Tory MEP Leader Backs Brexit

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After some delay, Syed Kamall has gone with his conscience. Bravo!

“After much thought, my personal decision is to vote to leave the EU; not because I think David Cameron did a bad job, but because I believe that on balance we could forge a better future outside…

A crucial deciding factor for me is immigration. I want to see a Britain where everyone can achieve their ambitions whether they come from a wealthy or poorer background. Equally, I want to see an immigration policy that is balanced and fair – where we treat everyone outside the UK equally whether they are from an EU country or not. Sadly, a fair immigration system is incompatible with our membership of the EU.

Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that only by leaving the EU can we be genuinely free to put in place a fair immigration policy for ourselves.

As the son of immigrants who came from a non-EU country, this is my deeply held conviction on an issue that matters deeply to me. I have always told aspiring politicians to be true to themselves, and it would be hypocritical to ignore that advice myself in order to further my career.”

Read his full statement here. Major blow to Cameron and the Tory Remain argument…

MEPs Open Book on When Kamall Will De-Syed

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Fierce Tory Eurosceptic Syed Kamall’s continued dithering on his referendum decision has inspired MEP colleagues to open a book. Beatrix von Storch and Marcus Pretzell, both Alternative for Germany MEPs, have a £50 bet on whether he will actually manage to decide by June 23rd:

From: VON STORCH Beatrix
Sent: 10 March 2016 13:43
Cc: MEPs & ASSISTANTS-8th-Legislature
Subject: RE: BREXIT

Even in the ECR group we are wondering where Syed stands on this crucial issue. I personally think Syed would like to campaign to Leave – in line with his convictions. However, I also think that he, talented politician that he is, might in the end be campaigning to Remain, for whatever reason.

I have a £50 bet with Marcus Pretzell that Syed will actually manage to decide before June 23rd. Marcus is betting that Syed will not have decided then and completely miss the Referendum.

Best wishes,

Beatrix

UKIP’s Gerard Batten and Paul Nuttall have also entered into a wager: Nuttall thinks Kamall will back Leave, Batten thinks he’ll come out for Remain. Kamall’s delaying tactics have seen Batten attempt to settle the issue once and for all:

From: BATTEN Gerard
Sent: 09 March 2016 22:31
To: KAMALL Syed
Cc: MEPs & ASSISTANTS-8th-Legislature
Subject: BREXIT

Dear Syed,

Your speech this morning contained much to agree with, well done. Unfortunately I did not get the opportunity to Blue Card you and ask a question.

In short, can you let me know which side you are going to campaign on in the Referendum: Leave of Stay?

I have a €50 bet with Paul Nutall that you will campaign to Remain, he is betting you will campaign to Leave. Can you please confirm one way or the other so that one of us can collect.

Regards,

Gerard

A reply was not forthcoming…

Feldman Gets Cricked

An out of breath Michael Crick at his best…

Boris Can’t Cut His Cake

Is he Prime Minister material? If he can’t do the cuts…

ConHome Poll: Buy Boris, Sell Osborne

Boris is well out in front in the latest ConHome Tory leadership survey, taking a 13 point lead on his closest rival. Second and third place go to Gove and Fox, two of the most vocal Eurosceptics, while Osborne slumps to fourth place on a dire 11%. According to this snapshot May and Saj are out of it. The Leavers are on the up, the Remainers are on the slide. Boris’ gamble looks to be paying off…

Leadsom and Mordaunt Woo Outers Over Wine

Since he declared for Leave the odds on Boris joining Osborne in a leadership final have shortened, with ambitious colleagues jostling for position. Andrea Leadsom and Penny Mordaunt have both previously been tipped to mount leadership bids, they are both Outers who help run the intriguing ‘Fresh Start’ group of Tory MPs. Curiously the duo have begun hosting weekly drinks dos with Tory backbenchers, inviting “colleagues who are on the ‘leave’ side of the EU debate” to an “informal drop in each Monday evening” at Penny’s office. The “regular” 90 minute long sessions “over a glass of wine” have been a convenient opportunity to woo colleagues, while Leadsom is also having backbenchers round for drinkies at her swish Tufton Court residence. Tonight Penny and Andrea have arranged for Vote Leave to give a talk about strategy and answer questions, naturally “wine and snacks will be served”Boris’ operation, run by Ben Wallace and Nigel Adams, is famously lacking punch…

Cash-For-Access MP Faces Standards Commissioner Probe

Laurence Robertson, the Tory MP at the centre of a cash-for-access row following Guido’s two stories yesterday, has been reported to the Standards Commissioner. Edward Buxton, who was Labour’s candidate in Robertson’s Tewkesbury seat, writes to Kathryn Hudson:

Dear Mrs Hudson,

I wish to refer you to the recent allegations that have been made regarding my local Member of Parliament Laurence Robertson and his award of a parliamentary pass to a lobbyist​. 

