Hancock Withdraws from Russian Support

As Guido highlighted the other day, Mike Hancock was one of only two signatories to an Early Day Motion congratulating his beloved Russia for winning the World Cup bid, in what the rest of the world saw as a  total stitch up:

Funny that Mike has suddenly removed his name from EDM 1137. What a coincidence….

+ + + No Hoon-Time for Five Years + + +

Hoon has been banned from holding a parliamentary pass for five years, Byers for two and Richard Caborn for six months. All three former Labour will have to apologise to the House in writing. If you want an end to the revolving door, why give former MPs passes anyway?

UPDATE: Now Hoon doesn’t have a pass he can join that APPC thing he knew nothing of.

The Man Who Came in on a Dinghy

The nations media have descended on Portsmouth having finally realised Guido was right all along when he said Mike Hancock was a wrong ‘un. Guido is hearing tales of door-stepping and sniffing. With Hancock also a local councillor there is plenty to play with.

Councillor Hancock is responsible for Planning, Regeneration and Economic Development (PRED) – and given the massive great naval base in the city, would be responsible for overseeing any changes concerning the port. However the port have confirmed that Hancock is not on the list for circulation of any plans to do with security, and not allowed access to restricted information that would be expected of a PRED portfolio holder.

The concerns about our amorous friend might have something to do with an incident in 2006 when Hancock was found driving a speedboat around the Royal Naval Base and coming up against the side of ships. Apparently he was “testing security”. In light of the last week’s revelations, some might say that’s a little odd…

To Russia With Love

Early Day Motion 1137 wasn’t very popular yesterday:

That this House believes that it would be a good idea if all those individuals and organisations involved in the failed World Cup bid showed a little humility and good grace instead of continually whingeing and moaning about the unfairness of FIFA and the bidding process; while regretting that England was able only to accumulate two votes out of 22, congratulates Russia and Qatar on their success in bringing World Cup football to two parts of the world which have never hosted the World Cup before.

Only the most devout of pro-Russian MPs would have signed that surely? Guess who was only one of two signatures…

Yep… Handy-cock.

Hancock's Lolita Spy Girl Asked the Wrong Questions

As Mike Hancock’s young, candle loving, blonde faces deportation for spying, Guido thought he better have a look at what sort of “research” she had been doing for her amorous boss. A look into what Hancock has been asking in the House recently certainly raises eyebrows…

While yes, he is on the defence select committee, perhaps Mr Hancock could explain why he was so interested in our Atomic Weapons Establishment Site Development Context Plan? Thenew hydrodynamics facility, project Hydrus? As well as British troop numbers at various bases around the world?

All of these were written questions, the sort that  fall well within the job of a parliamentary bag-carrier to research and prepare. Did Katya Zatuliveter have some sway over the recently-arrested Member, or was he not paying attention to what was being signed in his name, like the time his office supported two opposing EDMs?

Hoon-Work

On the day we  learn Jacqui Smith, who was so good with her sums in the past, is off to accounting firm KPMG, Guido thought he would check out how Geoff Hoon’s project that “bluntly, makes money” was coming along…

It seems the former Defence Secretary is so desperate for clients, for a little “Hoon-work”, that he’s openly publishing his mobile number. From a gate-keepered senior cabinet minister, who most would have to go through six people to talk to on a good day, to being open to all sorts of random calls. Oh how the mighty fall…

Obviously Guido couldn’t resist…

GF: Are you going to join the APPC?
GH: Err…I must be a bit slow this morning.
GF: The Association of Professional Political Consultants…
GH: <silence>
GF:  …The register of lobbyists to declare their clients etc?
GH: To be honest I haven’t actually heard of it. I’m not really a lobbyist… When people have asked me to lobby the government I’ve told them to go elsewhere.
GF: Will you be publishing your clients list on your website?
GH: No, can’t really see a case in which that would happen. Maybe one day.
GF: Do you have a Former Member’s Pass to the Parliamentary Estate?
GH: Err yes, yes I do.
GF: Have you used it yet?
GH: To be honest, not yet.

Sure it will come in useful one day, oh and not a lobbyist? TaylorHoon state:

“Our aim is to provide business with market intelligence on ways to gain competitive advantage. To do this we are able to offer a distinctive combination of advice, skills and experience from the highest levels of business and politics.”

