Dodgy Green-LibDem Pact Back On As £250,000 Bung Remains Unexplained

One of the murkiest dodgy deals in recent electoral history is back on in Richmond. Readers will remember how the Green Party was offered a £250,000 inducement not to run against Zac Goldsmith in the 2016 by-election – a blatant bung that the Electoral Commission said would have been a criminal offence. In the 2017 election the Greens initially selected a candidate, Andree Frieze, and said she would run. That was until the LibDems stood down their candidate against Caroline Lucas in Brighton – and Frieze dropped out in Richmond to return the favour. Lucas farcically told the Daily Politics she couldn’t “remember the name” of the person who offered the £250,000 bung. They have never explained the inducement, essentially covering up a potential criminal offence…

Now a joint Green-LibDem leaflet has gone out in Richmond explaining the parties “have decided to work together and not compete with each other” and telling voters to vote for two LibDem candidates, Penny Frost and Gareth Richards, and one Green, Frieze, in May’s local elections. Here is the joint imprint:

There are serious questions here to which Richmond voters deserve to know the answers. Who offered the £250,000 bung? Why did Caroline Lucas claim she “can’t remember” the name of the person who offered it? Why did she never disclose the name as she promised Andrew Neil she would? Why did the LibDems claim there was no deal in 2017 despite the Greens admitting there was? What deal has been made this time round that they are keeping from Richmond voters? Remarkable they’ve got away with refusing to come clean on all this…

Caroline Lucas Tries to Weaken Animal Sentience Law

Caroline Lucas must be the only person still claiming the government is not recognising animal sentience following the exposure of last month’s fake news. She is once again attempting to have the EU protocol on animal sentience moved into UK law after Brexit. As Guido has noted previously, the EU protocol is weaker than what is being proposed by Michael Gove. The Brussels legislation only recognises animal sentience in EU-related policy in six areas – agriculture, fisheries, transport, internal market, research and technological development and space policies. The new Defra bill applies to all domestic policy with no exemptions, not simply repatriated EU policy, in all areas, not merely the six covered by the EU. By any fair reading, the new bill goes significantly further than current EU standards – it means ministers must always have regard to animal welfare. What Caroline Lucas is proposing would be dramatically less ambitious and worse for animal welfare than the government’s policy. As she scrabbles to respond to Gove’s green agenda, Lucas is actually proposing to make things worse…

Greenpeace’s Wind Spin

Greenpeace, the Green Party and Caroline Lucas are celebrating a 50% drop in the price of offshore wind power with tweets galore using the graphic above. It sounds like great news for electricity bill payers that the price of wind power has dropped 50%. It is not quite as good as it sounds.

The government’s guaranteed price to wind power producers has dropped 50% in 2 years. The price to the consumer will still be set in the energy market place. A welcome saving to taxpayers it may be, it is not a 50% drop in the price to the consumer. Shale gas would likely be even cheaper if the Greens got out of the way and let the industry get on with fracking it. The Green Party and their allies are the cause of higher energy prices.

Caroline Lucas is making out that that somehow the even more heavily subsidised nuclear industry could be ditched in favour of renewables. In reality given that wind power produces less than 5% of the UK’s energy needs and the output is basically zero for 64% of the time this is not very likely.  She’s spinning more than the wind turbines.

Greens Live in Most Expensive Homes

Green and Liberal Democrat constituencies are the most expensive areas to live in the UK, with Tory seats in third place, according to research linking house prices to party support.

The research commissioned by Bridging Loan Hub reveals that, when analysing the average house price in all 650 UK constituencies, at £394,577, the sole Green constituency (Brighton Pavilion) pips the Lib Dems, with an average value of £368,517. Despite their reputation as the party of the rich, Conservative seats are only the third most expensive in Britain, averaging £330,585 per home.

Conservative seats also have the greatest range in house prices. The difference between the most and least expensive Tory constituencies is £2,082,689 and Labour follow closely behind with a £2,014,780 difference. Seats held by Jeremy Corbyn’s party have £265,762 homes on average, with constituencies ranging from £90,058 to £2,104,838. Sinn Féin strongholds in Northern Ireland have the cheapest homes nationally, averaging just £133,820 per property across their seven seats with the lowest average price for any single constituency: £88,178 in West Tyrone.

