Sun Journalist’s Conviction Quashed

Sun reporter Anthony France, the only journalist found guilty following the Met Police’s disastrous Operation Elveden, has had his conviction quashed. France’s ordeal lasted 1,379 days – he was convicted last May – yet today he was cleared by the Court of Appeal in a 30 second hearing. Operation Elveden, which targeted journalists and arrested over 20 Sun reporters, wasted the time of 60 police officers and cost the taxpayer £30 million, has now failed to convict a single journalist. It’s a scandal…

H/T Tom Wells

UKIP Set to Throw Woolfe Under Bus

Martin Schulz has referred Steven Woolfe and Mike Hookem to the French police after their fracas earlier this month. He says Woolfe “was subjected to an act of violence”Definitely no political motivation behind Schulz’s decision.

Nigel Farage has taken a slightly different view from his bedside vigil with Woolfe, now Nige says “There is absolutely no evidence anyone was punched at all“. A new line which is definitely nothing to do with Woolfe quitting the party. Looks like UKIP’s internal investigation will be throwing Woolfe under a bus…

BUS-TED: Labour Hit With Maximum Expenses Fraud Fine, McNicol Broke Law

BUSTED

Labour has been hit with the maximum £20,000 fine after the Electoral Commission found a total of 107 invoices were missing from the party’s general election expenses return. Labour general secretary Iain McNicol was found to have committed an offence under section 82(4)(b) of PPERA in respect of the missing payments and a further offence under section 82(4)(b) in respect of the missing invoices. Labour have also been slammed for failing to declare payments in relation to their Labour Express and Labour Students bus tours, which were revealed by Guido. The Commission ruled:

“a further 49 payments relating to costs associated with the Labour Express tour and Labour Students tour, which should have been included in the party spending return”

The report is damning of McNicol:

“Mr McNicol failed, without reasonable excuse, to deliver to the Commission a campaign spending return which was a statement of all payments made by the Party in respect of its campaign for the 2015 UKPGE. In total 74 payments totalling £123,748 were missing from the Party’s 2015 UKPGE campaign spending return without a reasonable excuse. 54.

Further and in respect of the same return, Mr McNicol failed to deliver to the Commission all invoices and receipts for campaign payments of more than £200. Thirty three invoices and/or receipts were missing (in addition to those associated with the missing 74 payments), with a combined value of £34,392.”

This investigation looked at Labour’s national spend, the police are still investigating individual candidates such as Cat Smith. Despite finding at least two offences committed, over a hundred invoices and over a hundred thousand pounds missing, all the toothless Electoral Commission can do is award a small fine…

Mazher Mahmood Jailed and Sacked By The Sun

maz

“Following the sentencing of Mazher Mahmood today, News UK can confirm that his employment has been terminated.

Mazher was suspended after the Tulisa Contostavlos trial collapsed, pending an internal inquiry. That inquiry was superseded by the criminal process.

Mazher has led scores of successful investigations during his 25-year career with the company. His work has led to the exposure of criminality and wrongdoing. It is a source of great regret that his time with the company should end in this manner.

The previous criminal cases that have resulted from his investigations were tested by the courts or guilty pleas were entered. We are aware that the Crown Prosecution Service has reviewed some cases and understand that the Criminal Cases Review Commission is looking at whether a small number of matters should be referred back to the Court of Appeal. We await their decisions.

We have noted the threats made after Mazher’s conviction of civil claims against this company in relation to his previous work. Should such claims be brought, they will be vigorously defended.”

Mazher Mahmood has been jailed for 15 months and sacked by the Sun…

Solicitors at Galloway’s Firm Accused of £600,000 Fraud

galloway

Employees that work for the same firm as George Galloway’s solicitors have been in court accused of falsely claiming almost £600,000 in interpreter’s legal fees. Bradford-based Chambers Solicitors are notorious for demanding up to £5,000 for allegedly libellous tweets against Galloway, now three of the solicitors who work for the firm are in hot water themselves. The Legal Aid Agency anti-fraud squad caught up with Mohammed Ayub, Mohammed Riaz and Neil Frew after they set up Legal Support Services, allegedly a fake company which paid thousands of pounds to an amusement arcade firm and paid private school fees. Guido notes that Chambers Solicitors Bradford hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing, just those that work for it. The trial is ongoing. First they come for his channel…

Minister Warned CCHQ About Rape Arrest Aide

armstrong

CCHQ were warned months ago that they should sack Sam Armstrong, the Tory aide who has been arrested over an alleged rape in the Commons. Back in June Rob Halfon appealed to Lord Feldman to remove Armstrong from his job with South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay. Halfon told Feldman that Armstrong had attempted to blackmail him – something Armstrong denies – and said it was “ridiculous” that he was still being employed. Despite this, and despite the Tories banning Armstrong from party conference last year, they allowed Mackinlay keep him on the payroll and give him a parliamentary pass. Why did Mackinlay keep Armstrong in a job? Why did Feldman fail to act? Armstrong would of course have known a lot about the South Thanet general election campaign’s expenses – which is also currently under police investigation. This has the potential to blow up in CCHQ’s faces…

Natalie McGarry Charged in Connection With Fraud

mcgarry

Suspended SNP MP Natalie McGarry has been charged by the police in connection with alleged fraud offencesOch.

