Friday, March 14, 2014

Expenses Piggies Told to Pay Back Dodgy Claims

IPSA have forced a trough-full of greedy MPs to repay £40,000 worth of expenses for claims that were in breach of the rules. New figures for October and November last year show 50 MPs were made to pay back cash. Some of the weirder repayments include £1,300 from Jack Straw for a year-long sublet of his constituency office for the Blackburn Labour Party and £1,250 from Vince Cable for subletting his office. Eric Joyce tried to get away with claiming hundreds of pounds for hotels which were not allowed under the IPSA scheme. Cheapskate Jamie Reed was told nine of his £3 claims for petrol would not be granted. Several MPs blew their expenses budget allowance and had to pay back the overspend, including £4,010 from Mike Crockart, £4,551 from Daniel Kawczynski and £933 from Debbie Abrahams. Still, who can blame a greedy expenses trougher for trying…

Monday, March 10, 2014

Stella’s Junk Food Binge on Expenses

Her jealous Labour colleagues call power hungry Stella Creasy “St. Ella”, however when it comes to expenses Stella is no saint. Guido has come across this recent Tesco expenses claim submitted by the Labour MP:

How does she keep her slim figure?

*Artist’s impression.

UPDATE: Stella would like to make clear the snacks were for her volunteers. She has generously invited Guido to Walthamstow for a biscuit. Though the taxpayer will be paying.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Labour MP Claims Thousands for Spinner on Expenses

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…

Monday, February 10, 2014

Jamie Reed Channels Expenses to Private Health Firm

The delightful Jamie Reed wasted no time getting down and dirty after hearing that Owen Paterson was facing emergency surgery for a detached retina. When Downing Street said they did not know if Paterson had gone private for the op, Reed bleated that the Tories “clearly don’t value (the NHS) and shamefully refuse to use it”. As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun column, that would be the same Jamie Reed who recently charged taxpayers £150 for the services of a private physio company on his expenses. Shamefully refusing to use the NHS?

Friday, January 24, 2014

EXC: Gordon Brown Office Has £10,000-a-Week “Expenses” Raises Over £3 Million, Gives Less Than £1 Million to Charity

  • Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown has £10,000-a-week expenses
  • Not a registered charity, two thirds of funds raised spent on expenses
  • Less than  £1 million given to charity out of over £3 million raised
  • Vanity project lets  Gordon and Sarah enjoy jet-set premier life-style of first class flights and five star hotels

Gordon Brown has since leaving Downing Street raised over £3 million to support charitable projects yet has given less than a £1 million to charity. Nearly three-quarters of the money raised has gone on his office and globe-trotting travel expenses that run at over £10,000-a-week - allowing Brown to vainly swan around in Davos like old times. Gordon Brown always insists that he does not profit from the arrangement and that all the income goes either directly to charities or to support other charitable public service projects.

The Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown is not a registered charity, it is a private limited company. Guido’s investigation reveals – by piecing together some 133 declarations made in Gordon Brown’s parliamentary register of interests – a picture of the until now private accounts since the company was set up by Sarah. Brown has declared to parliament that the total amount paid to the company since 2010 is £3,605,197. According to a recent announcement on the company’s website, only £912,702 has so far been given to charity after three years. Leaving over £2 million to be accounted for when according to the latest available records the company had only £160,978 in cash at the bank. You can see an itemised spreadsheet compiled from Guido’s investigations here.

The company admits it budgets £550,000-a-year for expenses to meet salaries, accommodation costs and staff expenses. Gordon can be paid as much as $100,000 for a single speech in America to investors at finance conferences. By funnelling his speaker fees through the company he does not have to pay tax on the income, even though it covers the £10,000-a-week expenses for Gordon and Sarah to maintain the jet-set premier lifestyle they were accustomed to when in Downing Street, travelling first class around the world and staying in top five star hotels attended to by flunkies. Something Gordon would not be able to do on his backbench MP’s salary…

Friday, January 17, 2014

Gray Area in Double Claiming Tory MP’s Expenses Excuses

Fighting talk from Tory MP James Gray, beaten up in the Mirror and his local paper following Guido’s investigation into his expenses yesterday. Gray has given a denial to another more friendly local outlet which, shockingly, is riddled with untruths. Regarding his publicly-disclosed office at his local Conservative Association, Gray claims:

“I am a local MP and I am part of the local Conservative Party, but in terms of my office it’s not there at all. That’s something I did many years ago. I gave up using the Conservative Party offices and thought it would be better to hire a local office which was totally approved by the authorities. He seems to think I have two offices, which I don’t.”

