Lambeth Labour Put Pilgrim Wrecking Amendment Down

Pilgrims are on the agenda in the People’s Republic of Lambeth tonight. The Red Council has been dodging Pilgrim FoIs for six months, but was finally forced to reveal that their annual bung to the unions costs Lambeth taxpayers over half a million quid a year – ten times that in neighbouring Wandsworth. Guess who doesn’t run that council.

The Tories have put down a  motion against the £317,517 a year that is spent on 9.7 full time equivalent Pilgrims representing the triumvirate of Unison, GMB, and Unite. Another  £141,411 is spent to support 2.6 full time equivalent Pilgrims  from the “teaching” unions – principally the NUT and NASUWT. Lambeth Labour have gone into full bulldozer mode. Have a look at the wrecking amendment to Motion 7 here.  They amend:

“Council is grateful that these costs have now been disclosed. However,members are appalled that in a time of budget reductions and austerity in the public sector Lambeth Council is paying £503,548 a year to subsidise trade union officials.”

To:

“Council is grateful that these costs have now been disclosed. However, members recognise that in a time of budget reductions and austerity in the public sector paying trade union officials is a cost effective way to deal with industrial relations in the workplace. Massive cuts, too far too fast, forced on Lambeth by the government have resulted in unprecedented staff changes and restructurings where unions play an important role in scrutinising job plans, making amendments and supporting individual members through life changing decisions. They also perform excellent work on health and safety and basic skills training at minimal cost to council.”

Brazen.

Questions Mount Up for Andy “Bung” Burnham

Oh this just keeps getting better and better. Labour sources get in touch to point out that Kevin Lee has recently, and very quietly, been appointed Andy Burnham’s Political Adviser. That’s right, a man with business interests in health is crafting lines for Labour like “NHS not for sale”. Almost vintage Labour irony… 

As one insider dryly observed: “Burnham gives well paid job without interview to mate who he owes £20,000”. Does that smell odd to anyone else? So Andy…

  • Where was the job advertised?
  • How many people were interviewed for it?
  • Why was the job given to Mr Lee?
  • What assurances were sought regarding Mr Lee’s private interests in the NHS?
  • Why has Mr Lee not declared that he owes you £21,000 in the Register of Members’ Staff Interests?
  • When are you going to pay your adviser back the £21,000 you owe him?

Answers on a inappropriate business card…

Burnham Sponsoring Commons Pass for Health Lobbyist Shadow Health Secretary “Owes” Lobbyist £20,000

Guido had to chuckle the other day when he saw Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham press releasing “our NHS is not for sale”. Not only did Burnham play a vital role in the ongoing privatisation of the NHS, but closer to home he’s not averse to taking a little private-sector cash. He has been up to his neck in putting amendments down to legislation on behalf of his donors and now this whole attack line is about to look even sillier…

Guido likes to keep an eye on the Register of Members’ Interests, in particular the interests of members’ staff and the passholders they sponsor. Burnham has given a pass to one Mr Kevin Lee, a former Labour Party staffer linked to the Shadow Health Secretary in the past. Lee was the pro-bono Campaign Director for Burnham’s abortive Labour leadership bid in 2010. Coincidentally Lee loaned the campaign £21,000 and spoke publicly on its behalf. They are close friends…

Kevin Lee is also the Managing Director of Lee Communications and Public Affairs Ltd – which he set up in August 2009 – just one month after Andy Burnham became Health Secretary. This is where it starts getting a little murky; Lee Communications have multiple NHS clients such as the Southwark, Trafford and North East Essex Primary Care Trusts as well as the East of England Strategic Health Authority for good measure. Lucky boy…

Rather foolishly Lee is all over the internet boasting about his connections to Burnham. Apparently he’s a master of “liais[ing] with senior politics at all levels of government… arrangement of client meetings with government Ministers”. Apparently he has “contacts” to help “engage politicians” and “influence key decision-makers”. And those contacts are in his pocket – Guido understands Burnham’s leadership loans have not yet been repaid. 

Firstly why has a lobbyist got a parliamentary pass, in direct conflict with rules? Why was it only given to him recently?

Secondly, what on earth is the Shadow Health Secretary doing giving a lobbyist, with health clients, unfettered access to the parliamentary estate?

Is he an adviser or aide, or is this just Burnham’s way of repaying the loans? Even if the money had been repaid, the pass is still a massive breach of protocol.

Dodgy credentials, a close relationship, along with the suspicious lobbying firm with a similar brief to the politician? It all smells a bit… Werritty.

Hancock’s Lover Speaks Out

Guido was wondering which Sunday would get this, but it seems Russia Today have somehow scooped them:

[vodpod id=Video.15768217&w=480&h=390&fv=]

“Are you a spy?”

“No”

“Did you have any contact with Russian security?”