Sounds like lobbying to Guido…

Clegg's Sneaky AV Coffers Liner

Nick Clegg is responsible for guiding the AV bill through Parliament, he backs it, as does his party. Guido has seen the riveting packs that Cowley Street have started sending out to their branches to prepare for the AV campaign, but rather sneakily and possibly illegally, the LibDems are pulling a clever little ruse:

On the fundraising form that is not just for LibDem members, but the whole Yes to AV campaign, it clearly asks people to make out cheques to the “Liberal Democrats”, not to the official pro-AV campaign. Not only is it completely inappropriate for the Deputy Prime Minister to be attempting to fund-raise for his party on the back of a piece of legislation that he is responsible for, the form is completely deceptive. The forms are also definitely for use before the Bill has gone through the House as they talk about the referendum “next year”. Sneaky.

Guido wonders how many people will fall for their trick of pretending to give money to the Yes to AV campaign when they will actually be lining the LibDem coffers. Dishonesty on a LibDem leaflet? Surely not…

Official: Westminster Full of Crooks

The expenses crisis, lobbying shame and six Labour MPs being investigated by the police has caused the UK to plummet in the rankings of the most corrupt countries in the world, dropping to a humiliating 20th place. Guido has been highlighting the problem for years without fancy weightings, equations, interactive maps and graphs but Transparency International have really put the boot in. The UK is sandwiched between those two beacons of democracy Chile and Qatar.

Guess Who's Back

When Philip Hammond tried to sell the cuts package to the people of the north-east on Question Time last night he mentioned a deal with Hitachi to build high speed trains in the area. Jobs were promised, but Guido couldn’t help ponder why the business park in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, that will be at the heart of new project, sounded so familiar.

The penny dropped this afternoon – the Durham Green development project that built the park was caught up with an blast from the past. Two directors of the company were used by David Abrahams to channel money to the Labour Party, around £77,000, in 2005. Mysteriously planning objections to the project disappeared shortly after. Abrahams has been spotted back on the Westminster scene a lot in recent months and what a lovely coincidence that his little project has done so well…

The Criminal Ruling Classes

Such are their number it is getting difficult for Guido to keep track of all the politicians who are either under investigation, currently facing charges or are  actually in the dock as defendants.

It is worth bearing in mind that 52% of MPs in the last parliament were found to be guilty of over-claiming – the vast majority of whom paid-up quietly in an admission of guilt.

Some of the worst cases have finally made it to the courts, former Labour MPs Jim Devine (reported to the police incidentally by the Sunlight Centre), Elliot Morley and David Chaytor are trying to avoid criminal trials and are currently in the Supreme Court arguing that they are above common criminals and should be tried by MPs. Don’t think so…

Sitting Labour MP Eric Isslley is facing charges. Labour MPs confirmed to be under police investigation include Denis MacShane and the former MP Margaret Moran.

Reported to the police we have Sadiq Khan, who has been reported on the exactly the same expense-fiddling grounds as Margaret Moran. Ironically he is a Shadow Justice Minister.

Tory Lord Hanningfield is facing trial but Lords Paul and Bhaita as well as Baroness Uddin have escaped prosecution by promising repayment.

LibDem MP David Laws is awaiting the report of the Committee on Standards and Privileges with regard to him having the taxpayer pay rent to his boyfriend. The Committee has ordered former Labour MP Shahid Malik to repay his claim for the cost of insuring his wife’s diamond ring. No, really.

Bill “Piggy” Wiggin was ordered to apologise and repay £4,009 of expenses for which he claimed but did not actually incur. Shamefully the Old Etonian has been allowed by David Cameron to keep his Whip’s job despite a pre-election promise live on TV to sack Wiggin if he was found to be “claiming money that he wasn’t entitled to”. Change we can believe in… not.

Has Guido missed any politicians under investigation or in the Courts?

UPDATE : Forgot Tory Lord Taylor of Warwick is pleading not guilty to six charges of dodgy accounting. His bother is over claiming overnight expenses in relation to properties which he didn’t live in.   He claimed to the Sunday Times he had lived at his mother’s home in the West Midlands. This turned out to be false as his mother’s house was sold in 2001 when she died.  His former wife confirmed that he lived in London, and nowhere else, until their separation in 2003.

See also: Labour’s Dirty Dozen

Has Hancock Perjured Himself?

