Lords’ Allowance Slashed in Half, Will Have to Contribute to Claim

In one of the most sensible reforms of the whole Coronavirus epidemic, members of the House of Lords will no longer be able to claim the full £326 a day allowance, and will receive nothing for simply turning up in Parliament. Bad news for money grabbing Baroness Uddin

Peers will now only be able to claim £162 a day, and only on the proviso that they actually contribute in a debate or select committee. The rate, lower because peers will not need to pay for travel or accommodation to work, is designed to encourage members to stay at home. Guido hopes this radical new idea of paying Peers for the work they actually do rather than just for clocking in sticks after the crisis is over…

The proposals, drawn up by a cross-party commission are expected to be approved on Wednesday. Lords sources tell Guido that the Tory-led fiscal hawks on the commission have won, beating back Labour and Lib Dem proposals for more money. The latter party in particular wanted 80% of the total to be given to their noble colleagues…

mdi-timer 5 May 2020 @ 08:54 5 May 2020 @ 08:54 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Cameron Makes It Impossible to Follow His Money

Guido spotted some shenanigans going on at The Office of David Cameron this morning. He has re-registered the limited company as an unlimited company. Unlimited companies are rarely used because they have unlimited liability which defeats the main objective for anyone setting up a limited company, which Cameron did in 2016 immediately after quitting as PM. The former PM who championed transparency in office can only be doing this for one reason, to remove the requirement to file public accounts…

To be sure he won’t have enjoyed the coverage of the £836,000 profit he banked in 2019 from media and speaking appearances. He’s been well advised, unlike Tony Blair he didn’t go down the controversial offshore route and will therefore pay UK taxes in full on his earnings. We just won’t be able to follow the money he pockets now he is in the very private sector…

mdi-timer 15 April 2020 @ 14:00 15 Apr 2020 @ 14:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Tories Pressurising Members To Donate

A new Tory fundraising drive is targeting members and supporters who have yet to donate to the Conservatives’ campaign. The email tells recipients that “Over the last twelve months Labour have raised nearly £13 million from donations alone. And now the polls are tightening. So we urgently need your help to match Corbyn’s war chest.”

The email, sent by co-Chairman of the party Ben Elliott, highlights members and supporters who have not contributed to the ‘Election Fighting Fund’ in an attempt to pressure them into giving £5 or 10 in the final days of the campaign. It’s more normal for late-stage fundraising emails to target supporters who have already donated – the Tories are pulling out all the stops following Labour’s massive union cash injection… 

mdi-timer 3 December 2019 @ 10:23 3 Dec 2019 @ 10:23 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Momentum Fined By Electoral Commission For Multiple Breaches Of Electoral Law

Guido’s investigation in late 2017 drew attention to the implausibility of Momentum having adhered to the laws on spending limits. The subsequent Electoral Commission electoral fraud investigation has borne this out, with Momentum today being fined £16,700 for multiple breaches of electoral law. The hard left campaign group has been found to have repeatedly filed  inaccurate general election spending returns in 2017 despite being given a year to revise their return. They were also multiple failures to report donations accepted outside of an election period. The Electoral Commission says this is “the highest fine levied on a non-party campaigner for not submitting a complete and accurate spending return during the 2017 election.”

Momentum originally claimed they had only spent £38,743 across the whole of the 2017 election. Conveniently, just under the £39,000 spending limit for non-party campaigners…

Considering Momentum raised £120,000 from Crowdpac alone, they presumably expected the Electoral Commission would simply believe that they did not spend the vast majority of the money raised. But the Commission has concluded that Momentum’s spending report “was not accurate and Momentum subsequently delivered four further versions after the deadline, each of which reported different amounts of donations and spending.” Oh dear…

UPDATE: Despite the Electoral Commission stating bluntly that “Momentum did not cooperate fully during the investigation” they have responded with a lengthy statement essentially claiming it was all an innocent mistake. The make much of their small donations from volunteers, the Electoral Commission actually found they failed to declare big donations of tens of thousands from the TSSA union.

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mdi-timer 6 March 2019 @ 09:35 6 Mar 2019 @ 09:35 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Tory Vice Chairman Paid £46,000 from House of Saud

As the world learned this week of the horrific torture and murder of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi – he was according to some reports alive when his torturer began cutting him up with an electric bone saw – the register of MPs’ interests was published. The new register of interests reveals that Tory MP Rehman Chishti received £46,000 from Saudi Arabia between March 2016 and January this year for advisory work with the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies. Chisti only stopped taking the lucrative £2,000-a-month payments from the Saudis when he became Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party for Communities in January. The party position comes with a £10,000 honorarium.

Guido looks forward to getting the benefit of hearing Chisti’s inside view of the Saudi regime’s behaviour when he speaks in the inevitable debates on the matter in the Commons…

UPDATE: Dozen Tories Took £85,0000 of Junkets to Riyadh in Last Year

mdi-timer 18 October 2018 @ 10:46 18 Oct 2018 @ 10:46 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Beijing Barry Pockets Another £77,000 From China-Linked Firm

Barry Gardiner has trousered another £77,000 from a law firm whose founder is linked to the Chinese regime, bringing the total he has accepted to over £380,000. Readers will remember how ‘Beijing Barry’ hit the headlines last year for taking huge sums in donations from Christine Lee & Co. Christine Lee describes herself as a “legal adviser to the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the UK” and “legal adviser to the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council” in China. Her son, Daniel Wilkes, works in Gardiner’s office as a parliamentary researcher. The register states Wilkes is “paid by Christine Lee & Co (solicitors) for the work I do in Parliament”…

Would young Dan have his parliamentary pass if mum wasn’t splashing the cash? Gardiner’s current brief concerns international trade with China. He was a vocal advocate of the Hinkley Point power station deal, which involved a Chinese state-backed firm. Both the donations and employing Christine Lee’s son are allowed under parliamentary rules. Which says more about the rules than anything else…

mdi-timer 23 July 2018 @ 14:01 23 Jul 2018 @ 14:01 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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