​The Guido Fawkes ​website reported that Mr Robertson gave “a parliamentary pass” with “authorised access” to the entire parliamentary estate to Jennifer Bryant-Pearson, “a lobbyist who paid him thousands of pounds.” Jennifer Bryant-Pearson is chief executive of JBP Public Relations, a lobbying firm which specialises in parliamentary affairs.

It ​was further reported that Mr Robertson has declared “up to £10,000 in payments from Westminster Parliamentary Research”, which is ​in turn ​run by Bryant-Pearson. ​The Telegraph has reported that ​Mr Robertson is ​employed as ​a board member at Veolia Environmental Services ​and “has declared thousands of pounds in payments from Veolia since 2013.” ​Veolia Environmental Services has been described as “one of the main clients” of JBP Public Relations.

​The overlap between Bryant-Pearson; JBP Public Relations; Westminster Parliamentary Research; Veolia Environmental Services and Laurence Robertson seems to have allowed Mr Robertson to sponsor “Bryant-Pearson for a pass while he was in the pay of her client.”

Mr Robertson has ​claimed “Ms Bryant-Pearson carried out work supporting All Party Groups (APPG), secretarial duties, publicity, arranging and attending meetings and translation services,” however the use of parliamentary passes for ​APPG staff ​was withdrawn on 18 July 2013 and the Serjeant at Arms wrote to ​all ​MPs informing them “that this category of pass should not be used in the future”. Yet the pass in question was still held by Ms Bryant-Pearson until ​a few months ago. If I may can I refer you to the final words of the Guido Fawkes blog post: “it stinks…”

The entire case raises ​fundamental questions and concerns over the conduct and judgement of Mr Robertson. I would be grateful if you would investigate this matter and inform me of the outcome.

Kind Regards,

Edward Buxton

Giving a pass to a lobbyist for APPG work is explicitly banned by the Serjeant at Arms, and Robertson confessed to Guido in writing that this is what he has done. Add in the £40,000 changing hands and this is going to be a very difficult one to explain…

Johnson Family Lawyers Play Down “Pre-Existing Vulnerabilities”

elliott

Lawyers for the parents of Elliott Johnson have argued that their son’s previous mental health issues and suicide attempts were “pre-existing vulnerabilities” which did not contribute to him taking his own life. In their submission to the coroner today, the Johnson lawyers said:

In so far as it may be said that there is evidence of other pressures or reasons for the actions that Elliott took… The vast majority of the features identified by him in that letter are directly referable to [bullying and losing his job]…

his family believe that up to this time Elliott had been in a good state of mind, happy and excited about his new job with CWF. There is nothing to suggest he had experienced any medical problems in the months or even several years before this time. (References in his medical records to emotional disturbance are from 2011, when Elliott was still at school)

Further, in so far as Elliott had any pre-existing vulnerabilities in 2015, this made the treatment he experienced in the weeks before his death all the more serious (and all the mores so if those involved were aware of it). As Elliott said in the letter he left his parents: “It’s very lonely sometimes. Politics, depression, anxiety are not good for individuals.

The British Transport Police report leaked to the press revealed Elliott’s three previous suicide attempts and battle with depression. The police report suggested Elliott, who was gay, had rowed with his parents about his sexuality – a claim they deny. The Johnson’s lawyers tell the coroner that this was all in the distant past…

Cash-For Access Tory MP Paid £30,000 By Lobbyist’s Client

This morning Guido revealed a Tory MP has given a parliamentary pass to a lobbyist who paid him thousands of pounds. Laurence Robertson was paid £10,000 by a firm run by Jennifer Bryant-Pearson, for whom he subsequently arranged a parliamentary […]

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Cameron: Acropolis Now

“I can announce to the House his latest economic adviser, one Mr Yanis Varoufakis. He was the Greek finance minister who left his economy in ruins. That is Labour’s policy in two words: Acropolis Now.”

Surely ‘Greek comedy[…]

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Tory MP Cash For Access: Pass For Lobbyist Who Paid Him Thousands

A Tory MP has given a parliamentary pass to a lobbyist who paid him thousands of pounds. Laurence Robertson, the infamous cad who employed both his wife and girlfriend on the taxpayer, has authorised access to the parliamentary estate to […]

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Boris Ahead of Osborne with Association Chairmen and Members

Yesterday the Telegraph polled 50 Tory association heads about their choice for next leader. Of those who’ve made up their minds, Boris is backed by 46% and Osborne 31%. Today’s Times has a Yougov poll of 1005 Tory members, Boris […]

+ READ MORE +



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