Carmichael Gets Off: Cybernats React

Alistair Carmichael, who told voters he knew nothing of the infamous ‘Sturgeon memo’ before admitting he was actually responsible for leaking it, has been cleared by an election court. So no by-election in Orkney and Shetland despite the massive porkie. At least the Cybernats are handling it with their usual charm and good grace…

No trip to sunny Shetland for Lobby hacks next year either…

Revealed: Brake’s Ties To “Toxic” Firm

brake photoshop

Readers who have been following Guido’s stories about the rotten borough of Sutton will be aware of the stink around LibDem MP Tom Brake. Ecolocal, the prominent environmental charity of which Brake is a trustee, was oddly silent about plans to build a 300,000 tonne a year incinerator in the borough. Their silence is even more bizarre given Brake has spoken out in the past condemning “Toxic” incinerators. Something just doesn’t add up…

Brake insists he does not have a relationship with Viridor, the company which landed the £1 billion incinerator contract:

So it must be pure coincidence that two of Brake’s most significant financial sponsors, John and Elaine Drage, have confirmed they are lifelong friends of the former Viridor CEO Colin Drummond. Cosy.

Not only that, Brake’s election agent and donor Elaine is godmother to one of the Viridor chief’s sons. Very cosy.

And who attended the £75-a-head fundraiser Brake held back in March? Only two senior Viridor officials.

Tom Brake says he doesn’t have a “relationship with Viridor”, he just takes money from their mates and invites them to his parties…

Strange Sutton Silence a Brake From Tradition

brake

Down in the rotten borough of Sutton, the Tom Brake-linked environmental charity Ecolocal has been silent on plans to build a giant incinerator in the borough. Incinerator operators Viridor will be allowed to burn rubbish for 25 years with a taxpayer-funded contract worth £1 billion. Ecolocal is the premier environmental organisation in the borough, yet they were oddly silent. 

Well, Brake himself certainly hasn’t been silent, at least not about this specific incinerator. In 2001, the Carshalton MP railed against incinerators in the Guardian, highlighting the potential for corporations to misuse them for profit, and their negative effects on air quality:

“big incinerator plants are more attractive to investors than small-scale recycling projects…Unless the government starts to tackle the problem of rising waste levels, there will be a dramatic increase in the number of incinerators. My guess is that we will end up with 60 to 70 incinerators under existing government policy… We don’t know all the health implications that result from incineration, but the release of dioxins is clearly a serious problem. Toxic ash from incinerators has turned up in some weird and wonderful places, including on farms as compost-type material.”

Brake certainly wasn’t a fan of incinerators back in the day, so why has the eco charity of which he is a trustee been so quiet about a plan to build one the size of Big Ben in his own borough? Curious…

Brake-Linked Eco Firm Silent On Giant Incinerator

BRAKE LINKED

Readers will be well aware of the stench coming from the rotten borough of Sutton, where the LibDem council gave a £1 million discount to a company of which neighbouring MP Tom Brake is a trustee and unpaid director. Ecolocalan environmental charity based in the borough, won its £600,000 bid for the historic local Lodge building, despite the council’s own valuations estimating it to be worth £1.5-1.7 million. That’s just the tip of the iceberg…

Before Ecolocal was awarded the discount, the eco-charity was oddly quiet about controversial plans to build a 300,000 tonne a year incinerator in the borough. Incinerator operators Viridor will be allowed to burn rubbish for 25 years with a taxpayer-funded contract worth £1 billion. Ecolocal is the premier environmental organisation in the borough, yet they were strangely silent. Surely they would have something to say? 

The Brake-linked charity says its primary aim is to “help people move toward more pro-environmental behaviours”, yet had no comment about plans to build one of London’s largest waste incinerators inside their borough. Coincidentally they were then awarded a £1 million discount by the LibDem council, voted through by two of Brake’s own staff. Local councillor Nick Mattey says:

“Ecolocal would commit financial suicide if they criticised any element of the LibDem’s ‘environmental policy’. If the LibDems suggested that setting light to Battersea dogs home was green Ecolocal would stay mute.”

Curiouser and curiouser…

LibDem Kingston Council Leader Paedophile Re-Arrested

Capture

Former Liberal Democrat Kingston Council leader Derek Osbourne has been taken into custody after breaching the terms of his sexual offences order. Osbourne, who pleaded guilty in 2013 to possessing and distributing indecent images of children, served only half of a two year sentence in jails including Wandsworth and Brixton. This is despite being caught with more than 5,000 indecent images of children, including 50 in the most extreme category possible. Guido is sure that Tim Farron is happy that he won’t have to deal with it…

Brake Linked Firm Gets Total of £84,359 From Council

brake-linked firm gets another £84359

More revelations coming out of the rotten borough of Sutton, and its dealings with Ecolocal, an environmental firm linked to the Carshalton MP Tom Brake. Guido has unearthed that not only did the firm receive £34,400 in 2014/15, but it was also paid another £49,959 by the Lib Dem council through EcoLocal Services Ltd. This brings the total paid by the council directly to the company to £84,359 for the year. That sort of money can buy a lot of cycle couriers

Guido can understand why some in Sutton are outraged at the cash being chucked at the firm, with the council cutting £1 million from its library budget. Guido wonders if Ecolocal will put in a bid to cycle-courier the books out of the closing libraries?

