An MP sitting in the chamber texts to confirm the former Prime Minister is not present for a debate on a major international crisis that could ultimately result in British troops being committed to military action.
Perfectly timed as Ed goes for MPs with second jobs, the Prime Mentalist will speak in the House this evening for just the third time in the last year:
Until 7.30pm or for half an hour (whichever is later) (Standing Order No. 9(7))
Dalgety Bay radiation: Mr Gordon Brown
Always an occasion…
When the going got tough, Gordon Brown would pull his favourite Macavity trick and disappear. It seems his prodigy Ed Balls has learnt exactly the same trick. There has been a lot of grumbling over the weekend in Labour circles that the Shadow Chancellor all but disappeared in the wake of the local election results and was silent on the airwaves, leaving the mop up to the likes of Chuka and Tom Watson. He managed to Tweet his congratulations to the new MP for South Shields, but apart from that has stuck to local issues in his seat and talking about Shepherd’s Pie. His absence has been noted by more loyal colleagues…
How refreshingly honest of the Prime Mentalist to admit that his abandoned constituents are “hard-pressed and increasingly angry”. Gordon’s last question about Dalgety Bay left him with egg on his face, and yesterday he was embarrassed again by Defence minister Andrew Robathan:
“I will explain why we dispute much of what the right hon. Gentleman has said in a moment, but there is one thing that I particularly dispute. I know that when he was Prime Minister, and indeed when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, he was very profligate with public money.
He was very willing to spend it, and then to leave us in the appalling financial condition in which we now find ourselves. I must tell the right hon. Gentleman that we take a rather more parsimonious and sensible view than I think he did when it comes to the spending of our constituents’ money… In closing, may I say how pleased I am to see the right hon. Gentleman in the House?”
Makes you wonder why he bothers…
Best wishes to the Prime Mentalist as he turns 62 today. Twelve months without speaking in Parliament, £6,000 and more on air fares at our expense, £300,000-a-month in cash that is definitely not paid to him, an attendance record to be ashamed of, landing his successor in it, not to mention the worst of omens for His Holiness.
Last year the jet-setting Prime Mentalist came under fire for blowing taxpayers’ cash on flights from Scotland to London. Though most Scottish MPs take the train south of the border, Guido learns that over just a three-month period last summer Brown claimed almost £6,000 on expenses for air travel from Scotland to the capital. That despite not speaking in the House for a year.
Incidentally, in the last month he has declared over £320,000 in cash from speeches and advisory work that definitely goes to towards the full running costs of his office, and the rest he totally gives away to charity. With his once loyal lieutenants twisting the knife today and running for the hills, isn’t it time Gordon took the hint?
How good it was of the Prime Mentalist to turn up yesterday. Here is one he will no doubt want to skip however: the Great Gordon Brown Repeal bill is to be debated in Parliament next week. The proposal to reverse Labour’s scrapping of the 10p tax rate will be discussed by MPs at 2:30pm next Tuesday. Guido hears Gordon will be receiving a formal invitation…
Guido has always said the best way to provide a living wage to the lowest earners is to cut tax rather than raise the minimum wage. Campaigning Tory MP Rob Halfon has launched a new petition to reverse the last government’s scrapping of the 10p tax rate, aptly calling it the Great Gordon Brown Repeal Bill. As if by perfect timing the Prime Mentalist will be speaking in Parliament for the first time in over a year next week. You can sign the petition against him here…
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