This will come as no surprise to people who have been out canvassing in Tory-LibDem swing seats like Richmond…

Greens’ Frequent Flyer Tax Slippery Slope

Green co-leader Jonathan Bartley has proposed a new tax to “penalise those who take flights multiple times per year“. Frequent flyers are already clobbered by air passenger duty: the state taxes flights on a sliding scale from £13 to a whopping £450 per passenger depending on service class and distance flown. As such frequent flyers already pay much more in duties than occasional travellers. The Greens’ tax isn’t anywhere near as progressive as they’d like to claim: frequent flyers are not just businessmen and jet-setters, what about migrant workers visiting their families? Do the Greens really want to go after them? The disincentives for business and trade are obvious. Chillingly, the proposal would require the government to spy on the flight patterns of every single citizen, treating every flyer as if they were on a watch list. Even Gordon Brown thought it was a bad idea

Bartley’s tax isn’t a new idea: it’s supported by a coalition of environmentalist groups under the front campaign A Free Ride. The Greens might be pretending to be on the side of holidaymakers and non-frequent flyers, but the A Free Ride website reveals their true aim:

“The best thing for the climate would be if everyone were to stop flying immediately.”

Then Green Party leaders couldn’t jet around the world for those environmental conferences…

Green Leader Grilled Over Richmond Bung

The Greens have never revealed who offered them that giant £250,000 bung to stand aside in Richmond, despite promising to ‘fess up. On the Daily Politics today, they refused to once again… 

UKIP and Greens Struggling For Attention

Pic via @mrharrycole

UKIP’s press conferences this election have been very sparsely attended compared with previous campaigns. Last week their event on tax drew in a meagre crowd of four journalists, this morning’s presser on older people was attended by just three reporters. Only the most dedicated hacks have been in attendance as UKIP slides below the Greens in the polls…

Speaking of the Greens, this was their manifesto launch this morning. Safe to say it had a pretty low carbon footprint. The minor parties are fast losing appeal…

Be the Change You Want to See

Green Leaders’ Cringe Skit

Apart from the sound, lighting, acting and script it’s a good concept…

Progressive Alliance Map of Chaos

Clive Lewis, Vince Cable and the Green Party are launching the official “Progressive Alliance” tonight at an event with Paul Mason, Zoe Williams, someone from the Bernie Sanders campaign and the Spanish socialist group Podemos. They might be a roll call of cranks and MPs who’ll say and do anything to win their seats, but the Progressive Alliance has quietly agreed deals in at least 30 constituencies across the country. As you can see from Guido’s Map of Chaos, the Greens, LibDems and Labour are standing aside for each other all over the place.

Greens backing Labour: Copeland, Brentford and Isleworth, Eltham, Warrington South, Southampton Test, Ealing Central and Acton, Hastings and Rye, Ilford North, Oldham East and Saddleworth, Pudsey, York Central, Derby North, Carlisle, Workington,

LibDems backing Labour: Bury North (and secretly in Ealing)

Greens backing LibDems: Richmond Park, Twickenham, North Kingston, Brighton Kemptown, Lewes, Westmorland and Lonsdale, South West Surrey, Oxford West and Abingdon, Southport, Harrogate and Knaresborough, North Cornwall, St Austell and Newquay, St Ives

LibDems backing Greens: Brighton Pavilion, Skipton

Seems to Guido that the Greens are getting a pretty bad deal here. In exchange for helping Labour and the LibDems across the country, they are being helped in just two seats – and only one that they have a hope of winning. Naivety or selfishness from Caroline Lucas?

Electoral Commission Say Green-LibDem Bung is Matter For Police

Caroline Lucas has admitted for the first time that the Green Party WAS offered a £250,000 inducement to stand aside for the LibDems in the Richmond by-election. The Electoral Commission tell Guido that offering such a bung is a criminal offence and that this is a matter for the police…

With regards to any allegations about donations offered as an inducement to stand down candidates, it is a matter for the Metropolitan Police to investigate whether an offence has taken place and ascertain which laws may have been broken.

Section 107 of the Representation of the People Act includes an offence of “Corrupt withdrawal from candidature”. The offence is a matter for the police to investigate, and any related complaints must be raised with the police (and not with the Electoral Commission).

Lucas told the Daily Politics the offer was not accepted – even though the Greens did stand aside – and farcically claimed she “can’t remember the name” of the person who offered the bung: “I’ve forgotten the man’s name for the purposes of this debate”. Lucas said at the end of the interview that she would reveal the name when she could remember it, though the Green Party is now refusing to do so. The Greens have to release the name, otherwise they are covering up a criminal offence…

Farron: I’m a Fan of Caroline Lucas

Coalition of rubbish latest: Tim Farron explains how he’s pleased the LibDems are helping the Greens win Brighton because “I’m a fan of Caroline Lucas”. The LibDems are laughing at the Greens here. A LibDem candidate has stood aside in just one seat, that of Caroline Lucas, while in return the Greens are standing aside to help the LibDems in seats across the country. Pure naivety…

