Guilty of eight counts, not guilty of two, jury split on one. He will be sentenced on Friday.
Guilty of eight counts, not guilty of two, jury split on one. He will be sentenced on Friday.
“Traffic was incredibly slow. We were either going slowly or we had stopped completely. My clear recollection is I reached for the banana and opened it when we weren’t moving at all.”
That’s not what the snapper says. He claims Straw’s Jag passed him at around 75 mph. On closer inspection, he doesn’t exactly look like he’s stationary…
Everything you need to know, summarised in 6 seconds…
The Tories have responded by ordering their MPs to sign a new code of conduct and implementing a grievance procedure for staff:
The code of conduct acts as a basic statement of what should be best practice in the workplace for Conservative Members and their staff. It explains the rights and responsibilities which are expected of both the employer and the employee.
The grievance procedure is available for staff to use if a grievance arises with their MP as employer. It protects both parties involved, brings with it consistency and fairness, and in doing so upholds the reputation of the Party and of Parliament. It is based upon a three stage process of mediation, grievance hearing and appeal. The process conforms to relevant employment law, ACAS guidance and HR best practice and is added as a schedule to the contract of employment.
They should get everyone at Number 10 to sign it too…
Jailed expenses crook Jim Devine has been ordered to pay his former office manager £18,000 in damages after a judge ruled that he had defamed her to cover up his own criminality. Marion Kinley alleged Devine had “stated I’d stolen significant sums of money while office manager and the reason I did this was because I had a serious gambling problem”. The judge agreed “that when he made these statement he knew them not to be true and that they were made maliciously” and that Devine’s evidence was “incredible” and “implausible”. This is one Jim won’t be able to charge to the taxpayer…
UKIP claim to have called the cops in after their head office was “bombarded” by “really nasty ‘hate’ phone calls” ahead of tonight’s debate. The party says “a group obviously working to a concerted plan” has subjected the old dears who man the phones at UKIP HQ to “clearly insane” abuse, and they have passed recordings of the “horrible messages” to the police. Things are so bad that they have had to install a system where all withheld numbers are automatically blocked. Nick Clegg did say he wanted to get more passionate…
Today in court Nigel Evans denied sexually assaulting several alleged male victims, accusing the prosecution of trying to paint him as “a cross between Alan Clark, Oscar Wilde and Benny Hill”. Evans said he could not recall two alleged assaults that had taken place while he was drunk, also dismissing claims he put his hands down another man’s boxer shorts on his sofa as “affection”, arguing that “there was affection between us… As you can see from the texts that are available, [there are] kisses at the end of them”. On the alleged sofa incident, Evans said he was looking for:
“A reaction. Hopefully that he might turn around, that something might have happened, that the pass would be accepted and we might take that further in a direction which we both would be happy… It’s amazing what two grown people can do on sofas, Mr Heywood.”
He says he stopped at the man’s stomach. The case continues…
In a statement the Crown Prosecution Service said:
“We were asked to consider whether there was a case for fraud by abuse of position and theft by disposal of assets belonging to the woman’s mother. We were also asked to consider whether there was a case of fraud by false representation to Northamptonshire Council in relation to the mother’s assets.
“The evidence showed: firstly that the woman’s mother considered the suspects’ conduct to be acceptable; secondly that the suspects acted openly in declaring the sale of the mother’s house to the Council; thirdly that no element of dishonesty could be proved. Therefore we have advised the police to take no further action.
“We understand there is ongoing civil litigation. For the avoidance of doubt our advice to police relates solely to possible criminal action.”
Mr and Mrs Bone are free to go…
Eric Joyce has pleaded guilty to abusive behaviour and been fined £1,500 over last May’s incident at Edinburgh airport. He also has to pay the airport worker he abused a hundred quid over an incident sources close to Joyce described to Guido as:
“Left phone on plane, went to bloke at BA counter saying ‘any chance of getting my phone back before the plane turns around & goes back to London?’ Bloke said words to the effect of ‘No, I’m busy’. Eric said ‘But my phone’, bloke said ‘Stop going on or I’m calling the cops’. Eric said ‘please do’, cops arrived, Eric said ‘B******s to this, I’m off’, one cop said Ok, one cop said not so fast. No drink, no hitting, which is nice.”
