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. How many affairs did he have?

“I never talk about such things. I never talk about marriages, relationships or anything like that.” But why? “I find it vaguely toe-curling. I love the fact that other people do it, and for my entire career, I have celebrated other people spilling their guts about their sexual shenanigans, but you will not lure me into giving you…”

There’s no “luring”. “I understand what you are doing. I’m not going to talk about my sex life with you at all.” How many affairs was it? He tsks. Will he deny having an affair? “I’m not going to say anything more about it.”

Boom…

Flynn’s Expenses Plan Would Have Covered Up Own Troughing

flynn

Paul Flynn’s crackpot plan to abolish MPs’ expenses receipts has been met with the contempt it deserves. He is one of Corbyn’s top allies but even the Labour leader’s team are slapping down his ridiculous proposal. Flynn wants it so MPs don’t have to reveal what they’ve spent your money on. Under his opaque scheme, taxpayers would have been unaware that during the expenses scandal Flynn wrongly claimed over £2,000 in mortgage interest and had to pay it back. Nor would you have known that he blew £7,000 of your cash on a new kitchen. Or another £1,100 on new carpets. Or another £1,200 on decoration. Flynn wants it so MPs can claim expenses with impunity without filing receipts because it’s a “chore“. Clearly having two Shadow Cabinet jobs is too much of a strain on the old fool…

Corbyn’s Train Squat Doesn’t Stand Up

corbyn train staged

Images released by Virgin Trains show that honest and authentic Jeremy Corbyn staged that video in which he sat on a train floor and appealed for “public ownership” of the railways. Virgin revealed that the 67 year-old Labour leadership favourite walked past “empty, unreserved seats” prior to filming the video.

After shooting the film, he was assisted by train staff to seats which he and his team occupied for the remainder of the journey to Newcastle. Stick to regular sit-ins, Jez…

UPDATE: Owen Smith tweets a nice kick to a man when he is on the floor (unnecessarily):

Fancy a Job in Danczuk’s Office?

SIMON DANCZUK

Simon Danczuk is advertising for a new parliamentary assistant. “Sex mad” spanking fan Danczuk, recently revealed to have engaged in a steamy unprotected romp with a 22 year-old on the desk in his constituency office – she said “I felt quite privileged to be in there with such a well-known MP. It was quite a turn-on.” Now Simon is looking for a “disciplined individual” to “provide extensive research support”. So expect late nights in the office…

Suspended from the party Danczuk has still used Labour branding to advertise the role, and says applicants must be “Sympathetic to values and aims of the Labour Party.” Also advantageous is an “understanding of Simon Danczuk MP’s work in his constituency.” It’s mostly desk work…

Register of His Member’s Interest

justin2

This morning’s Sun revealed that Tory minister Justin Tomlinson had split up with his wife (above left) and fallen in love with his 25 year-old parliamentary assistant (above right). Of course, MPs are required by the Commons authorities to declare all family members, spouses and partners in their employ. Sure enough, in the new Register of Members’ Interests released this afternoon, Justin confirms:

Awwwww.

Labour Spin Buses Were National Campaign, Internal Report Says “Dedicated to Marginal Seats”

Crick covered Guido’s story last night that the Tories had lawyered up in their row with the Electoral Commission. Meanwhile, the Labour press office are spinning a line responding to our revelation that 17 of their candidates failed to declare battle buses. Labour tell the Times:

“This was part of a nationally branded tour so the transport costs are rightly national spend. Labour’s spending is within the law and the rules set out by the Electoral Commission.”

Below is taken from page 25 of Harriet Harman’s official internal Labour General Election Report. In their own words, Labour admit that the four buses were “dedicated to supporting marginal seats”, not the national campaign. The report explains how campaigners worked “with nearby marginal seats and given incentives to prioritise work in those areas”.

lies

There it is in black and white: Labour’s buses worked to support marginal seats, not the national campaign. Electoral Commission rules are clear, this should have been declared as part of each local campaign. Bang to rights…

Clegg Failed to Declare Activist Travel Expenses

Nick Clegg did not declare travel expenses for activists who campaigned for him in his constituency, Guido can reveal. On May 2 2015, Clegg held an “Action Weekend” in Sheffield Hallam. Activists were told the event was specifically “to campaign with our amazing leader Nick Clegg”. There is no doubt this was constituency campaigning – the words “Sheffield Hallam” and “Nick Clegg” are in the invite. Activists had their transport costs paid for:

“Accommodation is FREE… We are giving up to £30 towards everyone’s travel costs – just book your travel and we will give you back the full cost up to £30!”

