The Home Secretary bows to the pressure…
“It is true that I have been questioned by the police about a serious allegation against me. This allegation is wholly without foundation.
In addition I would like to put on record that I welcome the fact that there is now to be an independent review to look at the missing files belonging to the Home Office.
It has been alleged that when I was Home Secretary I failed to deal adequately with the bundle of papers containing allegations of serious sexual impropriety that I received from the late Geoff Dickens MP. This too is completely without foundation – as evidence from the Home Office’s own report supports. As I made clear in the statement that I issued on 2 July, I passed this bundle of papers to the relevant Home Office officials for examination, as was the normal and correct practice. I wrote to Mr Dickens on 20 March 1984 informing him of the conclusions of the Director of Public Prosecutions about these matters.
In this same report, Mr Dickens thanked the Home Office for the way in which the information he provided was handled and said in a speech to the House of Commons on 31 March 1987: ‘I should like to place on record my thanks to the Home Office for following up the cases that I keep sending to it. I should also like to thank the Attorney General. They have been very helpful and a strength to me in my campaigns.'”
Guido understands a member of the public has complained to the Attorney General’s Office that Rolf Harris 5 year 9 month sentence, of which he will serve three years, is too lenient. A spokesperson says:
“I can confirm that the sentence handed to Rolf Harris today has been referred to the Attorney General’s Office under the unduly lenient sentence scheme.
“It only takes one person to trigger the process, and there is a strict 28 day time period, which means the Law Officers have until Friday 1 August to consider whether they wish to refer the sentence to the Court of Appeal.”
6 months per count…
Harris will serve 3 years. He’ll be 87 by the time he’s out…
Guido bumped into a tired looking David Ruffley at the Spectator summer party last night. Given the circumstances (he has accepted a caution for assaulting his ex-girlfriend) it seemed polite to ask him how he was, “I’m cheerful,” was his surprising reply. Tension started to rise as the Tory MP then accused Guido of “inaccuracies” in our reporting, when pressed on what those inaccuracies were specifically he offered no specifics. He then went off in huff with the Sunday Times political editor. Ruffley later left Westminster’s Blue Boar bar with a leggy blonde around midnight…
Guido is reliably informed that Ruffley has gone into hack-schmoozing overdrive in the last two weeks, organising lunches with Lobby journalists, offering punchy and colourful off-the-record source quotes and briefing against fellow Tories. Indeed at last night’s bash he took journalists from several papers aside for one-on-one chats. Making himself useful to the papers is his cynically calculated way of making sure his own name stays out of them…
Andy Coulson is sentenced to 18 months in prison. Could he be out in 9 in time for the election?
Greg Miskiw and Neville Thurlbeck sentenced to 6 months. James Weatherup gets a four month suspended sentence. Glenn Mulcaire avoids jail, a 12 month suspended sentence and 200 hours unpaid community service. Developing…
Surrey Herald & News are reporting that Asif Ayub, Tory councillor for Ashford East in Spelthorne, has been found guilty of five counts of assaulting his ex-girlfriend. Readers will remember Ayub as the Tory MP hopeful who described David Cameron as the “Messiah“ at party conference in 2012. What is it at the moment with Tories and violently assaulting their girlfriends?
Tories are turning on David Ruffley, with two senior local party figures in Suffolk speaking out to condemn him for assaulting his ex-girlfriend. Tim Passmore, who is the Conservative Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, says “such behaviour is inexcusable” and suggests that justice has not been done:
“Those of us in a leadership role in society must do our level best at all times and try to set a good example to others in what we do and how we behave – that includes all politicians regardless of any party affiliation. In my opinion there cannot and must not be any hiding place for the perpetrators of such crimes.”
Meanwhile Tory Suffolk County Council cabinet member and domestic violence campaigner Jenny Antill has added her voice to the growing disquiet over Ruffley’s violent behaviour:
“I cannot condone any incident of domestic abuse, regardless of the identity of the perpetrator or his or her position in society or political persuasion.”
As local Tories begin to distance themselves from their MP, not a single person has publicly defended Ruffley, and he himself has stayed silent…
Guy News has travelled down to Bury St. Edmunds to ask David Ruffley’s constituents whether they think it is appropriate for a man who has accepted a caution for assaulting a woman to remain as their MP. The people have spoken, and they want a by-election…[…]
Guido has tried to warn the Tories, and the world, about David Ruffley’s anger management problems before, reporting on his “obnoxious” behaviour towards staff leading to bright-eyed hopefuls leaving his office in floods of tears. Let’s not forget the lawsuits and the rumours of throwing bins at staff.[…]
By day she goes about her unassuming office job as the mild-mannered Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Defence, but when her ‘Soubry-sense is tingling’ the glasses come off and she turns into a Woman of Steel. Customers at a Pret-a-Manger were left bewildered as to the identity of the ‘bloused-crusader’ who saved them from the latest violent menace striking fear into the streets of Westminster.[…]
As if there weren’t already enough rakes to step on for Ed Miliband in Thurrock, a local Labour councillor has been charged with benefit fraud ahead of his trip today. Clare Baldwin has represented Labour on Thurrock council since 2011, this month she appeared in court charged with making dishonest representations so as to obtain housing and council tax benefit, allegedly dishonestly claiming more than £2,640.[…]
UKIP council candidate Bobby Anwar is claiming he has been stabbed by “avid Labour supporters” in Blackburn. He alleges:
“Stabbed in face by so called Muslim neighbors (sic) who are avid Labour supporters, whose teenage kids batter my 6-10yr olds, call my kids and wife kafirs (infidels)and n****rs (mum is African descent and converted).
The Shadow Chancellor blogs this afternoon:
“I’d been turning our car round in a tight spot in the narrow private drive beside the Labour rooms in Morley where I park all the time. Another car was parked close by and I was aware the two bumpers touched.