Crispin Blunt Slapped on Wrist for Late Registration of £20,000 Payment

The Commons sleaze commissioner Kathryn Stone has ruled that Conservative MP Crispin Blunt breached the Members’ code of conduct by failing to register 10 payments totalling £20,833.30 – in his role as Director of the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians – within 28 days of receipt.

In her judgement published last night, Stone gave Blunt a slap on the wrist for his negligence, accepting the breaches were “inadvertent” and not “deliberate“:

“…it is my view that Mr Blunt failed to register the ten payments that he received between 29 August 2021 and 1 June 2022 for his role as Director of the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians within the 28-day deadline set by the House. This amounts to a breach of paragraph 14 of the Code of Conduct for 25 Members. When making my decision, I took into account the explanations provided by Mr Blunt, and accept that the failure to submit a form notifying the Registrar of Members’ Financial Interests of his regular payments was an oversight on his part. I found that, based on the information available to me, the breaches were inadvertent, and that there was no deliberate attempt to mislead.”

Stone let Blunt off with a written acknowledgement and apology. Oops.

mdi-timer 27 October 2022 @ 12:00 27 Oct 2022 @ 12:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Reigate Could Prove Safe Haven for Boris

Rumours persist that Boris is on the hunt for a new safe seat at the next election. After Nadine Dorries shot down the Mirror’s claim that the former PM would be parachuted into her Mid-Bedfordshire constituency with Nadine ascending to The Lords, a new option has emerged: Reigate. It’s currently held by Crispin Blunt, who’s already announced he’s stepping down. Guido hears rumours are swirling within the Reigate constituency association that it’s a strong contender to save the former PM from an all-but-inevitable election defeat should he stay in Uxbridge. Not only did Blunt win a comfortable 18,310 majority in 2019, it was also previously floated as an option for Boris back when he was London Mayor…

mdi-timer 17 October 2022 @ 13:16 17 Oct 2022 @ 13:16 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Crispin Blunt Retracts

Crispin Blunt inevitably this morning retracted his statement supporting Imran Ahmad Khan…

“On reflection I have decided to retract my statement defending Imran Ahmad Khan. I am sorry that my defence of him has been a cause of significant upset and concern not least to victims of sexual offences. It was not my intention to do this.

To be clear I do not condone any form of abuse and I strongly believe in the independence and integrity of the justice system.

It is a particularly difficult time for LGBT+ rights across the world and my statement risks distracting the APPG for Global LGBT+ Rights from its important purpose. I have today offered the officers my resignation so a new Chair can be found to continue the work of the group with full force.”

mdi-timer 12 April 2022 @ 12:25 12 Apr 2022 @ 12:25 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Crispin Blunt Withdraws and Apologises For Imran Ahmad Khan Statement

Just minutes ago, Crispin Blunt finally deleted his statement defending Imran Ahmad Khan, following an ultimatum from the party this morning. All it took was that and a meltdown in his local association and the threat of losing the whip, with Tory sources this morning warning:

“Crispin’s views are wholly unacceptable. Following exchanges late last night we expect the statement to be retracted first thing this morning”

Now the tweet and full length statement calling Khan’s sex crimes “minor” have gone, with no apology or follow-up statement yet to appear.

Stay tuned…

UPDATE: Blunt offers something approaching an apology and offers his resignation as chair of the LGBT+ APPG

“On reflection I have decided to retract my statement defending Imran Ahmad Khan. I am sorry that my defence of him has been a cause of significant upset and concern not least to victims of sexual offences. It was not my intention to do this.

To be clear I do not condone any form of abuse and I strongly believe in the independence and integrity of the justice system.

It is a particularly difficult time for LGBT+ rights across the world and my statement risks distracting the APPG for Global LGBT+ Rights from its important purpose. I have today offered the officers my resignation so a new Chair can be found to continue the work of the group with full force.”

mdi-timer 12 April 2022 @ 08:03 12 Apr 2022 @ 08:03 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Crispin Blunt Told “Not Fit to Hold Public Office” By Councillor in Constituency Conservative Association

Just when the Tories hoped their expulsion of Imran Ahmad Khan from the party following his guilty sentencing this afternoon would end this latest chapter in party scandal, along came fellow MP Crispin Blunt. A few hours ago Blunt published a jaw-dropping statement in defence of Khan, in which he claimed elements of the proceedings were homophobic and said he hopes “for the return of Imran Ahmad Khan to the public service that has exemplified his life to date.” His statement has already resulted in three of Blunt’s colleagues on the APPG for LGBT+ rights resigning.

This evening Guido can reveal Blunt’s statement has outraged his local party, sparking a furious row in a local WhatsApp chat which Blunt has now quit. Crispin pre-announced his statement, which was greeted by demands for further clarity over his claim the result was a “miscarriage of justice”. Another chimed in asking their MP, “Do we really want to defend someone like this?? I agree with you completely [first incredulous responder]”. 

With his back against the wall, Blunt came out with the following two messages:

”As one detail you might like to reflect on the investigating officer in 2008 noted “this was not a sexual assault” There is so much more , that will hopefully ensure his appeal succeeds”

“I am deliberately giving a counter narrative to ask people to allow the appeal to take place before his reputation is wholly beyond recall, as everyone has rushed to judgement. I am adamant he should not have been charged, far less convicted 14 years after an event that was minor or any scale. 

I’m Sorry but this was a rotten day for British justice and I will stand up for truth as I see it before me.”

A councillor replied that while he didn’t doubt Blunt’s “sincere intentions”, “please think of your local association and Council colleagues who will have to answer to your actions on the doorstep – even more so if any appeal is quashed”.

When an irritated Blunt retorted with, “please don’t presume to lecture me on my competing responsibilities, I am well aware of them”, the councillor shot back with this devastating response:

Blue on blue just before the local elections – no doubt exactly what CCHQ wanted to see this evening…

UPDATE: Tory source tells Guido “Crispin’s views are wholly unacceptable. Following exchanges late last night we expect the statement to be retracted first thing this morning.” Tick tock…

mdi-timer 12 April 2022 @ 00:01 12 Apr 2022 @ 00:01 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Committee Chairmanship Battle Lines Drawn

A new Parliamentary term means new Select Committee Chair elections, and the races are already hotting up. Two of the more interesting battles are shaping up to be the Health and Social Care Committee, vacated by Sarah Wollaston, and the Transport Committee, which switches from Labour to Tory due to the size of the Government’s stonking majority. The formerly Lib Dem Science and Technology Committee is turning Blue too…

On the Health Committee, Guido hears that Jeremy Hunt is angling for the top job, but is facing a strong challenge from Dr Dan Poulter who has been sounding out colleagues about standing for the role.

Guido understands that former Transport Minister Robert Goodwill will be standing for the newly Tory role of Transport Committee Chairman, against Tory wet Huw Merriman.

Crispin Blunt is also staging a re-match against Tom Tugendhat who beat Blunt to take the role in 2017.

With every Government bill almost guaranteed to pass, Committee Chair races are set to become the biggest source of scrutiny…

mdi-timer 13 January 2020 @ 15:00 13 Jan 2020 @ 15:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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