UPDATE : Cameron basically said it was a bad day for the Conservative Party and he was sorry.
UPDATE : Cameron basically said it was a bad day for the Conservative Party and he was sorry.
Guido’s turn to do a spoiler on Telegraph. Now we’re even…
UPDATE : Telegraph is flagging up Alan Duncan’s Jacqui Smith style claims for gardening.
Benefits in kind going undeclared by MPs and flipping primary residences to evade capital gains taxes will now be investigated according to a statement released by HM Revenue Commissioners.
Listening to the politicians who lecture us on redistribution and tell us “it is right that those who have more, pay more” explain why they evaded capital gains taxes is going to be fun. Fun for Guido at least. In fact it is like all Guido’s Christmases have come at once. Smeargate followed by the total exposure of the reality of politician’s troughing venality and lack of integrity is everything Guido has ever wanted.
Finally, after four hundred and four years, the torture of the original Guido Fawkes is being repaid without resort to the rack. When they start jailing politicians, old Guy will have been completely avenged.
There is a heck of a lot to round-up this morning. So first a bit of light entertainment:
Tory MP James Gray, who Guido can confirm from previous behaviour is a complete shit, is exposed today by the News of the World “as a greedy skinflint after claiming for Remembrance Day wreaths on expenses.” Iain Dale calls James Gray “a class one copper bottomed shit… I feel sick to the stomach that an MP from the party I support could even contemplate claiming money for a wreath, let alone actually going ahead and doing it.” So bad news for the Tory Shadow Scottish Secretary David Mundell, who also claims for wreaths. They are both pretty much unashamed that their tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice is to put in an expense claim.
Guido alluded to LibDem CEO Lord Rennard’s troughing ways yesterday, the News of the World has found out about his lying to the parliamentary authorities about his place of residence so he can trouser £41,678 tax free. Guido will be returning to Lord Rennard in the near future. His troughing dishonesty doesn’t end with this, nor does his personal morality bear much scrutiny.
The News of the Screws has a competition , the winner can live like an MP!
Caroline Flint is posing as a diva in a fashion spread in the Observer. The hard-hitting interview asks “Will she ever be able to improve on her number seven ranking in the Most Fanciable MP list?” No questions however about the former Housing Minister getting the taxpayer to pay her stamp duty tax.
The Times reports that Baroness Thornton, a Labour minister in the whips’ office, with a £1 million family house near Hampstead Heath claims up to £22,000 a year in expenses by saying that her mother’s modest bungalow in Yorkshire is her main home.
Hazel Blears flipped her main residence and told a different story to the tax man enabling her to avoid paying capital gains tax on the £45,000 profit she made out of taxpayers.
Tom Watson, the mendacious Minister for Mudslinging and Digital Engagement, claims almost £100 a week for food. Together with fellow Minister Iain Wright, he has used parliamentary allowances to lavish more than £100,000 on their shared Central London home since the last General Election. That is one gold-plated pig sty.
Something to mull over; HMRC allows £5 per night subsistence deductions to taxpayers for overnight stays in the UK. MPs voted themselves £20-a-day tax-free subsistence payments. Why is the rule different for MPs? Do they eat 300% more than the rest of us?
UPDATE : Talking of Tom Watson, after reading the above a co-conspirator emails;
The first time I met him, after many bottles of vino and hours of him talking to my tits, he started telling me all about his second home in London and that he and Siobhan were looking to buy another one in the capital. I was thinking she must be loaded, but now that I consider it in light of current events, I have my doubts.
He is of course (like all MPs) loaded, courtesy of the taxpayers.
We know who the villains of this charade have been; the Speaker, the backbenchers of the parliamentary Labour and Conservative Parties. Gordon Brown has nothing to be proud of, he constantly failed to push reform forward because he could not carry his backbenchers. The YouTube debacle was his last minute desperate attempt to be seen as a reformer. Disastrous.
