Penny Mordaunt Given Pearl Necklace

A freshwater pearl necklace from the Chief of the Bahrain Defence Force, no less. The brutal regime also bestowed upon Penny a pricey Omega watch, revealed in the latest declarations of ministerial gifts out today. Gay-flogging Qatar meanwhile bunged Philip Dunne “Concord gents & ladies watches in gift box”. But that isn’t quite as good a headline.

Labour Flog Corbyn’s Signed Little Red Book For £400

Labour are holding their annual northern conference, which kicked off at last night’s private gala dinner and auction hosted by Jeremy Corbyn and Tom Watson. Interest piqued at one lot in particular – a copy of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book, signed by Tom and Jerry themselves. According to a co-conspirator in the room, the pocket-sized communist pamphlet went to a lucky bidder for £400. As Mao once said, “a revolution is not a dinner party…”

MEPs Open Book on When Kamall Will De-Syed

Capture

Fierce Tory Eurosceptic Syed Kamall’s continued dithering on his referendum decision has inspired MEP colleagues to open a book. Beatrix von Storch and Marcus Pretzell, both Alternative for Germany MEPs, have a £50 bet on whether he will actually manage to decide by June 23rd:

From: VON STORCH Beatrix
Sent: 10 March 2016 13:43
Cc: MEPs & ASSISTANTS-8th-Legislature
Subject: RE: BREXIT

Even in the ECR group we are wondering where Syed stands on this crucial issue. I personally think Syed would like to campaign to Leave – in line with his convictions. However, I also think that he, talented politician that he is, might in the end be campaigning to Remain, for whatever reason.

I have a £50 bet with Marcus Pretzell that Syed will actually manage to decide before June 23rd. Marcus is betting that Syed will not have decided then and completely miss the Referendum.

Best wishes,

Beatrix

UKIP’s Gerard Batten and Paul Nuttall have also entered into a wager: Nuttall thinks Kamall will back Leave, Batten thinks he’ll come out for Remain. Kamall’s delaying tactics have seen Batten attempt to settle the issue once and for all:

From: BATTEN Gerard
Sent: 09 March 2016 22:31
To: KAMALL Syed
Cc: MEPs & ASSISTANTS-8th-Legislature
Subject: BREXIT

Dear Syed,

Your speech this morning contained much to agree with, well done. Unfortunately I did not get the opportunity to Blue Card you and ask a question.

In short, can you let me know which side you are going to campaign on in the Referendum: Leave of Stay?

I have a €50 bet with Paul Nutall that you will campaign to Remain, he is betting you will campaign to Leave. Can you please confirm one way or the other so that one of us can collect.

Regards,

Gerard

A reply was not forthcoming…

Labour MEP ‘Claimed Hawaii Scuba Diving on Expenses’

Wanker

Peter Skinner is the former Labour MEP who allegedly tried to get the taxpayer to pay his £10,000 divorce settlement, in addition to claiming a whopping £480,000 through his Parliamentary Assistance Allowance. What on earth did he spend the dough on?

Well he’s in court today answering allegations that he used the taxpayer cash to buy expensive jewellery and stay in hotels around the world. It is alleged he even used the money to pay for scuba diving equipment in Hawaii and for fancy gourmet meals in Texas. The Euro gravy train case continues…

H/T Court News UK

Feldman Gets Cricked

An out of breath Michael Crick at his best…

EU Spending €3,000,000 More on Chauffeur Driven Limos

Chauffer

Just when you thought the European Parliament couldn’t possibly waste anymore of taxpayers’ money, Brussels technocrats are trying to push through a new initiative to spend millions on limousines and chauffeurs’ uniforms. The proposal would see an extra €3,000,000 a year added to the already hefty €7,000,000 annual transport costs, with  €116,000 of this spent on drivers uniforms alone. MEP’s will vote Wednesday. Lucky there are no more pressing issues for them to consider…

UPDATE: UKIP point out that the Eurocrats plan to spend €1,000 per year, per Parliament driver for uniforms. Tailored Hugo Boss? An over-priced mass purchase of off-the-rack outfits? Or is it for weekly dry-cleaning?

EU Gives Turkey €6 Billion and Vows to Scrap Visas by June

The midnight deal struck in Brussels means the EU and Turkey have agreed:

  • to return all new irregular migrants crossing from Turkey into the Greek islands with the costs covered by the EU
  • to accelerate the implementation of the visa liberalisation roadmap with a view to lifting visa requirements for Turkish citizens at the latest by the end of June 2016
  • the opening of new chapters in the accession negotiations as soon as possible

So the EU is giving Turkey an initial €3 billion in exchange for taking back Syrian migrants, possibly followed by another €3 billion, will lift the visa requirements for Turks entering the EU within three months and will open talks to let Turkey join the EU as soon as possible. As Britons go to the polls on June 23, the EU will be scrapping visas for Turkish migrants and accelerating the process for Turkey to join the EU…

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.[…]

+ READ MORE +

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.[…]

+ READ MORE +

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.[…]

+ READ MORE +

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.[…]

+ READ MORE +

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…[…]

+ READ MORE +

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.[…]

+ READ MORE +

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…[…]

+ READ MORE +

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.

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Heather Wheeler talks to Burton Mail about her tweet…

“It was a tongue in cheek pop after the European Parliament tweet – it was purely that. I also wanted to congratulate Team GB on a brilliant result and thirdly congratulate the Commonwealth countries who also did very well. Fourth, I am also looking forwarded to establishing new trade agreements. That was it – nothing more. Let’s just enjoy the summer!”

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