The Sunday Times would have made uncomfortable reading for pervy LibDem MP Mike Hancock. Having triggered an investigation by Hampshire Police  Hancock’s alleged victim, a mentally ill constituent, has apparently seen a deterioration in her condition since the alleged assault. On Friday Guido exclusively regaled some of the text messages that Hancock has admitted sending the woman to “cheer her up”. During the election when Hancock was seeking an injunction about other allegations that an election opponent had printed in a leaflet he signed an affidavit saying:

‘I am a good family man and these allegations about me having numerous extra-marital affairs are completely untrue and Mr. Cummings knows that.’

How does begging another woman with messages like “please give me a chance princess” weigh up with the who “good family man” thing?

Should perjury be added to the long list of allegations concerning “Handy-cock”?

Exclusive: Handycock's Sexy Texts

Humiliated LibDem MP Mike Hancock was arrested last week for indecent assault after he pursued a mentally ill constituent with a barrage of dinners, presents and late night text messages.  He’s been bailed until January.

The police got involved after the young, yet unnamed, lady’s care staff raised the alarm. Hancock has not denied he was contacting the girl, but claims that he was only trying to cheer her up. Guido has had a glance over the text messages he was sending her, and he’ll let you decide if this was merely an attempt to make someone feel better or something more:

  • “You are and believe me i know what i am talking about u r very and i miss you sexy XXX” (15.01 June 14, 2010) With this record, Guido is sure he does…
  • “Please give me a chance you never know my princess XXX” (23.33 April 18, 2010) Just trying to cheer her up!
  • “Thankyou as long its not a wet one XXX” (23.27 May 27, 2010)

    Guido hates to think what that last one is referring to, but given the time of night he has a couple of ideas…

    10% of Anglo Irish Bank’s Profits Came from Defrauding Customers


    Guido has been given documents coming from inside Anglo Irish Bank’s Treasury Department dating back to 1997 which strongly suggest there was a board level approved conspiracy to over-charge corporate customers. The scale of the fraud was massive and it may have contributed up to 10% of the now nationalised bank’s profits.

    The Anglo-Irish Bank’s fraud comes from overstating the DIBOR base rate on which customer’s loans were calculated. DIBOR is the Dublin Interbank Offered Rate, calculated and published daily like LIBOR, it was set in stone and used by all Irish banks as the basis for settlement of trades and financial transactions before they joined the Euro.

    Essentially Anglo-Irish lied to customers as to what that the real base rate was by adding between 1/4% to 1/3% to the official underlying rate, then they added the usual banker’s spread that they will have agreed contractually with their corporate customers.

    Guido’s source says that inside Anglo-Irish the false rate quoted to borrowers was known internally as “TIBOR” after Tiarnan O’Mahoney, the Director and Chief Operating Officer to whom Des Whyte, the treasury manager who prepared the figures, reported. Sources say that the “TIBOR” version of “DIBOR” was not used with sophisticated money market customers who would have queried the rate.

    Guido has done some back of an envelope calculations based on the bank’s 1999 Annual Report. The customer loan book is reported to have been €5.7 billion (IR£4.4 billion). Assuming that only half the clients were over-charged the average of 30 basis points the bank will have made an extra €8.6 million, (IR£6.6 million) on the bottom line. That was some 10% of the bank’s reported profits.

    According to a source the fiddle continued throughout the late 90s into the early half of the next decade as Anglo-Irish’s loan book grew on the back of the Celtic tiger. Customers could have been ripped off by as much €100 million.

    N.B. Guido has documentation to back up this story – if the Dublin authorities want it…

    UPDATE : There was an error with the graphic illustration above earlier which has now been corrected to show the correct corresponding date.

    Expenses Are Back – Piggy Wiggin and Khan's Moranic Receipts

    With invoices being trawled, coppers called and MPs still insisting they have done nothing wrong, it could be June 2009 all over again. With MacShane being referred to the Yard yesterday it has also emerged that Tory whip Bill Wiggin claimed thousands of pounds for costs he “did not actually incur”. Another way of putting that is “fraudulently”. Back in the day Wiggin defended his over zealous expense claims by saying “I think people need to realise we are but human”. Yes, greedy ones. The mind boggles as to how it wasn’t seen fit to pass on his file along with MacShame…

    With MacShane and Margaret Moran both being looked into by the cops, the total number of Labour MPs under investigation or facing trial is now at six, but there seems to be some discrepancies in those cases that the Met are picking up. One of the key allegations against Margaret Moran is her dodgy receipts. Amongst various housing decorations she also claimed £130 from her communications allowance for Labour Christmas cards. The claim was rejected and so she resubmitted the invoice calling the cards “Constituency Surgery Cards” and Fees office duly coughed up. A trick that sounds very familiar.

