Fox in Burglary Admission

Despite the fact that the investigation into his activities is now directly hindering his job as Defence Secretary, Liam Fox is still fighting. Instead of giving press conferences in Paris, he is up this morning with new tactics. His old campaign manager Chris Grayling was on the the Today program saying “I think we’ve got past the point in politics where we needed to worry about people’s private lives.” This is true unless those private and public lives are tangled and blurred in such a way as this.

Fox has clearly briefed Nick Robinson who pushes the victim of a hate campaign idea. The line of Werritty seems to be:

” …when Werritty handed out business cards claiming to be an adviser to Mr Fox that was pretty close to the truth. In government, just as he had in opposition, he wanted to talk to someone who thought like he did, who could ask the questions he would, who was on his side.”

No harm in that, but the problem for Fox is that this was being funded by Tory donors, off the books, with no accountability, no restraint and no one beside Fox have the faintest idea what this man was doing.

Elsewhere the side story is gaining traction. The Sun forced a statement out of Fox late last night after they revealed that Tory spinners had kept quiet that a “younger man”, not Werritty, was staying with Fox the night he was burgled in 2010. The Mail also questions why Fox was tail-ending his official trips with extra nights spent with Werritty:

Still no smoking gun, but Fox can’t be far off death from a thousand cuts. 

Boulter Wades In Again: Werritty Loved First Class Travel

Harvey Boulter isn’t the most reliable of witnesses but he raises some intriguing points. He just did an interview with the BBC that could only be described as a hand-grenade. He described Fox’s version of events around their meeting in Dubai as “half truths”. He said Adam Werritty boasted of his love of first class travel…

Boulter also said he told the Guardian to go and “do their homework” when they told him Werritty wasn’t working for them. Given Boulter discussed sensitive information regarding his business and legal disputes, he is demanding to know who paid for Air Miles Adam, but stopped short of accusing him of outright corporate espionage. Petrol on the fire…

Fox and the £100,000 Question

Despite obvious security flaws, saucy innuendo and the potential of government work being done off the books, it’s the paper trail that will decide Fox’s fate. Joe Murphy over at the Standard has been crunching the numbers:

“I’ve done an analysis based on British Airways fares to the various destinations, which included Dubai five times, plus Hong Kong Washington and Singapore twice each.  Exact costs are impossible to determine because fares vary according to demand so I’m basing this on return flights taken this week. Flying in BA’s cheapest economy seats, the 18 trips would cost £25,000 in tickets.  However, if Mr Werritty went business class, his ticket expenses alone would have gone up to £77,146. Now let’s add in two nights stay each trip in a typical £200 a night business hotel, costing another £7,200. That would take the total travel cost to £85,000. But then there are all those dinners at the sort of costly restaurants where one might just bump into a millionaire private equity boss.  With such high subsistence costs, he could easily have spent over £100,000.”

Company House records show that Werritty, who is being interviewed as part of the Cabinet Office/MoD investigation today, has barely made a quarter of that sum through his various consultancy arms. So where did the money come from? Who paid Adam’s way? Until this is answered, this story will not go away…

Fox Trotting: A Meeting In Every Port

London, Israel, Bahrain, Switzerland, Hong Kong, DC, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Qatar, Spain and Florida.

Even Robinson was spluttering last night…

Cocky Huhne Surfaces

A rare thing happened earlier – Chris Huhne popped up for live interviews about his brief on both Sky and the BBC. Given that he has spent the last four months hiding from cameras, desperate not to be drawn in on questions regarding his cowardice and lies, he must be feeling rather lucky. The police thought he would be charged weeks ago and the CPS are certainly dragging their feet. He’s also given an interview to Prospect. Amongst the usual moans about losing the AV vote, Huhne seems to twist the knife on Clegg some what. He thinks Clegg would be “a tremendous” EU trade commissioner – the definition of damning with faint praise. He was quick to qualify his words though:

“It seems completely ridiculous to think of anything other than Nick continuing as leader of the party. He’s a lot younger than me, more than ten years younger than me for Christ’s sake, and I think that Nick will see out my time in politics.”

Unless the CPS chicken out, Nick isn’t going to have to wait much longer…

Punjabi Paper Mocking Sharma

Des Pardes, the UK’s most popular Punjabi newspaper are sticking it to Ealing MP Virendra Sharma and his dodgy £5,000 donation from the Indian government. As Guido reported yesterday, the Electoral Commission are on the case. Funnily enough Sharma isn’t willing to talk to Guido on the phone. Something to hide perhaps?

