Hancock’s Handsome Holiday Pay, Corbyn Goes Cap in Hand and Lee’s Elite Meal Ticket

This week in Westminster has been dominated by accusations of sleaze and scandal and – in unrelated news – the latest update of the Register of Members’ Financial Interests is out. The big winner from this update is Matt Hancock, who’s just declared his £48,000 serialisation fee from the Mail and £320,000 I’m A Celeb holiday pay. That works out to £17,800 for every day he spent away from his constituents…

Jeremy Corbyn is also not doing so badly. The grifting grandpa raked in £78,000 more from his legal fee war chest – funded by the many for the few – as he also took home £50,000 in a donation (again for legal fees) from one Wael Kabbani. After Jez settled his case, an update to his gofundme claimed he was liable for £900,000 in legal fees. He’s currently raised about half of that and, by Guido’s calculations, has declared just over £260,000. With Kabbani’s £50,000 on top, he’s still got a long way to go. It seems Jeremy might have to go Russian cap in hand for a while longer…

If there’s a major upset at the next election, at least Emily Thornberry can rest easy knowing there’s always showbiz to fall back on. Lady Nugee earned £250 from her singsong stint on Matt Forde’s podcast. Man of the people, Lee Anderson is also living up to his salt of the earth credentials. He received a donation of £15,000 from… the Carlton Club. 

Amongst other new declarations that might be of interest:

  • Jess Phillips received £2,700 from her Paper Review slot.
  • Ed “we need greater transparency” Davey raked in £7,500 from Lib Dem donors.
  • Liz Saville Roberts and Chris Stephens brought in a collective £63,000 in union funding for their work as union committee chairs.
  • Anthony Mangnall had a successful fundraising event, raising £8,000.
  • Steve Baker received £10,000 from Neil Record.
  • John Healey got £43,000 in funding to support his work as Shadow Defence Secretary.

Co-conspirators can read the full register here.

mdi-timer 27 January 2023 @ 14:00 27 Jan 2023 @ 14:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
‘Just Stop Oil’ Donor Bankrolling Labour Party

The Sky News/Tortoise* compilation of MPs’ donations makes it easier to track declarations. For instance it is easy to see that a major Just Stop Oil donor has been bankrolling Keir Starmer to the tune of tens of thousands of pounds. Dale Vince gave Starmer’s leadership campaign £20,000 in 2020, and since the last election has donated a further £360,000 to the party. Including a five-figure bung to Angela Rayner…

Despite sounding rather convincing while condemning Just Stop Oil’s tactics, Sir Keir has been only too happy to accept the cash of a man who admits to giving the protest group “tens of thousands”, as well as “an additional lifeline in November when their funding ran out.”

“I understand why they do what they do. It’s what they have in their power to do.

“Whereas big business has different powers to pursue its agenda, and we have no real answer to that except sometimes to take to the streets.”

He also admits his money to the Labour Party is intended to advance his political agenda.

“[I donate] to help them win, to help them into government so they have the chance to deliver their agenda, which is my agenda, social justice and a green economy”.

Unfortunately for Labour they’re getting a lot of backwash via these ‘Westminster Accounts’. As well as the above, Sir Keir and Jon Ashworth have been forced into hypocritically defending David Lammy’s massive outside earnings despite a promise to ban second jobs. Enjoy the squirming:

One rule for Labour…

*Tortoise Media gets significant funding from BP.

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Bank of England Predicts Two-Year Recession, Unemployment Forecast to Nearly Double

Aside from the breaking news about the massive interest rate rise, the Bank of England’s report today makes for grim reading. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) projects a “prolonged period” of recession, with CPI inflation remaining over 10% in the near term. Even taking into account that economic predictions are about as reliable as a long-term weather forecast, the report makes for truly grim reading…

While inflation is expected to fall “sharply” from mid-2023, GDP is expected to decline by around 0.75% during the second half of 2022, and continue to fall throughout 2023 and the first half of 2024. The BBC says this would be the longest recession since records began in the 1920s, albeit not the deepest…

Perhaps most worrying of all for the government, the MPC expects the unemployment rate to rise to just under 6.5% by Q4 of 2025, up from the current 2022 Q4 projection of 3.7%. In real terms this would leave an extra million working brits on the dole. Perfect timing – right around the last possible election date…

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Bamfords Cough Up Thousands for Boris & Liz

Last year it was reported that Boris smuggled £27,000 in high-end Daylesford Organic takeaways into Downing Street, funded by business woman Baroness Bamford. Boris has clearly made the most of this relationship, as new publications of members’ interests reveal he’s also got a free stay, worth £10,000, out of it in the month after he, Carrie and the two young ones left No. 10. Keep red wine away from the sofa…

With the £24,000 Lady Bamford gave towards Boris’s boisterous wedding bash in August, it brings the sum to £61,000. 

