Sunday Sleaze Round-Up

The much-anticipated Sunday front pages make grim reading for the government. Theresa May’s de facto deputy Damian Green is tonight accused of having “extreme porn” found on one of his parliamentary computers. The Sunday Times says the discovery was made by cops when they raided Green’s office in 2008. Former Met Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick confirmed to the paper that his officers had found the material. Green tweeted a statement calling the claims “false, disreputable political smears” and says he was not informed of any porn being found. 

The paper counters that it has spoken to a police source other than Quick who also claims to have seen the porn. The splash reveals Quick will give evidence on Monday to Whitehall ethics supremo Sue Gray, who is leading the probe into Green. Kate Maltby, who tells The Sunday Times she knows difference between a hand and a tablecloth. will also give evidence and gives a sit down interview to the paper. Can Green cling on much longer?

Also in the Sunday Times, Tory MP Andrew Bridgen goes on the record saying he reported concerns about the behaviour of fellow backbencher Dan Poulter to the whips in 2010 – but claims he was ignored. Bridgen says he informed whips of comments made by female colleagues alleging Poulter put his hand up skirts. Bridgen has now reported Poulter using the new complaints procedure and an investigation is underway by the new disciplinary committee. Poulter denies the allegations.

Meanwhile, senior government whip Chris Pincher is under pressure as the Mail on Sunday splashes with the headline: Top Tory’s Bathrobe Pass At Male Aide“. Pincher is accused of trying to untuck the shirt of former Olympic rower and Tory aide Alex Story after taking him back to his London home. Story calls the MP “a pound shop Harvey Weinstein”. The story also references a widely heard rumour about Pincher trying it on with one-term Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop about which he refuses to commentDifficult to see how Pincher can remain a whip…

The Sunday Telegraph also turns fire on the whips office, reporting that concerns about the behaviour of both Fallon and Charlie Elphicke – who last night had the whip suspended – were raised repeatedly. Expect there to be considerable discussion about the propriety of the whips system. Tough first week for Julian Smith…

The Observer reveals Michael Fallon’s resignation was forced by journalist Jane Merrick. She says she told Number 10 at 5pm on Wednesday afternoon that the former Defence Secretary tried to kiss her when she was a 29-year-old reporter. It was the last straw for May…

The Sun on Sunday and Sunday People report allegations that an unnamed Tory MP sexually assaulted a Labour MP in a taxi. It’s alleged a date rape drug was used…

Earlier this evening Channel 4 News broadcast allegations that Tory backbencher Daniel Kawczynski asked a young female researcher to go on a date with a business contact. Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing says she loudly reprimanded Kawczynski for his request during a confrontation in one of the division lobbies. Kawczynski says he did ask a researcher to have coffee with a contact but denies a business deal was involved…

A huge spread of Sunday sleaze for the Tories to deal with tomorrow. Heads must surely roll… 

Tory MP Demands Cabinet Office Investigates Sir Craig’s Book

Following Guido’s story on a potential breach of the Special Advisers Code of Conduct in Sir Craig Oliver’s memoirs, a Tory MP has written to Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood demanding an investigation. Andrew Bridgen asks the two killer questions: why was Sir Craig permitted to publish information that the Cabinet Office admits could prejudice relations with the US? And did Sir Craig breach the SpAds Code of Conduct by failing to discuss his memoirs with the Cabinet Office prior to signing the book deal? This line of the letter is particularly interesting:

“If the rules were broken, there is precedent to confiscate the profits of the book sales. In 2000 the Government obtained a court order for it to be paid £90,000 of royalties owed by the publisher Jonathan Cape to George Blake for his unauthorised 1990 memoir “No Other Choice”. I hope you will investigate these serious issues promptly.”

If the government did confiscate Sir Craig’s profits that could mean an extra £350 to the NHS…

“Vaz In My Right Pocket” Councillor “Sat in His Pants Outside a Swimming Pool”

A Labour councillor who is said to have boasted he had Keith Vaz “in his right pocket” was yesterday accused of “sitting outside a swimming pool in his pants” during a court hearing over his taxi licence. Cllr Gurpal Atwal sits on Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, close to Vaz’s Leicester East seat, and has worked as a cab driver in the city for two decades. When his own Council denied him a taxi licence earlier this year he appealed, and at a hearing before magistrates in Loughborough yesterday, Licensing Enforcement Officer Tracey Aldwinckle gave details of his alleged conduct:

“I was told your client is using unlicensed drivers on school runs and then he sat in his pants outside a swimming pool because he believes that’s acceptable.”

