CARSWELL FIGHTING UKIP HQ OVER £650,000 SHORT MONEY

Douglas-Carswell-with-Nig-012

Right now everyone in Westminster is amused by the “unresignation” of Nigel Farage – or what the rest of us would call a “weekend off”. That is a done deal. What is not a done deal is the massive internal row between Nigel Farage’s allies in UKIP HQ and Douglas Carswell, UKIP’s only MP, over the control of the £650,000 of Short Money due to them as an opposition party after winning 4 million votes.

Douglas only learnt that Nige had unresigned in Central Lobby when a passing journalist from The Times, Laura Pitel, showed him a tweet on her mobile phone. Fair to say this did not go down well. 

Carswell subsequently emailed UKIP’s top brass insisting on two things; firstly that UKIP in parliament does not need £650,000 of taxpayers’ money to run a parliamentary operation and that he should chair an oversight board that will control the spending of the money. It is fair to say that in the past UKIP’s expense accounting has been almost as bad as that of the European Commission. Douglas tells Guido that

“I don’t think we need a vast amount of taxpayers’ money to do the job. We should be different, we should be prepared to reject taxpayer funding. We don’t need to be on the gravy train to fund staff. UKIP should be about saying no to the political trough. Not taking our fill.”

Short Money is intended to help fund a parliamentary opposition that doesn’t have the benefit of the Civil Service, specifically

  • Funding to assist an opposition party in carrying out its Parliamentary business
  • Funding for the opposition parties’ travel and associated expenses
  • Funding for the running costs of the Leader of the Opposition’s office

Carswell is suggesting that they accept only £350,000 from the taxpayer for the UKIP parliamentary operation. If Carswell is going to sign off the accounts he is insisting he wants to be a signatory to the bank account…

UKIP is “negotiating” the matter with their only MP and a ‘negotiator’ tells Guido:

“UKIP are looking for a way to spend this money for the betterment of our 4 million voters.”

Sources suggest there could also be “an alternative plan B” with another parliamentarian taking the cash.  Carswell says of the suggestion he might be lured back to the Conservatives: “I’m 100% UKIP, and right now I’m 100% of UKIP in Westminster”.

UPDATE: Nigel Farage tells Guido:

“Douglas is the MP for 4 million people and we need to represent them properly.”

You’re Fired! Lord Sugar Quits Labour

“No Hiding Place For Hedge Funds” Says Hedgie-Backed Eddie

Ed Miliband was taking voters in Pendle for fools this morning:

“Under my government, there will be no hiding place for the hedge funds.”

That’s the same Ed Miliband whose campaign for the Labour leadership was funded by a Mayfair based hedge fund trader.

As Guido revealed in March:

“Ed, desperate to beat his brother David, quietly took £27,000 from GLC, a billion dollar Mayfair hedge fund run by the Cambridge educated maths genius Lawrence Staden. Staden also gave another £100,000 of his profits to the Labour Party – £80,000 to Labour HQ, £10,000 to the ultra-marginal Eltham Labour Party and another £10,000 to neighbouring Greenwich and Woolwich, the constituency which includes his £3 million home in affluent Blackheath.”

What’s more, one of Labour’s biggest non-union donors under Miliband has been Martin Taylor, another hedgie, who has given a whopping £600,000. “There will be no hiding place for the hedge funds” under Miliband. Except when they hide their money in the Labour Party’s coffers..

Labour Double Down on Overspending Denial

Interviewer: “Was the country in a worse position to deal with the recession because of overspending, that is arguably the question”

Powell: “Well if that’s the question the answer to that very clearly is no”

They just don’t get it.

