Yeo Refuses to Deny He Benefits From Conflicts of Interest

Readers will be aware of how Guido has shone light on Tim Yeo’s conflicts of interest over the last few weeks. Yeo makes a six-figure sum from his green investments while serving as chair of the Energy and Climate Change select committee. When asked this week if used his position to benefit financially Yeo gave a markedly cagey response, going on to accuse Guido of trying to undermine him:

“I do get frustrated when people say, ‘he’s just saying this green stuff in order to promote his businesses’, because the oldest business interest is five years old and no one who’s looked at what I’ve been saying for 20 years can possibly say I’ve changed my views because of that. The pieces I’ve read have not been in the Guardian or the Financial Times, they’ve come from journalists who have very, very strong views of their own. I think they’re looking at ways to undermine my credibility – they can see I’m a rather influential and persuasive advocate of greener policies.”

Note how he dodges the question of whether he benefits financially from the green policies he advocates. No.10 have started to ask questions but still Yeo insists there’s nothing to see here. Though he remains silent on why he stood down from Eco City Vehicles this week. 

Tim Yeo Made £10,000 From Green Interests In July Alone
£336 an Hour Conflict of Interest for Select Committee Chair

Guido has said before that if you replace the word “green” with “oil” then Tim Yeo’s conflicts of interests would see him facing the sack. The Tory backbencher might be stepping down as chairman of Eco City Vehicles following Guido’s revelations about the company last month, but the latest Register of Members’ Interests reveals the Energy and Climate Change select committee chairman is still raking in the cash from his green investments. To the tune of ten grand a month.

Yeo was paid £4,340 for 12 hours work for AFC Energy in July, pocketing another £5,416 from TMO Renewables – the company who signed a multi-million pound contract with China the day Yeo lobbied for more direct flights to the country. Overall Yeo made £336 an hour from his outside green interests in July, all while serving as chair of the Energy and Climate Change select committee. With No.10 starting to raise concerns how many more jobs will Yeo have to resign from before the questions go away…

Tim Yeo Quits Lucrative Green Job
MP and CEO Walk From Eco City Following Guido Revelations

Last month Guido revealed that Tim Yeo’s cab-selling company Eco City Vehicles was set to profit from a change in the law agreed by their own CEO Peter Da Costa – yet another conflict of interest from the chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Committee. Following the revelations here and here, Yeo has quit as a director of the company. Da Costa is also standing down. With the lobbying mission accomplished, now Yeo is running for cover…

There has been speculation in recent weeks that No. 10 have become increasingly worried about Yeo’s outside interests, raising questions over whether he could stay as the Energy Select Committee chairman while having such high level interests in green businesses. Some see Yeo’s “man or mouse” attack on the PM was a tanks on lawn warning shot from the golf fan. The loss of his Eco-City job means he’s down over £3,000 per month, but don’t feel too sorry for him – Yeo remains a director of ITI Energy, AFC Energy, Eurotunnel and  chairman of TMO Renewables. Guido will say it once again – just because the conflict of interest is declared, it’s still a conflict of interest.

Dame Jowell Quits to Spend More Time With Crook Hubby

Hardly a surprise, but Shadow Olympics minister Tessa Jowell has quit the shadow cabinet today as promised. Heebie jeebie-giving Jowell told Ed it was job done following the Games.

No news yet on whether he asked her to stay with a new job.

More time now to spend with her “estranged” criminal hubby.

UPDATE: The couple certainly seemed to have patched things up at the Olympics opening ceremony…

Tory Fraud: Semi-Independent Scrutineer Appointed

Guido had not forgotten the chaos he caused down Wandsworth way this summer by revealing more than £50,000 in suspected fraudulent payments to the local Conservative agent. Two years after concerns were first raised internally, an independent investigation has been called and the suspect – Councillor Robert Morritt – has been suspended. The details of the inquiry have been released today:

The Conservative Party in Wandsworth and Wimbledon is establishing an inquiry into allegations appearing in the media concerning accounting irregularities during the period (2006-10) when Robert Morritt was in its employment.   The local Conservative Party is organised in four Conservative Associations in Battersea, Putney, Tooting and Wimbledon.  These Associations pool resources in the Wandsworth & Wimbledon Conservative Group.  Rob Morritt was employed by its predecessor organisation, known as the Wandsworth Conservative Group.

