Brown-Bankrolling Non-Dom Peer Considers Quitting Over Tax

Non-domiciled Lord Paul of Marylebone, donated over £355,000 to Labour and £45,000 directly into Gordon’s 2007 leadership campaign. Despite his huge wealth he still found it appropriate to claim £38,000 from the taxpayers in Lord’s accommodation expenses despite, by his own admission, having never spent a night in the property.  He is reportedly set to quit the House of Lords, not over his expense claims, but to avoid tax.

Lord Paul has been Brown’s very own non-dom donor and has been repaid handsomely by Labour with a peerage, membership of the Privy Council and until his recent expenses scandal was the Deputy Leader of the House of Lords. So close is Lord Paul to Gordon that he was willing to personally bankroll the autumn election that never happened in 2007. Paul said “All I know is that if there is an election and the money is wanted, whatever I can pay I will. I am a believer in Gordon Brown and his leadership, and I think he’s the best person in the country.” Hence Guido’s amusement today to hear that Paul is ready to jump ship.  He is considering whether to give up his seat in the Lords to avoid having to pay tax in the UK. Which shows where his priorities really lay…

Labour has attacked Lord Ashcroft while turning a blind eye to the activities of one of their biggest donors. Lord Paul has refused to pay tax in this country yet is greeted with open arms by the Labour leadership desperate to get their grubby fingers on some of his controversially raised fortune.  Paul is ranked the 88th richest man, living, in the UK.  This nom-dom, expenses fiddling, conglomerate owning peer has some interesting skeletons in his cupboard to which Guido will be returning. How he amassed his fortune will turn the stomachs of many Labour supporters…

Disgraced Cameron Crony Becomes Lobbyist

In times gone by honourable men when disgraced would enjoy a last brandy before reaching for their revolver.  Now “right honourable” men when disgraced become lobbyists.  Andrew MacKay was the “senior political parliamentary adviser to David Cameron” (according to a statement he made to the police).

Having with his MP wife Julie Kirkbride double-claimed for mortgage expenses for years he is lucky not to be facing charges.  He tried to spin his way out when he was caught but an enraged local Conservative Party membership ousted him acrimoniously.  So much for MacKay’s crisis management spin skills.

On Monday Dave told us that about

“… the next big scandal waiting to happen. It’s an issue that crosses party lines and has tainted our politics for too long, an issue that exposes the far-too-cosy relationship between politics, government, business and money.  I’m talking about lobbying – and we all know how it works. The lunches, the hospitality, the quiet word in your ear, the ex-ministers and ex-advisors for hire, helping big business find the right way to get its way… It arouses people’s worst fears and suspicions about how our political system works, with money buying power, power fishing for money and a cosy club at the top making decisions in their own interest…  if we win the election, we will take a lead on this issue by making sure that ex-ministers are not allowed to use their contacts and knowledge – gained while being paid by the public to serve the public – for their own private gain.

rsz_andrew_mackay

Andrew MacKay is Cameron’s ex-adviser, his dubious ethics are now a matter of public record.  Why wait until he is Prime Minister, Dave can demonstrate the truth of his words by signalling that MacKay is no longer part of the “cosy club at the top”, that he will take a lead and not let MacKay use his contacts for his private gain.  MacKay should be shown the cold shoulder by the shadow cabinet.

Please Sir, I Want Some Morley

With eye-watering audacity Elliot Morley has whined to his local paper that he has been treated unfairly, and most outrageously said he wants to keep his resettlement grant:

“I think withholding the resettlement goes against natural justice. In effect it turns common law around, which judges me guilty until proven innocent. It is one of the many ways I have not been treated fairly. I would point out I have repaid in full and do not owe any money in relation to expenses.”

Not sure Mr Morley quite gets it yet.

Carry On Claiming M’Lords

Clerk of the Parliaments Michael Pownall has given the Lords almost free reign to continue troughing after his meek and timid review into Peers who have broken expenses rules. Yesterday he cleared nine peers and referred just one for further scrutiny. Most of them had been up to the classic trick of claiming overnight allowances despite not really requiring them. The Sunlight Centre was repeatedly knocked back when pursuing former Lib Dem CEO Lord Rennard about this so it comes as no surprise that a total whitewash has been undertaken by Pownell.

