Friday, April 11, 2014

Sexminster Exposed


A Channel 4 News investigation finds that one in three people working in the sleazy booze-fuelled world of Westminster have experienced some form of sexual harassment at the hands of pervy MPs. One in five had witnessed some other poor young staffer being sexually harassed and over half said they had first or second-hand experience of hands-on politicians. Today’s Mail and Independent splash on the story.

The Tories have responded by ordering their MPs to sign a new code of conduct and implementing a grievance procedure for staff:

The code of conduct acts as a basic statement of what should be best practice in the workplace for Conservative Members and their staff. It explains the rights and responsibilities which are expected of both the employer and the employee.

The grievance procedure is available for staff to use if a grievance arises with their MP as employer. It protects both parties involved, brings with it consistency and fairness, and in doing so upholds the reputation of the Party and of Parliament. It is based upon a three stage process of mediation, grievance hearing and appeal. The process conforms to relevant employment law, ACAS guidance and HR best practice and is added as a schedule to the contract of employment.

They should get everyone at Number 10 to sign it too

Thursday, April 10, 2014

He Lied and Lied and Lied

Jailed expenses crook Jim Devine has been ordered to pay his former office manager £18,000 in damages after a judge ruled that he had defamed her to cover up his own criminality. Marion Kinley alleged Devine had stated I’d stolen significant sums of money while office manager and the reason I did this was because I had a serious gambling problem”. The judge agreed “that when he made these statement he knew them not to be true and that they were made maliciously” and that Devine’s evidence was “incredible” and “implausible”. This is one Jim won’t be able to charge to the taxpayer…

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Miller Hits Back Claiming “Levesen” Smears

Once again Maria Miller has tried to use the threat of the post-Leveson age to shut down her expenses scandal. Mary Macleod, PPS to the fatally wounded Culture Secretary, today texted Tory MPs begging for support. Again Miller’s people have cited threats to press freedom. Mary Macleod said:

 

“I believe there is a media witch-hunt on Maria due to Levesen [sic]. How do you feel about it? Happy to answer any questions you may have. She would really appreciate your support. Many thanks Mary”

Too little too late, Guido fears.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Barron of the Troughers’ Union Should Go Too

Labour are cautiously upping their attacks on Miller because they cannot escape the fact that it was a Labour chaired committee that watered down the Standards Commissioner’s report. Once again the Barron of the Troughers’ Union has ridden to the protection of an MP. Not only has Kevin Barron recently blocked attempts by IPSA to reform the expenses structure, his own history is hardly a shining beacon of purity. Thanks to Sir Kevin, MPs can still claim:

  • A £15 evening meal when Parliament sits after 19:30
  • Hospitality tea and biscuits
  • Hotels before 01:00
  • Taxis home before 23:00
  • Contents insurance for a second home
  • Installing a TV in a second home

He blocked IPSA’s attempts to scrap the lot last year.

Back in 2009, Guido pointed out to Barron’s face that he was not fit to lead the Standards Committee given his own tendency to overclaim:

He called Guido a very rude word after the TV ding-dong but did nothing to change his ways. After selling his taxpayer funded home for for a £500,000 profit, Barron began charging the taxpayer £1,500-a-month to rent a three-bedroom London home (also called “contriving a tenancy” by benefit fraud investigators)  owned by shadow cabinet office minister Jon Trickett. Last week Trickett was trying to clamp down on MPs’ outside earnings, but presumably not income channelled from public money.

To top it all off, Barron also employs his wife Andrea part time in his office. Which is nice little £15,000 boost for the family income.

You can see why Barron did not go public during the threats from Miller and her lawyers – the MP who marks other MPs’ homework is a trougher of the highest order. Labour are struggling with this story because they were in cahoots to undermine Kathryn Hudson. Barron could have blown the whistle at any time during the last year. Guido would never suggest the gong that Sir Kev got during the negotiations had anything to do with his unwillingness to rock the boat.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

FLASHBACK: Tories Slam McNulty for Miller Style Expenses
“Brown has to get a grip on what his ministers are up to…”

David Cameron is said to have offered Maria Miller his ‘warm support’ this morning. Rewind to 2009 and the Tories were piling the pressure on Labour Minister Tony McNulty for claiming £60,000 for a home that his parents lived in. Bob Blackman, now an MP, said:

“It is extraordinary. I cannot see that it’s right to provide a home for your parents and ask the taxpayer to pay for it. I think he has badly let down the residents that he represents and I welcome them taking their revenge at the ballot box.”

Maria Miller has been moaning that her own investigation was political motivated because Labour grassed her; yet it was Tory MP Greg Hands (now a whip) who reported McNulty to John Lyon, then the Commissioner for Standards, saying arrangements must be “above reproach”. Look how cross he was then:

“I think Gordon Brown has to get a grip on what his ministers are up to. Sixty thousand pounds of taxpayers’ money has been claimed in expenses on Mr McNulty’s parents’ home in Harrow – clearly something has gone wrong here.”

