Monday, October 14, 2013

Eleanor Laing: the MPs’ MP

Eleanor Laing is the still the front-runner in Deputy-Speaker election. She has public support from Labour’s side; Kevin Barron has written to Labour colleagues calling on them to support Laing and Chris Bryant is sounding out support for her. If Chris is her campaign manager on the Labour side, his own failure to win election to the Shadow Cabinet doesn’t bode too well. After Laing was exposed for not paying capital gains on the £1 million profit she made when she “flipped” her home in the great 2009 expenses scandal, she told Guido she would stand down in 2010. She obviously didn’t.

As for her supporters; Kevin Barron, chairman of the Standards and Privileges Committee which judges MPs’ ethics, sold his taxpayer funded home for a tax-free £500,000 profit, whilst Chris Bryant flipped his ‘second home’ twice in two years at taxpayers expense.

Quite a flippin’ team.

UPDATE: Eleanor Laing called within seconds of this post going up to deny she ever said to Guido that she would stand down. We both agree where and when we had a conversation, she denies saying anything of the sort. Guido’s recollection is different. She also points out that Sir Thomas Legg’s inquiry did not result in her being ordered to make a repayment – because, we both agree, “it was all within the rules”. We’ll leave it at that…

Friday, September 13, 2013

List of Shame: Every MP Who Employs a Family Member

Adrian Bailey: Jill Bailey £9,999
Adrian Sanders: Alison Sanders £29,999
Aidan Burley: Jodie Jones £29,999
Alan Campbell: Jayne Campbell £4,999
Alan Haselhurst: Angela Margaret £44,999
Alan Meale: Diana Gilhespy £19,999
Albert Owen: Samuel Blyth £29,999
Alec Shelbrooke: Susan Shelbrooke £14,999
Alex Cunningham: John Cunningham £9,999
Alistair Burt: Eve Burt £39,999
Andrew George: Jill George £4,999
Andrew Miller: Frances Miller £29,999
Andrew Robathan: Rachel Robathan £24,999
Andrew Smith: Valerie Smith £14,999
Andrew Turner: Carole Dennett £19,999
Angela Smith: Steven Wilson £39,999
Angus MacNeil: Jane MacNeil £24,999
Angus Robertson: Carron Anderson £29,999
Annette Brooke: Eleanor Perera £4,999
Barry Gardiner: Caroline Smith £24,999
Ben Wallace: Liza Wallace £24,999
Bill Cash: Bridget Cash £29,999
Bob Ainsworth: Gloria J Ainsworth £14,999
Bob Blackman: Nicola Blackman £34,999
Brian Donohoe: Christine Donohoe £24,999
Caroline Flint: Phil Cole £39,999
Cathy Jamieson: Ian Sharpe £14,999
Charles Walker: Fiona Walker £29,999
Cheryl Gillan: John Leeming £19,999
Chris Grayling: Susan Grayling £39,999
Chris Ruane: Gillian Roberts £24,999
Chris Williamson: Margaret Amsbury £29,999
Christopher Chope: Christine Chope £49,999
Clive Betts: James Thomas £34,999
Craig Whittaker: Sophie Whittaker £19,999
Dan Jarvis: Rachel Brookes £9,999
Dan Rogerson: Heidi Rogerson £9,999
Daniel Poulter: Carol Poulter £39,999
David Amess: Julia Amess £19,999
David Burrowes: Rebecca Chard £39,999
David Crausby: Enid Crausby £39,999
David Davies: Aliz Harnisfoger-Davies £9,999
David Davis: Doreen Margery Davis £34,999
David Hamilton: Jean Hamilton £29,999
David Mundell: Oliver Mundell £29,999
Dennis Skinner: Lois Blasenheim £39,999
Derek Twigg: Mary Twigg £29,999
Desmond Swayne: Moira Swayne £9,999
Diana Johnson: Kevin Morton £39,999
Frank Roy: Ellen Roy £4,999
Gareth Johnson: Wendy Johnson £14,999
Gary Streeter: Janet Vanessa Streeter £14,999
Gavin Williamson: Joanne Williamson £4,999
George Howarth: Julie Howarth £34,999
George Young: Camilla Young £34,999
Glenda Jackson: Clare Fletcher £9,999
Glyn Davies: Bobbie Davies £19,999
Graham Brady: Victoria Lowther £44,999
