Downing Street Whitewash Villiers Lobbyist Lunch

Jeremy Heywood’s investigation into Theresa Villiers’ dodgy lobbyist lunch amounted to him asking her if she had done anything wrong, her saying no and him then clearing her. No attempt was made by the Number 10 internal report to find out if there is any truth to Villiers’ unlikely claim that she was merely having lunch with a friend in a personal capacity, given he is the chief lobbyist for developers with a vested interest in getting her onside.  Surely nothing to do with Simon Hoare, the lobbyist in question, also being a Tory councillor in the PM’s constituency.

Heywood’s investigation took four months to produce a one page response to Tory MP Anne Main, who originally reported Villiers. It concluded there was no breach of the ministerial code, specifically that no “conflict of interest could reasonably be perceived to arise”. If Heywood could not see a potential conflict of interest it is only because he wasn’t looking.  Who would have thought a Downing Street investigation into a Cabinet minister would not even try to get to the bottom of the story…




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Jo Swinson on Chris Rennard…

“Vince — and Tim before him — have repeatedly, publicly said Rennard is not welcome anywhere near their frontbench team, even as an adviser. I remain deeply frustrated that he was not expelled from the party through its disciplinary process. It just feels wrong, and I do not want Lord Rennard to continue as a member of the party. As far as I am concerned, he is not welcome.”

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