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. That he was involved in efforts to hide MP’s expenses from Freedom of Information requests shows he is clearly the wrong person to lead parliament into a more open and transparent future. The revelation that the Speaker claims mortgage subsidy allowance for a property without a mortgage when he already lives in a grand manner at the public expense is a fiddle too far. This is an abuse fo the system which Martin has been using to featherbed his lifestyle and subsidise even his family’s lifestyle. Time to say “goodbye” Mr Speaker…
That is a little strange for a man who likes to think of himself as an important Welsh Labour Party mover and shaker, usually he can be found glad handing and ingratiating himself with the Welsh Labour Party’s big-wigs in the bars. Wonder why he didn’t attend? Why miss out on all those photo and client-opportunities?
Could it be that he was a little embarrassed about his efforts on behalf of Hillary Clinton? Surely not. Could it be that despite all the spin from Morgan Allen Moore about the lobbyist industry’s APPC professional standards investigation going nowhere, it is getting seriously embarrassing for Morgan?
Morgan spun a line to the public affairs trade press that the complaint had been lodged by an aggrieved Tory ex-employee and would go nowhere. However when the APPC Management Committee met on 5 February they concluded there was a cause for complaint and referred it to the APPC’s Professional Practices Panel.
International spin merchants Grayling were rumoured to be on the verge of a multi-million pound takeover deal for MAM until this scandal blew-up and they pulled out days before the deal was to be agreed. Grayling were one of the founders of the APPC. Guido tried to get confirmation from David Thomas, Grayling’s finance director, without success…
Speaker Fiddled Family Flights on Taxpayer’s Airmiles
Gordon’s Undeclared Rent Under Investigation
Wendy Praised Campaign Donors in Parliament
24 London MPs Claim £20,000+ Overnight Accommodation
Has Guido missed any sleaze? Answers in the comments please – will update above.
Politically motivated mud throwing, technical reporting error / potentially honest mistake.
Definitely dodgy, unethical rule bending
Potentially fraudulent or criminal activity
Purnell Fiddles Primary Residence to Dodge Tax
This is the classic property trick by politicians. Claim the mortgage subsidy allowance by saying your London home is your second home and the constituency home is your primary residence. When the MP comes to sell the London property this is a problem, only primary residences qualify to escape capital gains tax. Guido highlighted the primary/second home trick in December 2005 (see Four Lords a Fiddlin’). Guido is not going to give Purnell three pigs for fraudulent misrepresentation because he is so slippery he probably would escape prosecution.
David Davis Campaign Donation Declared by Lieutenants
A businessman who gave £20,000 to “essentially” support Basher Davis’ bid for the Tory crown had his donation declared by Andrew Mitchell and Nick Herbert. They say they used the money to support a researcher who worked on the Davis campaign.
Multi-Millionaire Paxman Pays Staff Below Minimum Wage
Well, well, well – according to his ex-staff he paid them £200 for a forty hour week, gave them no payslips, no contract and no agreed holidays. He treated them with his characteristic arrogance and high handedness. Answer the question Paxo – Did you pay tax and national insurance on their wages? The Screws story also re-hashes some of his affairs.
Peers Fiddle Tens of Thousands in Allowances
Labour peer Baroness Billingham, who has a flat in Hampstead and a country house in Suffolk claimed £26,983 in 2006-07 in overnight allowances inexplicably. Another Labour peer and former senior trade unionist Lord Brett, who lists his address in Who’s Who as a flat in Dolphin Square declares his main residence as his home in Cumbria allowing him to claim £27,887 last year. This scam is outright fiddling which Guido pointed to years ago.
Michael Ancram Claims £20,000 to Paint House
Yet more piggery, the multi-millionaire 13th Marquess of Lothian and Earl, Michael Ancram explains that the taxpayer had to paint his property and remove moss from the garden. Why?
Will the political class mention at PMQs the issue that the rest of us want to hear about?
Is it any wonder that the latest Populus poll has 73% of the population viewing all politicians as equally sleazy, with 14% thinking Brown’s government is more sleazy than the Major government. Dave is sufficiently worried about the sleaze issue re-surfacing that he has summoned Tory MPs to an emergency meeting of the parliamentary party.
