Cooper’s Cash from Shamed ‘Expenses Queen’

You might have thought that any self-respecting ambitious shadow cabinet minister and future party leadership contender would want to keep a safe distance from the sleazy world of expenses cheats. Not Yvette Cooper.

The shadow home secretary trousered a donation of nearly £5,000 from shamed ex-Labour MP and so-called ‘Expenses Queen’ Barbara Follett this month. Follett lost her job at the last election after she was exposed as one of the worst expenses troughers of all, amongst other things claiming £500 to clean a Chinese rug. Her novelist husband Ken bankrolled Ed Balls’ leadership campaign, and overall the Folletts have donated almost £60,000 to the Balls-Coopers this Parliament. Last time round public pressure decided that Barbara Follett had no role to play in public life. Ed and Yvette clearly disagree…

Yeo’s £40,000 From Bust Black Cab Firm Beneficiaries

Regular readers will remember how back in September Tim Yeo quit his lucrative job as chairman of Eco City Vehicles following Guido’s conflict of interest revelations over the summer. There’s nothing like an early resignation to head off increasing scrutiny.

The latest Register of Members’ Interests shows that Yeo pocketed £40,000 for 91 hours work at Eco City over the last year, a generous £440-an-hour. Unlike in previous years, strangely Yeo omitted to declare earnings from Eco City month by month, only to reveal them in bulk when Number 10 came calling. On top of the Eco City cash, Yeo trousered another £15,000 from his green interests in the last month alone. And still he remains as chair of the Energy and Climate Change select committee…

Coincidently Eco City, who make green taxis, will benefit hugely from black cab firm Manganese Bronze going into administration. Stay tuned…

Exclusive: Rent-Swapping Tories’ £34,000 Rule Bending Pad Jessica Lee and Stuart Andrew’s Cosy Rent Arrangement

The Register of Members’ Interests reveals that Dominic Grieve’s PPS Jessica Lee owns a flat in London from which rental income is received. In spite of this Lee bills the taxpayer £1,430-a-month to rent another house in London. A rent-swapper caught red-handed. But this one does not end there…

Lee shares the expenses-funded flat with fellow Tory MP Stuart Andrew, who in turn owns another property (albeit in Leeds) from which he receives rental income. Both Lee and Andrew claim a hefty £1,430-a-month each – his people have confirmed to Guido that the total rent for the London property stands at £2,860-a-month. With MPs limited to claiming £1,666-a-month for London accommodation, that’s a clever way of getting round the rules for a nice pad…

Guido has contacted Lee’s office at least five times over the last few days, but despite repeated assurances of a response, she is refusing to comment. George Osborne says households should not receive more than £26,000-a-year in benefits. The Lee-Andrew household is raking in over £34,000-a-year of our cash in benefits…

Two Home Tory Bills Taxpayer for Hotel High Life

The rent-swappers who own one London home are bad enough, but it takes a certain kind of trougher to bill the taxpayer for hotel stays when he already has two properties in the capital to choose from. Back during the original expenses scandal David Amess hid in a hairdressers after being doorstepped over his greedy second home claims. Once again the Tory MP has been caught red handed.

Amess owns a flat in east London which he rents out, claiming over £7,000 in expenses for the rent on a south west London flat in which he lives. But being a rent-swapper who makes money from the taxpayer isn’t enough for Amess. Despite charging us for the rent on the home he is registered as living in, the Tory MP has claimed another £8,000 expenses to stay in London hotels over the last year. All the while his taxpayer-funded rented home is left empty. Amess has been in parliament for nearly thirty years. Now would be a good time for him to announce his retirement…

Labour MP Paid Shad-Cab Minister’s Rent With Our Cash
Rent Swapper Kevin Barron on the Disciplinary Committee

Now we get to the greediest, most repulsive rent-swappers of all. Guido called out troughing Kevin Barron live on Sky in 2009, and once again the expenses-hungry Labour MP has been taking the taxpayer for a ride. This time the little piggy has had a little help from a friend.

Barron charged us £1,500-a-month to rent a three-bedroom London home owned by shadow cabinet office minister John Trickett. Barron began renting his fellow Labour MP’s home after flogging his own taxpayer-funded house for a £500,000 profit. Not content with sorting himself out at our expense, now Barron is funnelling taxpayers’ money straight into the bank account of his oinking pal Trickett. As soon as Trickett got wind the story was about to break he put the property up for sale.

Barron, unbelievably, is still the chairman of the Standards and Privileges Committee, while Trickett is responsible for shining light on government sleaze. These two are some of the most disgraceful rent-swappers of all. They know they can get away with it due to their safe Labour seats.