Green-LibDem Deals to Help Olney and Cable

The Green Party has stood down its candidate in Richmond Park and endorsed LibDem Sarah Olney against Zac Goldsmith. Very murky goings on here. The Greens were offered £250,000 not to run against Zac last time. This time round they initially selected a candidate, Andree Frieze, and said she would run. That was until the LibDems stood down their candidate against Caroline Lucas in Brighton. What do you know, the Greens have now pulled out in Richmond Park and also in Twickenham, where Vince Cable is trying to unseat Tory MP Tania Mathias. The LibDems laughably claim there is no deal-making going on here but that is just not credible – local Greens privately admit it is an official pact. Or a coalition of chaos, you might say…

LibDem-Green Richmond-Brighton Pact

The LibDems say the decision not to stand against Caroline Lucas in Brighton was taken locally and merely “welcomed” centrally. That’s not what the Greens say. Two separate Green Party sources have independently told Guido that last year the LibDems agreed not to stand against Lucas at the next general election in exchange for the Greens not running against Sarah Olney in the Richmond Park by-election. This really annoyed local Greens at the time, remember the row about the £250,000 bung and Lucas’ draconian attempts to silence her critics. Unfortunately for the LibDems, the Greens plan to run in Richmond this time round. And the “Progressive Alliance” fits right into the Tories’ “coalition of chaos” narrative…

Lucas Tries to Get Colleague Suspended For Tweeting Guido

Caroline Lucas has tried to get a Green Party colleague suspended for tweeting out a Guido story. Readers will remember our revelation that the Greens had been offered a £250,000 inducement to further a so-called ‘Progressive Alliance’ with the LibDems. Our story provoked uproar among Green members who feared they were being sold out by the leadership. One concerned Green, Sutton councillor Nick Mattey, tweeted out the Guido story and expressed his fears that the Greens were plotting to “carve up” seats with the LibDems. Guido has been passed an internal Green Party report revealing that Caroline Lucas attempted to get Mattey kicked out of the party for his tweet. In a formal complaint, Lucas wrote:

“Nick Mattey has brought the party into disrepute by further spreading the dissemination of private leaked documents… [The party must] suspend the above named member pending investigation.”

In his defence to the Green Party disciplinary committee, Mattey wrote:

“The contents of the Guido Fawkes article were very disturbing… The reason that we have a free press like Guido Fawkes is that it that prints uncomfortable truths. Newspapers and the media need to expose this type of inconsistency and hypocrisy, this is vital in any democracy.”

Mattey decided not to renew his membership so is now out of the party. Caroline has repeatedly campaigned to protect whistleblowers and claims to be a defender of those who seek to expose shady deals and cover-ups. Yet when those deals and cover-ups involve the Greens, she tries to silence their exposure…

Greens Don’t Give Staff Three Day Weekends

The Green Party’s proposal to introduce a three day weekend was a surprisingly populist policy this Monday morning. Job-sharing party leaders Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley say Britons should be given an extra day off because “when people are exhausted, their productivity goes down”. Just one catch: over-worked tree-hugging sources claim the Greens only allow their own staff regular, energy-sapping two day weekends. A Green Party spokesman would only say:

“We don’t comment on staffing matters.”

Won’t somebody think of the bag (for life) carriers?

Green Deputy Leader Gets Brillo’d

Green deputy leader Amelia Womack well out of her depth and without an answer for why she says the government is pursuing an “extreme” Brexit…

Green Leader: I Killed a Man in Car Accident When I Was 17

Green Party leader Jonathan Bartley reveals to TalkRadio that he killed a man with his car in an accident when he was 17:

“When I was 17, I was actually driving a car and I did kill someone. I was coming back from a gig and a guy came out in front of me and I killed him, and I’ve had to live with that for the rest of my life. I grew up with a strong moral code and it felt as though I had been responsible by mistake… My faith helped me through it.”

The police did not press charges as Bartley was not driving recklessly. As honesty from politicians goes, that is up there.

Greens Nuke Progressive Alliance in Copeland

There will be no ‘progressive alliance’ to help Labour in Copeland: the Greens have gone kamikaze by selecting a loudly anti-nuclear candidate in a constituency where more than 10,000 people are employed in the nuclear industry, with thousands more working in its supply chain. Green Party candidate Jack Lenox says “no to nuclear”:

“All candidates except Greens are pro-nuclear… All three potential Labour candidates are pro-nuclear. We can’t let it go unchallenged… We will be campaigning against future nuclear development at Moorside… I remain entirely unconvinced that we need to build more nuclear power stations.”

A Green suicide mission likely to pick up a few hundred votes, could they end up costing Labour?

LibDems Proposed Electoral Pact With Greens

pact

The LibDems approached the Green Party over a secret electoral pact, Guido can reveal, amid claims the Greens were offered £250,000 to stand aside in Richmond. The email below was sent by the leader of the LibDem group in Kingston, Liz Green, to the Green Richmond candidate who stood aside, Andree Frieze.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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