The shameful Members Estimate Committee, particularly Sir Stuart Bell, has done everything in its power to frustrate meaningful reform. Clegg’s LibDems have been better, though they have their embarrassments too (yes, Guido means you Lord Rennard). Cameron too has bitten the bullet even though he must know there are going to be a heck of a lot of revelations about his party. The Conservative Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin’s role has been very suspect and it is fair to say that Cameron’s stated position and the behaviour of his Chief Whip have often appeared incompatible.
So much for the villains, who are the heroes in this affair? One heroine stands out. Heather Brooke fought for years to get the details of MPs use of the public’s money into the public domain. She fought the parliamentary authorities long and hard in the courts. The deviousness of the parliamentary establishment can’t be overstated. This is her victory.
She was aided and abetted by the press, particularly some of the tabloids, freedom of information campaigners, pressure groups like the Taxpayers’ Alliance and last but not least, bloggers. There is one more hero who should not be forgotten, the person who has blown a digital whistle on this whole charade. It does not matter if the whistleblower has done it partly for money. Mercenaries can sometimes fight heroically for freedom.
Think the public have a right to know what happens to public money? The Sunday Times reports that expense receipts to be released in July will be cesored so that we don’t know what they were for, where the taxis went, the names of shops or hotels.
Labour MP Jim Devine has fiddled a total of nearly £17,000 in “car” and “mileage” costs, but the office manager, Marion Kinley, told the Sunday Herald she did all the driving and “I received only £60.” Devine has some improbable excuses.
The Sunday Times reports that the Labour peer Baroness Uddin has named a flat in Maidstone, Kent as her main residence and claimed around £100,000 in Parliamentary expenses for it. This is despite the flat being empty and Baroness Uddin living in Wapping, East London – just four miles from the House of Lords.
After the Sunday Times challenged Uddin about her “main residence”, she appears to have done a quick “move in”. This is prima facie fraud.
David Miliband wants a private jet and spare on standby according to the News of the World. Despite the fact that he invariably could fly commercial for a fraction of the price.
Well, even so, it is going to be hard for a Labour MP to cover up building a sauna on expenses…
Looks like two Labour peers have been found guilty of taking cash for amendments. The Sunday Times reports that Lord Taylor of Blackburn and Lord Truscott face a one year suspension.
A years suspension from the gravy train? They just got caught trying to sell legislation, isn’t whoring out parliament a bit more serious than that punishment suggests? Is there really no criminal sanction available?
We still have yet to hear the outcome of the investigation into Alistair Darling’s old flatmate, Lord Moonie. Guido would also love to get to the bottom of the financial relationship between Moonie, Gordon Brown and Darling. We know Moonie paid Gordon Brown handsomely for his old Kennington flat which he then sub-let to Alistair Darling. We are clearly not dealing with an obscure outsider here, we are dealing with someone at the corrupt heart of Labour’s Scottish Raj. Did Darling claiming an allowance from the taxpayers to be paid to his mate Moonie? Isn’t that a little too cosy a use of public money?
UPDATE I : The proxy battle for the soul of the Labour party being waged by Blairites via the candidacy of Georgia Gould, 22 year old daughter of Philip, one of the architects of New Labour, is hotting up. Unsealed ballot boxes, dirty tricks, offers of ministerial bribes, mendacious “uncle Ally” Campbell lobbying on her behalf and finally the sitting Labour MP calling for a police investigation into irregularities. This is the future of the Labour Party.
UPDATE II : Tommy McAvoy, the whip behind Gordon’s expense plans, has had a million quid in expenses, employs multiple family members at the taxpayer’s expense and owns a pub according to the Mail on Sunday. Time please…
UPDATE III : The News of the World says that according to Labour’s own internal polling – based on polls and focus groups carried out over the past two weeks – Guido’s two favourite topics; MP’s sleaze and MP’s expense fiddling have destroyed the Labour Party’s electoral hopes:
* Voters think Labour are now sleazier than the Tories.
* Even if Brown fixes the economy, voters still don’t want another Labour government.
One senior Labour insider told the News of the World: “This is an awful toxic mix for us. The research shows we have lost the one advantage we had over the Tories.
“People always thought Labour stood for helping other people, for social justice, while the Tories stood for self interest.
“Now they think we are sleazier than the Tories.”