He says he is undecided about whether he wants to stay on as an MP after 2015:
“My instinct is to stay but I don’t know how I will feel in a few days. I am very embarrassed that this has happened. My constituents have seen this before, so they might think other apologies are not meant, but they are.”
Guido looks forward to hearing all about it on Eric’s blog…
Preston Crown Court today heard from the sixth alleged Nigel Evans sex offence victim. The witness told how after a night at parliament’s Strangers bar, Evans invited him to have a look at his new kitchen. When they arrived, the witness claimed Evans put his hands “all over” him and “tried to kiss” him. Evans than allegedly touched his crotch as said “you’re gorgeous”. The court heard the witness sent an email to a friend explaining how “he (Evans) pushed me into a private room & tried to do stuff to me. Eek”. The trial continues…
Today Preston Crown Court heard evidence from several current and former MPs responsible for disciplining Nigel Evans over his alleged sex offences. Former whip Michael Fabricant began by testifying that the allegations against Evans seemed “out of character”. John Randall, former assistant whip, recounted being told by the alleged victim how he had woken up while being sexually assaulted by Evans on his sofa. Also attending that meeting was former chief whip Patrick McLoughlin, who admitted Evans’ version of events did not differ considerably from the victim’s and so he was warned of his future conduct. Randall said the incident was considered “disciplinary not criminal”.
It was also claimed that the whips tried to talk the victim out of his demand that Evans resign. Tory PRU wonk Iain Corby claimed that Evans’ fourth alleged victim told whips the MP should not stand for re-election in 2010 but eventually agreed to compromise after the being asked “do you really want Nigel’s career to end?” This afternoon another alleged victim claimed that Evans “cupped his genitals” in the full view of the Commons’ Strangers bar. The trial continues…
It can now be reported that Tory MP Sarah Wollaston met with an alleged victim of Nigel Evans and suggested he contact the police. The alleged victim told Wollaston that Evans had put his hand inside his boxer shorts, at which point she told him to contact the Speaker John Bercow. Bercow said that since the incident did not take place on the parliamentary estate it was not a case for him, so Wollaston provided the alleged victim with contact numbers for the police. Another witness recalls receiving a text from the alleged victim about the incident: “I believe the phrase was 100% penis grabbing”. The defence contends the alleged victim is making his story up. The trial continues…
Today in court three alleged victims of sex offences at the hands of Nigel Evans gave evidence against the former Deputy Speaker. The first alleged victim told the court he felt a “very drunk” Evans put his hand down his trousers in a Soho bar. He said he thought at the time “oh god it’s happening to me now… if I don’t walk away I am going to hit him,” and that “it wasn’t a comedy squeeze. I knew what he was doing, he knew what he was doing.” Evans was, he said, “like a drunken 14 year old at a school disco who couldn’t chat you up with words”. Another witness present confirmed they also saw Evans put his hand down the man’s trousers. Under cross-examination, the alleged victim played down the incident, saying “he was just being drunk Nigel” and that he didn’t consider himself the victim of a crime.
The second alleged victim told the court a “very clearly very heavily intoxicated” Evans put his hands down his trousers at Tory party conference in 2003. He said he told Conor Burns, now a Tory MP, that Evans was subsequently put to bed. He said he told then junior whip Mark Hoban what had happened and that he considered it something he could leave the whips to resolve. The alleged victim described Evans as “a drunken letch at a bar” and said that “although I thought his behaviour was unacceptable I didn’t want it to be pursued.”
The third alleged victim claimed Evans tried to kiss him at parliament’s Strangers bar. He said that when he left the bar to use the bathroom Evans called him into another room and leaned in to kiss him. He told him “No, we’re not doing that” and pushed him away. A friend later dismissed the incident, saying “that’s what Nigel can be like”. The trial continues…
Daily List for Monday 10 March 2014 at
THE LAW COURTS, RINGWAY, PRESTON
THE HONOURABLE MR JUSTICE KING
For trial (no witnesses)
No witnesses until 11/3
Evans is charged with nine sex offences against seven men. He denies all the charges.
