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 the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’) that should not have been allowed. An investigation will be conducted into claims submitted under the following areas of the Scheme:

Office Costs Expenditure

In accordance with the legislation and the procedures for investigation made thereunder, no further information will be published until the investigation has been concluded.

Boswell is the third MP to face an expenses investigation in the first two months of 2016, following Jim Shannon and Simon Danczuk. Two MPs have also been referred to the police, yet their constituents are barred from knowing their identities. They still don’t get it.

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 their activities by the Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood.

Civil servants working in the departments of Grayling, Whitto, IDS etc have been barred from giving their ministers briefings supporting their position on the EU. They are banned from providing speech material, and will be denied access to government papers relating to the referendum. Special advisers working for Leave ministers are banned from supporting their boss’ position in office hours. They are also banned from using annual leave on campaign activity. Pro-Remain ministers are meanwhile allowed to use public resources to campaign.

Amusingly, Heywood writes that these restrictions mean:

“The principles of impartiality and the proper use of public resources continue to apply to all government communications activity, including activity related to the EU referendum.”

This is laughable – Downing Street civil servants like Chris Hopkins are authorised to use taxpayer-funded resources to campaign for Remain, yet civil servants and SpAds for Eurosceptic ministers who want to do the same thing for the Leave campaign are banned from doing so. This is the exact opposite of “the principles of impartiality and the proper use of public resources”. It’s “do as we say, not as we do…”

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 with his authorisation:

“He’s a civil servant working in No.10 and his authority comes from me, and he’s doing an excellent job… the government’s view is that we should Remain in a reformed European Union and the civil service is able to support the government in that role”

Your taxed euros hard at work getting pro-Remain front pages…

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 on whether the Conservative Party met their reporting obligations under the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act (PPERA) 2000, specifically:

  • whether the spending reported by the party in its 2015 UKPGE campaign spending return, in relation to the Royal Harbour Hotel Ramsgate, was notnational campaign spending and therefore should not have been included in the party’s return;
  • whether spending on the Premier Inn Margate was national campaign spending and therefore should have been included in the party’s 2015 UKPGE campaign spending return.

The Commission’s sanctioning powers are limited to a civil penalty of up to £20,000…

Labour’s £34,000 Nonce-Finder General

Labour are advertising for a £34,000 compliance officer to “assist in the investigations” of party members. Are they looking for a Momentum-style master of the purges to root out members in need of re-education? Or could it be a move by moderates in party HQ to identify hard-left entryists? More likely is that the job will be to make sure Labour don’t have a repeat of the Tom O’Carroll paedo shambles.

“The Labour Party is looking to recruit a Compliance Officer – Investigations, to work as a key member of the Compliance team. The post holder will assist in the investigations relating to individual Labour Party members or groups of members.

The successful candidate will need excellent attention to detail, the ability to work proactively with a variety of stakeholders, experience of conducting investigations or fact-finding, and experience of dealing with regulatory or compliance issues.”

A £34,000 Nonce Finder General?

Back of the Net! Another Big Murdoch Money Deal For Coogan

Murdoch-hating coke and hookers aficionado Steve Coogan has an impressive record of slagging off Rupe while taking his money. Coogan has banged on about “Rupert Murdoch’s toxic legacy” and the “News International protection racket” for years, all while selling his shows Places of My Life and Mid Morning Matters to Sky for top whack. What do you know, Coogan has just agreed to trouser even more of the ‘Murdoch shilling’:

“Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are taking their fine dining, gentle bickering, ruminations on getting old and endless impersonations of Michael Caine to Sky TV. After two highly successful series of The Trip on BBC2, the third series will be broadcast on Sky Atlantic.”

Back in 2012, Guido bumped into Coogan at a Hacked Off rally and asked him if he thought the deals made him a massive hypocrite. He comically disagreed:

“I am aware of it but I see a flipside, I think it makes me even braver. It would be even more hypocritical if I took his money and didn’t criticise him. What I’m doing puts me in even more danger.”

Congratulations Steve on your bravery and your pay cheque!

Yeo Being Sued Again

tim-yeo

Our old friend Tim Yeo is back in the courts again fresh from his huge loss to the Sunday Times over a “cash-for-advocacy” storyShareholders of TMO Renewable, a collapsed green energy business chaired by Yeo, have served him with letters before action for misrepresentation and negligence. […]

+ READ MORE +

Carswellian Case For Short Money Cuts

Douglas has delivered an old-fashioned Carswellian classic in the Commons, making a sound as a pound case for cutting Short money. Guido agrees with every word of this:

“I’m delighted that the Government is cutting Short money, and few things that this administration have announced have pleased me more.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Cops Called on Tory Hotel Overspend

Labour’s defeated Newark candidate Michael Payne has called the police in to investigate the Tories’ apparent by-election overspend. Watch Michael Crick’s report and read Guido’s story from this morning to see what they will be looking at. Now to see if this actually goes anywhere…[…]

+ READ MORE +

How Tories Hid Hotel and Transport Bills in Newark

Guido can shed some more light on how the Tories hid their by-election hotel bills in Newark. On 31 May 2014, over 350 young Tories boarded coaches and minibuses up to Newark for a day of campaigning. At the end of the day’s door-knocking, they needed something to eat and somewhere to stay.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Tory Overspend in UKIP By-Elections

Michael Crick reckons he has enough to call in the cops on alleged Tory by-election overspends. Did the Tories break the rules with their hotel bills in Newark, and while fighting UKIP in Clacton and Rochester?[…]

+ READ MORE +

IFS Untangles Osborne’s Surplus Forecast

Five weeks ahead of the Budget, the IFS has delivered a withering assessment of George Osborne’s target for a £10 billion surplus in 2019/20. This is effectively wonk speak for “it ain’t gonna happen”:

“At 80% of national income, the UK’s public sector net debt is high by recent standards and relative to most advanced economies… Achieving and maintaining a consistent surplus is challenging.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Highest-Earning MP Didn’t Notice £400,000 Income

Tory MP Geoffrey Cox, the highest earning member of the Commons who rakes in hundreds of thousands of pounds a year as a QC, has been rebuked by the Standards Commissioner for failing to declare £400,000 of income.

Wait for it, his defence is just outstanding:

In his evidence to the Commissioner, Mr Cox explained how the late registration came about.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

IPSA Launch Danczuk Probe

The expenses watchdog IPSA say in a statement:

“The Compliance Officer for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has opened an investigation to determine whether Mr Simon Danczuk MP has been paid an amount under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’) that should not have been allowed.

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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