UPDATE: The charges are for embezzlement and breach of trust.

Top Corbynista Convicted For Role in Bank Attack

bastani2

A top Corbynista can be revealed as a convicted criminal who was given a suspended sentence for his role in a violent bank attack. Aaron Bastani, who runs Jeremy Corbyn’s favoured ‘new media’ outlet Novara Media, has had a string of brushes with the law. During the anti-cuts protests in March 2011, Bastani was filmed ramming a bin into a branch of HSBC before beckoning rioters inside. The bank was then smashed up. Bastani has admitted to Guido that he is the man in the grey t-shirt wearing a bicycle snood, and confirmed he was convicted of a public order offence and received a suspended sentence.

Later that year, Bastani was arrested for his role in another protest, this time against the then Tory education minister David Willetts at SOAS university. The photos below show Bastani involved in a brawl inside the building, and him being arrested and handcuffed on the ground outside. Bastani was charged but the case was later dropped.

bastani

Bastani confessed to Guido:

“I do regret it because it brought an immense amount of pain and anxiety to my loved ones, my friends and my family. I wouldn’t do it again, I do regret it. Politically I’m still the same person in terms of how I want to change things, one of which does include tax avoidance and does include a bank, HSBC, which is involved in billions of pounds worth of business with arms dealers and drugs cartels. I believe just as passionately about those but I would refrain from doing that sort of thing and I would tell other young people to refrain from doing it because of the pressure and anxiety it brings to their loved ones.”

Bastani has been booked by Question Time as a Corbynista spokesman. Perhaps Dimbleby could ask him about this…

Scotland Yard “Assessing” Vaz Allegations

Scotland Yard’s “Special Inquiry Team” say they are to “assess and identify what criminal offences – if any – may have been committed” by Keith Vaz. Developing…

Parliamentary Crime Scene

members-only

A co-conspirator calls Guido with shocking news:

“The Members Only gents on the Library corridor is ‘a crime scene’ and closed. Somebody has graffitied ‘Vaz loves man bum’ in a cubicle. They are cleaning it off.”

In the MPs-only posh toilets?

Vaz Broke “Intent to Supply” Law

moda

Lawmakers cannot be law breakers. This is even more crucial when it comes to being chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee which influences the drafting of criminal laws.

Jeremy Corbyn said on Sunday that he didn’t believe that Keith Vaz had broken the law so it was a “private matter”.

The CPS prosecutors guidance for the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 is relevant here

Evidence of intent to supply

An intention to supply may be proved by direct evidence in the form of admissions or witness testimony, for example, surveillance evidence …

Offering/being concerned

In addition to the supply of a controlled drug, section 4(3)(a)-(c) of the Act creates offences of offering to supply, being concerned in the supply and being concerned in the making of an offer to supply.

An offence of offering to supply can be prosecuted simply by proving the existence of an offer. The prosecution does not have to prove either that the defendant intended to produce the drugs or that the drugs were in his possession. The offer may be by words or conduct (R v Showers [1995] Crim. LR 400).

Vaz, in offering to buy cocaine for the rent boy, has broken laws which he helped to draft. Even if you take the view that Guido does that this is a bad law, one thing is certain, “Lawmakers cannot be law breakers”…

UPDATE: A previous version of this article quoted from the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 which came into force on May 26 this year, this also makes it an offence to produce, supply or offer to supply psycho-active substances – this counter-intuitively does not include cocaine

Bercow Knew Vaz Was Under Police Investigation

Keith Vaz was under police investigation over year ago on suspicion of financial corruption and historic allegations of under-age sex. Speaker Bercow was informed of this and fellow MPs demanded – Andrew Bridgen in writing – that he step down from his position on the Home Affair Select Committee. The Speaker protected Vaz…

It is widely known around Westminster that Vaz – who owes his career to Greville Janner – was the unidentified MP in this Sun front page from last year.

paedo-mp

Guido has been hinting for years about the dark side of Keith Vaz. Vaz offering to buy cocaine for rent boys is at the mild end of Vaz’s sleazy life and times. More is to come out about the disgusting Vaz that will truly shock Westminster…

Woolfe Claims UKIP Plot as Cops Say He Faces No Further Action

woolfe2

Remember the curiously-timed revelation that Steven Woolfe was once nicked for being drunk in charge of a scooter? Well, a member of the public – surely not a rival ‘Kipper – called the cops and complained that he had broken the law again by failing to declare his conviction when he ran as a Police and Crime Commissioner. Greater Manchester Police have seen sense and told the complainant to stop being so silly, confirming he faces no further action. Woolfe says it was part of a plot:

“This was one of several attempts by political opponents, using information on UKIP databases, to damage my reputation and ensure I could not stand as party leader.”