Here is the bombshell: Nick Clegg declared ZERO transport costs in his short campaign:

He also declared nothing for accommodation for activists. The LibDems paid for activists to travel to Nick Clegg’s constituency to campaign for him. This was demonstrably constituency spending. Yet Clegg did not declare their transport or accommodation costs. The police will want to look at this…

Police Receive Multiple Clegg Expenses Complaints

South Yorkshire police have this morning received multiple complaints from members of the public asking them to investigate Nick Clegg’s election spending. Yesterday we revealed how documents in Clegg’s own election return suggested his budget had been surpassed:

Clegg’s lawyers have been in touch to deny that he overspent in his Sheffield Hallam short campaign – they have also sent out threatening letters to newspapers. As with the other parties, the LibDems insist all spending was apportioned correctly to the local and national campaigns. So how do they explain the above document which says in black and white that the Sheffield Hallam budget was exceeded by £17,652?

They claim these figures were based on a budget which “mistakenly included template indicative figures” which “have no relevance whatsoever” to Clegg’s election expenses. Odd since they were filed in Clegg’s official election return. There is no denial that the monies were actually spent during the campaign. In their original official response to our questions, the LibDems made no mention of any “mistake” on their part.

Clegg’s position is that the budget discussed in this spreadsheet was a mistake on their behalf, and that these figures are not relevant. It does seem an odd thing for them to get so badly wrong. Labour sources in the constituency believe he overspent by a considerable sum more than so far revealed, judging by the amount they saw him throwing at the campaign. Clegg says it was all apportioned within the law. Either way, it’s in the hands of the police now…

REVEALED: How Nick Clegg Cooked the Books for £17,652

clegg

Guido can reveal that Nick Clegg overspent by £17,652 in his Sheffield Hallam short campaign, then cooked the books so his declarations came in under the limit. Clegg’s official declarations claim he spent £14,138.77 in his short campaign:

Yet a second internal budget schedule obtained by Guido reveals Clegg’s true expenditure in Sheffield Hallam. This bombshell document admits Clegg actually spent £36,852.89 in his Sheffield Hallam short campaign. Astonishingly, under the column headed “What you’ve got left”, the figure “- £17,652.89” appears. This is prima facie evidence that Clegg broke electoral law – Clegg overspent by over £17,000…

CLEGG2

Clegg disguised his overspend by declaring £14,120.31 of his Sheffield Hallam spending as part of the national campaign. His Election Address – which by statute, namely the Representation of the Peoples Act, explicitly states is for the local candidate’s spend only – was declared as part national spend. His vehicle hire, room hire and agent costs were all declared as national spend. A further £5,913.45 was then “offset” for local elections and future campaigns. This is classic cooking the books – the document we have obtained admits that in reality all this spending was part of the “Sheffield Hallam Short Campaign Budget”.

A LibDem spokesman says spending was apportioned correctly to the national and other local campaigns in Sheffield Hallam:

“The figure of £-17,652 that you refer to is the amount spent above an indicative figure in a draft template budget. It does not relate to spend over and above an election spend limit. Any claim or suggestion of an overspend on the constituency return is misleading and factually inaccurate… We are confident that all spend has been correctly attributed to the appropriate return.”

It’s there in black and white – “What you’ve got left: -£17,652.89” – that looks like the true figure to Guido…

Labour Activist Outs Cat Smith’s Campaign Manager

singleton2

If Labour MP Cat Smith had declared her campaign organiser’s full salary in her election expenses, she would have bust her limit and broken electoral law. Instead, she declared just 12.5% of Ben Singleton’s wage because she claims he spent just 12.5% of his time on her campaign. Yet the above tweet from a fellow Labour activist outs Singleton as the man “who managed her campaign”. Added to the vast social media evidence here, there can be no doubt now that Singleton was in charge. It is simply not believable that he spent just 12.5% of his time on her campaign. Falsely declaring it as such would be against the law…

Guido has tried to ask Singleton for an explanation, but his phone is off and his email bounced back. He has also hidden his tweets from public view. This is now the key part of a live police investigation, so perhaps that’s why he doesn’t want to talk. Remember, Smith would have been over the spending limit if Singleton’s full salary had been declared. Cat got your tongue?

Knightly Loss of British Influence

night-knight-brit-influence

Drippingly Europhile British Influence appear to have made their co-President an unperson this morning. One minute he was there on the website under the ever-authentic Ken Clarke, the next minute “Sir” Anthony Bailey KGCN OBE was gone. Down the memory hole. Could it be anything to do with the fact that he was not actually knighted by Her Majesty?

