Thursday, April 3, 2014

Chantler Ducks Miller ‘Smokescreen’ Allegation

Sir Cyril Chantler told the press conference at the Department of Health that he only found out at 5pm last night that his plain packaging review would be released today. Guido, and Lobby hacks, were told yesterday afternoon that it would not be published for sometime. Then suddenly it was rushed forward. Asked whether he thought he was a ‘smokescreen’ for Maria Miller, Chantler pointedly replied: “I am a paediatrician”. But, of course…

FLASHBACK: Tories Slam McNulty for Miller Style Expenses
“Brown has to get a grip on what his ministers are up to…”

David Cameron is said to have offered Maria Miller his ‘warm support’ this morning. Rewind to 2009 and the Tories were piling the pressure on Labour Minister Tony McNulty for claiming £60,000 for a home that his parents lived in. Bob Blackman, now an MP, said:

“It is extraordinary. I cannot see that it’s right to provide a home for your parents and ask the taxpayer to pay for it. I think he has badly let down the residents that he represents and I welcome them taking their revenge at the ballot box.”

Maria Miller has been moaning that her own investigation was political motivated because Labour grassed her; yet it was Tory MP Greg Hands (now a whip) who reported McNulty to John Lyon, then the Commissioner for Standards, saying arrangements must be “above reproach”. Look how cross he was then:

“I think Gordon Brown has to get a grip on what his ministers are up to. Sixty thousand pounds of taxpayers’ money has been claimed in expenses on Mr McNulty’s parents’ home in Harrow – clearly something has gone wrong here.”

McNulty lost his job and his seat. Miller has claimed £30,000 more than him and gets a slap on the wrist. “I have accepted the committee’s report in full and I will apologise”, she chuckled.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

TORY WARS: Blues Should Read Their Bonaparte

“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake”, said Napoleon, but it seems some Tories are not familiar with Bonaparte’s wisdom. Instead of sitting back and watching Labour stab each other in the back, they’ve decided to start a briefing bonfire of their own. Michael Fallon is apparently “the sort of guy who thinks ‘campaign’ is a fizzy white wine from France,” and is getting it in the neck over the supposed Royal Mail debacle: “His whole job was to sit on Vince Cable. But he’s been AWOL in recent months, and today the National Audit Office has holed Fallon below the waterline”.

The Tories throwing Vince a lifeline on this takes coalition harmony to whole new levels, but Guido suspects there is more at  play here ahead of a reshuffle. Cui bono?

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Maria Miller Sells Second Home for £1 Million Profit

how-do-you-solve-a-problem-like-maria[1]

Last month Guido revealed that Maria Miller was making a potential six figure profit on the second home – lived in by her parents – that she had claimed mortgage payments for on expenses, in clear breach of expenses rules. The Telegraph today reports she has sold the home which she bought in 1996 for £234,000 for £1.47 million, trousering a taxpayer-subsidised profit of over £1 million. Despite claiming £90,000 for the second home on expenses she will only have to repay £5,000. This was a case of a Cabinet minister blatantly breaching expenses rules, resulting in significant personal gain, yet the impotent Standards Commissioner is giving her a mere slap on the wrist…

UPDATE: A DCMS source gets in touch:

“Maria has co-operated fully with the inquiry, asked for by the Labour Party, which has now been going on for a year and a half amidst constant unfounded speculation. We hope it will conclude soon. It is not surprising that London houses go up in value well over a decade after they are first bought . It is also not unusual for people to move house.”

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

David Ruffley’s Pubic Surgery

Maybe that’s the reason Ruffers has been so tetchy recently…

50 Shades of Grayling

Flailing Chris Grayling is trying to fight back at the Howard League of Penal Reform – and pretty much everyone else – for claiming he is banning books from being sent to prison inmates. Writing for ConHome the Justice Secretary insists they have got the wrong end of of his massive stick:

“You can keep up to twelve books in your cell at any one time. All prisoners can access well-stocked prison libraries. The biggest debate I have had over prison libraries so far is whether they should stock 50 Shades of Grey. I decided they could – since if doing so encourages women prisoners to read, that can only be a good thing.