This is untrue; Gray does have two offices. IPSA have confirmed to Guido that his second Conservative Association office is the only office address and telephone number in the public domain. They say the address and telephone number of his real office – the one he claims for – is kept secret for his own security. Gray’s Association told Guido that he couldn’t contact the real office directly and that he would have to go through them. He says he does not have two offices – he patently does – three if you include his Westminster office.

“It’s a snide instigation that I have a special relationship with the Fuller family. First of all they haven’t made any donations.”

This is untrue. Electoral Commission records show that Fuller, his family and companies have made a grand total of ten donations to Gray and the Tories, totalling over £20,000.

“The only thing I can track down is 13 or 14 years ago when the current landlord’s grandmother donated to my party.”

Electoral Commission records show that this donation was received just over 6 years ago…

Thursday, January 16, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Tory MP Claims Rent For Same Address Twice
Expenses Money Paid to Family of Donor

James Gray is the Tory MP for North Wiltshire. Readers may remember his crowning career achievement of cheating on his cancer-stricken wife with a married woman.

Now a Guido investigation can reveal that Gray double claims on the rent for his constituency office and constituency accommodation, separately charging the taxpayer thousands of pounds for each despite them being at the same address.

Gray claims £4,800-a-year in expenses for his constituency office rent. His constituency office address listed on the official parliament website, shown above, is that of his local Conservative association. Guido phoned the number given, and indeed the person who answered was sitting in the Tory association office. Yet IPSA records show Gray is claiming constituency office rent expenses for a separate address.

Guido’s investigation has discovered that Gray separately claims both constituency office and accommodation rent expenses for the same Wiltshire address: Ganbrook Farm. He claims a further £13,474-a-year for his accommodation, also charging the taxpayer up to £35,000-a-year to employ his new wife Philippa as his diary secretary on the farm they live in together. Yet if you call his listed constituency office number to book an appointment, the phone rings in a building miles away. Gray therefore appears to be doubling up on his rent expenses for his home and office, a ruse last tried by Denis MacShane.

IPSA rental arrangement files show that the landlord of the property is the “Andrews Settlement”. Guido has learned that the Andrews Settlement is the trust for the Neston Park estate, a large local estate controlled by Sir James Henry Fleetwood Fuller, 4th Baronet. Gray has confirmed that Fuller is the recipient of both his office and accommodation expenses, for the same farm. Electoral Commission data reveals that Fuller and his family have donated £1,250 to Gray through his association, and over £20,000 more to the Conservative Party.

Despite the photo evidence, Gray says that his constituency office and accommodation are “entirely separate” properties with separate leases, merely “adjacent” to each other on the same farm. He insists the arrangement is “open, declared… wholly above board [and] absolutely legitimate and honest”. Despite the publicly-listed address and telephone number for his constituency office being the local Tory association, Gray claims they merely “field very occasional calls and forward the tiny amount of post which arrives there”. However you cannot write to him at his real constituency office – for which we pay – because IPSA told us, it is kept private for the “protection of the MP’s security”.

Gray rather amusingly warned Guido: “you might want to be very cautious how you phrase your story.”

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

£500 Training for MPs Expenses System, on Expenses

IPSA is so complicated that it requires expensive training just to work out how to use it. ‘MP staff secretaries, office managers and assistants’ are being sent on a course to work out how the hell to work the expenses system at a cost of nearly £500 per head. The training programme teaches staffers how to ‘create spreadsheet records easily transferable for use within the IPSA system.’ And who is picking up the £455 plus VAT bill?

“Please note that all fees associated with attending these training courses, can be reclaimed under IPSA, as they fall under their classification of staff training.”

Naturally.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Review of 2013: A Very Bad Year for MPs in Guido’s Crosshairs

It was a very bad year for the lying, cheating, criminal politicians that found themselves in the crosshairs of this blog. Guido was in court to see Chris Huhne sentenced to eight months for perverting the course of justice. You can enjoy it all over again by watching our Guy News specials recapping how Huhne lied and lied and lied again, a musical tribute to him “going down”, and 14 lies in 60 seconds. For the full story of how Guido hunted Huhne, from the day he walked out on his family and went to the gym having just told his wife he was leaving her for another woman, to his guilty plea, resignation and prison sentence, click here.