Another Labour Fraudster: Candidate Convicted Six Days Before Polling Day

Six days before polling day and it’s the end of the line for one candidate already. Labour have been forced to suspend their prospective MP for Wellingborough after he was convicted for fraud. Despite attempts to cover his tracks, Richard Garvie has been found guilty of buying train tickets worth almost £900 using a card for a closed bank account. His defence was that it was all a big conspiracy to stitch him up because “I have been active in helping people who have been treated wrongly by train companies”. He had the means, he had the opportunity, he had the loco-motive…

The Moment Miliband Claimed Labour Didn’t Overspend

This 13 second video clip is the one moment from last night the Tories will be playing again and again until polling day. Listen to those titters in the audience and that collective sharp intake of breath as Miliband insists the last Labour government didn’t overspend:

No further questions m’lud…

Hodge the Dodge’s Tax Hypocrisy Goes Box Office

Regular readers will be well aware that Guido has been banging on about Margaret Hodge’s shameless tax hypocrisy for years.

Back in 2012, he took a look at her 0.01% tax rate-paying family company, Stemcor. At the time she insisted her £1.5 million shareholding was “tiny, tiny, tiny” and she succeeded in scaring off the dead tree press from reporting her arrangements. Hodge even threatened to sue anyone accusing her of tax avoidance. Yet no writ or letter before action came. 

Today’s Times splashes on the story:

“just under 96,000 Stemcor shares handed to Ms Hodge in 2011 came from [Liechtenstein], which is renowned for low tax rates. Three quarters of the shares in the family’s Liechtenstein trust had previously been held in Panama, which Ms Hodge described last month as “one of the most secretive jurisdictions” with “the least protection anywhere in the world against money laundering”. The veteran Labour MP was accused of sheer hypocrisy. She has repeatedly attacked big businesses and bankers who used offshore arrangements, but has not declared that she benefited from an offshore trust.”

Busted…

The Borrowers

IFS verdict…

Here are the top lines:

  • Tories: debt as a share of national income reduced from 80% in 2014–15 to 72% by 2019–20
  • Labour, Liberal Democrat and SNP plans, debt in 2019–20 could be more like 77%, 75% and 78% respectively
  • Labour have been much less clear about exactly what level of deficit reduction they want to achieve than the Tories
  • The Tories need to spell out substantially more detail of how they will deliver the overall fiscal targets they have set themselves
  • The SNP’s fiscal numbers imply the same reduction in borrowing over the next parliament as Labour
  • Under the SNP, the period of austerity would be longer than under the other three parties

Ultimately, the IFS is scathing of all parties:

“the electorate is at best armed with only an incomplete picture of what they can expect from any of these four parties”

Even under the most ‘austere’ plans, those of the Tories, debt as a share of national income will still be 72%…

Electoral Commission Fine Tory Fundraisers Over Unreported Donations

The Electoral Commission has fined a Tory fundraising group £1,200 for repeatedly failing to declare donations made to the Conservative Party in excess of £25,000. The National Conservative Draws Society organises lotteries for Tory supporters, giving the proceeds to the party, and it claims to be “one of the most powerful fundraising actvities to help the Conservative Party in recent years”. Yet while the Tories confirmed receiving the money, the Society did not notify the Electoral Commission it was making the donations. They’ve already rolled over and paid it…

Man With Plane Trolls Owen Jones From the Sky

With Owen Jones visiting South Thanet yesterday to campaign for Labour, Simon Moores – an economist, Guardian contributor, councillor and pilot – saw his chance to troll the his lefty colleague from a great height. And troll him he did, by flying this banner over the constituency for the afternoon:

Moores tells Guido:

“I did it off my own back because I can’t stand Owen Jones. I can’t stand economic illiterates and Jones drives me crazy.”

One critic Owen can’t block…

Confirmed: Desmond Gives a Million to UKIP

As Guido reported earlier, and the Express have now confirmed in an ‘exclusive’, Richard Desmond has opened his chequebook and donated a million pounds to UKIP. He says:

“I firmly believe in Ukip. It’s a party for good, ordinary British people. It is not run by elitists. They are struggling to have a voice. They do not have a massive party machine or highly paid public relations people. They are human; they are not perfect and they do not pretend to be. But what they believe in is the best for the British people. They are the sort of people who will stand up for people who are struggling.

