Patrick Mercer Gets Job at Website Exposing Political Corruption

Given he was ruined by a cash-for-questions sting carried out by undercover journalists, you might have thought disgraced Patrick Mercer would have had enough of gossip-mongering hacks. Apparently not. Mercer is trying his hand as a journalist for US website Newsmax, known for exposing the dodgy dealings of politicians stateside. A case of gamekeeper turned poacher?

Pickles Pilgrim Reforms Will Save £400,000-a-Year

Militant PCS union getting off from their court battle with Eric Pickles hit DCLG in the pocket to the tune of £90,000. Good news then that the department’s union reforms are saving that figure several times over. New stats show cutting back on trade union facility time will save £400,000-a-year of taxpayers’ money. They have already cut back on the bonkers £245,644-a-year the department was spending under the Prime Mentalist in 2008/9, though £40,000-a-year is still far too high. An encouraging start but still a long way to go…

UPDATE: DCLG get in touch to stress that PCS now owe them money rather than the other way round.

Tory MPs Warned of Colditz-Style “POW Camp” Away Day

Tory MPs making their way to their thought camp this week have been warned it will be as “atmospheric as a POW camp”. Keith Simpson’s memo, circulated by government whips, tells plotters visiting Oxfordshire’s answer to Colditz:

“colleagues should be aware that it is over a mile to the perimeter fence which the whips patrol and a group of plain clothed parliamentary security officials led by John Hayes, wearing a black leather coat and fedora, are based at the local railway station – who will detain escapees and remind them that the reshuffle has yet to take.”

There is a strict dress code for those in attendance:

“Although the advice by the Chief Whip is “casual”, I think he forgot to preface it with “smart”. Casual is jeans and a T-shirt and we wouldn’t want to be mistaken for Young Liberal Democrats. Dress code is something that produces great angst amongst colleagues desperate to discover what the Prime Minister will be wearing. In 1997 the Parliamentary Party was pilloried by the media for its interpretation of “smart casual” for the first ever Away Day. Most of us male MPs interpreted this as wearing a Fair Isle pullover, which might have been knitted by our nannies in the 1950s, over our suit trousers, although the late Alan Clark insisted on wearing a tweed country suit with his Old Etonian tie. Women MPs There is no one good bluffer’s guide in this subject but colleagues will be aware that “smart casual” will be interpreted by male colleagues on a scale from Jacob Rees-Mogg to Nick Boles and female MPs from Claire Perry to Esther McVey. If in doubt ask Nicholas Soames who will talk about “grocers and rattin’. ”

As Guido revealed in his Sun on Sunday column yesterday, the “government source” who told the Times Ed Miliband is a “f**king c**t and a copper-bottomed s**t” was Simpson himself. He is William Hague’s PPS. You can read Guido’s column online here

UPDATE: Cue an @GeneralBoles photoshop classic:

Tory MPs Off to Thought Camp

Tory MPs are off on a parliamentary away day next week, which sounds like it has all the potential to turn into the Thick of It thought camp. All MPs have been told so far for security reasons is that it will be somewhere in Oxfordshire, which as one Tory MP quips “is remarkably convenient if your seat is in Witney”. Yes and ho…

Lord Splash-Croft

Guido wouldn’t recommend six pints of Guinness and a curry either…

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…

Deputy Speaker Runners and Riders

So who is in the running to replace Nigel Evans as Deputy Speaker? Election rules state that the First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means is elected from the same side of the House as the Speaker, so that should […]

+ READ MORE +

Nigel Evans Arrested, Again

Nigel Evans has been re-arrested, this time on suspicion of indecent assault and sexual touching of two further alleged victims in London between 2002 and 2009. He is being interviewed by cops today. They’re piling up…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Rory Stewart’s Latest Trek

Despite advising the Prime Minister on international affairs, Tory MP Rory Stewart missed the crucial Commons vote over bombing Syria. His sheepish explanation is that he was at his sister’s wedding. As Guido revealed in the Sun yesterday, Rory almost […]

+ READ MORE +

International Diplomacy Twitter Style

And now we cut to Tory MP Henry Smith for some insightful political analysis:

Is he gonna take that?[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Labour’s Austin Mitchell muses on the campaign:

“What’s the problem? No use pointing at the leader. Too late to change and unnecessary for Miliband is doing well at Question Time. His problem is connecting with the real world. He doesn`t speak people and his protective team of naive kids are playing West Wing rather than letting the leader relate to real people. We could point at the party, shrunk in numbers and enthusiasm because everything, from policy formulation to candidate selection, comes top down rather than bubbling up from below so campaigning becomes the opium of members deprived of any real role, though they`re not even sure what they’re campaigning about, with or for, but its role is marginal.”

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