The court heard a slew of other allegations including of racism and that Atwal swore at a man; Atwal’s solicitor said there was “no indication” from the public of any such behaviour. A witness claimed in a statement that Atwal once boasted of having “Keith Vaz in my right pocket”… 

Magistrates decided to uphold an earlier decision by the licensing authorities that Atwal is not a fit and proper person to hold a taxi licence and also charged him £1,250 in costs. Atwal will however be able to continue working as a cab driver under a previous licence which covers him until 2018. Atwal did not give a comment when approached by reporters. Andrew Bridgen, MP for North West Leicstershire, said of the case:

“It’s a real insight into Labour politics in Leicester, and shows that Atwal’s powerful friends in the city have got serious questions to answer.”

Unlicensed Taxi for Keith Vaz…

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Vaz “No Charges” Letter

Law makers can apparently be law breakers…

Standards Commissioner Rejects Vaz Complaint

vaz

Can’t think what motivated Keith Vaz to make a complaint about neighbouring Tory MP Andrew Bridgen to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner. Vaz still hasn’t actually delivered on his threat to sue Bridgen for defamation – possibly because the allegations he makes are true. Anyway slippery Vaz has released a statement:

Right Honourable Keith Vaz MP said:

“I welcome the inquiry by the Commissioner, following the complaint made against me by Andrew Bridgen, the Member of Parliament for North West Leicestershire, which will provide important clarification.

She has suggested that my complaint against Mr Bridgen should be referred to the Secretary of State for Transport and I will follow her advice.”

Apparently because Bridgen, like many who have a home in the path of HS2, sold it at a loss to the Department of Transport, he is guilty of something. The Standards Commissioner has basically told Vaz to get lost…

Keith Vaz Threatens to Sue

vaz-bridgen
Keith Vaz’s lawyers are threatening to sue his neighbouring MP, Andrew Bridgen:

Dear Mr Bridgen

We act on behalf of your fellow Leicestershire MP, Keith Vaz.

Our client has been, for quite some time, aware that you have been maliciously spreading false and highly defamatory scuttlebutt about him. You know that these allegations are wholly false and it is troubling that a fellow Member of Parliament from a neighbouring constituency should be so recklessly indifferent as to the truth.

Mr Vaz has for some time now chosen to ignore your increasingly desperate attempts to besmirch him. Mainly because as you did so, the people to whom you spoke, including include your fellow conservative (sic) MP’s have told Mr Vaz. However, the time has come where our client will no longer tolerate your spreading of intentional untruths. We are writing to put you on formal notice that if this shabby behaviour continues our client will no longer turn a blind eye to this and take steps to sue you personally for libel and false privacy, conspiracy to injure and indeed any other appropriate torts, holding you personally responsible not only for damages but also costs.

This letter does not require a substantive response, but does require an acknowledgement of receipt so that it is abundantly clear you understand the jeopardy in which you now stand.

Who to believe; Keith Vaz, a well known liar caught consorting with rent boys, or the MP who called him a liar who consorted with rent-boys? Isn’t it all a bit late now Keith?

Corbyn means Christmas Every Day for Tories

Andrew Bridgen seasonally tells the Telegraph

 “With Jeremy Corbyn leading the Labour Party it is Christmas every day for the Conservatives, Merry Christmas!”

Another Fine Mess…

Balls and Miliband

In an election deluging swing marginal constituencies with glossy lies, this leaflet from Andrew Bridgen currently dropping on doormats in North West Leicestershire stands out. Expect a Conservative hold. The Guidoisation of politics continues… 



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Quote of the Day

Former public schoolboy Chuka Umunna told the  ‘Exit From Brexit Dinner’…

“Remainians, Remoaners, I don’t care what the label is, I’m proud. It’s fashionable to label everyone in this room as the liberal metropolitan elite . . . This caricature is promoted by a bunch of former public schoolboys!” 

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