Cllr Ray Puddifoot, the leader of Hillingdon Council, has been asked to: Conduct an independent review of the professional activities, including recent media allegations, of Robert Morritt during his employment with the Wandsworth Conservative Group. The review should be thorough, evidence based and should make observations, draw conclusions and recommendations as appropriate. Cllr Puddifoot will report his findings to the Group Management Committee of the Wandsworth & Wimbledon Conservative Group, who will then make a detailed public statement covering the allegations that have been made.  Cllr Puddifoot will conclude his investigations as soon as practically possible but the importance of a thorough investigation precludes a set time limit.

 Cllr Puddifoot has been Leader of Hillingdon Council for 12 years and is a past Treasurer of the Uxbridge Conservative Association. He is by profession a Chartered Accountant and served for many years, on a voluntary basis, as a General Commissioner of Revenue and Customs.  He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.  Cllr Puddifoot has no previous connection with the Wandsworth or Wimbledon Conservative Associations.

A professional outside auditor would have made more sense, especially given that elements Conservative Party have already systematically covered this story up already. Two investigations already compiled have found over £50,000 of unaccounted funds, yet they were ignored by Wandsworth Conservatives – instead they promoted Morritt. Guido has offered to make all the evidence he has in his possession, and it’s a lot, available to Mr Puddifoot.

He looks forward to hearing from him…

Read the full story here.

Scilly Spring Latest: Island Rebels Boosted By Email Leaks

Back in May, Guido brought you a crystal clear example of vested interests blocking reform. The fight put up by the Isles of Scilly council against their local school becoming an academy was a perfect microcosm of the problems faced up and down the country.

We wrote“The headteacher of the only school on the Isles of Scilly was hastily suspended yesterday, without explanation, after it emerged that he was venturing to the mainland and travelling all the way to London to discuss potential Academy status for his school.” 

It only took three and a half months of stonewalling, illegal FOI blocking and digging, but finally the proof we knew was there has found the light of day. Many laughed when we ran our original posting but the Telegraph and the BBC finally caught up, picking up on the culture of fear on the islands.

We were first and bang on the money, as today’s leak to a Cornish local paper proves. The locally loathed Council Chief Executive Philip Hygate has been caught red-handed illegally circumventing the school governors and attempting to suspend the Headteacher himself. Just as we reported. His position as the islands’ well-remunerated überfuhrer is looking pretty shaky this afternoon. Meanwhile, Guido understands the islanders’ wish for an elected Mayor is not out of the question…

Vaz Visa Trouble

Keith Vaz has been doing the rounds today voicing his concerns over this morning’s decision to ban London Met university from handing out visas to foreign students:

“The way this has been handled is appalling. I am afraid it may damage the reputation of UK as best place in world for overseas students.”

Guido isn’t quite sure how Vaz has the nerve to come on TV to talk about visas. Back when he was a Foreign Office minister in 2001 Vaz was sacked in disgrace after an inquiry revealed he had lobbied the Home Office to give citizenship to the millionaire Hinduja brothers. They had bunged his wife’s company £1,200.

Vis-à-vis visas, Vaz is on shaky ground…

Video: Another Heathrow Dough Blow for Yeo

Guido’s Heathrow/China story earlier was dismissed by pro-Yeo types (of which there are very few) as a conspiracy theory and a weak line of attack. Seems Sky News did not agree with them:

Just because a conflict of interest is declared, it does not mean the conflict of interest goes away…

Tim Yeo’s Heathrow to China Bonanza

Green lobbyist and part-time MP Tim Yeo has taken a break from the golf course to make some waves today by calling for an expansion of Heathrow airport. Writing in this morning’s Telegraph, his main gripe seems to be […]

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Taxi Trouble Mounts for Tim Yeo
Eco City Vehicles CEO Signed Age Limit Deal

Last week Guido revealed yet another of  Energy and Climate Change Committee chairman Tim Yeo’s conflict of interests with the green tycoon’s taxi company, Eco City Vehicles, helping to provide London with new environmentally-friendly taxis. It gets worse.

The photograph […]

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Taxi For Tim Yeo
Green Tory’s Dodgy Wheeler Deal

Conflicts of interest and Tim Yeo seem to go hand in hand. Readers will remember that Yeo makes over £100,000 per year from green investments all while lobbying the government for subsidies on behalf of the industry, a point Guido […]

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Expenses MP’s Son: Media Twisted Truth

Back during the expenses scandal it was revealed that Labour MP John Healey helped himself to £1,500 to replace his front door, £7,000 for a brand new set of windows and over £400 for two televisions. That’s not to mention […]

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