Someone certainly has it in for him…

MPs Consider Constituency Surgery Security Measures

Debate this morning is turning to the security measures employed by MPs. Colleagues note that Jox Cox’s constituency surgery at Birstall Library yesterday was an “open surgery”. The time, date and location were advertised on her website:

Thursday 16th June – 1pm until 2pm

@ Birstall Library and Information Centre

Market Street, Birstall, WF17 9EN

Some MPs already refuse to hold open surgeries and do not publish times and locations, instead requiring constituents to make an appointment before they are given details. Expect more to follow – MPs tell Guido they want some level of vetting or checking of names against the electoral roll. This is a difficult square to circle – accessibility to MPs is important at a time when the public feel politicians are ever more out of touch. It makes Jo Cox’s openness all the more admirable…

If you speak to any MP, especially female MPs, they will have stories about intimidation and aggression they have faced at constituency surgeries. Most MPs will have had to get the police involved at some point. Guido has lost count of the number of staffers who have had physical altercations with lunatics at surgeries. One MP tells Guido that US Congressman are given police protection and they feel British MPs – particularly women MPs – should too. It is a crazy world, there will always be nutters in every constituency who harass MPs and their staff in person. It is difficult to legislate for – but expect new measures to be brought in following yesterday’s events…

Police Granted One-Year Extension to Investigate Cat Smith

Lancashire Constabulary confirm they have been granted a year-long extension to investigate Cat Smith’s election expenses. Here we go…

How Guido uncovered Cat Smith’s expenses irregularities:

Labour Spin Buses Were National Campaign, Internal Report Says “Dedicated to Marginal Seats”

Crick covered Guido’s story last night that the Tories had lawyered up in their row with the Electoral Commission. Meanwhile, the Labour press office are spinning a line responding to our revelation that 17 of their candidates failed to declare battle buses. Labour tell the Times:

“This was part of a nationally branded tour so the transport costs are rightly national spend. Labour’s spending is within the law and the rules set out by the Electoral Commission.”

Below is taken from page 25 of Harriet Harman’s official internal Labour General Election Report. In their own words, Labour admit that the four buses were “dedicated to supporting marginal seats”, not the national campaign. The report explains how campaigners worked “with nearby marginal seats and given incentives to prioritise work in those areas”.

lies

There it is in black and white: Labour’s buses worked to support marginal seats, not the national campaign. Electoral Commission rules are clear, this should have been declared as part of each local campaign. Bang to rights…

BUS-TED: Labour Didn’t Declare Expenses in 17 Key Marginals

BUSTED

Labour candidates in 17 key marginals failed to declare battle buses packed with activists in their election expenses. According to the party’s official General Election Report, Labour Students operated a fleet of four buses “dedicated to supporting marginal seats across the country”Electoral Commission rules are clear: “a portion of the cost of that bus should be allocated towards the candidate’s spending limit…”

buses

The schedule below shows the buses – known as “Brad’s Bus”, “West Mids Wheels”, “The NUS Bus” and “Woolas’ Wagon” – carried activists to 17 key seats. None of the Labour candidates declared the buses or accommodation costs of putting up activists, as required by law…

New MPs including Cat Smith, Margaret Greenwood and Chris Matheson did not declare these transport costs, despite benefiting directly from campaigners bussed into their constituencies. This is incontrovertible evidence of a widespread failure to declare election expenses across the country. It is the bombshell that explains why Labour did not go after the Tories over their own election fraud. Guido will be handing his evidence over to the police…

Patrick Rock Guilty

patrick-rock

Former Cameron aide Patrick Rock has been convinced of five counts of making indecent images of children. Developing…

Thug Life: MP Offers to Take “Baseball Bat” Against Yobs

FITZPATRICK

Labour’s resident hardman Jim Fitzpatrick has a history of hawkish views. Backing the war in Iraq and rebelling against the party over Syria, the Blairite ex-minister isn’t afraid of a splash of violence to solve problems. Even those within his own constituency, it seems…

When a concerned constituent emailed Fitzpatrick about some anti-social yobs on their street, Fitzpatrick wasted no time in presenting a hard line solution:

“I can only report these matters as you do and hope the authorities respond. If that is your definition of not “caring” then fine. What would you like me to do, come down with my baseball bat? (I don’t have one by the way).”

Somebody get Jim a baseball bat…

CPS Says Up to Cops to Pursue Tories

battlebus

The Tory expenses affair takes another turn, the CPS says:

“Following a constructive meeting with the police and Electoral Commission, it has been agreed that each relevant police force will consider what action to take. This may Include making an application to the court under s.176 of the Representations of the People Act 1983 to extend the time allowed to bring a prosecution.”

Looks like the curse of Mark Clarke has hit a wall despite his best efforts in briefing Michael Crick… […] Read the rest

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Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner:

“We have no plans to write off existing student debt.”

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