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 Hudson,

I wish to refer you to the recent allegations that have been made regarding my local Member of Parliament Laurence Robertson and his award of a parliamentary pass to a lobbyist​. 

​The Guido Fawkes ​website reported that Mr Robertson gave “a parliamentary pass” with “authorised access” to the entire parliamentary estate to Jennifer Bryant-Pearson, “a lobbyist who paid him thousands of pounds.” Jennifer Bryant-Pearson is chief executive of JBP Public Relations, a lobbying firm which specialises in parliamentary affairs.

It ​was further reported that Mr Robertson has declared “up to £10,000 in payments from Westminster Parliamentary Research”, which is ​in turn ​run by Bryant-Pearson. ​The Telegraph has reported that ​Mr Robertson is ​employed as ​a board member at Veolia Environmental Services ​and “has declared thousands of pounds in payments from Veolia since 2013.” ​Veolia Environmental Services has been described as “one of the main clients” of JBP Public Relations.

​The overlap between Bryant-Pearson; JBP Public Relations; Westminster Parliamentary Research; Veolia Environmental Services and Laurence Robertson seems to have allowed Mr Robertson to sponsor “Bryant-Pearson for a pass while he was in the pay of her client.”

Mr Robertson has ​claimed “Ms Bryant-Pearson carried out work supporting All Party Groups (APPG), secretarial duties, publicity, arranging and attending meetings and translation services,” however the use of parliamentary passes for ​APPG staff ​was withdrawn on 18 July 2013 and the Serjeant at Arms wrote to ​all ​MPs informing them “that this category of pass should not be used in the future”. Yet the pass in question was still held by Ms Bryant-Pearson until ​a few months ago. If I may can I refer you to the final words of the Guido Fawkes blog post: “it stinks…”

The entire case raises ​fundamental questions and concerns over the conduct and judgement of Mr Robertson. I would be grateful if you would investigate this matter and inform me of the outcome.

Kind Regards,

Edward Buxton

Giving a pass to a lobbyist for APPG work is explicitly banned by the Serjeant at Arms, and Robertson confessed to Guido in writing that this is what he has done. Add in the £40,000 changing hands and this is going to be a very difficult one to explain…

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 pass. This afternoon Guido can reveal that Robertson is currently employed by one of Bryant-Pearson’s biggest clients.

Robertson has been paid £10,000-a-year since 2013 for his position on the board of Veolia Environmental Services. Veolia are one of the main clients of JBP Public Relations, the lobbying company run by Bryant-Pearson. So not only did the pass-carrying lobbyist employ Robertson, her major client still does. Crucially, Robertson sponsored Bryant-Pearson for a pass while he was in the pay of her client. Robertson tells Guido:

“Ms Bryant-Pearson carried out work supporting All Party Groups, secretarial duties, publicity, arranging and attending meetings and translation services.”

Lobbyists were banned from having parliamentary passes through work on APPGs in 2013. Yet Robertson gave Bryant-Pearson a pass until 2015. Guido has asked Robertson if he denies this is a case of cash-for-access, and what “secretarial duties” this chief executive of a lobbying company carried out. He has yet to reply…

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 Jennifer Bryant-Pearson. She is the chief executive of JBP Public Relations, a lobbying firm which specialises in parliamentary affairs. Bryant-Pearson also runs a company called Westminster Parliamentary Research, which paid Robertson around £10,000 for “consultancy work” in 2010. A lobbyist lined the pockets of a serving MP, then he gave her unfettered access to the corridors of power.

As you can see below, Robertson has declared up to £10,000 in payments from Westminster Parliamentary Research, which is run by Bryant-Pearson. The register of secretaries’ interests shows Robertson then sponsored Bryant-Pearson for a parliamentary pass:

Robertson has been approached for comment. This ain’t the last you’ve heard of this one, it stinks…

Action Dan the Hedge Funds’ Man

The mysterious hedge fund manager who gave Ed Miliband £600,000 before the election appears to be bankrolling Labour’s next great hope, Dan Jarvis. Martin Taylor was the shady Mayfair hedgie who was outed as one of Miliband’s biggest donors last year. A “Martin Taylor” has written a £16,800 cheque to “support Jarvis’ office and work as an MP”. Both Jarvis and his ‘press officer’ have declined Guido’s repeated requests for comment over the last five days. Labour sources cattily suggest that Jarvis – not considered Westminster’s greatest thinker – needs the money for a policy unit. Trousering a hefty wedge from a City tycoon doesn’t exactly go with his carefully crafted image as a man-of-the-people who can unite the Labour Party.

