Corbyn’s Own Evidence Shows Him Cooking the Books Over Terrorist Wreath-Laying Trip

Guido revealed yesterday how Jeremy Corbyn knowingly tried to hide his terrorist wreath-laying trip to Tunisia, emailing his staff about the need to “keep it cheap” to avoid breaching the £660 threshold where he needed to publicly declare it. He escaped punishment from the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner by giving them a total estimated cost of the trip of £656 – miraculously just £4 below what he thought was the legal limit:

Despite Corbyn submitting the full itinerary for his flights to and from Tunisia, he mysteriously failed to give the investigation any documentation showing the actual cost. Instead he simply presents an ‘estimate’ of £410, with “supporting evidence” in the form of SkyScanner searches for equivalent flights four years on. Corbyn’s own “evidence” shows that the cheapest costs for the equivalent flights he took is £732:

The outbound flight alone, a business class Tunisair direct flight from London to Tunis, costs more than Corbyn’s total estimate for both legs of the trip in his own evidence. There is no possible combination of flights that yields a cost as low as £410, Corbyn might as well have plucked the figure from thin air. It’s hard to conclude that he did anything else, given the complete lack of hard evidence he provided and the fact that it conveniently kept the total figure just under what he thought was the £660 limit…

When challenged over the discrepancies by the investigators, Corbyn’s response was to suggest that the tickets might have been cheaper because they were return tickets or that the Tunisian Government might have got discounts. This is not a few quid we’re talking about, it’s over a £300 difference. Given his clear concern about keeping the trip below the limit these excuses look flimsy at best, cynical at worst…

Worse for Corbyn, it appears as if he misunderstood the donation limit, which for visits to non-UK destinations where even just some of the costs are covered by external organisations or individuals is just £300. Less than half the the £660 Corbyn thought was the limit…

As it appears that his trip was funded by the Council on for European Palestinian Relations, and the conference as a whole was funded by the Government of Tunisia, it seems all but certain that the £300 limit applies. Corbyn’s team seemingly went to huge lengths to avoid declarations but they did so for the wrong number!

Corbyn wasn’t the only UK politician on the trip, his regular travel buddy Tory Lord Sheikh also went along. Perhaps the Parliamentary authorities should see if Lord Sheikh has been more assiduous with his record keeping and can provide something a little bit more concrete to compare Corbyn’s numbers to?

h/t Iggy Ostanin

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Expelled Tory MP, Richard Benyon, on the short three-day Programme Motion for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill:

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