    Back in March Guido reported:

    “Having had over a grands worth of greeting card receipts rightly rejected from his Communications Allowance claims, Khan then went back to the printers and had them create a new receipt, for the same amount, but without the birthday cards itemised on them.”

    Khan’s printer “Public Impact” is run by Labour Party affiliates and he told John Lyon he “couldn’t remember the complaint”. Which is convenient. A report was submitted to Scotland Yard who have, as of yet, not ruled concluded the investigation. Perhaps in the light of their look at Moran, they might like to clamp down on other MPs with equally dodgy receipts…

    Quote of the Day

    Joan Smith, also known as Mrs Denis MacShane, wrote

    “I am sick of my country and this hysteria over MPs. People have been led to believe that we are governed by a corrupt political class. This is sanctimonious nonsense.”

    MacShame of the Labour Blogosphere

    Three hours after the news about MacShame broke on this blog, how are the Labour blogs dealing with the issue?  LabourList – silent. LeftFootForward has nothing on MacShane. LiberalConspiracy still hasn’t mentioned that the cops are onto the leftie attack-dog. Political Scrapbook is still dealing with yesterday’s PMQs. Compare and contrast how Derek Conway was treated by ConservativeHome. They demanded firm action immediately.

    The Labour leaning blogosphere’s credibility really suffers at times like this from being reluctant to criticise allies. If you are looking for news and comment about Dennis MacShane, or about the sitting Labour MP Eric Illsley’s forthcoming day in court, the ongoing police investigation into Margaret Moran or  the three other former Labour MPs in court on criminal charges there is no point going to left-wing blogs…

    UPDATE : Looks like Guido shamed LabourList into publishing something – the official Labour Party press release – 40 minutes after this post went up. No further comment or analysis…

    MacShane's £125,000 Constituency Office

    This is what Denis MacShane claimed £125,000 in office costs for:

    ‘Ello ‘ello ‘ello…

    Local LibDems Back "Handycock"

    Portsmouth City Council has been left reeling at the arrest and questioning of Mike Hancock for indecent assault. Inter-party email exchanges through the night have left the LibDems spinning “move along people, nothing to see here”. The grandly named Gerald Vernon-Jackson, the LibDem Council Leader said in the early hours:

    “When I knock on doors in Portsmouth I find someone on almost every street who tells me how Mike Hancock has help make their lives better. Mike is by far the best MP this city has had for many years. I continue to think that Mike should continue to be allowed to continue his work for local people.”

    Perhaps not the wisest choice of words. It was his attempts “to make their lives better” that got Hancock into this mess in the first place.

    UPDATE: Surprisingly LibDemVoice fail to omit the key detail that Hancock was arrested and bailed. Compare and contrast the two statements. Firstly from Hancock:

    “I can confirm that I was questioned on Tuesday 12 October by officers of the Hampshire Police in relation to allegations made against me by one individual. I attended the police station voluntarily, cooperated fully and answered all questions that were asked. ”

    And the law:

    “Hampshire Constabulary spokesman Ian Sainsbury said in a statement: ‘A man has been arrested on suspicion of indecent assault following a complaint from a woman in Portsmouth.”

    The Guardian, PA and the Telegraph also buy Hancock’s voluntary questioning spin hook, line and sinker. They may not have kicked the veteran Member’s door down but he was certainly nicked.

    Breaking : "Handycock" Arrested

    Pervy MP Mike Hancock has been arrested over claims he indecently assaulted a single mother who went to him for help. Guido has been covering the shenanigans of the Lib Dem MP for Portsmouth South for months – there is much more to come. He has been released on police bail…

    See also : “Handycock” Faces Probing (Oct 12), +++ “Handycock” Loses Injunction Battle +++ (Oct 7), Exclusive: “Handycock” In Court Next Week (Sep 28), Third Time Unlucky For Hancock (Sep 27), Exclusive: Hancock’s Half Hour (With the Police) (3Aug).

    +++ More follows +++

    "Handycock" Faces Probing

    Guido understands that official complaints have gone in against LibDem letch Mike Hancock MP. Portsmouth co-conspirators are talking openly locally about their “sex pest MP”. As regular readers will know, during the election Hancock got an injunction to stop his opponent Les Cummings from printing leaflets in which he made serious allegations of sexual misbehaviour against the MP.[…] Read the rest

    + READ MORE +



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