Graham Evans: Cheryl Evans £24,999
Graham Stringer: Eleanor Carr £29,999
Graham Stuart: Niki Roberts £34,999
Graham Morris: Michelle Morris £14,999
Greg Knight: Janet Knight £24,999
Gregory Campbell: Frances Campbell £19,999
Helen Grant: Simon Grant £9,999
Helen Jones: Michael Vobe £39,999
Henry Bellingham: Emma Bellingham £14,999
Henry Smith: Jennifer Lois Millar-Smith £24,999
Hilary Benn: Sally Clark £24,999
Hugo Swire: Alexandra Sasha Swire £34,999
Hywel Francis: Mair Francis £44,999
Iain McKenzie: Alison McKenzie £4,999
Iain Wright: Tiffany Wright £29,999
Ian Davidson: Morag MacKinnon £34,999
Ian Lavery: Hilary Lavery £24,999
Ian Liddell-Grainger: Jill Liddell-Grainger £34,999
Ian Lucas: Noah Lucas £9,999
Ian Murray: Hannah Woolfson £9,999
Ian Swales: Anne Marie Swales £9,999
Jackie Doyle-Price: Mark Steven Coxshall £19,999
James Gray: Phillipa Gray £34,999
James Paice: Ava Paice £14,999
Jeffry Donaldson: Eleanor Donaldson £24,999
Jim Dobbin: Mary Dobbin £34,999
Jim Hood: Marion Stewart Hood £24,999
Jim Sheridan: Joanne Riley £29,999
Joe Benton: Doris Benton £24,999
John Healey: Jackie Bate £14,999
John Mann: Joanna White £34,999
John Robertson: Laura Robertson £4,999
John Stevenson: Tracy Nixon £9,999
Julian Brazier: Katharine Elizabeth Brazier £19,999
Julie Elliott: Miles Elliott £24,999
Karen Bradley: Neil Bradley £44,999
Karl McCartney: Cordelia McCartney £39,999
Kelvin Hopkins: Patricia Hopkins £14,999
Kevin Barron: Andree Deane £14,999
Laurence Robertson: Anne Marie Adams £44,999
Lee Scott: Estelle Scott £34,999
Liam Byrne: Sarah Harnett £9,999
Linda Riordan: Stephen Roberts £39,999
Lindsay Hoyle: Catherine Hoyle £14,999
Malcolm Bruce: Rosemary Bruce £35,000
Margaret Beckett: Lionel Beckett £30,000
Mark Garnier: Caroline Garnier £40,000
Mark Pritchard: Sondra Spaeth £45,000
Mark Simmonds: Lizbeth Simmonds £25,000
Mark Tami: Sally Tami £20,000
Martin Caton: Bethan Caton £35,000
Martin Vickers: Ann Vickers £10,000
Meg Munn: Dennis Bates £25,000
Menzies Campbell: Elspeth Cambpell £30,000
Michael Dugher: Joanna Dugher £35,000
Michael Fallon: Wendy Fallon £20,000
Michael McCann: Tracey Ann McCann £35,000
Michael Moore: Alison Moore £20,000
Mike Penning; Angela Penning £35,000
Nadine Dorries: Phillipa Dorries £45,000, Jennifer Dorries £35,000
Neil Parish: Susan Parish £20,000
Nigel Adams: Claire Adams £20,000
Oliver Heald: Christine Heald £40,000
Owen Paterson: Rose Paterson £35,000
Patrick McLoughlin: Lynn McLoughlin £40,000
Patrick Mercer: Susan Gray £40,000
Paul Beresford: Julie Beresford £30,000
Paul Farrelly: Victoria Perry £5,000
Paul Flynn: Lynne Flynn £20,000
Peter Aldous: Mark Bee £10,000
Peter Bone: Jeanette Bone £50,000
Phil Wilson: Margaret Brown £40,000
Philip Davies: Deborah Davies £25,000
Phillip Lee: Anthony Lee £10,000
Rehman Chishti: Nusrat Ahmed £25,000
Richard Ottaway: Nicola Ottaway £15,000
Richard Shepherd: Davida Catleugh £40,000
Robert Buckland: Sian Reed £5,000
Robert Goodwill: Maureen Goodwill £20,000
Roger Gale: Susan Gale £40,000
Ronnie Campbell: Deirdre Campbell £15,000
Russell Brown: Gillian Carey £25,000
Sharon Hodgson: Alan Hodgson £35,000
Simon Danczuk: Karen Burke £30,000
Simon Hart: Abigail Hart £25,000
Stephen Crabb: Beatrice Crabb £20,000
Stephen Gilbert: Jaqueline Bull £15,000
Stephen Hammond: Sally Hammond £45,000
Stephen Pound: Maggie Pound £25,000
Teresa Pearce: Paul O’Neill £10,000
Tim Loughton: Elizabeth Loughton £10,000
Tom Harris: Carolyn Harris £35,000
Tony Lloyd: Angharad Lloyd £10,000
Valerie Vaz: Paul Townsend £40,000
William McCrea: Robert Watters £25,000
Yvonne Fovargue: Paul Kenny £25,000

