UPDATE : ConservativeHome has the scoop here.
Hugh would do well to take a close look at Den Dover, who is clinging to some flimsy excuse that his wife and daughter are qualified to do their secretarial jobs. Guido wants to know for example where the public funds that went into his wife’s company, based in their home, that went on “property repairs” were spent. Why should public monies be spent on a secretarial service’s property repairs? If they went fixing the leak in the roof over his head he has to go.
Incidentally, Guido has emailed 10 questions to the third Tory MEP under suspicion at his parliamentary email address and his private office email address, faxed him at his constituency office, as well as in Brussels and Strasbourg. No reply as yet. If no reply is forthcoming by 5pm, Guido will be putting the information in the public domain for you to judge…
This morning Guido is looking at documents which show an MEP authorising six figure payments to himself – not a service company – an unincorporated, unregistered partnership of which prima facie he appears to be the beneficiary.
Guido is contacting the MEP’s office this morning with some serious urgent questions – looking for answers by the close of business today. It doesn’t look good on paper…
In reality it is criminal fraud. Returning once again to the subject, there are still, right now, 13 Tory MEPs who refuse to disclose what they have done with their expenses. Den Dover has a very similar set-up to Chichester, with hundreds of thousands of pounds paid to a family firm based in his home, he has a lot of questions to answer. Is it acceptable that public servants who work for the voters and spend public money won’t say where the money has gone? Guido doesn’t think so…
UPDATE : Apparently Chichester has already been re-selected to fight next years Euro-elections. Surely the Tories won’t want to run an expense fiddler? Surely?
He didn’t mention that as well as paying his wife and daughter some £376,916 in salary, the company in question is based at his home address. The company has spent £32,462 on “repairs”. Presumably repairs to a property. Guido wonders which property could that be getting repaired at the taxpayers expense?
Did Guido mention that the family firm has had £56,411 in motoring expenses off the taxpayer as well? Finally, and this takes the euro-biscuit, the family firm makes five figure profits. Whoops-a-Bloody-Daisy….
Why is his wife’s family firm profiteering out of his expense claims? Shouldn’t the claims and payments be made on a costs basis, rather than a profiteering basis? The family is troughing enough at the taxpayers expense already without rubbing our noses into it and profiteering.
The profiteering factor from bills from his wife, authorised by him, to a business based in the family home is worse than Derek Conway. In total he has authorised payments of £758,143 to his family’s firm since he joined the Euro-gravy train…
The silence from Labour and the Lib Dems on this issue is revealing – top Tory MEPs are fiddling the system and they have nothing to say? Guido has tried to get comments from the Labour and Liberal Democratic Brussels press offices. Why would they be so silent? Could it be that they are all at it? Guido is coming for them too…
The only on the record comment Guido got was from UKIP’s Nigel Farage “Mr Cameron said he wanted to ‘clean-up’ British politics but so far Chichester has only been summoned to the bridge. He needs to take tough action if he doesn’t want to be a hypocrite.” Exactly…
…whoops-a-daisy I am shown up to have made a mistake. OK, hands up, mea culpa and I am putting it right.
Not “whoops-a-daisy”, not a “mistake”, Giles Chichester deliberately and disgracefully used a front-company to profiteer from his own expense claims. That is unethical, dishonest and a resignation matter. He is supposed to be fighting waste and EU-fiddles – not designing them.
He is now trying the Peter Hain ruse of reporting himself to the authorities, after he has been caught, no doubt he will go on to apologise for his “errors”, claiming that is was somebody else’s fault that he mistakenly profited from taxpayers funds in a shady under-the-counter arrangement.
He is not the only Tory MEP blatantly profiteering. Guido will be revealing another “whoops-a-daisy” later this morning…
- Sir Robert Atkins
- Christopher Beazely
- John Bowis
- Philip Bushill-Matthews
- Martin Callanan
- Den Dover
- James Elles
- Malcolm Harbour
- Caroline Jackson
- Timothy Kirkhope
- John Purvis
- Struan Stevenson
- Robert Sturdy
That is an insurmountable conflict of interest. Even if, as is so often the way with political corruption, he faces no charges, he should at the very least be relieved of his position as Euro-Tory leader. David Cameron has publicly asked for “a full explanation and a detailed account of his Parliamentary expenses”. If it is not satisfactory or forthcoming, Chichester’s days on the Euro-gravy train are over…
Well, the Labour Party has 27 days to find £7.45m due by the end of the month. Where else are they going to find it?
The TUC no doubt went in to negotiate terms. Perhaps another bung from the government’s “union modernisation” fund to recycle into Labour Party coffers? Some new employment regulations? Perhaps a bit of public sector pay upward flexibility? Gordon will definitely have been listening to his paymaster…
Incidentally if you are wondering why LibDem and Labour MEPs are not attacking Chichester, the answer is obvious. They are all at it…
It turns out that the Tory frontbench is awash with covert cash from vested interests. Mortgage brokers funding the office of the Housing Shadow is pertinent. Cameron gave a high ground speech promising transparency and openness only two months ago. Well get on with it. If this is the finest democracy that money can buy, we want to know at least who is doing the paying. No more shadowy cash, if public money is paying we want receipts for every last single penny.
