Mr and Mrs Bone’s £100,000 Taxpayer Bonanza

Peter Bone manages to shoehorn his wife “Mrs Bone” into almost every speech or question in the House. “Mrs Bone” has almost become a PMQs institution. What you might not know is you are paying for that dubious pleasure. New IPSA data reveals that Mrs Bone was paid between £45,000 and £49,999 last year. Meaning that between them the Bones are pocketing more than £100,000 from the taxpayer. Not so funny now, is it?

Rory Stewart’s Latest Trek

Despite advising the Prime Minister on international affairs, Tory MP Rory Stewart missed the crucial Commons vote over bombing Syria. His sheepish explanation is that he was at his sister’s wedding. As Guido revealed in the Sun yesterday, Rory almost made it back though he got stuck in traffic in Chiswick on the outskirts of London. Given he took a taxi from the West Country at a cost of £360 it was an expensive cock-up. Cameron sacked Jesse Norman for missing the vote so this might cost him yet. He certainly can’t justify making an expense claim if he didn’t vote. Guido understands he only missed the train by three minutes…

Where Does “Most of the Money” for Labour Come From?

Yesterday the Labour press team were very insistent that Guido got his a story wrong when he claimed that Rachel Reeves was being less than honest when she said: “most of the money that the Labour Party receives comes from small donations and members”. When Guido pointed them to the last quarter’s donation figures, they split hairs:

They have subsequently refused to give any breakdown of the percentage of their income that comes from  donations and membership contributions, so Guido has crunched the numbers from their 2012 accounts. Last year Labour’s income was £33,024,000. That includes £8.8 million from the Trade Unions and £7.2 million from the taxpayer through opposition Short Money. When you add to that company donations above £7,000, plus the income from LLPs, trusts and Friendly Societies you get £17,023,243.79. This leaves, at most, £16,000,756.21 to come from individual donations, CLP contributions and membership fees – 48% of Labour’s income. This is likely a generous figure as it includes smaller donations from companies below the threshold for Electoral Commission registration.

As a self-proclaimed economist, Reeves will know 48% does not equal “most of the money that the Labour Party receives.”

UPDATE: Labour General Secretary has admitted “28% of party income is from membership subscriptions and small donations, 30% from commercial and fund-raising activities, 18% from grants and 23% from affiliated unions” according to Minutes of an NEC meeting.

Bercow Rents Out London Home Thanks to Taxpayer

One of the many perks of grace and favour pads is the additional chance to trough that they give those in high office through rental income. Despite being a record expense claimer in his days on the backbenches, John Bercow promised to clean up the system when he was appointed Speaker. Four years later Guido can reveal that he has cheekily rented out his London home, earning cash purely from the fact that the taxpayer houses him in Parliament. Is John all in it together?

The Loony Express

Hats off to the People’s Assembly for their money making wheeze. Organising a protest at Tory conference the left-field rainbow group of moaners and communists are selling train tickets from London Euston to Manchester on the opening Sunday of conference for £43.70. Which is odd given that Guido just went online and found a ticket for the same morning and return that evening for £32.50.

Canny little earner, that.

Tories: Jean Edwards’ Cash Will Go to Debt Reduction

The Tories have announced that the £520,000 donation from Jean Edwards “will be used to reduce the national debt.”

Given that we owe more than £1,390,000,000,000 and rising, Tory MP Douglas Carswell points out:

“We’d need over 200,000 bequests like Ms Edwards’ this year just to stop national debt from continuing to rise.”

What a mess.

Estate-Gate: Clegg and Cameron Backtrack

And so the War of Joan’s Donation was all over before elevensies. First the LibDems and then very swiftly the Tories declared they would be paying the money to the Treasury. The Tories are blaming the executors of the will for telling them it was a party donation, but someone should have spotted this giant comm-tastrophe on the horizon and done some further due diligence. Questions still remain about how this decision was really reached. Congratulations to Clegg for sensing the backlash marginally quicker than his coalition partners, not that it stopped the cash-strapped LibDems from snatching up the money straight away. They need it…

So now Nick Clegg has set a precedent for paying back inappropriate money received, perhaps he would now like to  give back the money from dodgy fraudster Michael Brown? And maybe the Tories could pay the money Asil Nadir donated to the Department for Justice to cover his legal aid bills? Well played to the Mail, not least for getting Polly Toynbee to sing their praises this morning.

Estate-Gate: Joan’s Will

Where is the word party?

Via the Guardian.

Joan’s Estate-Gate

The Mail have tracked down the will of Joan Edwards, Q2’s second largest donor and things have got a little murky for the Tories and the LibDems. Where it was briefed yesterday that the 90 year old deceased nurse had […]

+ READ MORE +

Q2 Party Funding Figures – Everything You Need To Know

The party funding figures are out for Quarter 2 of the year. The Tories are out front with £4,116,006 while Labour’s £3,136,447 is almost entirely from the unions. The LibDems have struggled to even raise a million with £801,448, while […]

+ READ MORE +

Leaked Guardian Editorial Salaries

According to the ONS the median gross annual earnings for full-time employees in 2011/12 was £26,500. A lower sum than that paid to every single full-time editorial member of staff at the Guardian. Guido has been leaked the pay […]

+ READ MORE +

Two Faced Chuka Is Back
Umunna Slams Bookies Then Takes Their Cash

So Labour’s fightback is going well. With Ed Balls still nowhere to be seen, the cost of living campaign has been left in the expert hands of Chris Leslie and now the Standard have whacked Chuka. Despite recently pledging to […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Charles Clarke says Cameron is the most successful PM for over a century…

“Under Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives gained 99 seats. They lost 211 under John Major, gained one under William Hague, quickly and wisely got rid of Ian Duncan-Smith, gained 32 under Michael Howard and have so far gained 133 under David Cameron who, to the great surprise of many (including senior Conservatives), has turned out to be the most electorally successful Tory leader since 1900.”

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