Not only did he clear offenders, in an attempting to clarify the rules Pownall has made things worse. The Peers now just have to spend one night a month, while the House is sitting, at whatever location they choose to state as their “main home”, be it their own, a spouse’s home or even a relative’s place.

In other words a Member of the House of Lords can now make up to £30,000-a-year by spending ten days a year at a residence, of their own designation, outside of London. (One night per sitting month and £174 overnight allowances the rest of the time.)  Yet again it really is “all within the rules”.

Speaker Suspends Payments to Theft Charged MPs

Some sense seems to be prevailing over the theft charged Labour MPs.   Labour say they have (belatedly) withdrawn the whip from them. About time…

Speaker Bercow has ordered that resettlement grants of up to £64,000 to the three MPs, who are standing down at the election, would be suspended until the Court has reached a verdict. Writing to Malcolm Jack, the Commons accounting officer, Bercow said:

“I instruct you to suspend any payments which would otherwise be due … in any case where criminal proceedings are brought in relation to any claim for expenses until the criminal proceedings have been finally disposed of.”

Guido would go further and take away not only their resettlement grant but their pensions as well.

+++ Labour Finally Withdraws Whip from Charged MPs +++

Sunday Sleaze

Sunday Sleaze
The Taxpayers’ Alliance has calculated that the three Labour MPs charged with theft from the taxpayers; Jim Devine, David Chaytor and Elliot Morley, will share between them a pay-off totalling £151,552 come election day.  They will also get generous gold-plated pensions. This is an outrageous piss-take.

Given that they are unlikely to have their day in Court before election day, the House of Commons should pass a resolution that any member facing criminal charges for financial impropriety should have payment of resettlement grants and pensions suspended until the result of the charges are known.  If found guilty they should lose all their pension rights.  They will still be drawing their parliamentary pay every month in any event.

This is what would happen to a servicemen or police officer who was found guilty of gross misconduct.  It would be bordering on obscene to expect the victims of the crime – taxpayers – to pay hundreds of thousands to those convicted of thieving from them.  Guido completely accepts the principle that these three are presumed innocent until proven guilty, but can see no legal reason why the payments can not be suspended until the Courts have resolved the issue.

Is there not one good MP who will put a motion to this effect before the House?

The Defendants

Devine, Chaytor, Morley and Lord Hanningfield face multiple charges which could result in prison sentences.  Guido feels satisfied that this is a start.  Particularly pleased that Jim Devine is facing charges – the Sunlight Centre made the original complaint against him to Scotland Yard.

Many other MPs will be thinking “there but for the grace of God…”  Don’t be so sure it is all over troughers…

Judgement is Coming

So Legg has found 52% of MPs guilty of over-claiming from taxpayers, all three party leaders had to make repayments and some MPs should face criminal charges today.  They all face an election.

So judgement is coming in one form […]

+ READ MORE +

Members Room Bookings Live

The room bookings on the Palace Estate files have now been published.  Some MPs have been trousering thousands from lobbyists and commercial interests to act as a room booking service.

There is a scratch-my-back, I-scratch-yours aspect to this racket, politicians […]

+ READ MORE +

Disgraced Nigel Griffiths Stepping Down

The Scotsman is reporting that Nigel Griffiths is not standing for re-election.  The disgraced MP is one of Brown’s most obsequious sycophants, always relied on to ridiculous public displays of loyalty to Gordon whenever crisis comes, as it so often […]

+ READ MORE +

PMQs : Chaytor is Third on the Question List

Disgraced mega-troughing MP David Chaytor is down for the third question on the order paper for this mornings Hague and Hattie show.  Guido wonders what his question will be about:

  • Crime?
  • Housing?
  • The family?
  • Mortgage rates?
  • Sentencing policy?
  • Prison building?

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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