Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Through the Keyhole With Lindsay Hoyle

If things do take a turn for the worse for Bercow, the favourite to succeed him is Lindsay Hoyle. With all the grace and favour perks that come with the Speakership – including a huge apartment in Parliament – it’s easy to see why anyone would want the job, and Lindsay has a taste for luxury already. Take a look through the keyhole and see what is to live like a Labour MP (turned Deputy Speaker).

Let no one question Lindsay’s taste, he has decorated his house to look like a House of Commons bar. Guido is pretty sure that bar (complete with snooker table) is a replica of a Commons drinking hole. The grand piano is a classy touch too, it goes nicely with the carpet. All in all Lindsay’s humble abode boasts 5 bedrooms, 2 reception Rooms plus a music room, games room and “leisure complex with swimming pool”.

And it doesn’t stop there. Even though Hoyle says he is “seeing so many families” in his Chorley constituency “in dire straits” using food banks, that hasn’t stopped him from applying for planning permission for a grand orangery and “a single storey rear glazed link” to his pool. It is clearly not tough for everyone in Chorley.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Chuka Takes Donation From Tax Avoidance Firm

Chuka Umunna has received a £2,500 donation from a firm which advises its clients on how to swerve HMRC rules to help them avoid tax. Signature Tax paid the sum two weeks ago, with the money “received through the Labour Party to support the office of Chuka Umunna”.

According to their website, Signature Tax specialise in “non-DOTAS tax schemes”, structures designed to avoid HMRC’s Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes regulations, which require those using tax avoidance schemes to inform the taxman. Accountancy Age explains how non-DOTAS schemes offered by Chuka’s donor bend the rules:

“Some of the (tax avoidance) promoters who used DOTAS numbers as tacit approval from HMRC initially, are now promoting schemes outside the DOTAS system. Some promoters are looking hard at their product lines and designing versions that escape the rules. Those rules have become so prescriptive, advisers say, that the longer they become, the easier they are to find holes in. For example, class action group Rebus claims to know of at least two promoters looking for non-DOTAS versions of old products.”

Signature Tax’s website also offers advice on “off shore” tax arrangements. Chuka has been a staunch opponent of such schemes, famously grilling former Barclay’s boss Bob Diamond over his bank’s offshore subsidiaries and urging him to close them down.

And who can forget when he called “on the chancellor to close in on tax avoidance, close in on tax loopholes and deliver greater tax justice.” Adding that: “It is time to close in on tax avoiders, recoup public money and ensure everyone in society pays their fair share.”

In light of this new information about his donor, will Chuka give the money back to avoid any allegations of massive hypocrisy?

Friday, August 29, 2014

71% of Public Think Shaun Wright Should Resign

A YouGov poll for the Times RedBox finds that 71% of the country think that (former) Labour South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner should resign.

Interestingly the poll finds that now more than half of the country “have little or no confidence in the police.”

Even Wright’s own deputy has walked, saying he should go and everyone from the Prime Minister to Yvette Cooper agrees. Apparently Ed Miliband agrees too, but you would not know it from any of his public utterances on the subject (zero).

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Miliband Activated For Tory Splits But Silent on Rotherham Rot

Can anyone spot a major news story from this week that Ed Miliband’s Twitter feed missed?

Carswell: The Old Parties Respond

Tories:

“This is a regrettable and frankly counterproductive decision. As  Douglas Carswell said, the only way to get a referendum on the EU is to return a majority Conservative government. The Conservative party will contest the forthcoming by-election vigorously to make sure the people in Clacton have a strong conservative voice in this parliament and the next.”

‘The Conservative Party will contest the by-election vigorously, to ensure that the people of Clacton have a strong Conservative voice in this Parliament and the next.’

Labour:

“Douglas Carswell’s defection is a hammer blow to David Cameron. Confidence in David Cameron is collapsing inside a Conservative party which is divided and running scared of UKIP. David Cameron’s weak leadership has seen him abandon the centre ground, repeatedly trying to pander to his own right-wing backbenchers rather than concentrate on the needs of the country. Now even his own side are abandoning him.”

Panic stations.

Cllr Paul Lakin’s Outside Interests (In Children’s Services)

Labour’s Paul Lakin has been a councillor in Rotherham for a decade, rising to the heady ranks of Deputy Leader.

Not only does he still have a job in Rotherham as Cabinet member for Children, Young People and Families Services, according to his Register of Interests, he is also on the Local Government Association’s Young People’s Board.

He is also Yorkshire and Humber’s Lead Member of the Children’s Service Network.

And don’t forget the member of Rotherham Safeguarding Children’s Board.

Shameless.

Rotherham Town Hall Tyrants – Where Are They Now?

  • Shaun Wright: Still PCC, just. Resigned from Labour.
  • Joyce ‘Ukip foster parents’ Thacker: still in post at Social Services.
  • Ged Fitzgerald: Now chief executive of Liverpool City Council.
  • Paul Lakin: remains Labour deputy leader of the council.

Time to clear some desks.

Pic via the Mail.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

WATCH: Labour’s Shaun Wright: “I Won’t Quit”

Labour’s PCC Wright says scandal didn’t reach senior political or management level.

Apparently there has been “a huge amount of learning”, so that’s ok then.

How can he sleep at night?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rotherham Council’s £125,000 Officers

Whilst 1,400 children in Rotherham were abused, the council consistently featured heavily in the TPA’s Town Hall Fat Cat lists:

  • Chief Executive: £158,160
  • Strategic Director of Children and Young Peoples Services: £125,530
  • Strategic Director Development Services: £125,530
  • Strategic Director of Neighbourhoods and Adults Services: £125,530
  • Strategic Director of Resources: £132,954

Clearly some ‘matter’ more than others. Can anyone honestly say, this lot where earning their haul? Instead of trying to take kids off couples who they suspected of being Ukippers, perhaps they could have actually done their jobs. The outgoing Labour leader has jumped before he left anyway, but more heads need to roll. 

 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Miliband and Malky Mackay Arm in Arm

Former Cardiff manager Malky MacKay has been splashed across the Mail today after racist and homophobic text messages sent during his time at the club cost him the top job at Crystal Palace. Texts about ‘fkn chinkeys’, ‘gay snakes’ and ‘fat Jews’ are under investigation by the FA. Which makes it all a little bit awkward for his friends and supporters.

Guido does not imagine Michael Dugher will be inviting MacKay to the Strangers Bar again in a hurry.

Nor will Ed Miliband be embracing him and posing for photos as he did in May 2013…

UPDATE:


Seen Elsewhere

What Will Happen if Scots Leave? | David Aaronovitch
Why Are Radicals Like Carswell Leaving Tories? | BBC
Danczuk: Rotherham Abuse Imported From Pakistan | Telegraph
Ashya King Case Shows How Authorities Get it Wrong | ConHome
The Carswell Show | Jon Craig
Cops Seized Journalist’s Phone to Out Whistleblower | Press Gazette
Chuka’s £2,500 Tax Avoidance Donation | Times
Another BBC Stitch Up? | David Keighley
Divided, Pessimistic Tories Expect Defeat | Alex Wickham
Labour Suspends Rotherham Council Members | Sky
PM Used Terror Crisis to Deflect From Carswell | Rachel Sylvester


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George Osborne rejects the Ice Bucket Challenge from Ed Balls:

“I’d rather pay the money to charity and pour cold water on his policies.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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