Mystery of EU’s £250,000 Belgium ‘Aid’ Bung

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…

Brooks ‘Likes’ Another Mystery Social Media Blonde

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…

Tight Tory’s £4.50 Remembrance Expenses Shocker

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.

Police Investigate Sexy Shower Scene MP

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…

Tory MP’s House Husband Subsidised By Taxpayer


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…

IDS Should Face Benefit Sanctions


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?

  • 3 categories of sanction – ‘higher’, ‘intermediate’ and ‘lower’ – depending on the nature of the offence

Seems pretty serious: Higher.

  • different levels of sanction for first, second and third offences

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?

New MP Puts Secretary He’s Shagging on Highest Pay Grade

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…

New MPs Already Have Their Snouts in the Trough

They have barely been in their jobs for eight weeks, but our new Honourable Members are already learning how to milk the system.

In addition to their imminent public sector pay freeze-busting 10% pay rise, these new MPs have already begun to employ family members on their taxpayer-funded parliamentary expenses.

Caroline Ansell (Eastbourne) I employ my husband, Nicholas Ansell, as a full time Personal Assistant.

Richard Arkless (Dumfries and Galloway) I employ my wife, Anne Elizabeth Arkless, as part-time Personal Assistant.

Ian Blackford (Ross, Skye and Lochaber) I employ my step-son, John O’Leary, as Caseworker.

Steve Double (St Austell and Newquay) I employ my wife, Anne Double, as full time Senior Caseworker and Diary Secretary.

Harry Harpham (Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough) I employ my wife, Gill Furniss, as part-time Researcher.

Gerald Jones (Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney) I employ my partner, Tyrone Powell, as Senior Parliamentary Assistant.

Scott Mann (North Cornwall) I employ my non-cohabiting partner, Nicola Wade, as part time Secretary.

Johnny Mercer (Plymouth, Moor View) I employ my wife, Felicity Cornelius, as part-time Constituency Support Officer.

Paul Monaghan (Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross) I employ my brother, Mark Innes Monaghan, as Constituency Communications Manager.

Jess Phillips (Birmingham, Yardley) I employ my husband, Tom Phillips, as Constituency Support Manager.

Michael Tomlinson (Mid Dorset and North Poole) I employ my wife, Frances Mynors, as my Personal Assistant.

David Warburton (Somerton and Frome) I employ my wife, Harriet Warburton, as a Communications Officer and Personal Assistant.

Corri Wilson (Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock) I employ my son, Kieran Donoghue, as Caseworker/Personal Assistant.

They will go far.

Theresa May Urged to Launch New Handycock Probe

Self-confessed teen fondler Mike Hancock might have lost his seat but he is not out of the woods yet. The Tory, Labour, UKIP and even LibDem group leaders in Portsmouth have all written to Theresa May demanding that the police take action:

Dear Mrs May,

We, the undersigned councillors of Portsmouth City Council, feel compelled to write to you about the failure of Hampshire Constabulary to investigate and take appropriate action regarding allegations of serious misconduct surrounding former councillor and MP Mike Hancock…

As you may know from national press reports, the careworker for a vulnerable adult (known as ‘Annie’) with mental health issues reported to Hampshire Constabulary in 2010 that Cllr Hancock had sexually assaulted or harassed Annie, in proper compliance with the Safeguarding Adults Policy.



Cash For Influence: How a Labour Donor Killed a Bill

Guido has written previously on how Labour have let trade union donors buy influence in the House. Well, they have been caught red handed once again.

On May 29, Labour peer Baroness Turner sponsored a Private Members’ Bill seeking to reform Easter trading laws – introducing it at its first reading in the House of Lords.[…]


MacShame’s First TV Interview: Send Him Back Down

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, his blaming of his colleagues for doing him in rather than the coppers and the CPS, and some extraordinary defamation of Grant Shapps regarding nom de plumes.[…]


The Minister, the Lobbyists and the Charity Fat Cat


Last week Guido exclusively revealed plans by tobacco lobbyists ASH to spy on gay people, pregnant women as well as ban smoking in theatres, prisons and private cars. He wrote:

“The anti-smoking lobby group have written a wide-ranging wishlist for the coming parliament and it’s about as authoritarian as you can get. 



Vaz Spins Hacking Line in Yet Another Passport Scandal

Keith Vaz

The timing of Keith Vaz’s latest passport scandal is rather suspicious given the forthcoming Select Committee elections:

The former head of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz, has been reported to the parliamentary standards commissioner after lobbying visa officials on behalf of a controversial cricketing tycoon.



Best Reponses to MP Pay Rise Consultation

Sitting somewhere in an office on Millbank, an IPSA employee sifts through the hundreds of responses to their consultation on MPs’ pay while trying to justify giving them an extra 10%. Here are some of the Great British public’s more forthright contributions.[…]


Pressure Mounts on Cameron to Reject Pay Rise

A cynic might say the wannabe next leader of the Labour Party is being shamelessly populist, but Andy Burnham is first out of the blocks to turn down his 10% pay rise:



Robbo Finally Confirms Baldwin Briefed “Milly Dowler Moment”

After Nick Robinson reported that “The Labour leader’s aides say that he sees this as another Milly Dowler moment”. There was a storm and it was a contentious front page news story about which he tweeted:



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