Court Rules Public Can See MPs’ Expenses Receipts

IPSA will have to release copies of MPs’ expenses receipts after failing in an attempt at the Court of Appeal to shield them from the public eye. Currently the expenses watchdog only has to release a brief summary of what appears on the receipt. Now they will have to release full copies, so the next time an MP claims for custard creams the details will be immediately available. A victory for transparency…

UPDATE: An IPSA spokesman says:

“We need to study the judgement carefully.  The Court made clear that this is an important test case with implications not just for IPSA but for all other public bodies.  We were right to test the point of law through an appeal to see whether images of receipts add anything additional to all the information about MPs’ expenditure that we already release.  We remain completely committed to openness and transparency and already publish a detailed breakdown of every claim made by every MP.”

Ken: “If Lutfur’s Done Something Wrong, Have Him Arrested and Put Him on Trial”

[gigya src=”https://abfiles.s3.amazonaws.com/swf/audioboom_default_player_v1.swf” style=”background-color:transparent; display:block; min-width:300px; max-width:700px;” flashvars=”image_option=small&imgURL=https%3A%2F%2Fd15mj6e6qmt1na.cloudfront.net%2Fi%2F14198098%2F300x300%2Fc&link_color=%2358d1eb&mp3Author=LBC&mp3Duration=309701.0&mp3LinkURL=https%3A%2F%2Faudioboom.com%2Fboos%2F3114521-ken-rails-at-judge-over-rahman-decision-if-lutfur-s-done-something-wrong-have-him-arrested&mp3Time=05.01pm+23+Apr+2015&mp3Title=Ken+rails+at+judge+over+Rahman+decision%3A+%22If+Lutfur%27s+done+something+wrong+have+him+arrested%22+&mp3URL=https%3A%2F%2Faudioboom.com%2Fboos%2F3114521-ken-rails-at-judge-over-rahman-decision-if-lutfur-s-done-something-wrong-have-him-arrested.mp3%3Fsource%3Dwordpress&player_theme=light&rootID=boo_player_1&show_title=true&waveimgURL=https%3A%2F%2Fd15mj6e6qmt1na.cloudfront.net%2Fi%2Fw%2F2404103″ width=”480″ height=”150″ allowFullScreen=”true” wmode=”transparent”]

Not a bad idea from Lutfur’s old pal.

In this LBC interview tonight Ken goes on to play down the seriousness of Rahman smearing Labour’s John Biggs as a racist. Worth remembering he still sits on Labour’s NEC…

Taxpayer Funded Trade Unions Tried to Shield Crooked Lutfur From Justice

Unison in Tower Hamlets were at the centre of the campaign to help Lutfur Rahman escape corruption charges.

When the investigators went into the council building, Unision picketed the event with a banner saying: “Eric Pickles – Hands off Tower Hamlets… No to racism and Islamophobia”.

Here’s the Tower Hamlets Unison Branch Secretary John McLoughlin ranting about the investigation into Rahman:

A Unison newsletter claimed “Tower Hamlets is no rotten borough” and “the imposition of commissioners, with powers to appoint the key statutory officers responsible for fundamental decisions on services is wholly disproportionate.”

It was written by full time trade union pilgrims, paid by the council to agitate for Unison…

Lutfur Rahman Roll Call of Shame

As Lutfur Rahman is found guilty of a string of election offences, here is a piece the Guardian published on him last year:

Apparently “there had been a concerted effort by the media and political establishment to smear Rahman” and “the story of Lutfur Rahman is a democratic success story”. Today he has been found guilty of bribery and corruption.

Dave Hill also wrote a long defence of Rahman in the Guardian, including how Rahman was victim to “pernicious, glory-seekers’ back catalogue of Tower Hamlets Islamist conspiracy theories”. He concluded:

“the point is, though, that if Rahman has sinned how many others are doing so all day, every day in ways that, in the end, differ if at all only in the means and detail?”

That renowned democrat George Galloway defended his ideological ally:

“Labour should be beating a path to mayor Lutfur’s door and asking him to sprinkle some of his stardust over them instead of expelling him, witch-hunting him and trying to drive him from office.”

While Ken Livingstone spoke up for his old friend:

“He is the subject of an Islamophobic campaign of lies. I have always stood up for people who are victimised.”

Another one of those days when Labour have to say “thank goodness David didn’t win”…

Boris: “The Cloud Has Been Lifted From Tower Hamlets”

Boris Johnson has responded to the news that Lufter Rahman is a goner:

“I’m very glad that justice has taken its course and the cloud has been lifted from Tower Hamlets.

It’s vital we move on with new elections.”

No word from Ken Livingstone…

UPDATE: Ken speaks:

“I’d take Eric Pickles to court. This is like something out of East Germany under the communists”

Lutfur Rahman Election Voided: Guilty of Bribery and Corruption

The election of Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman has been voided by a judge and he has been banned from standing again.

He is found guilty of making false statements smearing his Labour opponent John Biggs as a racist.

He is also guilty of using taxpayer-funded grants to induce votes.

And guilty of bribery and corruption.

Also guilty of corrupt practice of undue spiritual influence.

Guilty of “general corruption” too.

Rahman a wrong ‘un? Who’d have thought it…

UPDATE: Statement from Eric Pickles:

“I sent in Commissioners into the dysfunctional mayoral administration following the mismanagement of public money and the breakdown of democratic accountability. An independent Election Court has now found the Mayor and his agents guilty of corrupt practices, including bribery and the abuse of public money.

