How Baroness Scotland Waived Recruitment Process to Give £90,000 Contract to Crony

scotland

Guido can reveal for the first time how Baroness Scotland waived procurement practices in order to award a £90,000 contract to a close friend. Just days after taking office, Scotland instructed staff to hire her fellow Labour peer Lord Patel as a consultant to produce a review of the department. Scotland and Patel have been friends for years and she has previously described him as her “partner in crime”. In the leaked memo below, an official carefully makes clear the arrangement is “following your instructions” and requires them to “seek a waiver from the Secretariat’s preferred procurement practices”. The job was not advertised to other bidders, the recruitment process was waived so it could be given to her “partner in crime”.

waiver

The contract is with Patel’s company KYA Global. Its only directors are Patel and his wife – the company appears to have no website or online or physical presence. The sums of money are huge – the company was paid £30,000-a-month out of the public purse. The contract was signed by Baroness Scotland herself.

patel1

In writing, we have Baroness Scotland waiving standard recruitment practices in order to award a £30,000-a-month contract to one of her closest friends. An astonishing conflict of interest involving vast sums of taxpayers’ money. This is cronyism at its most blatant…

Revealed: Baroness Scotland’s Bumper Contracts for Aides

scotland

A Guido investigation can reveal for the first time the extraordinary fat contracts issued by the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Baroness Scotland to her advisers. An internal probe was launched after senior officials complained that the taxpayer-funded salaries awarded to special advisers Matthew Doyle and Joe Phelan were excessive. Now a whistleblower has passed Doyle and Phelan’s contracts to Guido – they reveal that they were paid a staggering £15,000 each in April, £15,000 each in May and £18,000 each in June. These are vast monthly payments – more than the Prime Minister is paid per month – and the bill was picked up by the taxpayer.

Below are screengrabs taken from Doyle and Phelan’s contracts:

phelandoyle

Both Doyle and Phelan refused to speak on the record. They claim the payments relate to work done between January and September and therefore the money is not excessive. Yet the contracts explicitly state in black and white that these are monthly payments for work done between April and June. What’s more, Baroness Scotland was only appointed in April. Which raises three questions:

  • Why were Baroness Scotland’s advisers paid so much money over this three month period?
  • Why do these contracts state in black and white that the payments are for work done between April and June, if they in fact cover a period much longer?
  • Why was the Commonwealth paying for Baroness Scotland’s aides before she was appointed to her role?

These payments are the subject of an internal complaint within the Commonwealth Secretariat. They are the tip of the iceberg of a cache of leaked documents passed to Guido by a whistleblower. Stay tuned for more revelations about the extravagant world of Baroness Scotland’s Commonwealth office over the days ahead…

UPDATE: A Commonwealth Secretariat spokesman gets in touch to say Phelan was wrong to say the payments relate to work done since January:

“We wish to make it clear that both Joe Phelan and Matthew Doyle were paid by the Secretariat from April 2016 until their contracts expired earlier this month. They have now left the organisation. Your article implies that the Secretariat paid them from January 2016. As the contracts you have published show, this is simply wrong.”

Curiouser and curiouser…

Troughers’ Union Barron Broke Commons Code

One that you couldn’t make up: Kevin Barron, chair of the Standards Committee, broke the Commons code of conduct by taking money for hosting drugs company events in parliament. An investigation by the Standards Commissioner found that Barron sponsored three events for Japanese Pharmaceutical Group to use private dining rooms in the Palace of Westminster and accepted payment for the access. The breach was judged to be “minor” as he donated the cash to charity, so he’ll be allowed to keep his job in charge of sleazy MPs facing their own corruption probes. The troughers’ union Barron lives to pass judgement on future troughers…

Minister Warned CCHQ About Rape Arrest Aide

armstrong

CCHQ were warned months ago that they should sack Sam Armstrong, the Tory aide who has been arrested over an alleged rape in the Commons. Back in June Rob Halfon appealed to Lord Feldman to remove Armstrong from his job with South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay. Halfon told Feldman that Armstrong had attempted to blackmail him – something Armstrong denies – and said it was “ridiculous” that he was still being employed. Despite this, and despite the Tories banning Armstrong from party conference last year, they allowed Mackinlay keep him on the payroll and give him a parliamentary pass. Why did Mackinlay keep Armstrong in a job? Why did Feldman fail to act? Armstrong would of course have known a lot about the South Thanet general election campaign’s expenses – which is also currently under police investigation. This has the potential to blow up in CCHQ’s faces…

