Sally’s Pass Pal Claimed to be ‘Agent’ and ‘Miliband Adviser’
Mystery Over Farah Sasson’s Donation and Access Grows

The row over Bercow’s donation/pass mystery is escalating. Tory MP Simon Burns has weighed in:

“I do not quite see why at the request of the wife of the Speaker a friend should be given a pass to the House of Commons – in that they are not usually given to MPs’ friends. It makes it look rather difficult for the Speaker when he then receives a rather nice cheque for his election campaign – and leaves him open to criticism and questions.”

David Morris MP tells Guido this morning that Farah Sassoon introduced herself to him on the Commons Terrace as ‘an adviser to Ed Miliband’ saying she advised the Labour leader ‘on all sorts of things’. Another Tory MP, speaking on the condition of anonymity for now, says that on a separate occasion Ms Sassoon claimed to be Sally Bercow’s agent. If this is true it adds a rather unsavoury commercial angle to why she has been allowed unfettered access to Parliamentary estate. Who is this mysterious character, and to what end is she really using this pass?

Whether she’s a friend, a Labour adviser, or Sally’s agent , the line from the Speaker that this is all dandy does not hold water. Crucially, Bercow’s spokesman dodged the question of whether proper advice was sought before he accepted a donation from this mysterious business woman. Even if there is an innocent explanation, as an example to all MPs, the Speaker must be whiter than white. Yet each day brings new questions…

Where is the Outrage at David Ruffley?

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.

And so it came pass, when it emerged over the weekend that Ruffley has accepted a police caution for domestic violence, admitting to assaulting his then girlfriend in March of this year. What is the world coming to when one Tory MP faces a lynch mob and condemnation from the Prime Minister and thousands of others for an ill-advised hypothetical joke tweet, but another Tory MP, who accepts a caution for assaulting a woman, faces no action from his party?

Liberty Online: Live Stream of Guido at #Liberty2014

A post-three bottle lunch Guido has strolled down to the CPS conference. Tune in at 18:30:

Maggie, Maggie, Maggie! Hic, hic, hic!

What Has the Speaker Got Against the Kennington Tandoori?

Box office advertising for Westminster’s curry house of choice at PMQs earlier, as the Speaker interrupted the PM once again, by claiming: “when you’re eating curry in Kennington Tandoori you don’t yell across the table.” As a witness to many a rowdy night south of the river, Guido is not too sure about that. A co-conspirator writes:

“Last time I went to Kennington Tandoori I saw Bercow in there on his own.”

Maybe that’s what he has against it. 

Farage Drowns His Sorrows at the Newark Count

Despite his Maltese hangover, Nigel Farage was back on the Malbec at the Newark count:

Taking it down a notch or two from his jet-set partying earlier in the week.

MPs Want to End Cheap Beer for Our Boys
Taliban Tory Soubry Wants Troops’ Beer Prices Raised

In 1944, at the height of the Second World War, Winston Churchill famously defended the right of Britain’s war heroes to enjoy a pint:

Make sure that the beer – four pints a week – goes to the troops under fire before any of the parties in the rear get a drop.

This afternoon at the Defence Select Committee, Labour MP Madeleine Moon demanded that the alcohol subsidy providing cheaper booze for war heroes serving overseas be scrapped. Moon, who herself takes advantage of parliament’s food and drink subsidy allowing MPs to sink cheap pints on the taxpayer, says that the subsidy at military bars in army bases abroad should be removed. According to Press Association, she said she was given the “fight of my life” when she saw the prices at a base in the Falklands:

“One thing that could be done about alcohol problems in the armed forces is tackling the high level of subsidy in bars in military units – perhaps so they were the same price you would pay in town.”

Untitled-1

Defence Minister Anna Soubry suggested she was open to the idea, saying she wanted to curb a culture of “drinking to the point of oblivion” in the armed forces. Our politicians want themselves to have a taxpayer funded subsidy for their booze, but want to deny the same perk for the soldiers they have sent to war.

Crystal Methodist Thanks BBC for Newsnight Fawning

Having been charged with drug offences this morning, the renowned gak-fiend Reverend Flowers lavished praise on the BBC for giving him such an easy ride when he appeared on Newsnight:

“There is a phrase for some people, they call them vultures, and I really do hope that somebody quotes me on that, especially the BBC. The BBC have been really nice to me but the rest of you are vultures.”

He must be very grateful that Newsnight failed to ask him about his use of drugs and rent-boys since he declared himself a changed man…

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

Nigel Evans Cleared of Rape and Sexual Assault
No Immediate Restoration of Tory Whip 

Evans was led from the dock in tears as local supporters and friends in the gallery erupted into cheers.

Not guilty on eight counts. 

UPDATE: The Guardian are withering in their destruction of the CPS case against Evans:

“The prosecution

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Hacks Dry, While Bullingdon Boy Dimbers is on the Bolly

Bullingdon Boy David Dimbleby is already on the Bollinger, while the mere plebs in the Spin Room will apparently be left dry for tonight’s BBC Europe debate. Beeb cuts are biting deep for all but a few privileged old timers.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Save the Boozy Westminster Lunch

This week’s Spectator Life covers the increasingly insidious tendency to forego alcohol in the middle of the day in SW1:

“As the partitions came down and the chinos came in, American bank practices have spread from the City, down Fleet

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Eric Joyce Fined £1,500 Over Airport Fracas
Ordered to Pay £100 to Worker He Abused

Eric Joyce has pleaded guilty to abusive behaviour and been fined £1,500 over last May’s incident at Edinburgh airport. He also has to pay the airport worker he abused a hundred quid over an incident sources close to Joyce described[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Labour candidate Clive Lewis tells the Staggers:

“I mean, in the multiverse there’s still three universes in a hundred where there’s a Green MP in Norwich, so anything could happen. I could be caught with my pants down behind a goat with Ed Miliband at the other end – well, hopefully that won’t happen.”

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