It’s down to Ed to make them pay…

Expenses Piggie Don Foster Pleads Dumb

This rent-swapping malarkey is bringing out some statements that remind you just how out of touch Members of Parliament can be. Some MPs might be admitting their guilt but expenses-hungry LibDem Don Foster is playing dumb. The sanctimonious self-serving communities minister even talks about himself in the third person:

“I genuinely don’t quite know what the story is. I used to live in a property that I owned in Westminster, and I was able under the previous rules to claim the interest on the mortgage. When IPSA changed the rules I was no longer able to do that so I had to move into rented property, and I could have sold the flat or rented it out. It is mine, I paid for it, and I chose at the bottom of the market to rent it, and that is what I currently do. I may one day sell it, or may carry on renting it out. It is an absolute disgrace that we have a system that says Don Foster can’t live in a property he owns, and claim about £400 per month less than he currently claims. They changed the rule to make it look supposedly better, but it has cost the taxpayer hundreds of pounds more per MP than it needed to have done just to look good, and I have absolutely no idea what it is I am doing wrong.”

The old flat might belong to Don, however he didn’t pay for it, taxpayers paid for it for years. The new system expects MPs to pay their own mortgage on properties they own. What Don is doing wrong is “contriving a tenancy” to maximise his expenses.  As the property is yours Don, as you so proudly state, then why not live in it and pay to do so out of your salary? Why should the taxpayer pay for you to rent when you have you own property already? Foster refused to respond to Guido over the weekend.

Foster is despised by many is his student-packed constituency of Bath as a result of his refusal to address the university following the tuition fees u-turn. Other prospective LibDem candidates have already been sniffing around in anticipation that Foster may stand down at the next election. The fact that he is a shamed rent-swapper may hasten his demise…

Shamed Rent-Swapper Linda Riordan to Sell Up
1000 Majority MP Promises to Payback Profits

Disgraced rent-swapping Labour MP Linda Riordan has told her the Halifax Courier she will sell her London flat and pay back the capital gains or profit to the taxpayer. Last week it was revealed that hard left Riordan skimmed £1,000-a-month profit by renting out her mortgaged London home while claiming rent for another nearby house on expenses.

“I have decided to place the flat on the market this week, and after speaking to Iain Mckenzie this weekend (the person renting the flat) he has agreed to move out as soon as is practically possible. I have always abided by the rules. Furthermore, I have agreed to pay IPSA back any capital gains. I will, on the assumption that my flat sells, pay any profit to the taxpayer. Of course I cannot speak for other MPs or ex-MPs who are or may continue to make profits.”

Housing benefit fraudsters go to jail when they are caught out, MPs can just promise not to do it again. Shameless Linda Riordan didn’t even say sorry. She only has a majority of around 1,000 – the people of Halifax know what to do in 2015…

Labour MP’s Rent-Swapping Amnesia

When Guido was doing his own digging into rent-swappers last week one potential name that cropped up was that of Labour MP Meg Munn. Sheffield Heeley’s finest is a well-known trougher, employing both her husband as her researcher and her sister-in-law as an assistant in her constituency. When Guido asked Meg if she was a rent-swapper on Thursday she denied it outright:

It seems Munn is suffering from a convenient case of amnesia. It turns out she did use a rent-swapping arrangement up until April of this year, with the Register of Members’ Interests revealing her little trick ended just six months ago. She claimed for over £16,000 in rent-swapping expenses over the last financial year alone. Now Munn is quickly rowing back, suddenly recalling – that’s right – that the rules are to blame:

“When in London I now live in a rented flat. I would have preferred to continue to live in the flat I owned, but IPSA’s rules do not allow this.”

Funny how she forgot to mention all this when Guido first came calling…

Parliament Can’t Recall Promising to Sack Corrupt MPs

Both Dave and Nick promised before the election they would change the law to let us recall corrupt MPs. After the election they agreed it was a priority and put it in the Coalition Agreement:

We will bring forward

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Don’t Blame Me! Says Rent-Swapper Burnham

However bad your Monday morning might be going, at least you aren’t as hard-up as poor old Andy Burnham. Over the weekend he published his heart-wrenching sob story excuse for why he has been outed as a shamed rent-swapper. It […]

+ READ MORE +

Exclusive: Cash-in-Hand
Tory Trougher’s Two Fingers to the Taxpayer

Bill Cash has form for dodgy expenses. Last time round the Staffordshire MP was denounced by David Cameron for claiming over £15,000 to pay his daughter rent for her London flat, so it’s no surprise that Guido has caught him […]

+ READ MORE +

Rent-Swapper MacShame Exposed

The original expenses scandal cost dozens of corrupt MPs their jobs, the worst offenders ended up behind bars. Now the rent-swapping sleaze that John Bercow is trying to cover up has been blown wide open. This morning Guido is listing […]

+ READ MORE +



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