Six Figures For Baroness Scotland’s Friends

scotland

It is worth shedding some more light on the Mail’s recent extraordinary revelations about Baroness Scotland, the new Commonwealth Secretary General. The allegations are very serious – Scotland is essentially accused of using her position to hand out huge sums of taxpayers’ money to her staff and friends. An internal probe is looking at claims her advisers, including the Blairite spinmeister Matthew Doyle, were each being paid £16,000 per month, something they deny. Guido understands that the allegedly excessive salaries were queried by civil servants and raised at a higher level, with Scotland accused of an inappropriate use of public funds. And it doesn’t end there…

The Mail also revealed that Scotland had contracted a company owned by her friend Lord Patel to conduct a review of her department, paying KYA Global an astonishing £30,000 per month. Scotland and Patel are close friends, why on earth is the taxpayer funding this arrangement? Guido has done some more digging – KYA Global has no online existence and its only directors are Lord Patel and his wife. This is hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money per year we are talking about and the whole arrangement stinks. One to watch…

UPDATE: A spokesman for the Commonwealth Secretariat said:

Lord Patel and the advisers were part of a transition team brought in by Secretary-General Patricia Scotland. As we have said continually, they were asked to carry out specific work during a short period of time on a fixed term contract. They have now completed that work, their fixed-term contracts have ended and they are no longer employed by the Secretariat. Secretary-General Scotland would like to thank each of them for their invaluable contribution and wishes them every success for the future.”

Natalie McGarry Charged in Connection With Fraud

mcgarry

Suspended SNP MP Natalie McGarry has been charged by the police in connection with alleged fraud offencesOch.

UPDATE: The charges are for embezzlement and breach of trust.

Brooks Newmark Gets Carter Ruck to Delete His Sext Pics from Internet

brooks

Brooks Newmark has instructed Carter-Ruck to remove all his sext pictures from the internet. Letters have gone out from the solicitors to newspapers, who have complied with his demand because they are his copyrighted images. He used to like sharing his photos…

Now if you search the stories about him you will see that the original pictures he sent have indeed been removed. Obviously since he sent photos voluntarily to our “Sophie” this will be amusing to argue about in Court. A senior government Special Adviser has been known to share with colleagues some of the funnier – so far unpublished – pics of Brooks in his pyjamas. “‘Ere, do you want to see some dirty pictures?”

Standards Commissioner Rejects Vaz Complaint

vaz

Can’t think what motivated Keith Vaz to make a complaint about neighbouring Tory MP Andrew Bridgen to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner. Vaz still hasn’t actually delivered on his threat to sue Bridgen for defamation – possibly because the allegations he makes are true. Anyway slippery Vaz has released a statement:

Right Honourable Keith Vaz MP said:

“I welcome the inquiry by the Commissioner, following the complaint made against me by Andrew Bridgen, the Member of Parliament for North West Leicestershire, which will provide important clarification.

She has suggested that my complaint against Mr Bridgen should be referred to the Secretary of State for Transport and I will follow her advice.”

Apparently because Bridgen, like many who have a home in the path of HS2, sold it at a loss to the Department of Transport, he is guilty of something. The Standards Commissioner has basically told Vaz to get lost…

Tory MP Justin Tomlinson Suspended From Commons

tomlinson

Tory MP Justin Tomlinson has been suspended from the Commons for two days for leaking a Public Accounts Committee report to Wonga. Extraordinarily, Tomlinson thought it acceptable to share a draft report on regulating consumer credit with a Wonga employee. The Wonga employee replied with a series of recommendations, which Tomlinson then put to his committee. The Standards Commissioner ruled he “committed a serious breach of the Rules of Conduct” and the Privileges Committee today found:

“Mr Tomlinson committed a contempt in disclosing a draft committee Report to a third party and that his actions constituted substantial interference in the work of that committee… We recommend that Mr Tomlinson apologise to the House by means of a personal statement and that he be suspended from the service of the House for two sitting days. These days should be consecutive and not be divided by non-sitting days or recesses which would inadvertently extend the period of suspension beyond that specified.”

