Michael Crick reckons he has enough to call in the cops on alleged Tory by-election overspends. Did the Tories break the rules with their hotel bills in Newark, and while fighting UKIP in Clacton and Rochester?
The Guardian reports that Israel’s most recent ambassador to the UK, Daniel Taub, returned to Jerusalem “after being repeatedly warned over security breaches at his residence in St John’s Wood”. Apparently “the breaches related to late night visits by individuals to his official home”. The Israeli media is rife with scandalous speculation.
News site Ynet reports lurid, unverified claims that married Taub
“brings men home without reporting them to the embassy’s security officer as required by security procedures”
There are ever wilder rumours floating around elsewhere, though it’s perhaps worth noting that conspiracy theories of this type are nothing new. Not like the Guardian to go in for salacious rumour-mongering…
Corbynista MP Dawn Butler indulged us with the “new, kinder politics” at PMQs:
Dawn would know all about “sh***ing all over the working class”.
Back in 2009, she was exposed in the expenses scandal for over-claiming £2,600 in rent for her constituency home.
She claimed claimed twice for the rent, deposit and charges relating to her second home.
Shamed Butler charged the taxpayer a whirlpool bath in a suite that cost £2,308.
She also claimed the full £23,000 second home allowance, despite her first home in Stratford being the same distance from Parliament.
Go on, Dawn, tell us more about “sh***ing all over the working class…”
The parliamentary expenses watchdog is investigating DUP MP Jim Shannon over irregularities with his expenses:
“The Compliance Officer for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has today opened an investigation into claims made under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses by Jim Shannon MP. The claims in question relate to travel and subsistence expenditure.”
As with the case of Tory MP Bob Blackman in 2014, IPSA are refusing to disclose any information about what the actual allegations against Shannon are. The case against him will be heard in secret to prevent “reputational damage to MPs”. Shannon submitted the highest expenses claims of any MP in both 2013-14 and 2014-15, claiming £235,000 and £264,500 each year. At the time he blamed the huge bill on his staffers being ill. Surely his constituents have a right to know what is he supposed to have done wrong?
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Simon Danczuk has come out swinging on LBC, telling Iain Dale he doesn’t rule out being the victim of a set-up. Most worryingly for the Corbynistas who want to expel him, he also doesn’t rule out running against Labour as an independent in 2020…
Simon Danczuk speaks:
“It’s not for ex-girlfriends or ex-wives to determine who the MP for Rochdale is, it’s for the residents of Rochdale to determine who the MP for Rochdale is.”
A by-election between an independent Danczuk, a Corbynista Labour candidate and UKIP would be box office…
Labour say in a statement:
“The General Secretary of the Labour Party has today suspended Simon Danczuk’s membership of the Party, pending an investigation into allegations published in the media today. A full investigation will now take place under the authority of the National Executive Committee, which will be responsible for determining any further action.”
The Corbynistas finally have their revenge. Only fitting that it comes courtesy of a Sun front page…
UPDATE: Danczuk speaks:
12 days ago, Tory MP Ben Howlett disputed Lord Feldman’s claim that he was “wholly unaware” of the Mark Clarke allegations prior to August, insisting his party chairman “has been well aware of all of this for a very long period of time”. Howlett made the claim in a Newsnight interview pre-recorded before CCHQ released Feldman’s line, but aired afterwards. At the time Howlett was seen as a whistleblower bravely speaking out against his party.
It would seem from his Newsnight interview that Howlett has information that could clear up whether or not Feldman misled the public. Guido contacted him on five separate occasions yesterday, politely asking for a quick clarification of why he believed Feldman had known of allegations against Clarke “for a very long period of time”. Howlett read the messages, but failed to respond. He did however find the time to visit a ‘gin bar’ in his constituency.
Is Howlett being lent on to keep silent and protect Feldman, or was his initial allegation incorrect? Why, after bravely speaking out two weeks ago, is he now refusing to clear up this crucial point once and for all? Hardly encouraging when there are already allegations of a cover up. Either Lord Feldman and Ben Howlett is not telling the truth. Which is it?
Lord Feldman’s line since he was dragged into the Tory bullying scandal has been that he was “wholly unaware” of allegations against Mark Clarke until August 2015. On 18 November, a Conservative spokesman said:
“Lord Feldman acted immediately to set up an internal disciplinary inquiry as soon as he received the allegations in August 2015, of which he was previously wholly unaware.”
On 22 November, Feldman himself told the Mail on Sunday:
“I was wholly unaware of allegations of bullying and inappropriate sexual conduct by Mr Clarke prior to August 2015”
Does this stand up to scrutiny?[…] Read the rest
Guido has been leaked a cache of private Facebook messages sent by Alexandra Paterson, the chairman of the Tory youth wing who was Rob Halfon’s lover and a close ally of scandal-hit Mark Clarke. In the messages, Paterson faces accusations that she has been bullying young Tory activists.[…] Read the rest
The SNP wasted no time in throwing their disgraced MP Michelle Thomson under a bus during her property scandal back in September. The allegations surfacing against Natalie McGarry yesterday have also warranted a police investigation, so Scottish Labour have demanded consistency from Nicola Sturgeon:
[…] Read the rest
The allegations about missing donations to Women for Independence (WFI) are very concerning.
A very curious story developing up in Scotland, where an SNP MP is cooperating with the police after thousands of pounds went missing from her pro-Indy campaign group. Unpopular Natalie McGarry, the MP for Glasgow East, was one of the founding members of “Women for Independence”.[…] Read the rest
The latest revelations in this morning’s Telegraph allege that a 22 year-old activist woke up in a Tory MP’s bed with no memory of the night before. One MP is threatening an injunction, and at least three others have been accused of inappropriately having sexual relations with young volunteers on Mark Clarke’s infamous RoadTrip campaigns.[…] Read the rest
Expelled Tory Mark Clarke, the CCHQ election guru at the centre of explosive bullying and blackmail allegations, is a former lover of Cabinet minister Justine Greening, reports today’s Sun. Greening was the MP for Putney during 2010 while Clarke was the Tory A-list candidate in the neighbouring Tooting constituency.[…] Read the rest