Guido has a sore head from Political Scrapbook’s drinks last night. As revenge he has some bad news for them. They thought they were on to a winner earlier this week with a story claiming that John Prescott was the victim of a vicious Tory smear campaign. It was claimed that a series of questions over Prezza’s use of public credit cards were placed in MPs’ names without their knowledge. However, the Table Office have now conceded that the entire mess was down to a simple admin error by them, as the Tories insisted all along:
Dear Mr Elphicke,
I can confirm that the questions were wrongly recorded as being in the name of Sir Alan Beith due to an administrative error in this office. We took steps to correct this shortly after they were tabled, when we realised the error had been made. Unfortunately, when the questions were answered, some were returned under the original wrong name of Sir Alan Beith, which overwrote our correction. We have since corrected this again and I have just checked the Parliamentary records and confirmed that they all now appear correctly in your name.
I am very sorry for this error and the inconvenience it has caused you – please do get in touch if there is anything further we can do to assist.
Clerk, Table Office
House of Commons
New figures show the public don’t want politicians taking up roles as police commissioners. Later today Policy Exchange will release the results of a poll showing that just 6% think politicians would make good PCCs. With Labour having a remarkable change of heart about the whole policy after realising they would win most of them, what’s the worst that could happen? This could get very embarrassing…
“FORMER Hull MP John Prescott has been cleared of misusing a public credit card after officials revealed it had been cloned” screamed This is Hull before Christmas. Prezza briefed them that £2,000 worth of camera equipment that had been bought on a government card was in fact theft. True, but Prezza then decided to spin this that he had been completely cleared of overseeing any inappropriate spending. He’s got greedy and is demanding an apology. It was left to Baroness Hanham to set the record straight in the Lords on Tuesday:
“For the avoidance of doubt, we have no evidence that spending in this period at venues such as the Star City Casino, Doyles Seafood Restaurant in Sydney and at Sydney Aquarium, all of which were associated with the visit of the then Deputy Prime Minister (the noble Lord), were cloned transactions.”
Give it up Prezza.
Prezza is trying to fight the allegations that he spent like a drunken sailor on shore leave with government credit cards. He has complained to the Cabinet Office that his spending under £500 has been released and denies that the spending was him. Could this upset be around the £400 spent at Hull’s Mr Chus Chinese in April 2004? Prezza denies it was him yet told the BBC in 2008 that it was his “favourite Chinese restaurant in the whole world.” So who was it then Prezza?
UPDATE: Some speculation that the Deputy Prime Minister was entertaining the Chinese Ambassador at Mr Chus. Classic Prescott.
He was asked about it in Parliamentary Question in 2008, but refused to say how much was spent. There are also a large amount of restaurant bills that just scraped under the £500 limit such as the £468.70 at posh champagne bar Kettners and the £493.08 of scoff at Le Volle Gas. Funny that…
Guido’s ears in the Cabinet Office report that a certain former Deputy Prime Minister isn’t very happy. Apparently Prezza rang in yesterday to rant about the fact that his government credit card expenditure had been released. A spokesman for Prezza told Guido that “he rang the Cabinet Office for clarification as to whether they would be publishing expenditure under £500 for every former Labour minister or just for him.” Oh to be a fly on the wall for that one…