“Follow the money” is the basic rule of politics, where does the private money come from, where does the public money go? Not hard to understand is it? If donors don’t like publicity, don’t donate…
According to the Mayor Ken subsidised (until now) BLINK website, the downwardly mobile Jasper will be speaking to “upwardly mobile people like yourself who want to socialize with like-minded others in luxury surroundings that reflect where we are, at this stage of our careers and businesses.” In Jasper’s case that would be unemployed and under police investigation.
Gordon has fallen out with Bob Shrum, the unrivalled adviser to 8 losing Democratic Party presidential campaigns. Shrum was last seen at Heathrow, fleeing the country after a bollocking from an ungrateful Brown.
Still, the payments he picked up via the Smith Institute during his time as an adviser to Brown will cushion his hurt…
The DfES paid £1.3 million to KPMG in 2004 while the Home Office paid the company £90,000 for a review of the costing methodology of the ID Cards programme in 2005, both during Clarke’s tenure as the minister in charge.
Former Blairites cashing in on their ministerial experience with companies they regulated is becoming the norm:
- Patricia Hewitt, former Health Secretary, is now a special consultant at Alliance Boots, owner of Boots the pharmacist. UPDATE : Forgot BT – she of course knows something about crap, too big organisations from her NHS days. She was instrumental in awarding a contract for the huge NHS Spine project to BT.
- Alan Milburn, another former Health Secretary, is on the Healthcare Advisory Boards of Lloydspharmacy and PepsiCo.
- Ian McCartney, a former minister at the department in charge of nuclear policy, the DTI, is an adviser to Fluor Corporation, part of a consortium that is bidding to run Sellafield
- Richard Caborn, another former trade minister, is an advisor to AMEC UK, another company bidding to run Sellafield.
Clarke’s appointment was given the all clear by the relevant advisory committee. So that is alright then…
Account Name: George Galloway Election Fund
Account Number: 00 86 45 38
Sort Code: 30 90 47
DoB: 16 August 1954
Please make cheques payable to “George Galloway Election Fund” with your name and address on the back, so we can send you a receipt, and send it to: George Galloway Election Fund, PO Box 1109, London, N4 2UU. A luta continua…
“The Party has failed to deal with local breaches of its rules and electoral irregularities, and with criminal activities over a long period and there are now corruption and other investigations, surrounding certain senior members of my local Association. It is with great sadness that I therefore felt compelled to resign the Party whip. I hope my action in resigning will bring the necessary changes and therefore be in both the public and the Party’s best interests.”
Tories lose another MP at Westminster
MP Dr Bob Spink has resigned the Conservative Party whip because he is disappointed with the Party’s failure to address crime and corruption within the Party.
Dr Spink remains a committed and principled Conservative.
UPDATE II : Bob Spink emails again with a press release setting out his side of the spin:
“For the Conservative Party to now imply they withdrew the whip from me is brass-necked dishonesty. This sort of low-political deceit is why the public hold politicians in such deep contempt.
The Chief Whip said my resignation would disrupt the Party Spring Conference this weekend and asked me to reconsider, or at least to delay announcement. I refused.
He also asked me to meet with him, the Party Chairman, Chairman of the 22 Committee, and Dominic Grieve MP a Tory solicitor, and I did so this morning when they sought to get me to change my mind. I refused and at 12 noon today I informed Sir Michael Spicer, the Chairman of the 22 Cttee, that I was irrevocably set on resignation. I announced my resignation on the floor of the House this afternoon.
I remain a committed and principled Conservative and will continue to sit on the Tory benches.”
Extracts of an Email sent by Bob Spink on 11th March 15.47 to the Chief Whip Patrick Mcloughlin
Dear Patrick, It is not in the public interest for me to remain within a party that supports improper and criminal actions against an MP or democracy. I therefore intend to resign the whip….
If you wish, we can discuss how to handle my resignation, including publicity and the withdrawal of facilities.
Extracts from letter dated 12th March from the Chief Whip to Dr Bob Spink MP:
Further to your letter of resignation received by email yesterday afternoon, and our discussion today, I am writing to confirm the removal of the Whip with immediate effect.
‘The Chairman has counselled you strongly to await the Executive Council next week….’ 12/3/08
Guido suspects that Spink is going in a huff because he faced deselection by his own constitutency association who were not happy about him employing his lover / wife / lover’s daughter etcetera. This promises to be an enjoyable bun fight…
The unpopular parts of the blogosphere are complaining about Guido’s comparison of the monies received by Tom Watson’s family and the amount received by Derek Conway’s family. None of them dispute that the Watsons suck on the teat of the taxpayer to a far greater extent than the Conways ever did. Not one has disputed the £300,000+ figure, they just weakly claim that the Watson family do more work.
Well Guido has some news coming folks… this is as they say “a developing story”. Guido has a track-record of leading on sleaze stories ahead of the dead-tree-press, ask Peter Hain.
The Commons Standards Committee, which investigated the case, has said there was not enough evidence to refer it. Blair hints that this is not the protocol that is supposed to be followed. Guido wonders if Sir George Younger is really qualified or motivated enough to conduct criminal investigations.
If Conway has done nothing wrong why was he suspended from parliament? Why are his wrong doings not ordinary matters for the criminal justice system? Do MPs think they are above the law?
UPDATE : Almost forgot, Duncan Borrowman, Conway’s LibDem opponent in Bexley and Sidcup wrote to the Commissioner in January.
The charge-sheet is getting longer and the voices getting louder, if he had any sense he would stand down before a way is found to push him out.[…] Read the rest