Parliament’s Literary Secrets

The Men in Tights’ favourite method for blocking the release of awkward information about MPs is citing the Data Protection Act over and over again. Regardless of the fact that the Commons library is funded by the taxpayer, Guido has been told Parliament will not publish the names of books loaned by individual MPs over the last few months. Apparently letting the public know what MPs are doing with their money is a breach of those Honourable Members’ privacy.

Sadly, that means Guido cannot reveal the name of the curious MP who rented – and has not returned – rent boy scandal MP Mark Oaten’s “Screwing Up”, or the fact-finding digger who took out – and kept – Tim Tate’s “Child Pornography: an Investigation”. We will never know the names of the three MPs who are struggling to finish Janan Ganesh’s Osborne biography, they haven’t returned “The Austerity Chancellor” after several months’ hard work. Nor, of course, the would-be red-faced rookies who needed the low down on “How Parliament Works”, and thought it best to keep on to their copy, just in case.  As for the name of the MP who felt the need to lift “The Jew is Not My Enemy”? Guess we’ll never know if the recommendation was on the orders of Nick Clegg…

Glass House Prices

The fact that Tory MP Stewart Jackson hasn’t even sold his house will make his battle with IPSA’s expensive legal team, Cherie Blair’s Matrix Chambers, all the more interesting. Especially since he isn’t even considering selling up. Guido is however more amused by Jackson’s claim that house prices were falling in his area, so the value of his property couldn’t possibly have increased by 20% as IPSA claim. Which is somewhat ironic given that Jackson’s wife is none other than Daily Express property hack Sarah O’Grady, known for headlines such as “House prices rocket to a three-year high”, Biggest house price rises in a year”, “House prices surge for second month in a row” and “House prices on rise again”. And many, many moreStewart obviously isn’t a reader…

Clock Ticking For MacShane

Some good news to end the week on: police have handed a file of evidence against Denis MacShane to the CPS.

Decision time…

Read all Guido’s stories on expenses cheat MacShane here.

Labour Owe Downgraded Co-op Millions

Bad news for the Co-op today as Moody’s downgrades their debt rating to junk status. Labour’s bank of choice has been battered by bad debts over recent years, one of their major debtors is – surprise, surprise – none other than the Labour Party themselves. Of the £3,580,000 borrowed in 1999, only £189,000 has been repaid, meaning Labour still owe their troubled lender £3,391,000. Maybe they could pay them back to help them out a bit…

Town Hall Rich List

The annual Taxpayers’ Alliance town hall rich list is out this morning. An 11% fall in council staff earning over £100,000, but thousands still on the gravy train in our rotten boroughs…

MP Second Home Profit Repayments in Full

IPSA has today released details of MPs who made profits on the second home capital gains. Tory Stewart Jackson is being sued for £54,000 after failing to agree a repayment plan. Andy Burnham still owes £2,850.24 after creaming off a £4,456.08 capital gains profit, to be repaid by November this year. John Denham is due to pay back £5,394.80, David Willetts owes £7,230.74, James Paice £9,177.12, Andrew George is paying back ten grand and Brian Donohoe still owes £7,369.36. Philip Hammond is on his last repayment of £34,883.54 capital gains. Most MPs have already paid back the cash they made, David Gauke forked out £26,762.76, John Whittingdale £12,441.00, Tim Yeo £3,215.74, David Jones £81,446.00, Greg Campbell £61,403.18, and Hazel Blears £7,644.00. You can see the details in full here.

Labour Expenses Piggy Tries to Run Again

Expenses trougher and Labour’s former Enfield North MP Joan Ryan has some nerve. In a letter to her local Labour Party seen by Guido, Ryan begs them for her support, saying she wants to run again in 2015: “we have to select the best candidate to win for Labour in Endfield North… now I’m asking for your support to become Labour’s parliamentary candidate”. Apparently with a straight face, she insists “had it not been for the changes to parliamentary boundaries we would still have a Labour MP in Enfield North”.

Definitely nothing to do with the fact that during the expenses scandal Ryan was exposed as having claimed £4,500 for work on her second home, having to pay back over £5,000 in mortgage interest the following year. Her wikipedia page was mysteriously edited at least ten times from inside the parliamentary estate in an attempt to remove details of her expenses indiscretions. For some reason no mention of any of this in Ryan’s letter. And certainly no apology. Her local party have given her short shrift so far, the final selection meeting is tomorrow…

UPDATE: Ryan’s ex-agent Chris Deacon has come out against her plans for a return:

“I think the membership feels that for us to win we need a fresh, new candidate to take the party forward.”

MPs Ask For More Staffing Expenses Despite 25% Increase

As Guido reported in his Sun column at the weekend, greedy MPs are asking for even more of our money in expenses cash despite having their staffing budget raised by an unbelievable inflation busting 25% last year. In emails seen by Guido, piggy MPs claim that dealing with an increased number of problems due to cuts to local public advice services means they should be entitled to yet another “substantial” increase. They have been told where to go in no uncertain terms by the clearly unimpressed Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority:

“MPs will be aware that, following a comprehensive review and consultation, we increased the staffing budget by up to 25% in 2012-13. In the current economic climate, we consider this already substantial budget (£144,000 for London Area MPs and £137,200 for Non-London Area MPs) to be at the limit of what we, as a publicly funded body, are able to provide to MPs.”

They have some nerve…

Independent Fraud Investigation Finds Wandsworth Wanting

Regular readers will recall that last year Guido was leaked huge amounts of paperwork regarding a fraud carried out by Justine Greening’s agent in Putney between 2006 and 2010. Robert Morritt had since got himself elected on to Wandsworth Council […]

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Cash for Equestrians
Steve Rotheram Swaps Questions for Racing Freebie

Whiny Steve Rotheram likes asking questions in the House about Aintree. He also likes free boozy days out at Liverpool’s premier race course. His question in 2011 was particularly friendly, by chance of course:

“As people will know, Aintree has

[…]

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Wandsworth Tory Fraud Developments

Guido senses a disturbance in the force down Wandsworth way…

Background here:

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Crime Wave Hits Parliament

As revealed by Guido in yesterday’s Sun on Sunday column, taxpayers are paying the price for a spate of thefts across Westminster. 24 top-of-the-range laptops have been stolen from parliament and Whitehall departments in the last year, with three more […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Boris tells the Sun:

“I think it’s a measure of his desperation, isn’t it, that yesterday we had one of the most absurd political spectacles that this country has ever seen. Not since the Tsar and Tsarina prostrated themselves and asked for economic guidance from Grigori Rasputin, has there been such a ridiculous political pilgrimages as the mission of Ed Miliband – the heir of Keir Hardie for heavens sake – to seek economic guidance from Russell Brand.”

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