I don’t believe Cameron has delivered on his promises. I don’t want to be a member of a club. As Groucho Marx said, I don’t want to join any club that would have me as a member. I always have challenged the establishment and I want to continue to challenge it. I’m giving this money because I believe….as Emerson, Lake and Palmer might put it… Ukip’s political outlook is a ‘fanare for the common man. I want to back our customers, Daily Express readers, who believe in many of Ukip’s common-sense policies on the EU and immigration and taxation. That is why I am putting my hand in my pocket; it is for my customers, my readers. I hope by doing this, it will encourage more people to do the same. 

I want them to stand up like me and be counted. I believe there are still people out there who are frightened to stand up for something new and I hope they will follow my example.”

You read it here first…

Understand the donation came as a surprise to UKIP. Senior staffers, as well as press officers did not know it was coming when Guido put it to them three hours ago. Their laughs of ‘no way’ were genuine…

RUMOUR: Dirty Desmond ‘About to Donate UKIP a Million’

Farage is apparently expected at Express Newspapers’ offices at some point today and Richard Desmond’s deputy Lord Stevens was spotted in Thanet with the UKIP leader on Tuesday.

Usually reliable sources suggest Desmond is about to drop a cool million on the party.

And presumably the endorsement of his publications…

Man Destroyed By Gordon Returns the Favour

The head of UK investment banking for Lehman Brothers when the doomed financiers went under has turned his life around and is now seeking revenge: to the tune of a £75,000 donation to the Tories. According to a profile in Globe and Mail, the appropriately named Michael Tory “went to bed on Sept. 14, 2008, with a feeling of dread”, then the next day “found himself out of a job and almost out of money”.

“It went up in smoke that day,” says Tory, but in the years that followed he set up his own firm and has made enough to be writing large cheques to the party that shares his name. All in it together… a true success story of a hardworking person winning the global race etc.

Labour Lead in Short Campaign Donations (Thanks to Unions)

Donations from Monday 30 March to Sunday 5 April:

  • Conservative Party – £501,850
  • Co-operative Party – £13,792
  • Green Party – £8,400
  • Labour Party – £1,887,312
  • Liberal Democrats – £20,000
  • United Kingdom Independence Party – £35,416

That Unite million has saved Ed’s bacon…

Put Her Down as a Maybe

Good to see Labour targeting their resources well…

Murphy Blows Labour’s “Fiscal Responsibility” Line

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Well that didn’t take long. The IFS verdict on Labour’s manifesto is in: “Literally we would not know what we were voting for if we were going to vote for Labour”. They aren’t the only ones who are confused…

Here is Jim Murphy blowing Miliband’s fiscal responsibility line out of the water this afternoon:

“Ed was really clear at the UK manifesto launch today. It’s only Labour that will end austerity.”

Which is literally the opposite of what Miliband actually said:

“it is a manifesto which shows Labour is not only the party of change but the party of responsibility too… A clear vow to protect our nation’s finances… The deficit will be cut every year… This commitment to fiscal responsibility is the foundation.”

Forcing Chuka to slap down Murphy on the Daily Politics:

“The leader of the Scottish Labour Party will not be in charge of the UK budget.”

It is almost as if in England Labour are telling voters they will make cuts and can be trusted to be responsible, but in Scotland they are vowing to end Tory austerity. As the IFS say, “Literally we would not know what we were voting for…”

Dugher Defeated: Labour’s War on Motorists Back On

“Labour car war is over- New transport chief’s vow to help road users” screamed the Mirror late last year. The then new Shadow Transport Secretary Michael Dugher promised: “to stop demonising motorists and start championing them as it declared its war on drivers was over… he admitted drivers have for too long been seen as a “cash cow” for governments who cream cash off them with fuel taxes and penalties.”