Police Investigating Tessa Munt Election Expenses

Avon and Somerset Police have received several complaints about ex-LibDem MP Tessa Munt following Guido’s story on her election expenses. Munt, who hypocritically attacked the Tories over their spending declarations, herself failed to declare a battle bus which campaigned in her constituency. Asked about the Munt case, the cops tell Guido:

“Avon and Somerset Constabulary have received a number of allegations in relation to improper spending in the 2015 General Election. We will be applying for an extension to the time allowed to investigate and continue to liaise closely with the Electoral Commission.”

They are in court today applying for an extension to investigate local Tory MPs, which will now apply to Tessa too. She says she welcomes the police investigation. The question for all parties is this: If transport benefited both local and national campaigns, why were the costs not split between the local and national spend as required by law?

Eddie Izzard’s Hotel Bills Not Lawfully Declared

Eddie Izzard Alex Sobel Leeds Labour

On Sunday the Labour Party told Channel 4 News that they “never spent any mone y putting volunteers up in hotels during tours” in the general election. Channel 4 reported that “so far no evidence has emerged to contradict them”. Until now…

On April 20 2015, Eddie Izzard travelled to Leeds North West to campaign on behalf of Labour candidate Alex Sobel. As you can see above, Izzard had pictures taken with the candidate, in front of posters bearing the candidate’s name. There can be no doubt this was local campaigning…

Yet the invoice above shows Labour’s national campaign paid for Izzard’s hotel in Leeds on April 20. This is a flagrant breach of the rules – Izzard was an activist who campaigned for a local candidate, so his hotel bill should have been declared as part of the candidate’s local spend. It also shows Labour’s claim that they never put activists up in hotels to be untrue. Just because Izzard is a celebrity doesn’t mean he isn’t an activist, the rules still apply…

Munt Admits She Didn’t Declare Local Campaign Transport

Tessa Munt has confirmed to Guido she did not declare any battle bus costs in her local spend, telling us: “Nothing to declare! Leader’s bus different from activists bus all expenses paid.” The Electoral Commission however say that the a party leader’s transport costs, if used for local campaigning, should be split between the local and national spend. She has broken the rules…

Munt says she only jumped on to deliver some cider and cheese to Clegg’s team, sending us a photo that she reckons proves no local campaigning took place. Hilariously – and dishonestly – Munt cropped out the journalist and cameraman from her local paper. This is what she didn’t want us to see:

Clegg gave the local journalist quotes telling constituents to “vote for Tessa” –  that is demonstrably local campaigning. You can see why they were known as the FibDems…

“Cheated” LibDem Pictured Campaigning on Battle Bus

“My constituents should feel cheated,” whinged beaten ex-LibDem MP Tessa Munt to the BBC about the Tory election expenses scandal. The sore loser went even further on her Facebook page:

“The new Tory MP seems to have cheated the people of the Wells Constituency of a fair and just election result last May. Expenses should not be hidden, but be declared as the law requires.”

Oh should they, Tessa…

This photo shows Munt on the LibDem battle bus on May 5 2015. Nick Clegg used the journey to campaign specifically for Munt, resulting in not one but two stories in her local paper. Clegg told them:

“if you vote for Tessa, not only will you get a wonderful MP, but someone who is a member of a party who wants to balance the books”

Clearly this was both local and national campaigning. The Electoral Commission says the cost of such travel for a party leader and candidate should be split between the local and national spend:

“If the travel promotes both the local candidate and national policies, then a portion of the cost of that bus should be allocated towards the candidate’s spending limit and a portion towards the party’s national spending limit.”

Yet the LibDem battle bus was declared wholly as a national expense. Maybe Munt should take a look at her own failed campaign – and her own election expenses – before crying about how she was “cheated”…

Police Investigating Shadow Minister Over Election Expenses

Detectives have launched an investigation into shadow minister Cat Smith after Guido revealed a string of anomalies in her election expenses. Last week we reported that several thousand pounds were missing from the Labour MP’s spending declarations. Smith herself refused to comment, though her election agent denied wrongdoing. In the past few days Lancashire Police have received a number of complaints from members of the public, and last night they confirmed that detectives have launched an investigation. This is the first police investigation into a Labour MP over 2015 election expenses…