The Privileges Committee say Tomlinson made no financial gain from the exchange of information. He did however nominate his local football team for a big money sponsorship deal from… Wonga. He’s lucky just to get a slap on the wrist…

Keith Vaz’s Parliamentary Pass for Romanian “Driver”

Pictured here with Keith Vaz on the Commons terrace is a young Romanian man called Daniel Dragusin. The pair met shortly after Dragusin came to England in 2010. Soon after, Vaz began employing Dragusin as his “driver“. In 2012 Dragusin was awarded a parliamentary pass by Lord King, a close friend of Vaz. Former employees of Lord King say Dragusin never did any work for him. Dragusin has since landed a job at Vaz’s charity Silver Star. Crucially, it was he who processed the two £150 payments to Vaz’s rent boys…

driver2

This text exchange published by the Sunday Mirror is between Keith Vaz, on the left, and one of the rent boys, on the right. Vaz asks the rent boy if any of his Romanian friends want a job as a “driver“. The same job he offered Dragusin. Just who is this mysterious young Romanian “driver” who Keith Vaz helped secure access to the corridors of power? Curiouser and curiouser…

Vaz Didn’t Declare Hotels Used For Encounters With Young Men

hotel

Tuesday’s Sun reported that between September 2013 and December 2014 Keith Vaz “often” stayed at the Washington Mayfair hotel, and “sometimes there were other young men with him”. The paper says Vaz does not appear to have been charged for the bookings. Receipts were signed off “As per Mr J. Sanger”, suggesting they were freebies from the hotel’s mega-rich Indian owner Joginder Sanger. MPs are required to declare all hospitality over the threshold in the Register of Interests:

“Over £660 for the total of benefits of whatever size from the same source in a calendar year”

Vaz made no declaration of free hotel stays in 2013 or 2014…

Just three stays plus a few drinks bills would have put Vaz over the threshold. Hotel workers suggest it was more regular than that:

“Keith Vaz would often arrive at very short notice. Sometimes there were other young men with him. There were a number of times when he didn’t stay the whole night. He would stay for just a few hours before checking out.”

If Vaz stayed there often and for free, the hotel rooms used for liaisons with young men should have been declared to the Commons authorities. All this seems so far removed from Vaz’s promise when he was first elected that he would only accept a workers’ wage and donate his parliamentary salary to his constituency Labour Party:

vaz-worker

Somehow he has managed to make millions and the mystery source of his wealth is unexplained, least of all to his local Labour Party…

Tories: “Lawmakers Cannot Be Lawbreakers”, Vaz Must Go

Leicester Tory councillor Ross Grant has told the Daily Politics that Keith Vaz must resign as an MP because “lawmakers cannot be lawbreakers”. Grant says it is nonsense to argue this is a private matter because Vaz broke the law by offering to supply a Class A drug. Another happy reader.

Sky and the Sun are reporting Vaz will step down from his select committee role. That won’t make the pressure go away…

Vaz Charity Retains Carter Ruck

Keith Vaz’s diabetes charity Silver Star made the front page of the Telegraph yesterday and was covered extensively in the Mail and the Sun. The allegation – fiercely denied – is that the rent boys at Keith/Jim’s flat received money from a man linked to the charity. Silver Star deny this and have retained Carter Ruck, firing off letters to several newspapers complaining how unfair it is to have their name linked to this sordid affair. Carter Ruck usually charge £500 an hour. That’s a very expensive law firm for a relatively small charity…

Commons Silent as Vaz Speaks

Vaz scuttled into the chamber to welcome the new Home Secretary into her job. He was heard in silence. Time to get this party started…

Keith Vaz Threatens to Sue

vaz-bridgen
Keith Vaz’s lawyers are threatening to sue his neighbouring MP, Andrew Bridgen:

Dear Mr Bridgen

We act on behalf of your fellow Leicestershire MP, Keith Vaz.

Our client has been, for quite some time, aware that you have been maliciously spreading false and highly defamatory scuttlebutt about him. You know that these allegations are wholly false and it is troubling that a fellow Member of Parliament from a neighbouring constituency should be so recklessly indifferent as to the truth.

