Guido spotted David Laws sauntering through China Town laden with two bags of books from Foyles bookshop in Charing Cross this afternoon. Heavy reading for his summer holidays perhaps. Laws is the only person in Westminster with more money than Guido riding on Chris Huhne being charged for perverting the course of justice as a result of transferring speeding penalty points to his wife. One-in, one-out is the coalition’s rule.
If Huhne goes, the expense fiddling Laws is favourite to come back into government. His mummy made him do it – fiddle his expenses that is – in the sense that he expects us to believe he only fiddled his expenses because he didn’t want his mother to find out he had a boyfriend. We’re all expected to forget about the matter of the supposed gift of £99,000 to his boyfriend, which a cynic might think was gifted in order to facilitate the boyfriend buying a property which Laws could pretend to part-rent from a landlord-owned property in which he had no interest. The £99,000 was a gift you see, not a loan towards the deposit on the property. If it was a loan Laws would have been guilty of a conspiracy to defraud the taxpayer. It was a gift, which is very different.
Completely plausible is it not? How could anyone doubt the truth? Give a gift to a lover equivalent two two years after-tax salary, then pretend that the landlord we have given the gift to isn’t your lover only so as not to embarrass mum. Then claim rent to pay the landlord/lover on expenses. The £99,000 gift not giving one an interest in the property one is renting.
His return to government will make a welcome change to having that liar Chris Huhne in the Cabinet won’t it?
Given that he’s on very thin ice at the moment, with the CPS holding his career and freedom in their hands, is it not a little presumptuous for the ever brazen Chris Huhne to be announcing speaking gigs months in advance? Keen greens can book now for October’s Renewable UK 2011 with a keynote from the Secretary of State for Climate Change…
Whether or not that will still be Huhne by then remains to be seen…
Hansard from the 12th October 2009 made Guido chuckle:
Mr. Jim Devine (Livingston) (Lab): Unlike my hon. Friend the Member for Midlothian (Mr. Hamilton), I fully support the Scottish Justice Secretary’s decision to send al-Megrahi home.
This crook didn’t even need a dodgy medical to get him out after four months…
To continue with a justice theme, the fate of Jim Devine cannot go without comment. It seems that he of fake invoices and VAT numbers has walked out of jail today.
The crooked Labour MP served just four-months of a sixteen-month sentence.
Certain LibDems, who should know better, are pretending that Chris Huhne could cling on to his Cabinet post even if he is charged by Essex Police for forcing his wife to lie on his behalf, and then instigating a cover-up. How exactly would these one-time bastions of morality justify having someone who the police believe to be a blatant and wanton liar formulating laws and policy at the top table?
Harriet Harman survived bumping a car when she was in government, but her crime does not involve a potential jail sentence and, as far as Guido knows, she didn’t threaten Jack Dromey to remain silent about it. His crimes aside, after thirteen years of Labour destroying the honourable resignation, the speed and dignity at which David Laws walked was refreshing to say the least. Here was someone taking responsibility for their actions and doing the right thing immediately. Compare and contrast this to his yellow comrade Chris who has threatened his wife and children and is using them as a human shield to protect his fatally-wounded political career. Such cowardice is beyond contempt.
There would be no love lost with either the PM or the DPM if Huhne was to walk, but if he is going to continue to delude himself that a lawmaker can survive being a law-breaker, then Downing Street should have the decency to sack him. It’s not like a reshuffle can be that far off anyway…
Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce were interviewed by the police for a second time on Wednesday, this time in Essex. There are reports that a file will be going to the Crown Prosecution Service. Breaking….
UPDATE: Guido’s boy in blue is being very tight lipped, but did suggest that they “wouldn’t bring him in for a second time so publicly without wanting to charge. Up to the CPS now, spineless bunch,” adding “the hangdog expression on his face was quite something to see.”
UPDATE II: The file will be going to CPS “soon” apparently. Money is piling in on Huhne to be leave the Cabinet.
Three Conservative MPs have joined calls to see Piers Morgan answer questions about phone-hacking. Last week the Liberal Democrat MP Adrian Sanders implicated the Mirror in the hacking scandal:
“…the Daily Mirror, when under the auspices of Piers Morgan, is suspected of using voicemail interception to reveal Sven-Goran Eriksson’s affair with Ulrika Jonsson. Given that there are questions over Scotland Yard’s handling of the current case, it is essential that its actions are reviewed independently and that future action against suspected phone hackers does not remain solely the domain of the Met.”
