Miliband Weaponises Straw

Miliband is quick out of the blocks in trying to use Jack Straw’s suspension to hit the Tories:

Dear Prime Minister,

I write this letter to you not just as leader of the Labour Party but as someone who believes that we all need to act to improve the reputation of our Parliament in the eyes of the British people.

I believe MPs are dedicated to the service of their constituents and the overwhelming majority follow the rules. But the British people need to know that when they vote they are electing someone who will represent them directly, and not be swayed by what they may owe to the interests of others.

Two years ago I said Labour MPs would not be able to hold paid directorships or consultancies after the next election.

My party is also consulting on legislation to make this a statutory ban, as well as imposing a strict cap on all outside earnings by MPs.

Today I can confirm that these measures will be included in my party’s General Election manifesto.

The low levels of trust in politics demands clarity and I urge you to follow my lead in banning paid directorships and consultancies.

There have been too many scandals about conflicts of interest in recent years.

It is time to draw a line under this and ensure these current allegations are the last.

I am sure you will agree this is a problem which affects all parties.

I believe these are circumstances which demand action and leadership.

I look forward to receiving your response.

Yours,

Ed Miliband

Miliband knows the business folk and lawyers on the Tory backbenchers will not put up with it. Canny…

WATCH: Rifkind And Straw – The Footage



According to Dispatches:

The fictitious company
PMR, a communications agency based in Hong Kong was set up, backed by a fictitious Chinese businessman. PMR has plenty of money to spend and wants to hire influential British politicians to join its advisory board and get a foothold in the UK and Europe.

12 MPs who already had significant outside interests were invited to apply for jobs with PMR.
Not all politicians are for hire. Half of those approached didn’t respond. One said he wanted to check us out in Hong Kong so we took it no further. And another said he just wasn’t that interested. Of the others, two stood out – Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw.

12 eh? Hope IPSO don’t get on their fishing trip high horse again…

Jack Straw Suspended From Labour Party

Labour statement:

“We have seen the disturbing allegations against Jack Straw in the Daily Telegraph. The Chief Whip has spoken to Jack Straw. He has agreed to refer himself to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and in the meantime he has agreed the best course of action is to suspend himself from the Parliamentary Labour Party.”

After 36 years as an MP…

Straw and Rifkind Caught in Cash for Access Sting

Jack Straw is filmed boasting:

“I’m well aware of the fact that I bring my name. I know everyone anyway, I’ve got their phone numbers… If I’m doing a speech or something, it’s £5,000 a day, that’s what I charge.”

And explaining how he used his influence to change EU rules for a company that pays him £60,000-a-year:

“I got in to see the relevant director general and his officials in Brussels …  and we got the sugar regulations changed,” he said. “I mean … the crucial thing about this, it’s all, it’s public that the regulations have been changed, but the best way of dealing with these things is under the radar”

Intelligence committee chairman Malcolm Rifkind, when asked by undercover reporters how he could help a fictional Chinese company:

“You’d be surprised how much free time I have. I spend a lot of time reading, I spend a lot of time walking. I’m self-employed. So nobody pays me a salary.”

Read the full Telegragh/Dispatches story here

UPDATE: These are payments declared by Straw from commodities company ED & F MAN Holdings. Straw told the reporters he had helped a commodities company which paid him £60,000-a-year change EU law:

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 22.10.53

UPDATE II: Straw has been suspended from the Labour Party.

PWC to Host Labour Prawn Cocktail Offensive

In their continued quest to pretend they are on the side of business, Labour frontbenchers are being wheeled out to meet local capitalists up and down the country:

What the invitation fails to mention is “Donington Court” is a regional outpost of Labour’s embarrassing big donor, the tax-avoiding PWC.

