Lobbyists and Woke Campaigners Rake in £50 Million of Taxpayers’ Money

Lobbyists and political campaigners seeking public policy changes have received a staggering £49,011,318 courtesy of the taxpayer since 2018, new research from the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) has revealed. According to their latest paper, 26 organisations have received public cash over the last four years, with nearly £7.7 million even going to groups actively fighting the government over its Rwandan resettlement scheme, including Stonewall, Refugee Action, Hope Not Hate and Instalaw. Stonewall received a cool £593,166, while InstaLaw also gratefully accepted a bumper paycheque despite issuing judicial review proceedings against the Home Office…

The Department of Health and Social Care dipped into the public purse the most, splashing out over £30 million to just five organisations, including to the NHS Confederation – which spent months campaigning for continued facemask use even after the legal mandate was lifted. Meanwhile over at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, groups including Age UK and Gendered Intelligence also raked in the dough, with the former campaigning on the pension triple lock, and the latter urging the government to allow under-16s to consent to bodily medical treatments. TPA Chief Executive John O’Connell said:

“Taxpayers have had enough of governments giving grants to organisations who lecture and lobby. The public purse should not be paying out to pressure groups who are in turn using that cash to push for policy changes. Ministers must put a stop to this needless merry-go-round, and instead focus funding on taxpayers’ priorities.”

Most campaigns focusing on public policy survive entirely by private donations. There’s no reason why these groups should be any different. £55 million paid by the government to lobbyists who use it to lobby against the government, all while the UK’s tax burden is at its highest in decades…

mdi-timer 23 May 2022 @ 16:26 23 May 2022 @ 16:26 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
CWU to Fund Specific Labour Candidates Who Back Union’s “Political Aims”

As if on cue, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) has voted to suspend donations to the national Labour Party other than the minimal affiliation fees – instead vowing only to cough up for Labour candidates who promise to “support CWU industrial and political aims“. Funny, that sounds a lot like paid lobbying

The motion passed last night at a special conference with 94% support, and represents the third union to either disaffiliate from the party or restrict its funding after the Bakers’ Union (BFAWU) and Unite. Yet another union paymaster tightening its purse strings on a nearly bankrupt party…

Speaking after the vote, CWU General Secretary Dave Ward said:

“The decision taken by conference today allows the CWU to focus its political attention on building our movement out in communities. The current Labour leadership is failing to connect with working-class communities and that was made clear by the scores of our members who spoke passionately in the debate today. In focusing our political resources on those in Labour who are really up for delivering for our members we are looking beyond the factional war being waged by an out-of-touch Westminster politics.”

It’s worth bearing all this in mind when Labour MPs grandstand about lobbying later this afternoon. While they may act with faux outrage, the reality is many of their pockets are lined with union cash. Rayner took in £35,000 from CWU and USDAW for her deputy leadership campaign. Leadbeater gladly accepted £10,000 from GMB for the Batley & Spen by-election. The quid pro quo is explicit: you get the money if you further our interests ahead of the public interest…

mdi-timer 8 November 2021 @ 14:20 8 Nov 2021 @ 14:20 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Labour MPs are Lobbyists As Well

SW1 this Monday morning is on hold until 3.30 pm, when opposition parties will hold a debate on the Owen Paterson sleaze crisis and try to embarrass the government. While Labour and the LibDems will try going in hard on this there will be plenty of members on the government side ready and waiting to point out paid lobbying is far from an exclusive past-time of Tory MPs.

Two of Starmer’s own Shadow Cabinet are lobbyists. Shadow Attorney General Lord Falconer works for US law firm Gibson Dunn, which has provided political lobbying advice in the UK. In April Guido revealed Shadow Environment Secretary Sue Hayman works for the major London lobbying firm Grayling.

When challenged about the former by Marr yesterday, Starmer feebly said they’re not allowed to do any political lobbying, however it’s a different question for Members of the House of Lords as they’re unpaid – despite pocketing over £320 a day just for turning up.

Labour MP Khalid Mahmood would also lose his £25,000-a-year Policy Exchange role if Sir Keir’s changes came into being. Starmer, however, was happy for Mahmood to sit on the opposition front benches last year despite the MP’s second job, and to make matters worse the Birmingham MP was subject to a Standards Commissioner investigation during his time as a shadow defence minister, the outcome of which was the commissioner noting he’d failed to declare his Police Exchange job for 12 months. Starmer did nothing.

Guido’s long been an advocate of both putting cowbells on lobbyists, and forcing MPs to wear compulsory broker’s jackets with the names and colours of their union paymasters and business donors on them. In the end he has a feeling this afternoon’s tit-for-tat debate will end up with the public merely feeling all MPs are as bad as each other…

mdi-timer 8 November 2021 @ 12:01 8 Nov 2021 @ 12:01 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Hammond Hammered Over Breach of Ministerial Code

Lord Pickles’s ACOBA has admonished former Chancellor Philip Hammond for breaking rules on post-cabinet jobs and lobbying. Last month Hammond was accused of breaching the ministerial code after lobbying one of his former senior officials on behalf of a paying client. Today Lord Pickles has published a letter to Hammond confirming it was:

“an unwise step to contact senior officials at the Treasury on OakNorth’s behalf… the use of your contacts in government in this way was not consistent with the intention of the Rules and was not acceptable.”

Remarkably, Hammond made it clear he was exploring legal action, possibly in the form of an injunct, to prevent ACoBA’s letter being published…

Hammond claimed that in contacting Charles Roxburgh, second permanent secretary at the Treasury, he was “neither seeking to influence policy, nor motivated by an attempt to secure business (or any other form of benefit)”. Pickles wryly comments he has no doubt Hammond “sincerely believed contact with your former department in this way was appropriate”.

“The Committee considers the use of your contacts in government in this way was not consistent with the intention of the Rules and was not acceptable. The material consideration is the privileged access you obtained for OakNorth not the commercial value of the proposition.”

On the same day we learn David Cameron’s still laughing all the way to the bank…

Read Lord Pickle’s letter in full below:

Read More

mdi-timer 1 September 2021 @ 12:26 1 Sep 2021 @ 12:26 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Cameron Takes Hammering From Labour MPs Over Greensill Lobbying

Siobahn McDonagh and Angela Eagle hardly pulled their punches in their interrogation of David Cameron during today’s committee hearing. McDonagh in particular left Cameron looking pretty uncomfortable…

A few highlights include McDonagh asking if Cameron believed Greensill ‘was a ponzi scheme’, and Eagle claiming the 56 messages Cameron had sent looked ‘more like stalking than lobbying’. A few red-faced moments for Dave, to say the least.

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WATCH: Cameron Explains Why He Signs Off Text Messages with “Love DC”

“I mean anyone I know even at all well I tend to sign off text messages with ‘love DC’, I don’t know why, I just do. My children tell me that you don’t even need to sign off text messages at all, and that it’s very old-fashioned and odd…but anyway that’s what I do.”

mdi-timer 13 May 2021 @ 15:15 13 May 2021 @ 15:15 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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