Siôn Simon’s £1 Million Life on the Taxpayer

As voters go to the polls tomorrow to choose the next West Midlands mayor, Siôn Simon will be aiming to take his taxpayer-funded career income over the million pound mark. Despite railing against professional politicians as “people whose only ambition from the earliest age – and often their only achievement -was to be a politician”, Simon has sucked at the teat of the taxpayer for the last two decades. After studying PPE at Oxford, Simon worked as

  • Parliamentary researcher for George Robertson for three years. Estimated income: £60,000.
  • 2001-2010: MP for Birmingham Erdington. In 2001 MPs were paid £49,822, by 2010 they were on £65,738. Estimated income: £600,000.
  • 2008-2009: Education minister. In 2008 Parliamentary Under Secretaries of State were paid £30,851. 
  • 2009-2010: Creative industries minister. In 2009 Parliamentary Under Secretaries of State were paid £30,851.
  • Expenses scandal: Simon resigned after claiming almost £20,000 to rent a second home from his sister, £895 for a new king size bed, £155 at IKEA, £80 for bed linen from ‘Pollecoff’s of Pwllheli’, £4.99 for hangers, 100 tealight candles (£1.69). Estimated total: £25,000.
  • MEP: 2014-present. MEP salary in 2014 was €8,020 per month. MEP Salary as of July 2015 is €8,213 per month. Estimated income: £214,480.
  • Total estimated income from the taxpayer: £960,000.

As West Midlands mayor Simon would earn £79,000-a-year, sending him over the million pound mark for lifelong taxpayer funded income. Please Sion, tell us more about those career politicians whose “only achievement was to be a politician”…

Siôn Simon: ‘Report Crimes to Mosques Not Police’

Labour candidate for West Midlands mayor Siôn Simon claims there have been “hundreds of thousands” of hate crimes since last June’s Brexit vote and believes they should be reported to “mosques and community centres” not the police. Speaking during a visit to the Quadria Trust Mosque and Community Centre, Birmingham, Simon said:

“Hundreds of thousands of hate crimes have been suffered since the Brexit vote last year. And one smaller practical thing we can do – what they call secondary reporting – in order to report a hate crime you shouldn’t have to go to a policeman, to a police station, you should be able to report a hate crime perhaps in a mosque or in a community centre, or somewhere that is less intimidating and easier for members of our communities to feel that they can go to and talk about terrible things that have happened to them.” 

Government statistics show there were 62,518 hate crime offences recorded in 2015/16 in England and Wales. In 2014-15 the hate crime figure was 52,465. It would take a staggering rise for there to have been “hundreds of thousands” since Brexit…

Siôn Simon is being recklessly irresponsible in telling voters to report crimes to mosques not the police, this could lead to religious vigilantism, the police and the courts are the proper way to deal with crime…

Probing Siôn Simon’s CV

Labour’s West Midlands mayoral candidate and former MP Siôn Simon has published his “CV” on his latest campaign leaflet. We asked his campaign to clarify his CV points…

Siôn’s “CV”

  • A self-employed small business person for over a decade – I know the pressure of the looming VAT return
  • Government Minister with overall responsibility for an £11 billion organisation
  • Senior manager in a global corporation

Simon claims to have been a “self-employed small business person for over a decade“. Simon tells Guido this refers to his work as a freelance journalist and consultant, which would indeed count as “self-employed“. Whether this really qualifies as a “small business” is a matter of interpretation. When you think “small business” you tend to think of a small firm…

Simon was a government minister. In 2008 he was a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills under Gordon Brown. Before leaving parliament in 2010 he also served as a minister at the same rank in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. PUSS’s are the most junior ministerial rank in the government structure. A junior minister cannot have “overall responsibility” for the budget of a government department. Simon says this referred to the Learning and Skills Council, for which he did oversee departmental sponsorship. The Learning and Skills Council had its own Chief Executive to manage its £11 billion budget…

Simon claims to have been a “senior manager in a global corporation”. He was employed by Diageo in the company’s Guinness division in his early 20s prior to entering journalism and politics. For two years…

A campaign spokesperson told Guido:

“Siôn was a writer and management consultant. Siôn was the sponsoring minister of the Learning and Skills Council. Siôn was a Senior Manager at Guinness PLC, then a FTSE top 20 company, exporting to almost every country in the world.”