This judgment vindicates our action to intervene. The immediate priority of the Commissioners must be to ensure a free and fair election takes place on 7 May.

I will now ask the Commissioners whether further resources or powers are necessary to help them stamp out this culture of corruption in Tower Hamlets. The Commissioners’ powers may need to be extended in the interim before any by-election.

The police also need to take steps to stop further corrupt practices following this damning judgement. We must also challenge those who seek to spread further division in light of the ruling. There can be no place for rotten boroughs in 21st Century Britain.”

UPDATE II: Rahman ordered to pay £250,000 costs.

Rent Your Flat To an MP, If You Dare

Nice to see the mansions of SW1 getting a look in – this letter has been posted to flat owners near Westminster – but surely this has to be the biggest fib of the election? MPs will be “good quality, respectable tenants”:

Dolphin Square landlords need not apply…

Labour Lead in Short Campaign Donations (Thanks to Unions)

Donations from Monday 30 March to Sunday 5 April:

  • Conservative Party – £501,850
  • Co-operative Party – £13,792
  • Green Party – £8,400
  • Labour Party – £1,887,312
  • Liberal Democrats – £20,000
  • United Kingdom Independence Party – £35,416

That Unite million has saved Ed’s bacon…

Lord Janner Called for Nursing Home Resident to be Prosecuted

Back in 1999, the BBC reported on the discovery that Konrad Kalejs, an alleged Nazi war criminal, was living in a nursing home in Leicestershire:

“Former Labour MP Lord Janner, chairman of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said he would ask Home Secretary Jack Straw to investigate the allegations against Mr Kalejs.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Another Thornberry Tweet Lands Her On Front Page

emily-thornberry

Yesterday Emily Thornberry, the Labour MP for Islington, tweeted this:

et-tweet

To which Guido replied

Which seems to have inspired the Daily Mail’s front page.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Blue-KIP

By day, John Langley is UKIP’s deputy chairman in Bristol, also standing for the party in next month’s city elections. By night he is Johnny Rockard, star of “Johnny Rockard gives Welsh BDSM MILF Bella pain and pleasure” and “Johnny Rockard and Xzena Porn Warrior Princess Extreme”, and other such quality motion pictures.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Another LibDem Arrested For Child Abuse

The LibDem candidate fighting Gloria de Piero in Ashfield and Eastwood has quit after been arrested over historic allegations of child sex abuse. Jason Zadrozny is accused of:

“an allegation of buggery and gross indecency with a male under 16 between September 2003 and April 2004, sexual activity with a child between May 2004 and December 2007 and an allegation of meeting a child under 16 following sexual grooming from May 2004 and December 2007”

Labour hold…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Yello’, Yello’, Yello’: Cops Called Over LibDem Sleaze

The Metropolitan Police are investigating the LibDems after their former chief fundraiser Ibrahim Taguri was filmed telling an undercover ‘donor’ “when you do this, the doors will open for you”. The Electoral Commission says they have passed on the evidence from the Telegraph/Dispatches sting to the fuzz:

“Based on the information that the Commission has seen, the alleged offence in this case centres on the potential evasion of restrictions on donations in contravention of section 61 of PPERA and is ultimately a criminal matter.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Hancock Making Most of Last Week in Parliament

Self-confessed teen fondler Mike Hancock will only be an MP for a few more days, so odd then that the dodgy old Russophile has been putting down some extremely specific questions about the UK’s defence capabilities:

  • Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Royal Navy pilots are in training to enable them to land a fast jet on the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.
[…]

+ READ MORE +

Chris Leslie Offered Fake Donor Manifesto Influence

Tonight’s Dispatches makes very awkward viewing for Labour’s Chris Leslie, who is secretly filmed offering influence over manifesto policy to an undercover businessman posing as a party donor. Leslie is told by a Labour fundraising chief that Paul Wilmott is a “prospective donor”, then takes him for tea at the Marriott Hotel in Westminster where they discuss the Financial Transaction Tax.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Top Cop Calls Afzal Amin Out for EDL Meeting Spin

One of the most explosive lines in Afzal Amin’s extraordinary statement is his claim that a senior police chief in Dudley supported his plotting and was aware of meetings between the EDL and Muslim leaders. Amin claims:

“I made sure I involved Chief Superintendent Chris Johnson from the start and I made clear, which is evident in the recordings, that I refused to do anything illegal… I informed Chief Superintendent Johnson, who was supportive of my plans of resolving very violent tensions through face to face dialogue, and he was aware of subsequent meetings between the EDL and members of the Dudley Muslim community.”

Yet in a statement released last night Chief Superintendent Johnson strenuously denies Amin’s allegations and insists he had no knowledge of what the rogue Tory candidate was up to:

“At no point have we ever discussed an EDL demonstration on the dates in question and I have no knowledge of his alleged plans… I asked for reassurances about the format [of a meeting between the EDL and Muslim leaders] and asked for specific details around who would mediate between the groups, where this would take place and so on.

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Owen Smith backs one hour contracts but wants to abolish zero hours contracts:

“You need to give people a contract to say, ‘here’s what you will be working’. It could be one, but I’m saying it shouldn’t be zero, we should invert that emphasis.”

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