Worth noting that the Cat Smith case is different from all the other election expenses stories. Smith’s spending irregularities are not about battle buses or hotels for activists. Much more worryingly, this is about how she declared her office rent and staffing costs, many thousands of which were not declared in her campaign expenditure. As an individual case, this is more serious than any of the other election fraud stories of the last few weeks. Read Guido’s original story showing how Smith’s declarations were a work of financial fiction here

Crick Crick’d

Michael Crick finally touched on the Labour expenses fraud on Wednesday, having previously devoted his coverage to the Tory version of the story. After a brief chase around Smith Square, Guido caught up with him for a chat. On the other parties, he promises “more in the next few days”…

LibDem Who Complained to Police About Tory Election Fraud Broke Spending Rules

Former LibDem MP Adrian Sanders has been at the forefront of police complaints about election spending fraud. He even wrote a template letter for concerned constituents to dob candidates in to the cops:

“The criminal offence allegations if proven are very serious indeed. They may have determined who governs our country. It strikes at the very heart of democracy. It therefore affects everyone whether or not they reside in one of the constituencies mentioned in the media. If you want to help get this matter investigated a letter along the following lines to your Chief Constable might assist…”

Oh really…

The Representation of the People’s Act 1983 states that only candidates can send Election Addresses to voters. It explicitly says that only “a candidate” can “send free of charge for postage” an election communication, and that these must be candidate-specific rather than part of the national campaign. The Royal Mail confirm “a candidate mailing that is designed to secure the election… in another electoral constituency is unacceptable“. By definition candidates’ Election Addresses are therefore local spend and must be declared as such…

Adrian Sanders has confirmed to Guido that this was his invoice for his Election Return. As you can see, the £4,900 cost was split between national and local spend, in manifest breach of the rules:

When Guido phoned up Sanders to ask for an explanation, he angrily replied:

“You’d better report me to the police then. If you think there is an error here, report me to the police.”

He then hung up. If he’d declared it correctly, he’d have been £783 over the maximum limit…

Shadow Minister’s Missing Money Mystery

Cat Smith is a Shadow minister and leading Corbynista who worked for Jezza before he became leader. While investigating Labour’s election spending trickery, Guido came across a series of anomalies in Smith’s declarations. They raise questions about potentially thousands of pounds of missing money.

From December 2014 until the election, Labour rented a campaign office in the Fleetwood constituency Smith went on to win. The office is listed online with an annual rent price of £8,950. Yet throughout the entire long and short campaign, more than four months, Smith declared just £1544.60 in office rent for her HQ. Her election agent admits to Guido they only declared 50% of the rent because, they claim, the building was also used for council campaigning. They also say they agreed a price £1,000 below that advertised. This is the building from where Smith’s general election campaign was launched and entirely organised, yet she got round the rules by claiming it was only half used by her…

In the long campaign Smith declared £692.25 in staffing costs, in the short campaign she declared another £576.88. Yet the job advert for the Fleetwood organiser stated that the salary was £22,547 per annum. Remarkably, Smith claims her organiser Ben Singleton spent just 12.5% of his time on her general election campaign, and spent the vast majority helping the national campaign and council candidates. Believable? Well, during the election Singleton tweeted exclusively about Smith, and not about any other candidate. He was self-evidently a local rather than national campaigner. This is perhaps the most suspicious part of Smith’s declarations. She didn’t declare thousands in spending by claiming her main organiser barely did any work for her…

UNIONS

Throughout the long and short campaigns, Smith declared £8,210.49 for postage paid by trade unions and another £1,050 on letterheads. Unlike other candidates, she declared nothing for envelopes. Typically candidates declare a grand plus on envelopes for that amount of postage. Smith’s election agent says her envelopes were provided by Labour “centrally“. But they were used for her local campaign and were not declared…

Smith appears to have declared nothing for office stationery, printer costs and miscellaneous sundries. Despite this being highly irregular, Smith’s election agent claims it is a “moot point” and that they were all “one-off” items which “would not need to be declared“. Conveniently, this reduced her final spending declaration and meant she was able to spend more on other things…

Crucially Smith’s declared spending was just £2,000 under the limit. If it is found that any of the above was not declared properly, she would have exceeded her permitted spending, in breach of electoral law. Her declarations are clearly a work of financial fiction…

Another Labour MP Failed to Declare Campaign Battle Bus

This tweet shows Tom Watson and Jon Ashworth taking the Labour Express battle bus to Paula Sheriff MP’s Dewsbury constituency on March 7 2015.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Alan Sugar on Jeremy Corbyn:

“It’s clear you alluded to students refunds to get votes from young impressionable people. You are a cheat and should resign.”

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