McNulty lost his job and his seat. Miller has claimed £30,000 more than him and gets a slap on the wrist. “I have accepted the committee’s report in full and I will apologise”, she chuckled.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Evans: “It’s Amazing What Two Grown People Can Do on Sofas”

Today in court Nigel Evans denied sexually assaulting several alleged male victims, accusing the prosecution of trying to paint him as “a cross between Alan Clark, Oscar Wilde and Benny Hill”. Evans said he could not recall two alleged assaults that had taken place while he was drunk, also dismissing claims he put his hands down another man’s boxer shorts on his sofa as “affection”, arguing that “there was affection between us… As you can see from the texts that are available, [there are] kisses at the end of them”. On the alleged sofa incident, Evans said he was looking for:

“A reaction. Hopefully that he might turn around, that something might have happened, that the pass would be accepted and we might take that further in a direction which we both would be happy… It’s amazing what two grown people can do on sofas, Mr Heywood.”

He says he stopped at the man’s stomach. The case continues…

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

50 Shades of Grayling

Flailing Chris Grayling is trying to fight back at the Howard League of Penal Reform – and pretty much everyone else – for claiming he is banning books from being sent to prison inmates. Writing for ConHome the Justice Secretary insists they have got the wrong end of of his massive stick:

“You can keep up to twelve books in your cell at any one time. All prisoners can access well-stocked prison libraries. The biggest debate I have had over prison libraries so far is whether they should stock 50 Shades of Grey. I decided they could – since if doing so encourages women prisoners to read, that can only be a good thing.

But that’s not all. Prisoners can use their own prison earnings to order any book (within reason) that they want through the prison shop. The only restriction is on receiving unknown and unchecked parcels. What the left can’t deal with is our rehabilitation agenda. It goes against the grain for them. Our approach is to mix tough and compassionate – and to do things differently to get the job done.”

It seems the debate comes down to the fact that books are considered a privilege item. Despite asking Guido is yet to see an example of where they have been banned. Despite the hype…

Friday, February 14, 2014

Fears for Piers in Kensington

“I know of no cases of phone hacking,” the Mail Editor-in-chief Paul Dacre told the Leveson Inquiry. “Having conducted a major internal inquiry, I am as convinced as I can be that there is no phone hacking on the Daily Mail. I don’t make that statement lightly.” Today’s news that Piers was questioned under police caution late last year is the closest Associated Newspapers have come to being tainted by hacking, even though Morgan’s alleged involvement/knowledge stretches back to a time when he was working for a rival news group.

“Piers Morgan’s role as a Mail on Sunday columnist must surely come under pressure now” says an insider at the paper who has knowledge of Morgan’s vast salary, secured when editor Geordie Greig’s predecessor Peter Wright was in charge. “Geordie didn’t hire Morgan, so he shouldn’t find it a problem to release him. It’s a piss poor column anyway.”

Could Dacre and the increasingly influential Lady Rothermere, wife of the proprietor, find themselves in rare agreement in believing that any association with Morgan is bad for business as long as he has a hacking cloud hanging over him? And heaven knows how CNN took the news.

Friday, February 7, 2014

MacShane Out

Convicted fraudster MacShane was sentenced to six months in prison for defrauding taxpayers of £13,000 in forged receipts. He has served just six weeks. The law should be unsparing when lawmakers become lawbreakers – is this really justice?

UPDATE: MacShane is now comparing himself to Corrie star Bill Roache, found not guilty of sex offences yesterday. The difference: Roache was cleared of all charges and MacShane is a convicted fraudster. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Another Tim Yeo Lobbying Scandal

Scrapbook have got hold of a letter sent on behalf of Tim Yeo to all members of South Suffolk Conservative Association, begging them not to deselect the poor hard done by lamb:

Not only do the rules state that campaigning is not allowed, how did Sir Kenneth Carlile get hold of the addresses of all the members? Guido has a surprise for troubled Tim later…


Seen Elsewhere

Labour Failed Those Victims | Labour Uncut
We Cannot Ignore the Race Issue Here | Dan Hodges
74 MPs Who Back Stop Mills Motion | Speccie
Milibande | Ian Birrell
The True Meaning of Political Correctness Gone Mad | Speccie
Nigel, Nigel, Nigel! | Bloomberg
Bercow Blinks | Guardian
Speaker on the Ropes | Indy
Outgoing Clerk Slams Bercow – Row Goes Very Public | BBC
Darling Was Wrong on OBR | Speccie
Climate Change Cools Off | Washington Times


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Westbourne-Change-Opinion hot-button


Shaun Wright’s understatement about the Rotherham child abuse scandal…

“..I could have taken more action and probably dealt with this issue better.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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