“Well I explained my contact was Boris…”

Glad we cleared that one up then…

What the Judge Said…

The judge in the Katia Zatuliveter case says she was prone to what “was little more than a late teenage crush”. Not the first time the self-confessed teen fondler has got himself in that situation…

Exclusive New Pictures of Hancock and the Sexy Spy Emerge

On the day Guido brings you the news that Mike Hancock is off to his favourite country in the whole wide world, the Indy reports that the lusty LibDem, while on the Defence Select Committee, got lobbyists to bung cash to his assistant. The same one that is facing deportation for spying. And he was sleeping with. A picture of the two having late night West End cocktails has been floating around for a couple of months and today Guido can bring you two more pics, from the same night:

Staring into each others eyes, sipping red cocktails, dreaming of the motherland…

Cash for Votes Gets PMQs Treatment

There was audible gasps of righteous indignation from the Labour benches when Cameron sung the praises of the Taxpayers’ Alliance at PMQs today. He quipped that at least they didn’t pay to put down amendments. Another happy reader

Huhne's Lover's Shameless Lobbying Application

Displaying some brass-neck worthy of her lover, Guido understands that Carina Trimingham, with Huhne, turned up to a meeting last night for victims of tabloid intrusion. She must have known by last night that the broadsheet Times were going for her, and rightfully so. They’ve got hold of an email job application that abuses her relationship with the troubled Secretary of State in order to further her career … as a lobbyist:

She got a job…

Bung to Burnham Buys Backing

When is a smear not a smear? Simple answer, when it’s the truth. A spokesman for Andy Burnham has called the complaint made about his conduct to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner a “weak smear”. What do you think?

Back in May, while he was still the Shadow Education Secretary, Andy Burnham tabled an amendment to the Education Bill that would require all secondary school pupils have access to independent careers advice.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Balls, Cooper, Burnham and Byrne Facing Investigation

Labour claimed in yesterday’s Sunday Times that the Cash for Votes allegations are a “weak smear”. However Guido wouldn’t be so cocky. The paper reported:

“Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary, and Liam Byrne, the shadow work and pensions secretary, are accused of failing to register a potential conflict of interest and so breaching parliamentary rules.”

The matter is currently with John Lyons, but Guido thinks you should be able to judge on the matter too.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Parliamentary Labour Party Coordinating Union Obfuscation

The Labour leadership seems to be getting rattled by the continual highlighting of their members’ servitude to their biggest donor and string-puller: the unions. Regular readers will know that Guido caught Sadiq Khan and Kate Green red-handed and the Tories went very publicly for Rachel Reeves.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Watch: Clegg Slaps Khan's Donor Connections

There may not have been Prime Minister’s Questions today, but Guido wouldn’t want you to miss out on your weekly dose of Parliamentary bashing. Over to Nick Clegg, who has clearly been reading Guido’s work on Cash for Votes and Sadiq Khan’s dodgy connections with the GMB:

See how they squirm…

Video via Liar Politicians
[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Sorry Was the Silliest Word

It seems that Kate Green apologising to the House yesterday for not declaring her financial interests, despite putting down amendments to legislation on behalf of unions, may shape up to be a massive tactical error for Labour. There is no excuse them not to apologise now every-time they are caught red-handed…

Quick off the mark the Tories are scouring every outlet for evidence of Trade Union influence on legislation, and it didn’t take them long to find Labour’s rising star Rachel Reeves doing the dirty:

“A leaked internal Labour document shows that the trade unions put pressure on Rachel Reeves, then Shadow Pensions Minister, to amend the Pensions Bill. 

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Labour's Kate Green Forced to Apologise to House

Yesterday Guido broke the news of Kate Green MP and her undeclared special interest involvement with the GMB union. To sum it up, they donate to her campaigns and she does their bidding in the House, including directly amending legislation. Well today she pre-empted a point of order on the very subject and apologised outright, saying she should have declared an interest.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Labour Donor Paying For Amendments

This morning Guido blew open the extent of the GMB union’s influence over legislation, and how they achieve it with a financial gun to the Labour Party’s head. Not a word out of any of them yet, but it gets worse. […] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Damian's New "Absolutely Totally Brilliant" Blogging Tips

With Draper back in the fold, the old faces are coming out of the woodwork. Obviously spinning for Catholic aid charity Cafod and running the Saturday football match for his old school boys club isn’t enough for our old mucker Damian McBride.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Heidi Alexander sums up Labour’s approach to aspiration:

“Babies grow up to become taxpayers.”

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

Lib-Green Pact Plot Leaked Lib-Green Pact Plot Leaked
Tories Braced for Charges Over South Thanet Tories Braced for Charges Over South Thanet
Max Fine for Law Breaking Lib Dems Max Fine for Law Breaking Lib Dems
TROT SUPER-FACTION ORGANISING MOMENTUM TAKEOVER TROT SUPER-FACTION ORGANISING MOMENTUM TAKEOVER
Santa Paws: Phil Hammond’s Christmas Card Santa Paws: Phil Hammond’s Christmas Card
Government Values Guardian Readers Most Highly Government Values Guardian Readers Most Highly
Treasury Implements Amy Lame Tax Treasury Implements Amy Lame Tax
Fidel’s Final Push Fidel’s Final Push
Newmark Back Helping Women2Win Newmark Back Helping Women2Win
BoJo Ho Ho! Christmas Returns to FCO BoJo Ho Ho! Christmas Returns to FCO
Naz Shah Attends Extremist-Linked Event Naz Shah Attends Extremist-Linked Event
HEIDI ALLEN IN MAYORAL ROW HEIDI ALLEN IN MAYORAL ROW
Renzi Loses Referendum – Resigns Renzi Loses Referendum – Resigns
WATCH: Clegg Gets Brillo’d WATCH: Clegg Gets Brillo’d
Brexit Book War – Latest Brexit Book War – Latest
Public Heath England Gets Booze Sums Wrong Public Heath England Gets Booze Sums Wrong
Civil Servants Forced to Admit We’re Leaving EU Civil Servants Forced to Admit We’re Leaving EU
Sarah Olney Walks Out of Interview Sarah Olney Walks Out of Interview
DfID Slams Baroness Scotland DfID Slams Baroness Scotland