Boris Gets a Pay Rise

Last week the Telegraph gave new Tory MP Victoria Borwick a slap for raking in £100,000 a year for her three jobs. For some reason they neglected to look into the outside interests of another, more prominent London politician.

Boris Johnson infamously described his rumoured £250,000 Telegraph salary as “chicken feed”. This month BoJo has declared a £22,916.66 payment for his column, which, if we assume is a monthly fee, means they pay him £275,000 a year. That would appear to be a 25 grand pay rise since 2009.

The £67,000-a-year Uxbridge MP has also landed an £88,000 advance from Hodder and Stoughton “for a book as yet unwritten”, on top of his £140,000 salary as London Mayor. He also made another grand “for sale of Chinese subrights for book already written”By Guido’s calculations that leaves him just shy of £600,000 a year…

UPDATE: Boris will have to take a pay cut from his Mayoral salary, down to £47,000 for the the final year of his term. Still leaving him on a cool half a million.

UKIP Homeless

Cash-strapped UKIP are homeless and senior staff are being forced to work from home after the party was booted out of its plush Mayfair HQ. They will need to find somewhere else where staff will be able to “regularly take their clothes off and compile lists of people they would like to have sex with”.

Speculation centres on the suggestion that the owner of the offices, UKIP donor Andrew Reid, ordered them to move out last week after a bust up over the dire state of the party’s finances.

Despite raking in millions in cushy donations before the election, Guido understands the coffers are bare and multiple sources report that some employees and contractors have not been paid for months.

“Boxes have been packed up and we’re working from home” says a UKIP source, confirming “we’re in the process” of finding a new base. Not easy when you’re broke…

Taxpayer-Funded EU Survey Finds More People Go on Holiday in Summer

It reads like a parody, but this is a genuine taxpayer-funded report commissioned by the EU statistics agency Eurostat, released today:

The shock findings include the remarkable claim that:

“A clear seasonal pattern on tourism activity of residents of the European Union can be observed. The summer season (June-September) accounts for more than half (51.9%) of the total number of tourism nights spent by EU residents during the whole year”

People tend to go on holiday in the summer, you say? Surely not.

There’s more. The in-depth report reveals this incredible statistic:

“August is the leading month of departure for residents of a narrow majority of EU Member States, just ahead of July”

You mean most people go on holiday in the hottest month?

Guido would FoI how much money was spent on this dross but alas the EU’s fabled lack of openness and transparency means we will likely never know…

H/T @wallaceme@Ashleyfoxmep

UPDATE:

Holiday? Well it is between June and September…

Cash For Influence: How a Labour Donor Killed a Bill

Guido has written previously on how Labour have let trade union donors buy influence in the House. Well, they have been caught red handed once again.

On May 29, Labour peer Baroness Turner sponsored a Private Members’ Bill seeking to reform Easter trading laws – introducing it at its first reading in the House of Lords.

The bill would have removed the prohibition on Easter trading for large shops.

Two weeks later, on the afternoon of June 16, the general secretary of the USDAW union emailed Labour peers asking them to oppose the Labour bill:

From: John Hannett

Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Subject: Please oppose the Easter Day Trading Bill – Second Reading on Friday 19th June

Dear XXXX,

As the main retail union for the UK’s 3 million shopworkers, Usdaw urges peers to oppose the Private Member’s Bill on Easter Day Trading at second reading on Friday. The UK already has the longest trading hours in Europe, with over 150 shopping hours a week, and only 2 days per year of large stores being closed – Christmas Day and Easter Day…

As the attached briefing sets out, two thirds of shopworkers are already under pressure to work on Sundays, and this pressure intensifies at busy trading times, with holidays not permitted…

For these reasons, I urge you not to support the Easter Trading Bill. 

Yours sincerely

John Hannett

General Secretary, Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive & Allied Workers)

Just three days after that email was sent to Labour peers, Baroness Turner withdrew her bill:

In the last five years, USDAW has donated over £6 million to the Labour Party. It has regularly lobbied in defence of exisiting Sunday trading laws.

A major Labour donor, which lobbies heavily on a single issue, successfuly gets a Labour bill withdrawn after lobbying Labour peers. It stinks…

Voice of Angel to Critics: “Hopefully Your Dick Will Fall Off”

church

Charlotte Church spent her Saturday marching with the People’s Assembly Against Austerity – whose aims include “increasing taxes on the super-rich” and “closing tax loopholes”.