His CV at all points stretches the truth, yet for some reason he neglects to mention studying PPE at Oxford, the subject chosen because he always wanted to be a politician. In reality Siôn has been a career politician for 3 decades who has risen on the coat-tails of his pal, Tom Watson…

Siôn Simon’s Tech Jobs Hypocrisy

Point 2 of Siôn Simon’s 10 point plan for the Midlands is to rebuild “the West Midlands as Britain’s capital of technology”. A noble aim. As he says

“The collective geniuses of the West Midlands are game-changers – global and historic leaders. We should celebrate this more. As Mayor, I will champion our region”

So, besides soundbites, what has candidate Siôn done to champion his region?

Well to be fair there is not a lot he can do out of power. He does however have a fancy campaign website – so what Brummie web wizards did he get in to showcase Britain’s would be capital of technology by building his website? Errr…

His website was built by Tectonica, in Buenos Aires, Argentina: 

So much for bringing those technology jobs to the West Midlands…

Sion Simon Campaign Chief Resigns Over Hijab Scandal

Sion Simon has been playing up to a certain stereotype in his campaign for West Midlands mayor, adorning his campaign literature with England flags and even using the slogan “This is England”. So he probably won’t want voters to know his campaign chief Waseem Zaffar has just been forced to resign his position on Birmingham council after he intervened in a local primary school to insist that a four-year old girl should wear a hijab. The unsavoury story has been an explosive local issue in recent weeks and Zaffar has now been forced to resign his Cabinet position in disgrace. Zaffar’s name is all over Simon’s website as a contact for his campaign.

The pair are close friends, Simon once said of Zaffar:

“Waseem Zaffar is an outstanding grassroots political representative… You couldn’t have a better representative.”

Doesn’t quite fit with Simon’s campaign message…

Sion Simon Deletes Pro-Remain Statement From Website

Yesterday Guido reported on how arch-Europhile Sion Simon was impersonating a Brexiteer to win votes in the West Midlands mayoral election. Sion has been busy deleting pages from his website so he can keep up the charade. A statement he published back in June explaining his support for Remain has mysteriously vanished.

Unfortunately Sion is not a ‘proppa blogger‘ so he doesn’t realise that nothing ever really disappears from the internet:

“Until June 23rd I will be focussing on the campaign for the UK to remain in the European Union.”

Can’t think why Simon, an MEP on a fat Brussels salary remember, would campaign to Remain. Nor why he suddenly wants to pretend he didn’t…

Sion Simon Impersonating a Brexiteer

Judging by the campaign material above, you’d think Labour’s candidate for West Midlands mayor is a Brexit backer who wants to stick it to the Westminster elite. Vote Leave slogan? Tick. England flag? Tick. Platitude about how “Politicians in London have learnt nothing”? Tick. Laughable really, since Sion Simon is still a Member of the European Parliament, backed Remain in the referendum and has been a career Westminster Europhile. His first job was working as an adviser to the Shadow Europe minister, he then ran the Europe desk at Labour HQ, then worked at the Labour press office, then as a political journalist, then as “Alastair Campbell’s shorthand typist”, then as a Labour MP with two ministerial jobs under Gordon Brown, before going to Brussels and taking a fat MEP’s salary. The West Midlands voted overwhelmingly to Leave. “Take back control” indeed…

#EverydaySexualSegregation

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Labour are at the forefront of the fight for sexual equality – except when it might cost them votes. So here pictured in Hodge Hill this morning are Tom Watson MP, Liam Byrne MP and Mr Jack Dromey MP as well as Siôn Simon MEP speaking in front of a segregated audience:

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Wonder what Harriet would have to say about it?

UPDATE: Nigel comments

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