This definition is doing the rounds at the moment:
Politics pol·i·tics, pronunciation: ˈpä-lə-ˌtiks
- noun plural but singular or plural in construction
- Greek politika, from neuter plural of politikos political. From poli meaning many and tics which means blood sucking grubs.
Which seems correct to Guido…
*via Chris Dillow.
Bob Spink, employs his former wife as a £28,000-a-year secretary, even though she lives 150 miles from his constituency. Apparently this is not alimony, she manages databases for him. He also employed his lover and her daughter.
Nicholas and Ann Winterton claim rent subsidy allowance to pay the rent on a flat they owned outright and which they put in a trust for their children. Effectively meaning the taxpayer pays their children £30,000 a year for nothing.
Mail on Sunday
Alan Johnson, the health secretary, gave special access to a National Health Service contractor owned by one of the biggest donors to his deputy leadership campaign, holding a private meeting in his offices with Dr Reg Race of Quality Health, who had earlier given £5,000 to Johnson’s deputy leadership campaign.
Wendy Alexander faces prosecution over foreign donations scandal.
So you have another 24 hours to put in any further complaints…
Duncan Borrowman, his LibDem challenger has complained not only to the police about Derek, but about his son to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.
More sleaze due today : Lord Hoyle is up in front of a Lords disciplinary committee this afternoon. He got caught taking cash for introducing an arms company lobbyist to the minister in charge of weapons purchases in the Lords.
Doug Hoyle was a former Labour MP and government whip before hopping on the unelected gravy train, although not a hereditary peer his son Lindsay is the MP for Chorley, so the family will suckle on the teat of the taxpayer for many years to come. If Doug is found guilty of abusing his position will Gordon Brown remove the Labour whip from him? Has the moral compass lost all sense of direction?
The important thing is, he has now dealt with the sleaze issue decisively. What is Gordon going to do? After the Abrahams scandal broke Gordon demanded the resignation of Peter Watt. He told the monthly press conference immediately afterwards that undeclared donations were unlawful and unacceptable and that was why Watt had to go.
Since then we have had Hain – he went – but we still have Harman, Johnson and Wendy. Why haven’t they gone? They broke the law. Why are they still lawmakers and ministers of the crown?
Looks like we should have ordered champagne….
(Great headline in the Mail, where do they get their ideas?)
Cameron has the power to withdraw the whip from Conway, his constituency party have the power to withdraw their support for him as a candidate. What is it to be?
Incidentally, do you think we will see articles from Sir Michael White et al explaining that it is a trivial amount of money? Will we see those who have been writing apologia on behalf of Hain, Harman, Johnson and Wendy Alexander doing the same for Derek Conway? Don’t hold your breath…
Guido has learnt that the APPC has received a complaint from James Davenport, a former employee of Morgan Allen Moore, concerning ten separate breaches of the APPC Code of Conduct by Steve Morgan, Hain’s campaign manager. The book is well and truly being thrown at “Morgan the Organ”…
When The Times asked Clement-Jones who it was who put Hameed forward for a peerage, he said that he had “no idea” who had proposed Lord Hameed. After The Times said it had evidence that it was him, he said: “I couldn’t remember that. That’s fine. I thought he was a very upstanding member of the Asian community and somebody who would make a very good peer.” An amazingly quick recall of why he proposed him when seconds earlier he couldn’t even remember proposing Hameed.
It gets worse, no declaration of the donations was declared to the Lords Appointments Committee. Lord Dholakia, the deputy leader of the LibDems and their representative sitting on the Committee knows Hameed but denies he knew he was the third biggest donor to the party. The party of course denies any link between the cash and putting Hameed forward for an honour. Stinks doesn’t it? Maybe Chris Huhne will write another letter to the police about it…
As was always intended, we will make a final decision as to whether to seek a prosecution following the conclusion of the all-party Public Administration Select Committee’s deliberations. They will be publishing their report into “Honours and Propriety” on Wednesday.
Well over two hundred people have pledged financial support for a prosecution. As we have seen with this second Donorgate wave of Labour fundraising sleaze, there will be no end to corrupt political fundraising until those concerned realise that they risk jail. This can’t be allowed to go on unpunished. Harman, Hain and others claim ignorance of the law and forgetful mistakes. The opportunity to unforgettably impress on politicians the disgust of voters with the system is approaching…