Disgraced Deben Lobbied for More Green Subsidies the Same Day as His Dodgy Drax Dealings

The formal inquiry into Lord Deben continues over the £600,000 in payments his family-run ‘Sustainability Consultancy’ Sancroft International received from taxpayer-subsidised ‘Green’ corporations – in what appears to be a flagrant conflict of interests with his role as Climate Change Committee chair. Now, confidential documents seen by Guido appear to show that on the very same day as Deben was arguing in Parliament in favour of expensive renewable energy subsidies, his firm was meeting with cash-guzzling, wood-pellet-burning, biomass generator Drax Group in a secret meeting that resulted in a £15,500 payment for Sancroft. Not bad for a day’s work…

The debate on 30 November 2017 was on an amendment to the Renewables Obligation Order, the largest and most expensive scheme to subsidise supposedly ‘low-carbon’ technologies – like burning wood pellets. Drax are the biggest recipients of Renewable Obligation support in the country, receiving a whopping £481m from the taxpayer in 2017…

Combined with money from other schemes this took their total level of public support to a staggering £729m in 2017 – all for burning dirty woodchips instead of coal. Somehow they still managed to make a loss before tax of £183m that year…

Deben attempted to play down the impact that these subsidies were having on people’s energy bills while arguing forcefully that Britain’s manufacturing businesses should not be “let off the hook” for the costs of decarbonisation. Of course as these costs rise, so do the subsidies that go to Drax. Yet Deben made no disclosure of his relationship with Drax. In fact Guido has found at least 12 instances of him speaking in Parliament in favour of measures which benefit his private ‘Green’ clients without declaring his Sancroft interests…

Deben’s lawyers claim that the Climate Change Committee gave Sancroft the go ahead on this project. How they ever thought it was appropriate for the Chairman of their supposedly independent committee to be receiving payments from the biggest subsidy beneficiary of them of all is extraordinary…

mdi-timer 21st February 2019 @ 1:23 pm 21st Feb 2019 @ 1:23 pm mdi-comment Comments
EU Broke “Letter and Spirit” of Law in Scandalous Appointment of Juncker’s Monster to Top Job

The EU Ombudsman has delivered their final verdict on the utterly scandalous appointment of Juncker’s “monster” Martin Selmayr to the top job in the European Commission, concluding that “Selmayr’s appointment did not follow EU law, in letter or spirit, and did not follow the Commission’s own rules”. So much for the EU’s “sacred legal order”…

The Ombudsman “identified four instances of maladministration” in the handling of Selmayr’s appointment as Secretary-General and described the Juncker Commission’s failure to follow official recommendations on opening up the appointment process as “highly regrettable”, adding that “the Ombudsman looks forward to its implementation by the next Commission”. Barely a tickle on the wrist, let alone a slap.

Last December the European Parliament passed a resolution calling for him to quit. Naturally Selmayr has no desire to give up his corruptly obtained post and has ignored them. If a scandal of this magnitude had happened in a functioning democracy Selmayr would have been forced to resign in disgrace. Instead he is still the top dog in the EU’s most powerful institution…

UPDATE: The European Commission have put out a statement in response saying they “take note” of the Ombudsman’s verdict and that Selmayr “fully meets all the demanding requirements for the job” and is going nowhere. Rotten to the core…

mdi-timer 12th February 2019 @ 3:25 pm 12th Feb 2019 @ 3:25 pm mdi-comment Comments
Ian Paisley Jr Suspended From Commons

From the House of Commons standards committee:

Mr Paisley and his family made two visits to Sri Lanka in March/April 2013 and July 2013. These visits were paid for by the Sri Lankan government. Although the precise value of the hospitality offered cannot be precisely calculated, they were of a value significantly in excess of the then registration threshold of £660. (The Daily Telegraph claimed that the cost of the visits was £100,000; Mr Paisley accepts an estimate of about £50,000.) Mr Paisley did not register either visit in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. 

