The Co-Op bank’s £1.5 billion black hole will see 50 branches closed after the ‘ethical’ bank went cap in hand to hedge funds rescuers.

In 1999 the Labour Party borrowed £3,580,000 from the bank and only £189,000 has been repaid.

Miliband and Balls owe the troubled lenders £3,391,000. How many jobs could they save if they paid it back?

Ed Balls’ £5 Million State Subsidy For The Guardian

Guido isn’t sure who this one is more embarrassing for. While in office, Ed Balls used taxpayers’ money to subsidise the Guardian to the tune of 1% of its turnover. As Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Balls bunged Kings Place £4,899,688 between 2007 and 2010.[…]

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Judgement Day for Wandsworth Tories

Wandsworth Conservatives were once a flagship campaigning force, whose success was emulated across the country. They were held up as a shining example of  what the Tories could do in local government. Fast forward five years and it stands on the brink; riddled with infighting and shamed by accusations of corruption and cover ups.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Flint’s “Only” Gaffe Today

Caroline Flint claimed in her response to Ed Davey’s energy statement that green taxes and levies “only” costs households £120 a year. Only £120?

Easy for someone to afford on MP’s salary, with a Minister’s pension and expenses to bung bills on, but talk about the mask slipping…

 Only £120?[…]

+ READ MORE +

The Global Race

Always keen to support a good cause, Guido was browsing the Just Giving website when he came across Craig Oliver’s 10k fun run page. He’s already raised over two thousand pounds, thanks mostly to eager hacks opening their wallets for stories.[…]

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Tory Meltdown in Wandsworth Greening, Hammond and Ellison Facing Questions

Guido hears that it’s been a busy old day in SW18 and down the road in Putney.  As revealed in yesterday’s Sun, Justine Greening’s former agent Rob Morritt, aka the Wandsworth Fraudster, will face a crunch vote on Halloween which should see him thrown out of Wandsworth Council Conservative Group over the allegations that he defrauded his local party of £60,000 while acting as electoral agent to no less than three Tory Minsters.[…]

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Yet Another MPs Expenses Scandal Coming Don’t Say Guido Didn’t Warn You…

Next month the rental agreements for MPs’ constituency offices will be published, exposing just how many MPs are bunging taxpayer cash to trade unions and their local parties by claiming rent for properties they could have access to for free. Regular readers will be aware of the potential for troughing here…

It may not be for personal gain, but if the parties are taking money from the taxpayer in murky circumstances, that does not make it any better.[…]

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Morally Barron

The good news is IPSA says MPs should no longer be able to claim for:

  • A £15 evening meal when Parliament sits after 1930
  • Hospitality tea and biscuits
  • Hotels before 0100
  • Taxis home before 2300
  • Contents insurance for a second home
  • Installing a TV in a second home

The bad news is they think that should come with a bribe of a £7,000 pay rise.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Taxpayer Still Subsidising Guardian

Back when they were in government Labour used to give the Guardian a helping hand by bunging them taxpayer cash for advertising departmental jobs in the paper. It was one example of government waste the Tories vowed to crack down on.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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