Taxpayers Still Funding Pincher and Webbe’s Lavish Phone Bill Plus Labour’s Apple Fan Boy

The latest update to MPs Expenses – covering October and November of 2022 – were published yesterday and Guido has been trawling through the data to keep co-conspirators informed of the excesses of our elected representatives.

Despite facing a conviction for harassment and government-toppling sexual misconduct allegations, Claudia Webbe and Chris Pincher are still doing alright for themselves. Both get their costly phone bills funded by the taxpayer, for Pincher, this amounts to £66 a month, whilst Webbe claims a stonking £117 every month. It doesn’t take a genius to deduce why they’re forking out so much – Claudia previously displayed her high-end iPhone during a Commons faux-pas. To put their extravagance into context, spend-thrift Jeremy Corbyn, who also expenses his phone bill, claims £6 a fortnight.

It wouldn’t be an expenses update without luxury tech purchases.  Ranil Jayawardena spent £1,998 on a mobile phone. That’s more than the cost of an iPhone 14 Pro Max with maximum specification. Does he understand that to cut taxes we have to cut spending? Former Apple computer salesman Fabian Hamilton has further indulged his Apple exuberance. After Guido previously revealed he’d spent £3,177 on an iPad, iPad Mini, MacBook Air and another MacBook Air 13.3 inch, he’s now added a new iPhone 14 Pro Max to the list – at a cost of £1,307. If that wasn’t enough, Fabian also expensed four separate phone bill payments over October and November – to the tune of £363. He’s giving Angela a run for her money…

Guido spends £12.50 a month on his phone with unlimited texts, calls and data plus international roaming. There should be some kind of cap on what MPs can claim. If they want Kim Kardashian style blingy devices let them pay the difference. 

MPs have also been expensing cushy foreign trips, some of the top destinations this winter were Iceland, Rome and Berlin, and they haven’t exactly been frugal with their hotel stays. Amongst their accommodation expenses were the luxury Palazzo Cardinal Cesi, expensed by Eddie Hughes, and the Boutique Arthaus Hotel, frequented by Martin Docherty-Hughes. Perhaps the most egregious travel expenses came from SNP MP Phillipa Whitford. In addition to £550 in hotel expenses, the MP spent a stonking £1,405 on one flight to Berlin…

Not content with enjoying her taxpayer-funded jolly, Phillipa took to Twitter to complain – obviously about Brexit.

A little gratitude wouldn’t go amiss…

Co-conspirators can search for the expenses of their MP here

mdi-timer 17 March 2023 @ 12:38 17 Mar 2023 @ 12:38 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Leicester Labour Wheel Out Keith Vaz

Jim- sorry Keith, Vaz can’t seem to keep himself out of the political limelight. Following Guido’s prior reporting that Vaz was plotting a Westminster return, he’s now been wheeled out by Leicester Labour to promote a city council candidate. Vaz has been featured on a number of leaflets, emphasising his credentials as the “longest serving Asian origin MP”. The class-A hypocrite is probably not someone the community should be proud of… 

Vaz is quoted on the leaflets saying local candidate Rajul Tejura will “fight hard” for Leicester residents. Not as hard as… well you know the rest. The fact that Vaz’s endorsement would help any candidate surprises Guido. Though maybe it shouldn’t considering the calibre of his replacement

mdi-timer 7 October 2022 @ 17:00 7 Oct 2022 @ 17:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Claudia Webbe Loses Appeal, Won’t Face By-Election

Leicester East MP Claudia Webbe, 57, has lost her appeal at Southwark Crown Court against her conviction for harassing a love rival. Despite this blow, her sentence has been downgraded from a suspended prison sentence to a 12-month community order, with 80 hours of community service. This means no automatic recall and her statement doesn’t show any intentions of stepping down…

While the judge and two magistrates found out the woman accused of having an affair with Webbe’s boyfriend had lied about the affair, this did not fatally undermine the harassment allegation. The claim that Webbe had threatened her with acid was dismissed. Webbe says: 

“I am deeply shocked by today’s outcome.

As I said in court and repeat now, I have never threatened violence nor would I.