The Bamfords’ donations don’t stop there. Guido notes new leadership donation declarations from Liz Truss show JCB – whose chairman is Lady Bamford’s husband – gave £8,825 to her campaign. Other newly declared donors also include £16,500 from Big Bang Films, £50,000 from Graham Edwards and £5000 from Nigel Vinson. Rishi too found another £25,000 down the back of the sofa – £5000 from Henry Davis and £20,000 from Manhad Narula. 

Meanwhile Chris Pincher – remember him? – registered £400 from The Critic, where he ironically used to write wine reviews, before quaffing “far too much of the stuff” at the Carlton Club.

The latest register of interests also sees Sir Keir Starmer registering a £350 donation of band merchandise, including original artwork, from the group Orange Juice after seeing them at the Roundhouse in Camden this summer. Their song, “What Presence?!”, is often what focus groups say about the Labour leader…

mdi-timer 7 October 2022 @ 11:25 7 Oct 2022 @ 11:25 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Alicia Kearns Takes £5,349 from Human Rights-Abusing Bahraini Government

With the mourning period now well and truly over, Alicia Kearns’ campaign to become chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee is in full swing. Last week she made her case for the gig in the Times, claiming:

“The decisions we take now, from investment and supply chains, to defending our multilaterals and the rule of law, and upholding human rights […] matter.”

All well and good, although it does beg the question of why this donation appears in her register of interests:

£5,349 for an all expenses paid trip, courtesy of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Here’s how Human Rights Watch described that same Kingdom of Bahrain in 2021:

“The human rights situation in Bahrain did not improve in 2020 […] Authorities arrested, prosecuted, and harassed human rights defenders, journalists, opposition leaders, and defense lawyers, including for their social media activity. All independent Bahraini media have been banned since 2017 from operating in the country and all opposition groups dissolved.”

At least they picked up the meal tab…

mdi-timer 27 September 2022 @ 14:48 27 Sep 2022 @ 14:48 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Read in Full: Rishi & Liz’s Campaign Donors

The latest register of interests is out, and with it we can finally see who donated to Liz and Rishi’s leadership campaigns. Despite a £300,000 spending limit, both candidates received well in excess of this: Liz raked in £424,349, however Rishi beat this with £449,570. 

Rishi Sunak: 

  • Lord Michael Farmer – £23,470
  • James Diner – £10,000
  • Dr Selva Pankaj – £25,000
  • Lord Michael Spencer – £25,000
  • Star Nebula Ltd – £10,000
  • James Diner – £5,100
  • Graham Marchant – £10,000
  • VM.A V Corporate Services – £5,000
  • Mark Futter – £5,000
  • Yoginvest Ltd – £50,000
  • William Salomon – £10,000
  • Karen Cooksley – £3,000
  • Chris Rea – £50,000
  • Alan Lee – £3,000
  • David Esfandi – £5,000
  • Lord Michael Farmer – £15,000
  • Stephen Massey – £25,000
  • Sir Mick Davis – £25,000
  • Vikram Kumar – £7,000
  • Bruce Hardy McLain – £5,000
  • Charles Wigoder – £10,000
  • Jonathan Maffey – £2,000
  • Chris Rea – £50,000
  • Al-Karim Nathoo – £10,000
  • Access Self Storage Ltd – £10,000
  • Adam Bates – £15,000
  • Queensway Admin Ltd – £10,000
  • Adam Bates – £15,000
  • Eleanor Wolfson – £20,000

Liz Truss: 

  • Jon Moynihan – £20,000
  • Grolar Developments Ltd – £15,000
  • Phillip Jeans – £10,000
  • SJJ Contracts Ltd – £15,000
  • Fitriani Hay – £100,000
  • Gary Mond – £10,000
  • Natasha Barnaba – £50,000
  • Howard Shore – £50,000
  • Gordon Phillips – £10,000
  • Tungsten West plc – £4,050
  • Andrew Law – £5,127
  • Linda Edwards – £10,000
  • Smoked Salmon – £10,000
  • Clara Freeman – £5,000
  • Tony Gallagher – £5,500
  • JC Bamford Excavators Ltd – £5,316
  • Alison Frost – £5000
  • Michael Spencer – £25,000
  • Lord Greville Howard of Rising – £4,356
  • Baroness Sheila Noakes – £5,000
  • Barbara Yerolemou – £10,000

Fitriani Hay’s £100,000 donation to Liz was by far and away the biggest. Penny Mordaunt has also registered £84,400 of donations for her leadership campaign. There’s no cost of living crisis for Tory donors…

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