Very strong sanction:

In view of the seriousness of this matter, we recommend that Mr Paisley be suspended from the service of the House for a period of 30 sitting days starting on 4 September 2018. We also require that Mr Paisley register the benefits he received from the Sri Lankan government which will be italicised in the Register to indicate that they are a late entry.

30 sitting days from the 4 September takes us into November. This is a Brexiteer vote in the Commons lost…

mdi-timer 18th July 2018 @ 11:43 am 18th Jul 2018 @ 11:43 am mdi-comment Comments
Serjeant-at-Arms: Bercow Victim of “Witch Hunt”

The senior official responsible for security and order in the House of Commons has dismissed bullying allegations against John Bercow and said the Speaker is the victim of a “witch hunt”. The extraordinary intervention in defence of beleaguered Bercow by Serjeant-at-Arms Kamal El-Hajji is published in the official Commons mag, The Housethis morning. El-Hajji wrote:

“There has recently been article after article in the daily newspapers containing speculation and accusations regarding Mr Speaker’s code of conduct and the allegedly ‘unprofessional’ way that he treats staff and colleagues working in Parliament. Due to a considerable lack of evidence supporting these allegations, it seems clear to me that there is a witch hunt against him, whether it is coming from previously disgruntled staff members or ex-colleagues trying to settle old scores of some kind.

“…we feel that there is a witch hunt going on trying to discredit Mr Speaker… I felt it’s important to stand up for what is right and to show support and solidarity to someone who has done such a great deal for Parliament and for the country.”

El-Hajji was selected for the job in 2015 by a panel of MPs headed by Bercow – he would not have got the job without the Speaker’s approval. Nice way to pay him back…

El-Hajii’s defence does not address any of the actual bullying allegations, which are extensive. It is in stark contrast to comments made by former Black Rod David Leakey, who said Bercow was unworthy of the office of Speaker. How can bullying and harassment victims have any confidence in Parliament after this display?

UPDATE: A government source condemns the Sarjeant-at-Arms: “He should be neutral in all of this. It’s really beyond unprofessional.” 

mdi-timer 13th June 2018 @ 8:39 am 13th Jun 2018 @ 8:39 am mdi-comment Comments
Bercow Insists He’s Staying

At business questions Tory MP James Duddridge asked the government whether there would be time for a debate on the qualities required in the next Speaker. Modest, calm, dignified, cool under pressure, punctual, that kind of thing…

Scandal-hit Bercow suggested he is staying put and couldn’t resist delivering a personal slap-down to Duddridge. He said:

“I very gently say to the Honurable Gentleman in terms which are very straightforward and which I know he will be fully able to understand… the Honourable Gentleman will recall I indicated my willingness to continue in the chair in June of last year…”

Things have somewhat changed since then, Mr Speaker.

mdi-timer 10th May 2018 @ 12:04 pm 10th May 2018 @ 12:04 pm mdi-comment Comments
Now Vaz Reports Bridgen to Standards Commissioner (Again)

Keith Vaz has reported Tory MP Andrew Bridgen to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards – again. Bridgen first complained to the Commissioner about Vaz’s conduct in September 2016 after the Labour grandee was the subject of an infamous newspaper expose. The Commissioner opened an inquiry which was suspended for months due to ‘health reasons’. Almost two years after the coke and rent boys shenanigans, Vaz is in the House the Commissioner’s probe is back on

At the time Vaz retaliated, complaining about Bridgen to the same watchdog, arguing that any investigation into his conduct was outside the Commissioner’s scope. The Commissioner rejected Vaz’s complaint…

Now Vaz has complained yet again, this time on the grounds that Bridgen has commented on Vaz’s case to the media. Bridgen tells Guido:

“Mr Vaz is clearly somewhat rattled.”

How long will it take the Commissioner to dismiss this one…

mdi-timer 9th May 2018 @ 1:19 pm 9th May 2018 @ 1:19 pm mdi-comment Comments
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