What an image:
What an image:
The sinister sounding European Development Fund is the EU’s aid arm, splurging €22.7 billion a year on “aid for development cooperation in Africa, the Caribbean, and Pacific countries”. Or so they claim.
Analysis by the Taxpayers’ Alliance reveals that the fund approved three “grants” of €198,464, €86,860 and €45,873 to that deeply deprived third world country… Belgium.
What’s more, the three Belgian aid projects, totalling almost a quarter of a million Euros, are categorised as “confidential”. The fund refuses to disclose any further information about what the money was spent on.
It’s all a bit Sepp Blatter…
You would have thought old Brooks Newmark would have learned his lesson about mysterious blondes on social media. So it’s a little surprising to see what he has been up to on LinkedIn:
“If you can’t change your fate, change your attitude” says Brooks’ seductive model friend. Indeed…
Earlier this year, Guido revealed Labour MP Sarah Champion’s £17 expenses claim for a poppy wreath.
Then top Miliband aide John Cruddas was caught putting funeral flowers on the taxpayers’ tab.
Now the Tories are at it too.
Wealthy Stephen Hammond rakes in £67,000 a year as the MP for Wimbledon. He also owns a luxury £500,000 second home in Portugal, complete with a swimming pool.
That didn’t stop the rotund miser from filing a £4.50 expenses claim on Remembrance Sunday last year for “mileage” to drive, in his own car, to “two Remembrance services” within his constituency.
This is what greedy Hammond said about MPs’ pay in the last parliament:
“An MP salary should be linked to a public sector job of similar responsibility such as a GP. Official figures I have been shown put the average salary for a GP at over £105,000.”
At least then maybe he’d be able to find the cash to honour our heroes from his own pocket.
It’s been a busy first few weeks for new Plymouth MP Johnny Mercer. First he put his wife on the public payroll, then hit the headlines for lathering up topless in a shower gel advert, and now he is under investigation by the police. That escalated quickly.
The preened poser has lawyered up after bitter opponents called the cops in over his election expenditure. Mercer mysteriously told supporters he needed “some manpower, and a decent dose of Commando Spirit” on “the night-time of 6/7 May”.
The next day, polling day, his defeated Labour opponent Alison Seabeck claims she “suddenly woke up with every bridge and every lamppost covered in posters and fliers”, claiming this “does influence people significantly and it is improper”.
Mercer himself paid for the £1,642 clean up out of his own pocket and insists:
“I am confident I haven’t broken the law and this allegation is being dealt with by my lawyers.”
Well, he looked clean in the advert…
Continuing Guido’s series of troughing new MPs who are already employing family members on the public payroll, meet the new Tory MP for Eastbourne.
At her selection, Caroline Ansell revealed that her husband Nick would be giving up his full time job as a teacher if she was elected as an MP to look after their three boys.
A noble commitment.
Yet, just two months since she came to Westminster, Caroline has declared:
“I employ my husband, Nicholas Ansell, as a full time Personal Assistant.”
Guido asked Caroline why the change of heart, but alas she declined the opportunity to comment. Only a cynic would suggest that Nick’s role as a house husband was being subsidised by the taxpayer…
Awkward, via PA:
Iain Duncan Smith had his official credit card suspended after running up more than £1,000 in expenses debts, it can be revealed.
The Work and Pensions Secretary was among more a dozen MPs subject to action by the Commons watchdog after failing to show spending was valid.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) issues MPs with credit cards for to pay for items such as travel and accommodation.
The politicians then have to prove the spending was genuine by the end of the month, or they build up debts to the watchdog.
What would the DWP have to say about such a flagrant breach of the rules?
Seems pretty serious: Higher.
Hardly the first time that the words ‘IDS’ and ‘expenses’ have been heard in the same sentence…
Certainly a case for suspending hand outs.
UPDATE: Team IDS get in touch:
“Iain has not had his card suspended. IPSA have confirmed twice in writing that this issue was an error on their part. To be clear no money is owed”
Yet IPSA still insist the credit card was switched off and that they stand by their original claim entirely. So who’s telling the truth?
Yesterday Guido revealed the roll call of shame of new MPs boarding the gravy train by giving cushy jobs to family members.
Most impressive of the bunch is Gerald Jones, top left, the new Labour Honourable Member for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney.
Gerald is not even two months into the job and he has already found his new Senior Parliamentary Assistant: his partner, Tyrone Powell, top right.
That job title means lucky Tyrone goes straight into the highest pay grade available, potentially taking home £43,272 of taxpayer cash a year.
He must have plenty of parliamentary experience…
Denis MacShane has surfaced to try and flog his prison diaries. Choosing the softest of soft interviews, MacShame was his usual unpleasant self on the Victoria Derbyshi*e Show:
The whole video is worth watching for MacShame’s total lack of contrition, […]