As the court heard today, the events of the 25th of April are deeply personal. I was, as reported in the court, facing domestic abuse at the time of the call. I was deeply frustrated that my partner and Michelle Merritt had been socialising in the middle of the covid pandemic, contrary to the rules and all health advice. I was frightened and frustrated by his behaviour. But that fear and frustration could not and should not have been interpreted as harassment. I did not make a threat to throw acid at Michelle, and this was made clear by the judge. As evidenced in court, she had lied to the police and to the court. She wanted to get rid of me from the moment she was aware of me, and far from being fearful or frightened of me was actively planning and plotting my downfall and humiliation.

I would like to thank all those who have supported me through ordeal and continue to do so. These are the people who know me; my character, my values and my behaviour — they know I could not be guilty of this crime.

I would ask that you respect my privacy at this time.

I would also like to thank my lawyers Raj Chada from Hodge Jones & Allen, and Helen Law from Matrix for their continued support.” 

It may be anti-climactic, though Guido’s not sorry he’ll now get another two years’ worth of story content from the hapless MP…

mdi-timer 26 May 2022 @ 14:32 26 May 2022 @ 14:32 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Claudia Webbe Back in Court Today

Claudia Webbe is back in court today to “clear her name” by appealing her harassment conviction and sentence following the trial last November. Webbe was whacked with a 10-week jail term, suspended for two years, for threatening to throw acid over her partner’s friend and share naked pictures of her. Labour eventually suspended her from the party after the verdict, although Webbe has still been swanning around Parliament as an independent MP for the last six months… 

This morning her lawyer released a statement:

“Ms Webbe continues to maintain her innocence and is looking forward to the opportunity to clear her name. Her priority is to continue to serve the people of Leicester East. She will not be answering any further questions at this stage, and asks that her privacy be respected. ”

Why should her privacy be respected? She was convicted of a crime in an open court – there is no reason why her privacy should be respected in this matter. The Labour Party has previously said they’ll push for a recall petition and a by-election if Webbe doesn’t resign if her appeal doesn’t overturn the judgement. The hearing is expected to last two days. It’s all or nothing…

mdi-timer 19 May 2022 @ 10:29 19 May 2022 @ 10:29 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Claudia Webbe Booted Off Foreign Affairs Committee

SW1 will be crestfallen to hear Claudia Webbe is being kicked off the Foreign Affairs select committee, before she’d even had one chance to ask Liz Truss any questions about ‘Be’rus’. The news, confirmed in today’s Order Paper, is hardly surprising; even ignoring her recent harassment conviction, figures out last month showed her to have the worst attendance of any FCO committee member, turning up to just 18 out of 39 meetings. Is there no legal action Tom Tugendhat can take for her shirking of duties?

Meanwhile Diane Abbott is set to join the Justice Committee after Tory MPs’ plan to install her as chair of the Home Affairs Committee failed. Thankfully she’ll be able to draw on her familial experience of the justice system…

UPDATE: Skwawkbox points out that Webbe joined the Foreign Affairs Committee in May 2020, several months after other members. Figures for the 2021-2022 session reveal that “much-disliked Labour right-winger Neil Coyle“, who joined the Committee at the same time as Webbe, is in fact its most truant member. Coyle has attended just 7 of the 18 meetings, while Webbe has put in the legwork and showed up to 12. This is despite Coyle not having to take time off to appear in Court as a defendant. Guido is more than happy to correct the record, and thanks Skwawkbox for their help.

mdi-timer 5 January 2022 @ 09:15 5 Jan 2022 @ 09:15 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Lee Anderson Solves Labour Shortage Problem

This morning in Parliament, straight-talking Lee Anderson told Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab exactly how he thinks the government should solve labour shortages:

Prisoners and ex-offenders out on licence should help fill the labour shortage and […] on release, all prisoners – including ex-Labour MPs – should be ready for work and starting work should be a condition of their licence.” 

Guido can’t imagine Claudia Webbe is a fan of the idea…

mdi-timer 9 November 2021 @ 13:30 9 Nov 2021 @ 13:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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