Tory MP Slammed By Expenses Watchdog
+ Ordered to Pay Back £1,000 in Incorrect Mileage Claims 
+ Claimed ‘For Twice the Distance Shown on Google Maps’

+ Guilty of “Incorrect” and “Laissez-faire Attitude” to Expenses

Tory MP Bob Blackman has been found guilty of repeatedly over-claiming for his mileage expenses by IPSA and has been ordered to pay back more than £1,000 to the taxpayer. In a damning report released this morning the expenses watchdog found:

  • “on average, your claims are almost twice the distance shown on Google maps and in some cases, significantly more”
  • “mileage claims submitted by Mr Blackman are, in almost every instance, not accurate and greater than the distance travelled”
  • Blackman “wrongly submitted” claims including canvassing and party political events
  • he “demonstrate[s] a pattern of incorrect claiming and a laissez-faire attitude to the submission of constituency mileage in general”

The total number of claims found by IPSA to be incorrect or not allowable is 734 and Blackman has been ordered to repay £1,006.20. If he had been in the private sector he probably wouldn’t have kept his job…

Former Brown Business Adviser Savages Ed

Former M&S boss Stuart Rose is the latest big business panjandrum to fall in line and slag off Labour. Instead of taking a moment to listen to the words said, Labour types have immediately branded Stuart Rose an evil Tory, as he took a peerage last year. Although, they seem to have some amnesia at another role that Rose has played in his long and illustrious career. As the BBC reported in those heady days of summer 2007:

“Gordon Brown is creating a special council of business leaders to advise him directly as Prime Minister, the BBC’s business editor has learned… Members will be available to Mr Brown to give him advice as and when needed.”

And who was on this council?

BUSINESS COUNCIL MEMBERS
Damon Buffini, Permira
Stuart Rose, Marks & Spencer
Tony Heywood, BP
Sir Terry Leahy, Tesco
Arun Sarin, Vodafone
Stephen Green, HSBC
Sir John Rose, Rolls-Royce
Mervyn Davies, Std. Chartered
J-P Garnier, GlaxoSmithKline

Ah.

Dam-ascene Conversion: McBride Says Vote Tory

The final pint was poured at the O’Reilly’s pub in Kentish Town  last night, which is being re-branded as some sort of awful hipster dive. With locals gathering to mourn, one person was conspicuous by his absence. The local Labour candidate.

Presumably a bit rough and ready for Sir Keir.

Though in Damian’s defence it was 9:38pm…

Mitchell Down Half a Million After Refusing Sun Settlement

plebgate-mitchell-sun

Andrew Mitchell’s lawyers are back in court again arguing over how much the former chief whip has to cough up after losing his libel case last year. It has emerged News Group made offer to Mitchell before the libel hearing, but Mitchell turned it down, costing him “at least £500,000″ in costs.

Mr Justice Mitling says that because he failed to accept News Group’s offer he should be liable for their costs and those of PC Toby Rowland.

Ouch. 

Shapps: Defection of “Mr Bashir” Was “Successful”

Grant Shapps’ speech this morning bashing Labour’s “month of chaos” descended into a Q&A about Amjad Bashir. Asked by Guido about Amjad’s links with Respect, the Tory chairman insisted “I welcome anybody, regardless of where they’ve been in the past… with the exception of extreme parties”. Presumably George Galloway’s loony left mob aren’t “extreme”.

Shapps wouldn’t be drawn on how he feels about Bashir telling the Tories he had never had anything to do with Respect, telling Guido “Mr Bashir will no doubt answer any of your questions”. Despite “Mr Bashir”, as Shapps repeatedly called him, revealing the Tories had banned him from speaking to the press. As a third question came in Shapps protested “I can’t believe cynical hacks are believing this stuff. It’s pretty desperate”, insisting “yes”, it has still been a “successful” defection. Tempting fate with the Sundays sniffing around…

Javid Joins Plain Packs Cabinet Split
Culture Secretary: We Shouldn’t Be “Frightened” of Brexit

Sajid Javid has joined the 80 to 100 Tory MPs considering voting against the government at Jane Ellison’s plain packs free vote. In his House magazine interview today, the Culture Secretary issued a thinly-veiled dig at the health zealots in his party ignoring evidence from Australia that the world’s toughest anti-smoking laws there ain’t working:

“I will be driven by the evidence. I haven’t decided yet which way I’m going to vote. What I’m taking into account already is that there’s a lot that’s already been done. I don’t smoke but people choose to do so, that’s up to them.

I think government has a duty to try and discourage people. We do that through the tax system at the moment, we do that through the recent rules that came in about newsagents putting tobacco products behind their covers. But also from April this year there’s a new EU directive that 65% of the pack has to be a health warning. When I lived in Singapore they already had that rule and they have some pretty gruesome, hard-hitting health warnings.

So these are big changes already taking place. I’m fully aware that Australia has been among the first countries to use the plain packs. I’m not sure if there’s enough evidence yet, given it’s quite recent, about the impact that can have. But I think that whenever one looks at these kind of changes, you need to be driven by the evidence.”

Saj also becomes the second top Tory in 24 hours – after Boris yesterday – to make Eurosceptic noises. On an EU referendum he says “if they [the public] decide to end that relationship then that is not something anyone should be frightened of”. Wonder what they both have in common…

Boris Backs Brexit (Possibly)

In every modern Tory leadership election the candidate who has made the most anti-EU noises has won. Ergo, here is Boris’ intervention in this week’s Time magazine:

“I think Brexit is possible … [Britain] would very rapidly come to an alternative arrangement that protected our basic trading interests. I must be clear. I think there would be a pretty testy, scratchy period … [but] it wouldn’t be disastrous.”

He’s said it before, but this time he’s said it a little louder. Over to you, Theresa…

Burns Burns Bercow, Again

From Her Majesty’s Super Dooper Loyal Torygraph this morning:

SIR – The Speaker of the House of Commons wants to modernise voting in elections through the introduction of online voting in 2020.With his support, the election of all the deputy speakers as well as most chairs and membership of select committees is now done by secret ballot. However, despite efforts to introduce a secret ballot for the re-election of the Commons Speaker, he has rejected and blocked this. This suggests that his modernising zeal does not extend to matters that might affect his self-interest.

Simon Burns MP (Con)
London, SW1

He’s not Happy…

Tories Admit New Voter Software is Busted

A leaked email has revealed the Tory field data operation is in dire straights just 98 days from polling day. With half of their associations dumping the dire Merlin voter data software for a new voter contact system, CCHQ have […]

“B*llocks!” Tory MP’s Partner in Outburst at UKIP Challenger

It’s all kicking off in Thurrock, as Tory MP Jackie Doyle-Price’s partner boiled over and shouted “bollocks” at a UKIP councillor last night. Smug Tory councillor Mark Coxshall was condemned by UKIP as a “twerp” and ordered to “calm down”[…]

GUY NEWS SPECIAL: Free Amjad Bashir Protest Outside CCHQ

Amjad Bashir has not been seen since he was kidnapped by the Tory party. Amjad’s captors have released a hostage photo of him alongside their leader, but they are not allowing him any contact with the outside world. […]

May-nia: Faction Forming?

It’s been said before that Theresa May’s roadblock to the leadership is her lack of support within the party. There was no natural May-ite faction within the parliamentary party, but could that be about to change? Guido hears that the […]



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