Labour MP Denies Illegal Donation From the Indian Government

Ten days ago the Telegraph ran an intriguing story about Ealing MP Virendra Sharma and a mysterious party he held to celebrate his election victory in May 2010. A host of big names, including David Miliband and Lord Paul, came along to the event that was hosted at the Monsoon Banqueting Suites in Southall. Nothing really out of the usual so far. Except for an allegation in the Indian Express that the party was paid for by the Indian government through its tourist board in London “Incredible India”:

“An invoice of £5,000 was made out to the Incredible India Office. Jagdish Chander, director of the office, received a letter dated May 31, 2010 from “Dr C Marliapart,” “chief executive” of the “Krishna Menon Institute”, thanking him for funding the event. “Thank you for participating and supporting our event on 23rd of May 2010. On behalf of Krishna Menon Institute I would like to thank you for contribution of £5,000 towards to costs of the hall hire and the entertainement. Could you please make the cheque payable to Monsoon.” India Tourism obliged with a State Bank of India cheque to Monsoon on July 14, 2010.”

When Sharma’s attention was drawn to the matter by Ealing councillor Phil Taylor he said:

“I vehemently deny the false allegations that you refer to in your email and that have appeared in various media. I have never received a donation from Indiatourism and have therefore never been liable to make a declaration in the Parliamentary register of members’ interests.”

But Guido has some bad news for Sharma, via his Indian sources, he’s managed to get hold of a copy of the cheque:

Even if the event was private it would be dodgy enough to have what is effectively an arm of a foreign government pay for it, but Sharma clearly said on the night:

“On behalf of our chair Gurdip Sahota I welcome you to the Ealing Southall Labour Party thank you celebration.”

In other words it’s an official event. There is no declaration to Parliament or the Electoral Commission for it, and besides foreign donations are illegal. What’s going on Mr Sharma?

Apparently They're All Sexy MPs

Belligerent old socialist Paul Flynn has come out with a corker with his updated Westminster survival guide:

“For reasons that are inexplicable, MPs – even the most superficial, unattractive, mis-shapen ones – are attractive to the other sex. It does present serious problems of going astray. There is a magnetism to this.”

The 76 year old advice for avoiding unwanted chemical attractions ranges from taking regular cold baths, thinking about death and “recognising the transitory nature of sexual relations”. Guido would have thought a big grey beard would be enough to solve any problems, but then that never stopped old Mike Hancock…

Handy-cock Likes It Both Ways

Now Guido knows that Mike Hancock, self-confessed teen-fondler and LibDem, must have a lot on his mind, let alone his conscience, but it takes a special level of incompetence to manage to sign two completely contradictory Early Day Motions. The pervy Portsmouth MP signed both EDM 2109 – opposing Christians being able to opt-out of equality laws, and EDM 2081 – supporting Christians being able to opt-out of equality laws.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Geoff Gets A+ For His Hoonwork

In 2005 Geoff Hoon was Defence Secretary. In March of that year defence giants Westland got a £1.7billion contract from the MOD. Nobody else was invited to bid. Which was a bit odd.

In 2010 Geoff Hoon was exposed seeking a “little hoonwork” in the form of lobbying work on the side by an undercover sting.[…]

+ READ MORE +

For Huhne the Bell Tolls

“Energy secretary Chris Huhne is launching the first new grid connection to Europe for 25 years today” which must be exciting. A government source just confirmed to Guido that they are keeping Huhne on a very low profile for the next couple of days.[…]

+ READ MORE +

A Picture Says a Thousand Words

Self-confessed teen-fondler Mike Hancock took time out of his busy evening to explain exactly what went wrong for the LibDems in the local elections:

Via Christopher Hope & Co’s valiant all nighter.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Want To Work For Mike Hancock?

Self-confessed teen fondler and LibDem MP Mike Hancock is “looking to recruit two bright, hard-working candidates to volunteer” in his office. The fact that he’s not paying his interns should be least of Nick Clegg’s worries when it comes to this backbencher.[…]

+ READ MORE +

"Handy-cock's" Pot Kettle Politics

LibDem MP,  “Defence expert” and self-confessed teen fondler Mike Hancock thought he would offer his two cents about the tragic shooting on board the HMS Astute:

“I am surprised that this man was on a nuclear submarine, I would have thought there was tight scrutiny for our submariners, so how on earth he passed I don’t know.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Why the Leicester LibDem Was "Resigned"

Just six days after being selected to fight the Leicester South by-election for the LibDem’s Parmjit Gill declared:

“Given much reflection and after talking with my family, it is with regret that I have decided to stand down as a candidate for the by-election.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Scandal is Back

From behind the pay-wall, the seasoned Sunday Times stingers have blown the doors off three cases of old-fashioned bribery in the European Parliament. Despite scalping one MEP from Austria, there has been very little follow-up. The ease at which these Members were willing to table amendments for cash and the channels by which they were paid, point to systematic and wide-spread corruption.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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