UKIP Tell Atkinson to Lawyer Up

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Guido hears that suspended MEP Janice Atkinson was told by UKIP’s legal team this morning that there was nothing they could do for her and that she had better get criminal representation very quickly. Apparently Section 6 of the 2006 Fraud Act was the topic of breakfast discussion this morning…

UKIP Suspend Janice Atkinson

UKIP have suspended MEP Janice Atkinson over allegations of financial irregularities. A spokesman says:

“The party is incredibly disappointed with Ms. Atkinson, who appears to have exercised extremely poor judgement in acting in a way that the party has never, and would never condone. The party has acted swiftly and immediately, and just as we showed when we suspended another MEP for financial irregularities, we always maintain a zero tolerance attitude towards acts of this nature.”

Guido understands Atkinson racked up a bill at a restaurant, then an aide allegedly returned at a later date and was filmed haggling with staff to increase the bill so she could claim it on her expenses.

Developing…

UPDATE: Tomorrow’s Sun have full details… with video.

Fast-Moving Stationery Investigation Halted With Apology

Labour MP John Woodcock has said sorry after the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner ruled that he shouldn’t have sent these raffle tickets offering tours of parliament using taxpayers’ money:

“I apologise for this inadvertent breach of the rules, which I have always strived to follow as your member of parliament. I take the proper use of parliamentary resources seriously…”

Yet the injustice doesn’t end there. Woodcock says in a statement:

“The founders of the Save Our Hospital campaign have decided to donate the full 25 per cent of the raffle proceeds – £837.50 to the Hospital Equipment for Furness Fund charity. The cost of the envelopes is being repaid from the remainder of the fund which had been earmarked for materials to be distributed after the forthcoming general election.”

Given it came out of his parliamentary expenses allowance, why doesn’t he just pay it back out of his own money?

Gloria De Piero Shopped For Leaflet Expenses

Labour’s Gloria De Piero is the latest MP to be shopped to the parliamentary authorities for blatant electioneering on the taxpayer. Sending out a survey just days before the Dissolution of Parliament, Gloria invites anyone who completes it to visit her in Westminster – somewhat presumptuous for a member defending a 192 majority in May.

Raging Red Len Attacks Miliband’s Media ‘Minnows’

Red Len is angry, specifically at Miliband’s spinners:

“What is also regrettable about the Sunday Times article is the apparent obsession of the media team around Ed Miliband who are constantly seeking opportunities for Ed to “face down Red Len” and Unite in order to show his macho authority.

They deliberately brief stories (off record of course) in order to create a phoney war between “Miliband v McCluskey”. It’s so transparent and crude, it’s getting tedious. 

These minnows should concentrate on the more important task of attacking this government and trying to improve Milliband’s image so we can achieve a Labour victory.”

Will he put his money where his mouth is?

People’s Champion? No Sorry From Sarah

Labour MP Sarah Champion is today paying back the £17 she claimed on expenses for a Remembrance Sunday poppy wreath. Apart from a short statement confirming she would reimburse the taxpayer, Champion has maintained radio silence in the face of searing public criticism. The Labour majority in Rotherham was halved when Champion was elected in 2012 following the MacShane scandal and UKIP are narrowing the gap. Is a ‘sorry’ so hard?

Sleazy LibDem: “The Doors Will Open For You”

 

Ibrahim Taguri, the former chief fundraiser for the LibDems, a parliamentary candidate and a member of Clegg’s inner circle, is filmed by the Telegraph telling a fake Indian businessman offering to make an illegal donation:

“Well, when you do this, the doors will open for you. Make it happen and then, then we’ve got a, we’ve got a different scenario. Okay? We’re going to introduce you to the parties, they will be, very, very helpful once they know you are helpful. That’s when we will, you know, the party will go, ‘Right, this is a guy we like, we know he’s supportive and —’, and we’ll work out a plan if we need to.”

The usual LibDem trick would be to put ’em in the Lords…

John Woodcock: Stationery Investigation Moving Fast

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has launched an investigation into Labour MP John Woodcock’s expenses.

As Guido reported last week, Woodcock is under fire for his use of official stationary and flogging access to Parliament as raffle prizes.

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The ever so transparent process gives only the vaguest of details regarding the fast moving investigation: ‘stationary’. 

Worth noting that the Commissioner has also decided to take up Rifkind and Straw’s self-referrals, though given the snail’s pace that things happen over there, it seems unlikely any investigation will be concluded before the two party grandees leave the Commons. Perhaps in time for the 2016 New Year’s Honours…

“Kensington and Chelsea” Embarrasses Hacks

Nothing like a political scandal to flush out some sloppy journalism. Malcolm Rifkind is standing down from Kensington. Not Kensington and Chelsea. The parliamentary constituency of Kensington and Chelsea does not exist any more: it was scrapped in 2010 when […]

+ READ MORE +

SHAMELESS: Labour Candidate Withdraws After Benefit Overclaiming Exposed

They don’t call it the party of benefits for nowt. Hanna Toms, the Labour candidate for Truro, has withdrawn from the race after it emerged she had ‘inadvertently’ over-claimed her benefits:

“In the last few months, I was contacted concerning

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Malcolm Rifkind Steps Down as ISC Chair and MP

The Chairman of the ISC, the Rt. Hon. Sir Malcolm Rifkind has this morning issued the following statement:

None of the current controversy with which I am associated is relevant to my work as Chairman of the Intelligence and Security

[…]

+ READ MORE +

POLL: Should Rifkind Resign From Intelligence Select Committee?

Should Sir Malcolm Rifkind stand down to spend more time with the lifestyle to which he aspires?[…]

+ READ MORE +



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