As Guido revealed in the Sun on Sunday, this is the same Cardiff crooner who is the director of five companies all registered to the London address of Thomas Harris Accountants.

Alligator Wine Records Ltd, Charlotte Church Ltd, PACC Music Limited, Bounce Publishing Limited and Chick Flicks Ltd are all conveniently based at the firm’s offices in Merton Abbey Mills. Thomas Harris boast on their website:

“Lowering and deferring tax is, of course, a key aim… We can make your capital as tax-efficient as possible, taking advantage of allowances and reliefs of which many people are unaware, and ensuring you pay no more tax than you need… [including] tax-efficient gifting strategies”

What would her new comrades say about such sharp practices?

Seems Charlotte is finding her newfound critics rather taxing:

Voice of an angel, vocabulary of a drain…

Anti-Austerity Campaigners Running Huge Deficit

austerity protest

Somewhat ironic that the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, organisers of tomorrow’s march hoping to bring London to a standstill, have failed to balance their books.

The last time they revealed their accounts, PAAA were spending £2020 each month to keep the lights on despite only having a regular monthly income of £1545. Spending money they don’t have, so at least they practice what they preach…

CBI Step Up Pro-EU Campaign Activity

Big business Brexit scaremongers the CBI are stepping up their campaigning activity for an EU ‘Yes’ vote. The “politically independent and impartial” lobbyists are hiring a campaigns adviser on a competitive salary “to promote the CBI’s messages on Europe”. Little doubt from the advert what that message is: 

“With an in-out referendum on the UK’s EU membership now on the table, the CBI is recruiting for a Campaigns Adviser to assist with the organisation’s day-to-day work in this area… the benefits of the UK’s EU membership outweigh the costs and no alternative arrangement offers the UK a better route to future prosperity.”

Key to the job will be remembering the CBI’s farcical Scottish referendum shambles and sorting out their status as a registered campaigner this time round…

You Can’t Fault Desmond’s Taste in Wine

So Richard Desmond knows all about a PFL.

The FT reports:

“In Richard Desmond’s hands, simple objects become terrifying. There’s the receptionist’s bell that he uses to interrupt executives in board meetings, or the cups of tea that occasionally fly over underlings.

For me, the terror begins when he picks up the wine list. This is Coq d’Argent, a rooftop restaurant overlooking the Bank of England. The prices look like cricket scores — and Desmond is on the hunt for an innings victory.

“We’ll have that one,” he says, before I can intervene. As the sommelier skips away, the sum of £580 lingers on my retina.
So this, I think, is how it feels to be screwed by Richard Desmond. It took less than 10 minutes.”

Interestingly – given the million quid he has given UKIP – Desmond is not sure about leaving Europe:

“I don’t know. I don’t think anyone knows,” he says. “But we need a referendum.”

Not a great week for big UKIP donors.

Arron Banks has put 150 jobs at risk in the South West by moving his business operations to South Africa.

So much for the party slogan ‘Believe in Britain’.

Who Regulates the Regulators?

monopoly-banker

Kerching over the Financial Conduct Authority:

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) chief executive Martin Wheatley was paid a total of £610,000 in the year to 31 March, with a basic salary of £460,000, figures published today show.

Wheatley’s total remuneration, which

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Charlotte Church U-Turns on 70% Tax Pledge

church2

Charlotte Church’s mission to be reborn as a poundshop Russell Brand continues. The singer yesterday told an End Austerity Now protest that she would happily pay 70% income tax if it were to improve public services. In 2010 was reported […]

+ READ MORE +

Best Reponses to MP Pay Rise Consultation

Sitting somewhere in an office on Millbank, an IPSA employee sifts through the hundreds of responses to their consultation on MPs’ pay while trying to justify giving them an extra 10%. Here are some of the Great British public’s more […]

+ READ MORE +

All Three Labour Leadership Contenders Reject Pay Rise

Following Andy Burnham earlier, now Yvette ups the pressure on Cameron:

“Yvette thinks its wrong to have 10% at a time when the deficit is still high and public services are about to be cut. She thinks IPSA should

[…]

+ 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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