Outgoing MPs Claim For New Laptops and iPads on Expenses
… And They Don’t Have to Give Them Back When They Leave

Shameless MPs standing down at the election are rinsing the taxpayer for brand new laptops and iPads on expenses before they leave parliament… and they DON’T have to give them back.

Two weeks after Andrew Lansley announced he would quit the Commons he claimed £499 for a new iPad, but the rules mean he can keep it when he leaves in May. Eric Joyce confirmed he would quit when Labour told him he was “unfit to stand” back in 2012. Yet last June he claimed £1,777 for “replacement laptops” on expenses, which he is allowed to keep when he goes this year.

Six months after Tim Yeo was booted out by his local Tories last February, he then charged the taxpayer £1,319 on expenses for two new computers. John Denham revealed way back in 2011 that he would be leaving at the election, yet that didn’t stop him from claiming £639 on expenses for a new tablet computer in April 2014. Sacked Energy minister Charles Hendry announced he would stand down from his seat when he lost the role back in 2013. Yet in September last year, eight months before he was set to leave, he claimed £1,024 for a new Latitude laptop.

In July last year Tory MP Mike Weatherley revealed he would not stand for re-election, and two months later he claimed for an £849 Microsoft Surface Pro touch-screen laptop. Tory MP Jonathan Evans announced he was quitting in 2013, yet in August 2014 he claimed £572 for a new Dell laptop, and then another £479 for an iPad Air the following month. In 2011 Tory James Arbuthnot revealed his intention to leave, but still charged us £594 for a new iPad Mini and case last summer.

In the last six months eleven other MPs also claimed laptops and tablets on expenses, including Labour’s Tom Watson – who claimed for two – Siobhain McDonagh, Michael McCann, Huw Irranca-Davies, Roberta Blackman-Woods and Fabian Hamilton, and Tories Theresa Villiers, Nick Hurd, Keith Simpson, Glyn Davies and Tobias Ellwood.

IPSA tell Guido: “we advise MPs who are standing down to pass them on to their successors but we cannot compel them to do so”. Fill your boots…

Review of 2014: Guido Has Never Seen Anything Like It

A record smashing 10th anniversary year with over 30 million visits to this site in 2014. The top ten traffic posts published this year were:

  1. THE RESHUFFLE: All the Sackings as They Happen
  2. WATCH: Former Tory Whip Boasts About Paedo Cover Up
  3. LISTEN: Miliband’s Radio Wiltshire Clusterf**k
  4. Khan Crash: Sadiq’s Rush Hour Horror
  5. Islington MP’s Rochester Culture Shock
  6. EXC: Gordon Brown Office Has £10,000-a-Week “Expenses” 
  7. Brown Office Gives Just 1 in 4 Pounds Raised to Charity
  8. WATCH: Penny Mordaunt’s Loyal Address in Full
  9. Roll Call of Shame: Every MP Who Voted Against Recall
  10. UKIP’s Poster Girl Quits Party Citing Racism

Here are our favourite stories of the last 12 months:

emily

Ten hours after Guido added the word “snob” to Emily Thornberry’s now infamous Image from Rochester, Labour’s Islington MP had resigned from the Shadow Cabinet. ‘Snobberry’ had never seen anything like it, making Ed “more angry than he has ever been” and incurring the wrath of White Van Dan. According to the BBC, it was Guido wot won it. And don’t miss the tale of Lady Nugee’s walled garden… 

In the absence of a Twitter storm it took slightly longer to secure the resignation of David Ruffley. Guido had reported on Ruffley’s anger management problems before, yet the Tories were silent when he accepted a caution for assaulting his ex-girlfriend. Despite Ruffers telling Guido he was “cheerful“, the people of Bury St. Edmunds demanded their MP do the decent thing, domestic violence charities called for his head and, crucially, the Dean of the local cathedral told him “your position is untenable”. In June Ruffley finally announced he would be standing down, and parliament was rid of another nasty piece of work…

2014 was a year when several Tory MPs found themselves in Guido’s crosshairs, none more so than Tim Yeo. From leadership contender to loser in nine years, this blog has been exposing Yeo’s absenteeism and conflicts of interest for the best part of a decade. In January Guido went to find troubled Tim, not in his Suffolk constituency, but in Sandwich in Kent, where he had gone golfing. The following month Yeo was deselected by his local party. Victory at last…

Last but not least, who can forget Brooks No-marks, the Tory women’s champion who sent a paisley-clad dick pic to our very own Sophie Wittams. Despite the wailing from the less popular parts of the press, a public service was confirmed when Brooks was revealed to have used the exact same modus operandi. Yes, yes, yes Minister. 

Despite our detractors’ weak claims of bias, we’ve had a direct hand in ending the careers of three Tory MPs who had absolutely no intention of quitting in 2015. That’s 1% of the parliamentary party. Happy New Year, roll on that election. 

Going, Going… Wrong

“Good evening everybody and welcome to Sotheby’s,” said Tory co-chairman Lord Feldman at a fundraising auction last week… At Christie’s.

The real joke was the fact a signed copy of Cameron’s flop of an immigration speech went for £45,000.

Newmark Confirms Comeback is Off

Brooks Newmark has conceded defeat over the plan to stand again in Braintree. Speaking to his local paper, Newmark claims “I am extremely flattered by the lovely messages of support from members of the public and my local party asking me to reconsider my decision to step down at the next election,” adding: “However, I have decided to stick with my original decision”. As Guido revealed earlier this week, Brooks had been “wavering”, but any attempt by him to stand again was blocked by high command. The Tories say the selection process in the seat will now resume “in the near future”. In the New Year… when local associations can have shortlists thrust upon them by CCHQ.