Mr Vaz has for some time now chosen to ignore your increasingly desperate attempts to besmirch him. Mainly because as you did so, the people to whom you spoke, including include your fellow conservative (sic) MP’s have told Mr Vaz. However, the time has come where our client will no longer tolerate your spreading of intentional untruths. We are writing to put you on formal notice that if this shabby behaviour continues our client will no longer turn a blind eye to this and take steps to sue you personally for libel and false privacy, conspiracy to injure and indeed any other appropriate torts, holding you personally responsible not only for damages but also costs.

This letter does not require a substantive response, but does require an acknowledgement of receipt so that it is abundantly clear you understand the jeopardy in which you now stand.

Who to believe; Keith Vaz, a well known liar caught consorting with rent boys, or the MP who called him a liar who consorted with rent-boys? Isn’t it all a bit late now Keith?

May Knifes Vaz

Theresa May as good as tells Keith Vaz to resign:

“I have always been clear throughout my political career that I think what is important for people is that they feel that they are able to have confidence in their politicians. That’s what I think we all have a duty to provide for those that elect us. What Keith does is for Keith and any decisions he wishes to make are for him, but overall I think what people look for is confidence in their politicians.

Pretty clear the PM doesn’t think he should be MP either…

BBC Investigated Vaz Last Year

keith

A team of BBC journalists was given high-level clearance to investigate serious sex allegations concerning Keith Vaz last year. The special unit was led by a reporter who specialises in sex crime stories. It interviewed a number of witnesses and found evidence that Vaz had cheated on his wife with young men. The team was reportedly given significant resources and director general Tony Hall was informed – unsurprising given the high-profile target and in the wake of the Newsnight / Lord McAlpine debacle. The investigation also looked at a number of as yet unpublished allegations. Wonder what they found? And why the programme never aired…

Keith Vaz Told Commons He Was “Surprised” MPs Used Poppers

vaz

Look back at Keith Vaz’s interventions in the Commons debate on drugs in January. Just eight months ago, Vaz told the House of his “great surprise” at revelations MPs had used poppers:

“The shadow Minister, my hon. Friend the Member for West Ham (Lyn Brown), has said—this was a bit of shock for me after 28 years in this House—that Ministers have stood at the Dispatch Box having had poppers. I think that is what she said and it was a great surprise to the House. She obviously knows more than I do about such issues”

Lyn Brown definitely does not know more about poppers than Keith Vaz. 

Vaz, a fan of cocaine and poppers-fuelled gay sex parties, then told the House that he opposed liberalising drugs:

“I have great respect for my hon. Friend, who was a distinguished member of the Home Affairs Committee. I know that his position is to liberalise the law on drugs, but that is not my position and nor is it that of the Committee.”

He vowed to vote to ban poppers if they were proved to be harmful:

“Without equivocation, I give him a guarantee that if the review decides that poppers are harmful, I will be the first in the Division Lobby with him, supporting that view.”

The pinnacle of slippery Vaz’s shameless hypocrisy? There will be more…

Bercow Knew Vaz Was Under Police Investigation

Keith Vaz was under police investigation over year ago on suspicion of financial corruption and historic allegations of under-age sex. Speaker Bercow was informed of this and fellow MPs demanded – Andrew Bridgen in writing – that he step down from his position on the Home Affair Select Committee. The Speaker protected Vaz…

It is widely known around Westminster that Vaz – who owes his career to Greville Janner – was the unidentified MP in this Sun front page from last year.

paedo-mp

Guido has been hinting for years about the dark side of Keith Vaz. Vaz offering to buy cocaine for rent boys is at the mild end of Vaz’s sleazy life and times. More is to come out about the disgusting Vaz that will truly shock Westminster…

Piers Morgan Refuses to Deny Affair

piers

Charlotte Edwardes interrogates Piers Morgan in the Times:

Would he still hold celebrities to account? “Where there’s blatant hypocrisy, yes, of course. If you sell your wedding to OK! magazine for £1 million and are having an affair with one of the bridesmaids, do you have any right to say that the press shouldn’t run that?”

He’s less forthcoming about his own indiscretions.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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