Santa delivered an early Christmas present by jailing expenses fraudster Denis MacShane for six months. During sentencing the judge said MacShane’s £13,000 expense fiddling constituted “considerable and repeated dishonesty”. The true figure is in the hundreds of thousands. You can read how Guido has pursued MacShane down the years, including reporting him to the police when new evidence of his criminality arose, here.

It didn’t end in court. Patrick Mercer was forced to stand down at the next election after being disgraced in a cash-for-questions sting. Guido has always know Mercer was a wrong’un, so it was no surprise to hear the bent MP’s fear of this blog revealed in his own words. Another sleazy Tory, conflicted Tim Yeo, escaped the same punishment after being exposed in a sting of his own, though he wasn’t so lucky with his local party who decided to give him the boot. Stay tuned as Yeo tries to fight for his political life in the New Year.

Guido has been on the case of randy Lord Rennard, the hands-on LibDem peer known as the ‘Door Locker’, for years before 2013 brought about his demise. Nick Clegg, Danny Alexander and Jo Swinson were slammed in a damning report on Rennard’s sexual harassment and the LibDems’ lies were finally revealed. Read Rennard’s sex pest history in full here.

Finally, spare a mention for Mike Hancock. Forced to resign the LibDem whip as he is privately prosecuted for sexual harassing a disabled female constituent.  The leaks from the unpublished independent report into his behaviour are damning. 2013 has seen MPs targeted by Guido for their various financial, sexual or criminal misdeeds drop like flies. Roll on 2014…

Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year Honours Establishment Cronyism
Troughing MPs, Spinners, Aides and Donors Bunged Gongs

Establishment cronyism at its most cynical in tonight’s New Year honours. The party leaders have rewarded expenses scandal hit MPs, spinners, aides, party donors and lobbyists, also buttering up potential candidates and local party association bosses. Their cronyism in full:

  • Sir Alan Parker – shadowy CEO of lobbying firm Brunswick. Gordon Brown is godfather to his son, he is a Labour donor. Has also holidayed with Cameron.
  • Karren Brady CBE – Cameron adviser on fiscal matters who has previously been arrested twice on suspicion of fraud and money laundering. In the running for a Tory seat.
  • Sir Kevin “Morally” Barron – Labour MP and head of the troughers’ union, the standards committee that lets off money-grabbing MPs. Watch Guido’s ding dong with him here.
  • Sir Peter Luff – Tory MP who bought three loo seats, three food mixers, two microwaves and ten sets of bed linen for his country house. Rent-swapper extraordinaire.
  • Marion Dowdings OBE and Simon Mort OBE – deputy chair of Cameron’s local party and chair of its supper club, and president of the Oxford West Conservatives, respectively. See what Dave did there.
  • Sir Keir Starmer – New Miliband adviser currently being lined up for a Labour seat. Well it can hardly be for his work at the Crown Prosecution Service, can it.
  • Peter Emmerson Jones OBE – has given tens of thousands of pounds to Osborne’s local party.
  • Lady Patricia Hobson OBE –  another big money Tory donor.
  • Emma Pidding CBE – chairman of the National Conservative Convention. C’mon.

This is why people hate politics.


Seen Elsewhere

Labour’s Plan to Attack Part-Time Boris | Standard
Ex-Sun Hack Cleared After 582 Days on Bail | MediaGuido
11 Times Boris Denied He Would Stand for Parliament | Buzzfeed
Attacking UKIP’s Posters is Counter-Productive | Guardian
Sarkozy Tried it on With Hollande’s Ex | Times
Another Spare Room Subsidy Cut Success | Harry Phibbs
Rich Now Have Less Leisure Than Poor | Economist
UKIP’s Immigration Policy Promotes Migrant Entrepreneurs | Breitbart
Another Feminist Lecture | Laura Perrins
UKIP Posters Bad Economics But Good Politics | James Delingpole
Tories Losing to UKIP in Scotland | ConHome


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A confused Nick Griffin says Nigel Farage is a shill for the City, forgetting that City banks want to stay in the EU:

“Farage is a snake oil salesman, but a very good one. His supposed anti-immigration stance is all smoke and mirrors, as is his carefully cultivated image as a ‘man of the people’. The truth is that UKIP is a pro-immigration party that exists to lobby for the interests of the City of London.”



Alexrod says:

It’s money innit.


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