That’ll be £1.5 million please, Mr Tony…
That’ll be £1.5 million please, Mr Tony…
The £10,000-a-week expenses Gordon gets from his company are clearly not enough for the Prime Mentalist, who new figures reveal has claimed £215,000 in public duties cost allowance in the last two financial years. The money is offered so ex-PMs can “fulfil their public duties”, though since Gordon has said he is an “ex-politician”, barely bothers attending parliament and spends most of his time flying around the word giving speeches for huge sums of money, Guido is struggling to work out why the taxpayer is still topping him up. Especially considering he is still pocketing his £66,000-a-year salary as an MP. Presumably he will tell us he “isn’t receiving a penny of this money personally” either.
‘Comedian’ turned wannabe politician Rufus Hound embarrassed himself when he said “David Cameron wants your kids to die” while announcing his decision to run for the European Parliament last month. Moralising Hound summed up his policies as:
“We all pay our little bit of tax and our fair share, and for that we expect schools, hospitals, police, fire service and a little bit of defence.”
But does Rufus himself pay his ‘fair share’?
Bob Simpson, as Rufus is actually called, is the owner of a company called Dogface Limited, which has no discernible presence anywhere and has just one other director: his wife. As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun, for some reason Dogface’s registered address is exactly the same building as that of showbiz accountants, Blue Skies Partnerships. On its website Blue Skies promises clients “we ensure you always pay the legal minimum amount of tax” and even has a whole section devoted to “minimising your tax”. Is that the same as your ‘fair share’?
Bob did not dispute the story yesterday:
Always looking to pay the minimum amount possible, eh Bob?
This week Guido reported GCHQ’s sophisticated plans to infiltrate social media and blogs, presumably with the aim of fomenting revolution overseas. Now the EU is plotting something even more sinister, spending £2 million on internet trolls to subvert online Eurosceptic debate. According to the leaked document:
“[European] Parliament’s institutional communicators must have the ability to monitor public conversation and sentiment on the ground and in real time, to understand ‘trending topics’ and have the capacity to react quickly, in a targeted and relevant manner, to join in and influence the conversation, for example, by providing facts and figures to deconstructing myths. Particular attention needs to be paid to the countries that have experienced a surge in Euroscepticism.”
So if readers ever come across a Europhile in the comments, beware they may be a taxpayer-funded astroturfing EU troll…
The Times splashes on Peter Bone being questioned under caution over a £100,000 benefit fraud involving Mrs’ Bone’s mum. It is alleged that taxpayers’ money was used to fund her care after her assets were apparently deliberately concealed. The real figure for how much money the Bones cream off the taxpayer could actually be double that at £200,000. On top of Bone’s salary as an MP, Mrs Bone was paid between £45,000 and £49,999 last year. Meaning that between them the Bones are raking in more than £100,000 from the taxpayer a year, on top of the £100,000 Mrs Bone’s mum allegedly swindled. He denies the allegations…
Labour MP Alex Cunningham takes a special interest in youth issues and even has his own “Youth Manifesto” in which he vows to “support a change in legislation to eradicate the age banding for the minimum wage”. Cunningham tell us: “It is wrong for two people of different ages, who sit alongside each other doing the same job, to receive different wages.”
As Guido reported in yesterday’s Sun column, it was therefore bit of a surprise to see him advertising for office help to work a 37-hour week at £3.37 an hour, half the minimum wage rate. He gets away with paying £125 a week because the job is described as an apprenticeship. What was that about paying younger people less being wrong?
Once again there is a growing list of questions for Sayeeda Warsi over one of her friends. The bitter former Tory Chairman has been keeping schtum after eyebrows were raised when her ally got a lucrative contract from Department of Local Governement that was not publicly put out to tender. The Curzon Institute’s sole director is Afzal Amin and was awarded £120,000 last year, despite him being the Tory candidate in Dudley. It was covered by Warsi’s patch as Minister for Faith and Communities.
As Guido revealed in the Sun yesterday, mysteriously, no minutes were kept of three meetings Amin attended at the DCLG before the contract was awarded last summer so we have no idea how or why the decision was made to award his company the cash.
“It’s a tale of dodgy and dodgier,” whispers one Tory source, weary of yet another scandal involving the bungling Baroness, “but no doubt this one will be scrubbed from her upcoming diaries.” Amin has since endeared himself to the party leadership by accusing the Tories of not doing enough for ethnic minorities, in a very public attack that insiders say has Warsi’s fingerprints all over it.
All of this leaves Guido wondering:
If anyone can find the ‘Senior’ Minister of State, perhaps they might like to have a word…
Meet White Suzi, “Red” Linda, 63 year old Chris and pensioner Tom, the residents of Quango Street. 200 have been evicted. 700 remain. Costing the taxpayer £80 billion a year. Tune into Quango Street. Every day, on Guido Fawkes.
Andy Burnham’s gaffe prone PPS Debbie Abrahams has a public profile of little note, readers will probably only remember her for the time she repeated loony ‘Dr’ Eoin Clarke’s fibs in the House and was forced to apologise for accusing Cameron of “genocide“. She barely got through last night’s painful Newsnight discussion on benefit sanctions either. You might say she could do with a comms guru to sort out her image.
Guido can reveal that Abrahams charges the taxpayer £2,099 on expenses for the “communications and media” services of “creative media and PR” consultant John Ramsden. Who, judging by the photos on his website, is clearly the real deal. Away from juggling lightbulbs, Ramsden boasts on his site that “I managed to get Debbie Abrahams on to the BBC Today programme yesterday”. So remember the next time you hear Debbie on the radio that you’re paying for the spinner who got her the gig…
Maria Miller is set to be condemned by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner for claiming £90,000 in expenses for the mortgage payments of a second home lived in by her parents. This was an open shut case as IPSA rules require second homes to be used exclusively by MPs. Claiming for a property lived in by an MP’s parents is “specifically prohibited”.
Back in 2012 Guido revealed that Miller has two properties in her name: a cottage in her Basingstoke constituency, and the property pictured above in Wimbledon. The Wimbledon property was purchased by Miller and her husband in 1996 for £234,000. A quick browse of the Zoopla property website values similar houses on the same street at between £400,000 and £1,000,000. If Miller was to sell the property, for which she has charged the taxpayer for the mortgage payments, she would make a profit well into six figures.
Miller’s defence is that her parents moved to the home to help her look after her children. It is worth considering that David Laws was kicked out of Cabinet for claiming less than half the money Miller has, and was found, incorrectly in Guido’s view, to have not benefited personally by a Standards and Privileges Committee investigation. Miller’s case is arguably more serious. Cabinet ministers have gone for far less, but will being one of only four women save her?
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New Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has big ambitions in his first meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu today:
“I came to bring this conflict to an end.”