So defeat will, based on the Labour Party’s own polling research, officially be due to sleaze. It will be, to coin a phrase, “Guido wot won it”…
Disgraced LibDem MP Mark Oaten tells the Press Gazette that the News of the Screws had known of his activities for three years but had chosen to wait until he was better known to report his use of rent-boys. He claims:
“They had my story for three years I think, but hung on to it and never did anything with it. They could have made that public interest argument at any point in the three years. I had always been a Member of Parliament, but they waited until it could sell most newspapers, at the point at which I became well-known and at my most famous…. What annoys me is when they essentially expose people’s private lives and pretend they’re doing society a great service.”
In response to Oaten’s claims, a News of the World spokesman said: “The allegations were proven true… Mr Oaten is correct that we are indeed in the business of selling papers, however we chose not to print details of his grubby activities on the front page of a family newspaper… With that in mind, perhaps it is the married MP who paid rent boys for kinky sex who should consider a more ‘upfront and honest’ approach.”
The question which arises in Guido’s mind is that if as Mark Oaten reckons the Screws had known about his rent-boy frolics for three-years, doesn’t that contradict his original excuses? He claimed that it was the sudden onset of male pattern baldness that unbalanced him. Sudden? Journalists knew for over three years?
Hat-tip : Pink News
Guido’s old friend Steve Morgan is not completely finished. Morgan Alllen Moore may have closed down, but you can’t keep a bad spin-meister down. The man who told his local paper he was the international spokesman for Obama, has a new operation – “Enviro Business Solutions”. They are focusing on green lobbying.
The website is strangely uninformative. It does not give an office address or name any staff members. Guido called Morgan’s home number which appears to double as the office number.
Mrs Morgan answered with a cheery “how did you get this number?”
Guido : It is on your website.
Mrs Morgan : What do you want?
Guido : A copy of your Code of Conduct as advertised on the website.
Morgan’s old firm was famously the first political lobbying firm in 17 years ever to be thrown out of the lobbyist’s trade group the Association Professional Political Consultants. Clearly Morgan has decided that he does not want that to happen again and will instead by abiding by his own Code of Conduct this time. Cunning. If they actually have one…
The Mail on Sunday has Hoon bang to rights manipulating the system to build a mortgage free property portfolio. He lived in a grace and favour apartment in Admiralty House, rented out his London home and claimed the allowance for his constituency home. In the process making hundreds of thousands in profits playing the system and clearing his mortgage. All at the expense of the taxpayer.
Classic line from the article:
When The Mail on Sunday suggested that it appeared he had made a considerable sum by ‘manipulating the system’, he replied: ‘I don’t accept that for a moment.’
UPDATE : According to the News of the World 138 MPs rent out a property at the same time as claiming claiming a second home allowance. 138 MPs are clearly and Hoonishly manipulating the system to build a property portfolio at the taxpayer’s expense. That is how “public servants” who have never had a proper job in their lives, retire as millionaires off the backs of taxpayers.
Ex-Sun Hack Cleared After 582 Days on Bail | MediaGuido
11 Times Boris Denied He Would Stand for Parliament | Buzzfeed
Attacking UKIP’s Posters is Counter-Productive | Guardian
Sarkozy Tried it on With Hollande’s Ex | Times
Another Spare Room Subsidy Cut Success | Harry Phibbs
Rich Now Have Less Leisure Than Poor | Economist
UKIP’s Immigration Policy Promotes Migrant Entrepreneurs | Breitbart
Another Feminist Lecture | Laura Perrins
UKIP Posters Bad Economics But Good Politics | James Delingpole
Tories Losing to UKIP in Scotland | ConHome
UKIPers Will Come Home in 2015 | Sun
A confused Nick Griffin says Nigel Farage is a shill for the City, forgetting that City banks want to stay in the EU:
“Farage is a snake oil salesman, but a very good one. His supposed anti-immigration stance is all smoke and mirrors, as is his carefully cultivated image as a ‘man of the people’. The truth is that UKIP is a pro-immigration party that exists to lobby for the interests of the City of London.”