But that’s not all. Prisoners can use their own prison earnings to order any book (within reason) that they want through the prison shop. The only restriction is on receiving unknown and unchecked parcels. What the left can’t deal with is our rehabilitation agenda. It goes against the grain for them. Our approach is to mix tough and compassionate – and to do things differently to get the job done.”

It seems the debate comes down to the fact that books are considered a privilege item. Despite asking Guido is yet to see an example of where they have been banned. Despite the hype…

Peter Bone Will Not Face Fraud Charges

In a statement the Crown Prosecution Service said:

“We were asked to consider whether there was a case for fraud by abuse of position and theft by disposal of assets belonging to the woman’s mother. We were also asked to consider whether there was a case of fraud by false representation to Northamptonshire Council in relation to the mother’s assets.

“The evidence showed: firstly that the woman’s mother considered the suspects’ conduct to be acceptable; secondly that the suspects acted openly in declaring the sale of the mother’s house to the Council; thirdly that no element of dishonesty could be proved. Therefore we have advised the police to take no further action.

“We understand there is ongoing civil litigation. For the avoidance of doubt our advice to police relates solely to possible criminal action.”

Mr and Mrs Bone are free to go…

Warsi Praises ‘Jihad’ Jenny Tonge’s Israel “Expertise”

Readers will remember ‘Jihad’ Jenny Tonge, the loony peer who was recorded saying Israel “will not last forever” and was sacked for saying she would consider becoming a suicide bomber if she were a Palestinian. Well yesterday in a debate in the Lords senior minister of state Baroness Warsi took it upon herself to praise Jihad Jenny’s stance on Israel-Palestine, saying: “She comes to these matters with great expertise”. Which is an interesting way of putting it…

H/T @marcusdysch

Cast Iron Dave’s Pie Crust Promises

David Cameron, September 2007:Today, I will give this cast-iron guarantee: If I become PM a Conservative government will hold a referendum on any EU treaty that emerges from these negotiations.”

David Cameron, January 2013:  “If elected in 2015, a Conservative Government will hold an in-out referendum on a new settlement with the EU – stay in the EU on these new terms; or come out.”

David Cameron, 2010 manifesto: “We will raise the inheritance tax threshold to £1 million to help millions of people who aspire to pass something on to their children.”

David Cameron, yesterday: “[Inheritance tax is] something we’ll have to address in our manifesto. I believe in people being able to pass money through the generations and pass things on to their children.”

Why should we believe you this time, Prime Minister?

Monday, March 24, 2014

McIntosh Supporters Eye Snap By-Election

The Anne McIntosh problem is not going away for the Tories, with the latest speculation being that the MP might trigger a by-election to try to win the backing of her Yorkshire constituency. McIntosh denies that there are plans to stand as an independent without Tory opposition – after her own association booted her in January- though she tells Guido that she has made ‘no decision as yet’ on what she will do. But then she would say that wouldn’t she…

McIntosh’s dwindling number of fans think it will be easier for her to win as an independent in a separate by-election, possibly held the same day as the European Elections in May, than it would to win at the General Election. The only thing worrying her supporters is that UKIP might pip their girl at the post.


Seen Elsewhere

Labour’s Plan to Attack Part-Time Boris | Standard
Ex-Sun Hack Cleared After 582 Days on Bail | MediaGuido
11 Times Boris Denied He Would Stand for Parliament | Buzzfeed
Attacking UKIP’s Posters is Counter-Productive | Guardian
Sarkozy Tried it on With Hollande’s Ex | Times
Another Spare Room Subsidy Cut Success | Harry Phibbs
Rich Now Have Less Leisure Than Poor | Economist
UKIP’s Immigration Policy Promotes Migrant Entrepreneurs | Breitbart
Another Feminist Lecture | Laura Perrins
UKIP Posters Bad Economics But Good Politics | James Delingpole
Tories Losing to UKIP in Scotland | ConHome


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A confused Nick Griffin says Nigel Farage is a shill for the City, forgetting that City banks want to stay in the EU:

“Farage is a snake oil salesman, but a very good one. His supposed anti-immigration stance is all smoke and mirrors, as is his carefully cultivated image as a ‘man of the people’. The truth is that UKIP is a pro-immigration party that exists to lobby for the interests of the City of London.”



Alexrod says:

It’s money innit.


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