The impotent Committee on Standards have decreed that Tim Yeo should be allowed to return as Chairman of the Energy Select Committee despite suggesting that “some of the comments he made could damage the reputation of the House”. He even used the “it was a joke” excuse at one point. The Committee’s report found:
“There are two aspects of his behaviour, which are linked and which might be thought to damage the reputation of the House. The first of these is his comment that he told the director what to say in his evidence and linked to this is his comment that “What I do in private is another matter”. Taken together and at face value they could give the impression of a senior member of the House who has little regard for the rules and can easily find his way round them in order to suit his own purposes.”
Despite that, MPs on this particular complaint have circled the wagons for one of their own and instead attacked journalists for doing their job. This was a niche inquiry into just one accusation, and Yeo’s colleagues have chosen to turn a blind eye to the rest of his money grabbing ways.
Guido was particularly disturbed by this line of the report:
“receipt by a Member of a salary from public funds has not hitherto been a ground per se for imposing restrictions on the outside interests. We see no reason why a different principle should apply to payments to select committee chairmen.”
How they cannot see why a elect committee chairman having outside commitments directly related to his brief is a serious conflict of interest?
Yeo was not probed on stench around his relationship with Eco City Vehicles and their wheeler deal to conveniently introduce an age limit for London’s taxis. Not the job where Yeo was paid £440-an-hour that he mysteriously quit on the quiet when No. 10 started asking awkward questions. Nor when he used his position to lobby the government for more flights to China, the very same day that his company TMO Renewables signed a multi-million pound deal in – you guessed it – China. No investigation into his conflict of interest around AFC Energy either and he never really explained why he was using Parliamentary facilities to host potential clients. No, the MPs decided to ignore all this.
Meanwhile Yeo is fighting for his career locally as his association seem fed up with his pomposity and his refusal to spend any time anywhere near the seat. To fight off such “absolutely outrageous allegations”, Yeo spent last week sucking up to the corrupt Azerbaijani dictatorship in Baku at an oil industry conference.