£4 million-a-year of your money goes straight into their pockets…

Taxpayer Pays MPs’ Relatives £4 Million-a-Year

snouts-frontpagesFollowing on from Guido yesterday, this morning the Mail and the Mirror go after the MPs who top up their household income by employing their wives and daughters, creaming off the taxpayer. A quarter of MPs give a job to their family, the taxpayer forks out £4 million-a-year to pay the wages of family members. The problem is not so much that relatives of MPs have these jobs, rather the often non-existent selection process. How did they get the job? What was the selection process? How can they ever be sacked?

One of the most common complaints Guido receives from parliamentary researchers is that in some cases family employees simply don’t do any work for their money. They often aren’t even aware the wife is employed at all…

pig-in-shit

Back in 2009 after the expenses scandal Sir Christopher Kelly’s Committee on Standards in Public Life report into MPs’ Expenses and Allowances looked into this in detail. They found that MPs paid family members on average nearly £2,000 more than non-family members.

The Committee determined

  • Such arrangements are at odds with good employment practice in the private and public sector.
  • There would be line-management issues between two people who had a personal relationship and “it is difficult to see how such an approach could ever operate satisfactorily in practice, given the personal relationships involved.”
  • „„Employing family members is fundamentally unmeritocratic, restricting access for others to political experience and jobs.
  • The employment of family members has been banned in a number of other legislatures.
  • MPs’ offices are not small family businesses. They are supported by public funds.

For those reasons the Committee on Standards in Public Life recommended that

pig-in-shitMPs should no longer be able to appoint members of their own families to their staff and pay them with public funds. Those currently employing family members should be able to continue to do so for the life of one further Parliament or five years, whichever is the longer.

MPs quietly scuppered the family gravy train being derailed…

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Jacqui Smith Back on Public Teat from December

It wouldn’t be an expenses themed day without mentioning Jacqui Smith, and guess what?

The former Home Secretary will soon be back on the public teat. Smith is set to become Chairman University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust.

Kerching!

REVEALED: List of Cabinet Ministers Shagging Their Secretaries
Cabinet Creaming Taxpayer for Household Income Top Up

The combined parliamentary and ministerial salary for Cabinet ministers is £134,565, five times the wage of the average Briton. Ministers of State trouser £98,740, for under-secretaries of state a paltry £89,435. Clearly that is not enough for some however.

New data shows the Grayling household tops up Justice Secretary Chris’ six figure salary by charging the taxpayer between £35,000 and £39,999 to employ his wife Susan.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin’s wife earns the same amount.

Rose Paterson, wife of Owen, the Secretary of State for the Environment for Rural Affairs who is worth £1.5 million, makes between £30,000 and £34,999.

Millionaire Chief Whip Sir George Young employs his daughter Camilla on up to £34,999, while Alistair Burt and Hugo Swire at the Foreign Office have given taxpayer-funded jobs to their wives Eve and Sasha.

Sally Hammond, wife of Stephen is on up to £44,999.

These ministers have household incomes of up to £175,000-a-year straight from your pockets.