LibDems on Weymouth and Portland Borough council have formed a new grouping so they can circumvent the party leadership and keep child rape charge councillor Ryan Hope “in the tent”. They will be known as the Liberal Democrat and Alliance Group.
As Guido reported last month Hope was finally suspended by the party, four months after appearing in court charged with one count of raping a child, one count of rape, one count of sexual assault of a child and two counts of sexual assault. He denies the charges and faces trial in April.
Despite this the LibDems have now bent the rules so Hope can stay on and they don’t lose a seat on an important council committee.
What’s Clegg going to do about it?
UPDATE: A LibDem spokesman says:
“The party has been made aware of the decision by the council group in Weymouth. The regional party is now establishing the facts and will consider appropriate action.”
The Times splashes on Peter Bone being questioned under caution over a £100,000 benefit fraud involving Mrs’ Bone’s mum. It is alleged that taxpayers’ money was used to fund her care after her assets were apparently deliberately concealed. The real figure for how much money the Bones cream off the taxpayer could actually be double that at £200,000. On top of Bone’s salary as an MP, Mrs Bone was paid between £45,000 and £49,999 last year. Meaning that between them the Bones are raking in more than £100,000 from the taxpayer a year, on top of the £100,000 Mrs Bone’s mum allegedly swindled. He denies the allegations…
After saying all day he would not give us a statement, Adrian Yalland has released a statement:
There are two sides to every story – especially this one. The video shows only three things clearly.
1. Me repeatedly walking away from an aggressive and abusive man who admits to mental health and anger problems, on whom I had just served legal papers relating to a libel action.
2. The same man stealing the phone from my outstretched hands on which I had just taken a photo of the house I just served papers at.
3. Me picking myself off the floor.
After having been pushed to the floor, I was punched in the back of the head by a second individual, and had a hand forced over my face, whilst I believe a second attempt was made to steal my phone. Whilst pinned down, and fearing further attack, I acted proportionately, in self defence, and only to allow me to escape – which I did immediately. The only person punched was me.
I am pleased a witness came forward to confirm my version of events, and I therefore look forward to the police concluding their investigations with interest, particularly their view on whether there is a case for perverting the course of public justice by making false allegations in order to cause an arrest.
Yalland admits to biting one of his alleged assailants, he is counter-claiming that he is the victim who was attacked. Guido is inclined after hearing his side of the story to give Adrian the benefit of the doubt. Though amusingly, Yalland did once organise a junket for Tory MPs to Equatorial Guinea, where the local tyrant has been accused of… cannibalism…
UPDATE: April 26th: Yalland says the police will not be pressing charges against him.
Adrian Yalland, a former Tory candidate and fixer for various Tory MPs has been arrested for assault after apparently biting two men during a brawl in Hampshire. The video below is alleged to show Yalland, formerly a spinner for spin shop Chelgate, attacking a man on a quiet street in Stockbridge:
Hampshire Police confirmed in a statement to Guido: “Police were called at 4.10 p.m. on Thursday, February 20 following a report of a dispute outside an address on Stockbridge High Street. A 56-year-old man and a 46-year-old man both from Stockbridge suffered minor injuries. A 44-year-old man from Marchwood was arrested on suspicion of assault. He has been bailed pending further enquiries until March 27.”
Yalland handled the press for Nigel Evans when he was charged and has worked with various MPs including Andrew Bridgen and Nadine Dorries.
Not the best PR spin strategy…
UPDATE: April 26: Yalland says the police are not pressing charges against him.
Scoop from the FT this morning: arms dealer and LibDem donor Sudhir Choudhrie has been arrested by cops from the Serious Fraud Office over allegations he was involved in alleged bribery by Rolls-Royce in the Far East. Along with bent trader Michael Brown that makes two of the LibDems’ largest donors implicated in major financial scandals. LibDem sex scandals were becoming ten a penny so nice to see them returning to old fashioned funny money. Don’t bet on them giving any of it back…