Tuesday, January 13, 2015

So Much For “Green Crap”!
Cam’s Cash From Sam Dad’s Subsidised Wind Farm

The PM’s father-in-law has been coining it to the tune of £3.5 million-a-year in taxpayer-funded subsidies for the wind farm on his estate. SamCam’s dad Sir Reginald Sheffield split the cash with RidgeWind, the developer, which is run by a woman named Marjorie Glasgow. Here she is pictured above with the PM at a “buffet luncheon”. All very cosy, especially since Marjorie has coincidentally just returned the favour by donating a cool £5,000 to Cameron’s office. Turns out green is the colour of money…

Monday, January 12, 2015

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…

Spooky: Mark Pritchard Rape Arrest Spy Angle Non Denial

Mark Pritchard has refused to comment on speculation that he had tried to recruit the woman who accused him of rape to the British security services. “I do not discuss matters relating to our intelligence agencies,” Pritchard said in a curt statement as Guido reported the chatter in yesterday’s Sun. The 48 year-old single Tory sits on Parliament’s Joint Committee for National Security Strategy and that is not a denial…

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Tories Use Paris Terror to Mobilise Election Leafleting

Perhaps a slightly ill-advised Facebook status from the Tory leaflet fodder machine “Roadtrip 2015″ this morning:

Indeed, even its own Tory supporters are less than impressed:

The late editor of Charlie Hebdo was a supporter of the French communist party…

UPDATE: The post has now been deleted following Guido’s story.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Envy of the World Update

nhs

36 hours after the Tories launched their election campaign, these are the headlines in the popular press. It could hardly come at a worse time for the Sun to inform its 2 million readers that under Cameron:

  • A&E waiting times at worst since records began
  • Record low Christmas performance for major A&E units
  • 21,000 patients waited 12 hours on trolleys in two weeks up to Christmas
  • Number of people using A&E over Christmas period up 70,000 on last year

Andy Burnham is gleefully touring the TV studios this morning demanding a summit where he can tell Jeremy Hunt how he “repeatedly warned throughout this Parliament that severe cuts” would cause an A&E crisis. Forget the actual long-term structural causes, this is a political gold mine for Labour…

Pic via @DavidPrescott

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Labservatives

Matt Hancock and Chris Leslie spoke as one on Channel 4 News last night:

Frei: “The only way I can really tell you apart is by the colour of your ties.”

Hancock and Leslie: [In unison] “That’s not fair!”

Do they all look the same to him?

Tory Candidate Fury Mounting at “Slack” CCHQ

Given that four months out the Tories still have 81 candidates to select in England, plus all of Northern Ireland still to do, you might have thought it would be all hands t’mill over at the CCHQ candidates department. Apparently not.

According to the ‘out of office’ Gareth Fox – Head of Candidate Selection – it’s still holiday season:

“Thank you for your email, I am currently on leave until 12th January and I will respond when I return.”

Tory sources say everything is tickety boo and Fox is ‘around’ – a fact disputed by angry potential PPCs unable to get an answer to calls and emails. “This man is about as popular as herpes,” writes one co-conspiratorial candidate to Guido…

READ: Mark Pritchard’s Statement in Full

No Charges For Mark Pritchard

Monday, January 5, 2015

TORY WARS: Leadership Body Language Watch

It was noted more than once at today’s Tory election press conference that the five strong line up looked like a hustings in a future Tory leadership election - sans Boris.

While it was all laughs, smiles and pledges of loyalty whenever the point was made from the floor, Guido was intrigued by the body language of between the Home Secretary and Chancellor:

There was zero eye contact, and the firm nods of support from Osborne whenever May spoke seemed more than contrived. It’s almost as if there has been some sort of big row behind the scenes over the last couple of months…


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