Commons Standards Boss Lets Warburton Off with Slap on the Wrist

Disgraced MP David Warburton has been effectively let off with a slap on the wrist, after a Standards investigation into a £150,000 loan he took from a Russian businessman via an off-shore trust.

Kathryn Stone did find against Warburton on two counts, ruling that he breached sleaze rules by failing to register the loan. She also finds that he should have declared the loan when writing to the Financial Conduct Authority on behalf of the lender – Mr Roman Joukovski – a breach of paragraph 14 of the code.

However she decides that Warburton didn’t breach rules around paid advocacy on this latter misdemeanour, as the letter he sent to the FCA didn’t ask for any positive action towards Joukovski, nor did it make any representations on his behalf.

Warburton will merely have to retrospectively add the loans to his register of interests as a late declaration. The supposed coke photos, however, may still prove an impediment to his getting the whip back…

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Warburton Formally Under Investigation

Commons Standards Commissioner Kathryn Stone’s workload has just got a lot bigger, as she announces a formal investigation into David Warburton. The announcement on the parliamentary website spells out the probe will look into the allegations revealed by the Sunday Timesclaiming he took a £100,000 loan from a Russian businessman without declaring it. A claim Gabriel Pogrund correctly predicted could lead to an investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards…

“Warburton knew about Joukovski’s past problems with the [Financial Conduct Authority], but took the loan via an offshore entity linked to the businessman’s family trust. He later brought the Russian-born British citizen into the Palace of Westminster and used his parliamentary email address to organise meetings for Joukovski, including one with Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Brexit opportunities secretary, who was a backbencher at the time in 2017. According to a source with direct knowledge of the transaction, Warburton has since repaid the money at high levels of interest.”

The Commissioner’s announcement specifies the investigation will look into “Paid advocacy, Declaration of an interest, and Registration of an interest under Category 3 of the Guide to the Rules [Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources]”.

He joins Sir Keir, David Lammy, Andrew Bridgen and Chris Philp on Stone’s to-do list… 

Hat-tip: James Heale

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Rape-Accused MP Will Be Able to Vote Tonight, Roberts and Warburton Will Not Be Getting Whip Back

Guido speculated out loud this morning whether the Tory MP arrested for rape would be able to vote in the leadership election – given he hasn’t had the whip withdrawn, just told to stay away from the estate. Proxy votes are available…

Guido’s now had it confirmed by the whips’ office that he will be able to vote, and only members without the whip will be precluded from participation. In other words, just Rob Roberts and David Warburton. 

It wasn’t long ago that Theresa May was stupid enough to give Charlie Elphicke the whip back so he could support her in the 2018 leadership election. The whips’ office has assured Guido that Roberts and Warburton will not be handed the same luxury this time around… 

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David Warburton Drops Plans to Return to Parliament

Yesterday’s Tory MP arrest rather distracted the Westminster Village from its previous scandal involving David Warburton. The last update we got was from the Somerset MP himself via his website, bemoaning how difficult and trying a time it has been for him and his family; noting he is unaware as to whether an investigation has been launched; and thanking constituents, friends and fellow MPs for supposed support. It was the line about his plans to return to Parliament that raise eyebrows the most though…

“I look forward to be able to return fully to Parliament when it reconvenes.”

Well, over a week on from the state opening and Guido had been hard-pressed to find any proof of the MP’s return. Repeated requests for comment from his office staff were ignored. Until today, when one pointed out the line about him returning to parliament has been taken out of his website’s update…

That’s one less headache for the whips office at least…

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Rich’s Monday Morning View


Sex & Cocaine Scandal Tory MP David Warburton Has Breakdown

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Sarah Vine: Can’t Help Feeling Warburton is Having Midlife Crisis
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