Guido hears various other Labour moderates have also been meeting potential City backers in recent months. When the war comes, expect the crowd-funded People’s Momentum to make a stink about Dan Jarvis and his hedge fund backers…

Pro-EU Charities Paid £200 Million By EU

EU funded charities

BSE have put out a press release pushing the line that charities oppose leaving the EU. At least they’re honest about the reason: “New research shows leaving Europe could cost UK charities over £200 million a year“. There is even a handy breakdown showing how much the EU hands out to each charity each year:

Oxfam GB: £38,799,473
International Rescue Committee UK: £22,990,156
The British Council Royal Charter: £19,986,116
The Save The Children Fund: £19,767,256<
International Medical Corps UK: £14,098,995
Mercy Corps Scotland: £11,045,230
World Vision UK: £5,311,721
Plan International (UK): £4,876,119
Actionaid: £4,714,942
British Museum: £4,357,968

In total British charities receive £217,597,098-a-year from the European Union, though in reality this is UK taxpayer cash that has been sent the cogs of Brussels bureaucracy only to be returned to the third sector. See Dan Hannan’s video on EU charity sockpuppets:

A charity that relies in the main part on taxes is no more a charity than a prostitute is your girlfriend. It is no wonder these sockpuppeting charities on the EU gravy train are campaigning to Remain…

Confirmed: MPs’ Pay Rising to £74,962

snouts

IPSA confirm an inflation-busting pay rise which is also more than the standard public sector pay rise:

“The annual adjustment to MPs’ basic pay for 2016-17 will be an increase of 1.3%, bringing the overall salary to £74,962, as of 1 April 2016.”

Just shy of three times the average UK salary…

Duncan Strikes Oil! £100,000-a-Year From Scandal-Hit Oil Firm

Duncan Oil

Alan Duncan has signed a lucrative £96,000-a-year deal with a controversial oil firm linked to dictators and war criminals. The Tory MP has been appointed non-executive chairman of Fujairah Refining, the jewel in the crown of global energy company Vitol. He will be paid £8,000-a-month for an annual commitment of 156 hours. He’s struck oil!

Vitol might ring bells for some readers, it is a $300 billion energy trading company which runs oil exploration projects in corrupt, authoritarian countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. Duncan will already know that, having made his money as an oil trader before he came to parliament. He’ll also know that Vitol has been mired in scandals over deals with Serbian war criminals and the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein. More recently the company faced allegations over its links to the dodgy Libyans and sanctions-busting dealings with the Iranian government.

Duncan says he consulted the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments before accepting the role. Kerching!

UKIP Donations Dry Up

ukip540

UKIP’s cash problems continue – between 1 October and 31 December 2015 they took in just short of £200,000:

Conservative Party – £5,152,334
Labour Party – £2,669,241
Liberal Democrats – £828,657
UKIP – £196,282
BNP – £180,000
SNP – £54,030

Facebook called, they’d like their money…

Third MP in Two Months Facing Expenses Probe

IPSA say they are investigating loud mouth SNP MP Phil Boswell over expenses irregularities:

The Compliance Officer for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has opened an investigation to determine whether Mr Phil Boswell MP has been paid an amount under

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Downing Street: Do As We Say, Not As We Do

Taxpayer-funded civil servants have been authorised by David Cameron to use public resources to campaign for Remain. Will advisers and officials working for ministers who back Leave have the same freedom? They have tonight been issued a strict ban on […]

+ READ MORE +

Cameron Confirms Civil Servants Helping Remain

Nadine Dorries has grilled the PM about Guido’s revelation that a pro-EU letter supposedly from FTSE 100 bosses, due to appear in tomorrow’s papers, was actually drafted by a Downing Street civil servant. Cameron said Chris Hopkins wrote the letter […]

+ READ MORE +

Electoral Commission Investigating Tory Election Spending

They say in a statement:

The Electoral Commission has today announced that it has opened an investigation into allegations regarding the Conservative Party spending return at the 2015 UK Parliamentary General Election

The investigation opened by the Commission today focuses

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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