Fast forward four months and Labour’s manifesto promises to scrap two of the most vital road upgrades in the country, to freeze rail fares for just one year:

“The cost, of just over £200 million, will be fully funded by switching spending within the existing transport budget from delaying road projects on the A27 and A358 for which the economic case is still uncertain.”

The A27 is one of the busiest trunk roads in the UK, a vital connection to Portsmouth. Anyone heading toward the West-Country will know the A303/A358 corridor is a mess. It seems Labour have all but given up on the South…

Red Peril: The 52 Labour Candidates Who Oppose Trident

This is the full list of Labour parliamentary candidates who are on the record opposing the renewal of Trident:

Diane ABBOTT, Hackney North and Stoke Newington
George AYLETT, South West Wiltshire
Jane BASHAM, South Suffolk
Barry BLACK, Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine
Lesley BRENNAN, Dundee East
Matthew BROWN, Louth and Horncastle
Richard BURGON, Leeds East
Edward CARLSSON BROWNE, Harwich and North Essex
Katy CLARK, North Ayrshire and Arran
Anna CODA, Hereford and South Herefordshire
Michael CONNARTY, Linlithgow and Falkirk East
Sally COPLEY, Oxford West & Abingdon
Jeremy CORBYN, Islington North
Ian DAVIDSON, South West Glasgow
Andrew DISMORE, Hendon
David DREW, Stroud
Malcolm FINCKEN, Braintree
Roger GODSIFF, Birmingham Hall Green
John GROGAN, Keighley
Louise HAIGH, Sheffield Heeley
Kelvin HOPKINS, Luton North
Huw JONES, South East Cambridgeshire
Hugh LANNING, Canterbury
Mark LAZAROWICZ, Edinburgh North and Leith
Clive LEWIS, Norwich South
John McDONNELL, Hayes and Harlington
Matthew MAHABADI, South Holland and the Deepings
Graeme MORRICE, Livingston
Grahame MORRIS, Easington
Andy NEWMAN, Chippenham
Scott NICHOLSON, Perth and North Perthshire
Kate OSAMOR, Edmonton
Sandra OSBORNE, Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock
Nick PALMER, Broxtowe
Nancy PLATTS, Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven
Kerry POLLARD, St Albans
Charlynne PULLEN, Mid-Bedfordshire
Mike ROBB, Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey
Lee RUSHWORTH, Penrith and the Border
Lloyd RUSSELL-MOYLE, Lewes and Seahaven
Purna SEN, Brighton Pavilion
Andrew SMITH, Oxford East
Peter SMITH, South West Norfolk
Alex SOBEL, Leeds North West
Jo STEVENS, Cardiff Central
David STOKES, Bournemouth West
Graham STRINGER, Blackley and Broughton
Michael TAYLOR, Hazel Grove
Chris VINCE, Chelmsford
Catherine WEST, Hornsey and Wood Green
Julian WARE-LANE, Southend West
Russell WHITING, Suffolk Coastal

Will they do a deal with the SNP?

Mensch Funding Anti-UKIP Fight

Louise Mensch’s stoic Twitter followers will be well aware that she really doesn’t like UKIP. She usually reminds us around midday UK time, when the sun comes up in New York. Mensch is bankrolling the election campaigns of Tory MPs facing close fights with UKIP challengers. As previously reported, she bunged £2,000 to Jackie Doyle-Price to help her battle Tim Aker in Thurrock, and now another £5,000 to Rebecca Harris in Castle Point, where Farage launched UKIP’s election campaign. Well at least she is putting her money where her tweets are.

UPDATE:

Gordon Promises Scots £800,000,000… From a Tax on Bankers’ Bonuses!

You could not make it up. Despite no longer being an MP, Gordon is back and making outlandish spending claims in Scotland.

The former Prime Mentalist has told a Glasgow audience that Labour will spend £800 million more in Scotland to “end austerity”:

And here are the fantasy numbers:

That would be the tax on bankers’ bonuses that Labour have already spent 11 times:

Oh dear…[…] Read the rest

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Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner:

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