So the tax avoidance kings swell the coffers and host the shadow cabinet, yet still Ed Miliband told the House “none of these people had given a penny on my watch…”

Chair of the IPCC Claims Comms “Hacked”

klima_pachauri420

Rajendra Pachauri, the chair of the ‘respected’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has claimed that his emails, mobile phone and WhatsApp messages have been hacked by unknown cyber criminals who used his computer devices to commit “various criminal activities”. His claims come after a 29 year old female employee at the Energy and Resources Institute, an environmental wonkshop of which Pachauri is Director General, lodged a police complaint against Mr Pachauri claiming she had received “unwanted” physical advances, emails, WhatsApp messages and handwritten notes from the chair of the IPCC.

An article in India’s Economic Times that reported the claims, has been removed from their website following an injunction from the Delhi high court:

Pachauri Injunction

It’s not the fist time emails sent from Pauchauri’s computer have got him into hot water – he has been accused of using his TERI email address to conduct IPCC business. Perhaps he was hacked…

Jim Murphy Breaks Silence on Expenses Irn-Bru

Finally – some seven hours later – Murphy’s spinners have worked out a line on his shocking Irn-Bru expenses claims. A Scottish Labour Party spokesperson said:

“As most people know, Mr Murphy drinks bucket loads of of Irn Bru. Over the years it’s thought that he has single-handedly kept the House of Commons Irn-Bru supplier in business. He has paid for it himself except for these two cans totaling £1.30.”​

Which slightly misses the point as to why these two were on expenses.

There is no apology nor any explanation here.

Pay it back, Jim…

Blair Already Back Electioneering For Labour

There was plenty of chatter in the broadsheets this weekend about what, if any, role Tony Blair would play in the coming Labour election campaign. However – as readers of the Sun on Sunday would know – Mr Tony was already back and doing his part to raise cash for candidates last week. As Guido revealed yesterday, Tony and Cherie made a rare public appearance together on Thursday at the Grand Imperial Hotel for a glitzy fundraiser for gay Labour candidates.

Last seen awkwardly posing for a very uncomfortable Christmas card, friends were surprised to see the pair work the room just like the old days, despite a turbulent year. “He was very wistful,” says Guido’s mole, “he’s really starting to show his age”. There were handbags later after Chris Bryant “made a bitchy comment about Tony and loyalty to Ed Miliband”. Guido hears Chris was swiftly – and loudly – reminded of his public letter-writing campaign that helped bring Blair down. Sic semper…

Murphy Slammed for Irn-Bru: “Taxpayers Fizzing With Rage”

The Taxpayers’ Alliance are not impressed with Jim Murphy and his Irn-Bru expenses claims:

“This is ludicrous and will leave taxpayers fizzing with rage. Expenses are supposed to be to help MPs do their job, not for caffeine-heavy refreshments

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Tory MP Slammed By Expenses Watchdog
+ Ordered to Pay Back £1,000 in Incorrect Mileage Claims 
+ Claimed ‘For Twice the Distance Shown on Google Maps’

+ Guilty of “Incorrect” and “Laissez-faire Attitude” to Expenses

Tory MP Bob Blackman has been found guilty of repeatedly over-claiming for his mileage expenses by IPSA and has been ordered to pay back more than £1,000 to the taxpayer. In a damning report released this morning the expenses watchdog […]

+ READ MORE +

Tories Gag Bashir: “I’m Not Allowed to Give a Statement”

Guido has spoken with Amjad Bashir by telephone this afternoon to ask him for a response to the slew of stories that have emerged about him over the last 48 hours. An extremely nervous sounding MEP refused to comment, […]

+ READ MORE +

Bashir ‘Lied’ About Times Illegal Immigrants Exposé

Yet more evidence emerges today that the Tories’ star defector Amjad Bashir has serious questions to answer regarding his honesty around his company’s employment of illegal workers. Legal documents seen by Guido accuse Bashir of lying in a Press Complaints […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Mary Creagh’s coded attack on Ed Miliband…

‘I want the country to be united behind a single vision, we aren’t going to do it by sort of having a Rubik’s Cube approach to politics’. 

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