LibDem Council Gave Thousands To Brake-Linked Firm

Guido has done a bit more digging on Ecolocal, the environmental company of which LibDem MP Tom Brake is a director. It turns out that LibDem-controlled Sutton council haven’t only agreed to sell a historic local building to the firm for a million pound discount, they have also been funding it to the tune of £34,400 between April 2014 and January 2015 alone. For some curious reason, director and trustee Brake is still refusing to answer Guido’s three very simple questions about the mysterious goings on. This stinks…

3 Questions Tom Brake Won’t Answer

TOM BRAKE QUESTIONS

Tom Brake is getting very upset with Guido for sniffing around the decision by LibDem-controlled Sutton council to award a million pound discount to a company of which he is a director. As readers will remember, Brake is an unpaid director and trustee of EcoLocal, which was curiously awarded the Lodge property despite its bid being a million pounds below the council’s valuation. Even more curiously, two members of Sutton council are employed by Brake, a fact they failed to disclose at the council meeting which signed off the deal. Brake claims his critics are smearing him.

“I am disappointed, but not surprised at… efforts to smear me.  They must be desperate if they have to pretend that a charity and not-for-profit company I am a Trustee of, and have no pecuniary interest in, is ‘my company’. I am however surprised that they have decided to oppose plans supported by a wide range of local groups to keep the Lodge partly as a community asset”

For the record, Guido has never said that Brake has any pecuniary interest in the firm. Guido has asked Brake’s office several times for an explanation, but he will not come to the phone. Instead he is throwing around claims of “smears” without addressing the substance of the story.

These are the three questions Guido has asked Brake:

1. Why was Ecolocal’s bid accepted despite the council valuing the property at £1 million more?

2. Why were no other options considered other than Ecolocal?

3. Why did the two councillors in your employ fail to declare the massive conflict of interest at the meeting which finalised the deal?

At the time of going to pixel we have yet to receive a response…

Rennard Stands Down: Full Statement

rennard

Lord Rennard has quit the LibDem Federal Executive:

A week ago, I was elected by the votes of the Liberal Democrat members of the House of Lords to be their representative on the party’s Federal Executive.  Any Lib Dem peer could have stood, all of them could vote, and I was elected by 44 votes to 25. 

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Farron Calls On Rennard to Stand Down

LibDemVoice is reporting that LibDem leader Tim Farron is asking the pervy peer “Chris to step down from the FE in the best interests of the party”. This could be both awkward and amusing…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Sex Pest Lord Rennard Elected to LibDem Federal Executive

rennard

LibDemVoice is reporting that the Liberal Democrats’ leading sex-pest Chris Rennard has been elected to the party’s ruling federal executive by his fellow peers. The Federal Executive is the governing body of the party. During his leadership campaign Tim Farron said “I have no intention of appointing him to any role in the party.” In 2014 after Lord Rennard’s refused to apologise for his inappropriate behaviour towards young women, his membership of the Liberal Democrats was be suspended by the then party president Tim Farron.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Lucky Brake: Aides Failed to Declare Conflict of Interest

morton tom brake

Last week Guido reported on some very fishy goings on down in Sutton, where the Lib Dem council gave a £1 million discount to a company of which neighbouring MP Tom Brake is a trustee. Guido can now reveal that two of Brake’s aides are Sutton LibDem councillors, and both failed to make any declarations of interest at the council meeting last Monday where the dodgy deal was finalised. […]

+ READ MORE +

Million Pound Discount For Firm Linked to LibDem MP

brake

This looks to be a very dodgy local story emerging down in Sutton: the LibDem council there has given a £1 million discount to a company of which Carshalton MP Tom Brake is a trustee. Ecolocal put in a successful £600,000 bid to take over the Lodge building, despite the council’s own valuations estimating it to be worth £1.5-1.7 million.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Danny’s Economy Wife

china-bank-danny-alexander

Last week it emerged the Treasury are lining up Danny Alexander for a cushy job with China’s new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. It seems things are moving quickly.

Last week he was spotted travelling back from Beijing with British Airways, business class.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Stephen Tall’s Naked Streak Down Whitehall

Fair play to LibDem blogger Stephen Tall, who lost his bet on how many seats his party would get at the election and has honoured his promise to streak down Whitehall naked:

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Friday Caption Contest: The Fightback Starts Now Edition

lib dems kid

Entries in the comments please…[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Heather Wheeler talks to Burton Mail about her tweet…

“It was a tongue in cheek pop after the European Parliament tweet – it was purely that. I also wanted to congratulate Team GB on a brilliant result and thirdly congratulate the Commonwealth countries who also did very well. Fourth, I am also looking forwarded to establishing new trade agreements. That was it – nothing more. Let’s just enjoy the summer!”

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