As Lord Justice Leveson prepares his inquiry, a long list of witnesses will be drawn up. This must include executives, editors and hacks of the News of the World’s rivals. This is about more than Murdoch now.
Member of Parliament, Aidan Burley, told Guido:
“In the light of these new allegations about telephone hacking during his editorship of the Daily Mirror, Piers Morgan should be called to the phone-hacking inquiry to face questions on oath.”
Nigel Adams MP added:
“If evidence surfaces that Piers Morgan had some knowledge of phone hacking while he was in the newspaper industry, it would of course seem sensible to ask him to appear before the inquiry.”
Douglas Carswell MP also called for Morgan to appear before Lord Leveson’s inquiry:
“Piers Morgan needs to come and explain what he knows about the vile practice of phone hacking and if he knew it was taking place at the Mirror. No celebrity is too grand to come and answer questions.”
And it’s not just lawmakers who are on Morgan’s case. Kevin Bakhurst, the BBC News Channel’s boss told Guido this morning that the BBC was actively pursuing the Morgan story and he had already invited Piers to explain on air via Twitter. Sky News have also given him an opportunity to clear his name live on Sky. Never like Piers to ignore some airtime…
UPDATE: Another Tory MP weighs in, with Louise Mensch stating:
“At the very least Mr Morgan should answer the allegations put forward by a prominent UK blog. It is also clear to me that the inquiry must cover not only News International, but Trinity Mirror Group, Associated Newspapers and other tabloid organisations.”
UPDATE II: In New York Business Insider says:
“It’s sounding less and less likely that CNN’s Piers Morgan is going to manage to stay free of the Murdoch phone-hacking scandal engulfing Britain…
…CNN had no comment when we reached out to them yesterday regarding the report.”
It took less than 24-hours to unravel, especially with Andrew Neil’s tweeted aside that Gordon swore to “end” Murdoch when he deserted Labour. But Brown is not the only one with an axe to grind. Taking a break from threatening his children and framing his wife, Chris Huhne found time for a rare TV appearance. The fit and proper Secretary of State said allegations that have surfaced were “very dangerous indeed” and “a real problem”. For Murdoch that is.
Huhne went on to criticise the Sunday Times. What could his beef with them possibly be?
Another uncomfortable weekend for Chris Huhne. On the same morning he popped up to question David Cameron’s judgement in employing Andy Coulson, his own personal failings were laid bare across two newspapers. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but it’s pretty rich from someone using emotional blackmail against his teenage son. Huhne threatened him that his mother will go to jail, in a bid to try and get the A-level student to silence her. The police have the messages as a key piece of evidence…
In the election Huhne used pictures of his infant family in his campaign literature, just weeks later he would be exposed for cheating on them. “Where would he be without his family?” one leaflet asked. Well on the moral high-ground for starters.
A YouGov poll has shown that 60% of the public doubt Huhne’s story, with only 5% believing he is innocent of the original speeding offence. 40% say he should walk right now. The lengths to which Huhne is ready to go, to save his career, including using his children as a human-shield against his wife, shows just what sort of man we are dealing with here.
As the weeks go on and the evidence piles up, you will see the true make of the man when he is cornered…
PM Tweets About Ant & Dec While Giving Mandela Tribute | Express
George Osborne: Action Chancellor | Speccie
DfE Taking Children for Poodles | Laura Perrins
Man Locked Up For Telling Mandela Joke | Star
Gordon Brown Debt Buster | Kebab Time
Five Arguments Against Paying MPs More | Left Foot Forward
BBC Must Be Held to Account Over Savile | Trevor Kavanagh
Guido’s Column | Sun
Safe Seat MPs Will Be Paid More Than Marginal MPs | Alex Wickham
Judging Blogs By Their Comment Threads | Dan Hannan
Labour Select Union Candidate in Falkirk | Guardian
The Belgravia Gallery reports:
“Having been asked by Nelson Mandela’s art publisher to represent his work,drawings mainly of Robben Island, we had the privilege of spending a morning with Mandela when he was signing the lithographs at his home in Johannesburg in December 2002. He delighted us with stories about a number of well known British personalities over the years when he was president. Perhaps the most surprising was his description of Margaret Thatcher as “Motherly” and he remembered how she had poured him tea and they had discussed various ailments and how after he returned home, she had sent him herbal remedies.”