BREAKING: UKIP Suspend General Secretary Roger Bird
Read Party Statement on “Allegations of Impropriety” in Full

A UKIP spokesman says:

“The UK Independence Party has announced that it suspended its General Secretary Roger Bird on the 7th of December following allegations of impropriety.

Shortly after a claim came to light about the conduct of Mr Bird with regard to candidate selection, the UK Independence Party took action swiftly and decisively, including steps involving external Human Resources consultants, as well as following due process and the Party’s Constitution to the letter.

Unfortunately, UKIP has had to suspend Mr Bird pending a full investigation into allegations made against him. The party has acted swiftly and decisively and will not tolerate impropriety of any kind amongst its staff.”

Looks like they are expecting some headlines of the ornithological variety tomorrow…

Exclusive: Tories Block Newmark Comeback

As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun on Sunday, the selection process in Braintree to replace disgraced dick pic king Brooks Newmark has been cancelled amid speculation he is planning the unlikeliest of comebacks. Brooks was spotted holding secret talks with his local association after concerns about the quality of the other candidates. Despite him promising post-parliament penance working for charity, he saw his chance. Tory sources confirm from Westminster that Brooks had been “wavering”, however, Guido understands any attempt by him to stand again has been blocked by high command: “It’s not going to happen”. Just as Guido was preparing to stand as the Pyjama Party candidate…

Breaking: Carol Mills DID Mislead Senate Over Spying Scandal

John Bercow’s choice for Commons clerk is facing disgrace Down Under after a committee found she provided them with “contradictory” and “misleading” information. A scathing report from the Aussie parliament’s Privileges Committee today condemns Carol Mills for “a serious breach of accountability and probity”, finding her testimony over when exactly she knew CCTV cameras had been used to investigate leaks to be untrue.

“The submission … documents cast considerable doubt upon the evidence given by the secretary… The committee has not been able to reconcile the evidence given at the estimates hearing with the submission and documents which Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS) has subsequently provided. There should be no doubt … that the committee considers [this] … to be a serious breach of accountability and probity.”

Mills has gone to ground and is refusing to give comment to the Australian media. ABC reports her future is now “uncertain” and “under a cloud”. Today’s findings will mean her future does not lie in Westminster…

UPDATE: Senator John Faulkner, in speech given in the Senate yesterday described the department run by Carol Mills in these terms:

A parliamentary department should be an exemplar. But DPS is not.

The findings of this damning report, that the Secretary:

  •  has misled Senate Committees, and
  • has given contradictory evidence, and
  • has overseen the unauthorised use of CCTV,

reinforces my view – publicly stated – that DPS is the worst run government department in the Commonwealth of Australia.

A not so glowing reference for Bercow’s choice of Clerk…

Dorrell Exits Through Revolving Door

When Stephen Dorrell stood down as chairman of the Health select committee back in June, Guido wondered:

“Why would [he] not want to keep the coveted post, as well as the extra pay, for [his] last year in the Commons? Nothing to do, Guido is sure, with the fact that anti-corruption Cabinet Office rules state that politicians have to spend a year ‘cooling off’ before they a can go to work in the lucrative private sector in an area they have acquired expert knowledge in through their position in public office. Any six-figure consultancy contracts and directorships they take up after the election would more than compensate them for their temporary short-term loss this year. A coincidence, no doubt.”

Sure as night follows day, Dorrell today announced he will be quitting parliament at the election to take a job as a health consultant with KPMG. Giving him time for a nice summer holiday before his cooling off period expires and he can start putting all that experience to good use. Kerching!

RED ON RED:
Labour CLP Secretary Quits Over “Sociopath” Candidate

The secretary of Enfield Southgate Constituency Labour Party will sensationally resign tonight, claiming senior local Labour figures believe the party’s own candidate in Enfield North “exhibits all the hallmarks of a sociopath”. In an explosive letter to his chairman […]

+ READ MORE +

Women of Twitter React to Newmark “Rape” Comments

Brooks Newmark has compared being exposed as a sex text pest to being “mentally raped”. Yet another stunning example of the Women2Win founder’s record on women’s issues:

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Labour Candidate Up Half a Million After Expenses Scandal
Shamed Ex-MP Creams Off Huge Taxpayer-Subsidised Windfall

Labour’s candidate in Enfield North is in line for a taxpayer-subsidised windfall of more than half a million pounds, after ‘doing a Maria Miller’. Joan Ryan, who held the seat until she was booted out in disgrace in 2010, claimed […]

+ READ MORE +

Labour Expenses Piggy’s Wikipedia Edited From Parliament

Back in 2012 the Bureau of Investigative Journalism exposed former Labour MP Joan Ryan for deleting references to her expenses scandal shame from her Wikipedia page. She was caught red-handed and ‘fessed up, and details of her flipping her second […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Janan Ganesh on Labour’s soft left

“Ms Cooper does not believe the previous Labour government was wrong to run a fiscal deficit after 15 years of economic growth. Both she and Mr Burnham think families should be entitled to tax credits for a third child. These views are not mad. They are just a bit too left-wing for Britain. For any serious party, that amounts to the same thing. The soft left is more electable than the hard left but then Mars is more habitable than Neptune: neither planet will host human life anytime soon.”

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