Mr and Mrs Bone’s £100,000 Taxpayer Bonanza

Peter Bone manages to shoehorn his wife “Mrs Bone” into almost every speech or question in the House. “Mrs Bone” has almost become a PMQs institution. What you might not know is you are paying for that dubious pleasure. New IPSA data reveals that Mrs Bone was paid between £45,000 and £49,999 last year. Meaning that between them the Bones are pocketing more than £100,000 from the taxpayer. Not so funny now, is it?

Taxpayer Pays Dorries Girls £145,000

NADINE

New data from IPSA reveals that through employing two of her daughters to work in her office, the taxpayer paid the Dorries girls up to £145,000 last year. More than the PM. 28 year old Philippa Dorries earned between £40,000 and £44,999 as her office manager, while Jennifer Dorries raked in £30,000 to £34,999 as a senior secretary. Nadine earns £65,000 as Member for Mid Bedfordshire. No wonder she can stop claiming for expenses…

UPDATE: Nadine gets in touch to complain that this gives the wrong impression. They were as IPSA say both employed  in the 2012-13 financial year, not simultaneously. Philippa Dorries left her employ in August 2012 and Jennifer Dorries started working for her in October 2012 according to Nadine. Same year, not same time…

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Q2 Party Funding Figures – Everything You Need To Know

The party funding figures are out for Quarter 2 of the year. The Tories are out front with £4,116,006 while Labour’s £3,136,447 is almost entirely from the unions. The LibDems have struggled to even raise a million with £801,448, while UKIP’s £160,289 was double what they raised in Q1.

The biggest donors were:

Unite the Union £772,195 to Labour
Ms Joan L B Edwards £420,576 to Tories
Ms Joan L B Edwards £99,423 to LibDems
GMB £485,830 to Labour
UNISON £458,080 to Labour
Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers £411,147 to Labour
Mr Michael S Farmer £280,770 to Tories
Mr James R Lupton £263,600 To Tories
National Conservative Draws Society £165,000 to Tories
CWU £143,121 to Labour
Offshore Group Newcastle Limited £117,300 to Tories

Clearly whoever Joan L B Edwards is, she really really likes the coalition. Labour got another £2,241,419 in short money, yet despite this have gone cap in hand to the bank again:

Let’s hope the Co-op bank will be able to keep up their support. Labour still have more than £12 million in outstanding loans, while the Tories owe £2m. Ker-ching.

UPDATE: According to City AM Ms Joan Edwards left half a million “to whoever was the party in government of the day”. This was then divided down the MP/Ministerial split of the coalition.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Are MPs Worth Three Times What They Were?

mps-v-ave-wages

In the mid-seventies MPs were paid in line with average wages, now they are triple average wages. Why?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

New MPs’ Pay Package Costs Half a Million More a Year

IPSA’s 11% pay increase for MPs includes:

  • a salary of £74,000 in 2015, indexed to average earnings in the whole economy thereafter;
  • a new pension on a par with those in other parts of the public service, saving the taxpayer millions;
  • scrapping out-of-touch “resettlement payments” worth tens of thousands of pound per MP and introducing more modest, modern redundancy packages, available only to those who contest their seat and lose; and
  • a tighter regime of business costs and expenses – ending the provision for things such as evening meals.

They are spinning hard by throwing expenses into the mix so overall they can say money is being saved. On pay alone this is a net cost of £500,000 a year….


Seen Elsewhere

India’s Modi Bypasses Mainstream Media | Index
Bercow on the Knife Edge | Quentin Letts
Welcome to Mississippi | Conservative Women
LibDems Select Hancock Replacement | Blue Guerilla
Carswell Resigning: “Moment Labour Won Election” | Labour Uncut
Why We Need Change | Douglas Carswell
The Howard Roark of Westminster | Guardian
Carswell, the Clacton Cassandra | James Ford
Love Bomb Carswell | ConservativeHome
Denis MacShane’s Ex is Now Hacked Off Spokesman | Speccie
How the Carswell Story Unfolded | Sky News


VOTER-RECALL
Get the book Find out more about PLMR


Douglas Carswell’s side-kick Dan Hannan MEP pours water on the obvious question:

“I won’t be joining UKIP, though I wish Douglas Carswell all the best. He has been a superb MP, and it’s honourable to stand for re-election.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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