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. Callum Morton and Manuel Abellan, both currently in Brake’s employ, signed off the cushy agreement without mentioning their boss’ links to the firm that stands to benefit. Curiouser and curiouser…

The local Tories are not unreasonably up in arms, writing to the chairman of the council’s audit committee to demand an investigation:

“As this large public building has been sold for considerably below its estimated market value, without any genuine consideration of the available options, we request that this matter is investigated to ensure that the sale was conducted with suitable transparency.”

Why didn’t Brake’s staffers declare their massive conflict of interest?

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. According to the local paper, Brake is a director of the firm, which plans to redevelop the site by building nine flats. The Tories smell a rat, with Tory councillor Neil Garratt blasting:

“With the involvement of Tom Brake as a director and trustee of Ecolocal there was bound to be a question mark over any deal where a large public building is sold off £1 million below market value. In those circumstances I would expect an overwhelming desire for transparency to show the public that the Lodge is not being sold off on the cheap.”

This stinks…

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. Unfortunately his wife Rebecca was not on expenses, so she travelled back in economy…

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:

All for a good cause, readers can donate here.

Now, about that Dan Hodges

Friday Caption Contest: The Fightback Starts Now Edition

lib dems kid

Entries in the comments please…

I Do Like to Bi Beside the Seaside

Readers of Guido’s Sun on Sunday column will be dismayed to hear that turnout for the Lib Dems Conference Bisexual Flashmob wasn’t as high as one would expect from such an esteemed event. Despite their calls for ‘all bi, pan and multisexual people’ to join them at Bournemouth Pier, it appears that only a few dozen managed to attend, with even Simon Hughes opting to give the event a miss.

If any fewer had turned out, the attendance figure would have been almost bi-nary…

Sky News Analyse LibDem Glee Club

Things have got so bad for hacks sent to cover the dreary LibDem conference that Sky News’ determined pol ed resorted to analysing the lyrics of last night’s Glee Club singalong:

“We’ve run out of luck, and now we’re all f**ked, oh it all just sucks…”

LibDems Longing For Clegg

One politically-confused co-conspirator took it upon themselves to join the Liberal Democrats this month. The charitable reader was however surprised to receive a slightly nostalgic membership card:

The back reads like an obituary:

A LibDem source confirms it is one of several current membership cards available, along the theme of “liberal people from history“:

“We do a range of about 11 or 12, and new members can choose whichever one they want… it’s a variety of liberal images/people from history. Lloyd George, Gladstone, Paddy, Kirsty Williams, a pair of sandals, Charles Kennedy, Shirley Williams etc. We’re launching a Tim Farron one at conference”.

Don’t all rush at once…

Shameless LibDems Bung Honours to More Donors

nick clegg sad

Next time the LibDems tell us how the House of Lords is an antiquated, corrupt body that needs reform, remember who they chose to give honours to today:

Duncan Greenland CBE: Has donated a total of £316,858.95 to the LibDems since 2004, £31,000 of which went to Clegg’s constituency.

[…]

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Lib Dem Fever

lib disco

A rollcall of ex Lib Dem MPs are showing that they will survive their election defeats and move on up to regaining their party’s r-e-s-p-e-c-t by headlining this years Lib Dem Conference Saturday night disco inferno. The MPs turned MCs include hot stuff Jo Swinson and Julian Huppert, aka DJ J-HUPZ, who will be hoping to see everybody dance as they play that funky music all night long.[…]

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Where’s Cleggy?

Not only is Nick Clegg missing from Tim Farron’s star-studded top team, the LibDems have forgotten to include their former leader on the list of current MPs on their website:

There are only 8 of ’em, you’d have thought they could remember them all…[…]

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Clegg Turns Down Farron Job Offer

farron1

The LibDems have announced their new ‘top’ team. Clearly Nick Clegg is too busy with his speaking engagements:

“Nick Clegg was offered a post in Tim’s spokesperson team, but decided after some consideration that he wanted to take a quieter role on the back benches and would not be taking a spokesperson position at this time.”

Here are the riveting details in full:

  1. Leader: Tim Farron MP
  2. Economics: Baroness Susan Kramer
  3. Foreign Affairs/Chief Whip/Leader of the house: Tom Brake MP
  4. Defence: Baroness Judith Jolly
  5. Home Affairs: Alistair Carmichael MP
  6. Health: Norman Lamb MP
  7. Education: John Pugh MP
  8. Work and Pensions: Baroness Zahida Manzoor
  9. Business: Lorely Burt
  10. Energy and Climate Change: Lynne Featherstone
  11. Local Government: Mayor of Watford, Cllr Dorothy Thornhill
  12. Transport: Baroness Jenny Randerson
  13. Environment and Rural Affairs: Baroness Kate Parminter
  14. International Development: Baroness Lindsay Northover
  15. Culture Media and Sport: Baroness Jane Bonham-Carter
  16. Equalities: Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece
  17. Justice/Attorney General: Lord Jonathan Marks
  18. Northern Ireland: Lord John Alderdice
  19. Scotland: Willie Rennie MSP, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats
  20. Wales: Kirsty Williams AM, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats
  21. Campaigns Chair: Greg Mullholland MP
  22. Grassroots Campaigns: Cllr Tim Pickstone, Chair of the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors

Who?[…]

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Clegg Whores Himself Out For $55,000

Poor Nick Clegg has seen his £134,565 Deputy Prime Minister’s salary plummet to a measly £67,000 now he is merely a lowly MP. How will he cope?

By hiring Leading Authorities, a Washington based agent, to manage his after-dinner speaking engagements.[…]

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12.5% of LibDem Parliamentary Party Elected Leader

Westminster stops still for the most riveting news since the election:

Tim Farron received 56.5% of the votes and in second place Norman Lamb received the backing of 43.5%.

It’s Farron.[…]

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Senior LibDem Demands Resurrection of Charlie Kennedy

A somewhat unfortunate blogpost went up on the LibDemFuture site yesterday written by Gareth Epps, a former parliamentary candidate who sits on his party’s federal policy committee. Among Epps’ musings about the future direction of the LibDems, published by the site last night, is this suggestion:

“Our federal structure and the presence of several political heavyweights are advantages that should be used.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

LibDem LOL

They don’t know when it happened, or why, but the LibDems were left disappointed when they pulled up the Chancellor’s Twitter page to look at his Budget photo this morning:

Safely the most retweeted LibDem press office tweet ever…[…]

+ READ MORE +



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