Police urged to investigate fraud allegations against Osborne

… by me.

What follows is the text of my complaint to the Metropolitan Police (via their website)  about George Osborne’s paddock scam. I have received a large volume of responses to my article about this yesterday, all but one of which agreed with my belief that what he did was a criminal offence and should be investigated with a view to prosecution and imprisonment.

I would strongly urge others to contact the Met regarding this case. I’ve done it; you can do it too. The more of us stand up and demand action, the more seriously they are likely to view this matter.

Here’s what I wrote:

It has emerged that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon George Osborne MP, has been misusing taxpayers’ money for his own enrichment and for that reason I have been urged to request a criminal investigation concerning fraud. From the evidence that is publicly available, it seems clear that this is an offence according to s.16 of the Theft Act, 1968.

We know that Mr Osborne bought a farmhouse in Cheshire, along with the neighbouring land, for £455,000 in 2000, before he became an MP in 2001. Between 2003 and 2009, he claimed up to £100,000 in expenses to cover mortgage interest payments on both the land and the building. The mortgage was interest-only. After 2003, he never paid a penny himself.

He re-mortgaged in 2005, increasing the amount to £480,000 – again on an interest-only basis – to cover the initial purchase costs and £10,000 for repairs. He was using public money to claw back his outlay on the property so, from then on, we can say that none of the money paid on that building or land was ever paid by Mr Osborne. It all came from the taxpayer.

During the MPs’ expenses scandal of 2009 we learned that he had “flipped” his second home allowance onto the farmhouse building and increased the mortgage. What we didn’t know was that the expenses payments were not just for the house, but for the paddock as well; it is registered separately with the Land Registry.

Mr Osborne sold the house and the land – both of which are now firmly established as having been funded with taxpayers’ money, not his own – last year, for £1 million. That’s more than double the original price. He has pocketed that money; the taxpayer won’t get any of it back.

So he has exploited taxpayers like you and me to make £1 million for himself. This was not a necessary expense to help him discharge his Parliamentary duties; it seems clear that it was a property scam.

I wish also to invite you to take action against this person for any other offences which may apply, such as false accounting (s.17, Theft Act 1968).

Obviously, since the crime relates to expenses claims, the location is wherever MPs’ expenses claims are considered. I would suggest this is the Palace of Westminster (the Houses of Parliament) but I am prepared to be corrected on this.

The victims of this crime are the taxpayers of the UK. Mr Osborne took money that was available to Parliament through taxation, therefore no single person can claim they are the victim but all taxpayers have been affected. Please be reminded that we are discussing a considerable sum of money – up to £100,000.

I refer you to the following press reports of the issue, in which it is made clear that Mr Osborne did not need this building or the adjoining land to discharge his Parliamentary duties, nor did he pay back anything like the amount he claimed, when he was found to have overclaimed for mortgage interest on the farmhouse (and only the farmhouse):

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/dec/07/taxpayers-paid-george-osborne-paddock-mortgage

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/george-osborne-included-a-horses-paddock-1477294

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/george-osborne-included-a-horses-paddock-1477294

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/georgeosborne/9729139/George-Osborne-bought-paddock-with-taxpayers-money.html

I realise this is an unusual complaint but the situation is the subject of considerable public unrest and I believe it is right to bring it to the attention of the police. There is a widespread feeling that Mr Osborne has committed a crime, that this should be investigated to the fullest extent, and that a criminal action should be brought against him. It is understood that this person holds one of the highest offices in the land but this should not place him above the criminal law.

77 thoughts on “Police urged to investigate fraud allegations against Osborne

  1. Dave

    George osborne needs to be accountable the same as anyone else he is not above or beyond the law despite that he might think

  2. redjolly1

    Hi can we put this on the DPAC web please-sure a lot of disabled people accused of fraud without any recourse to defence would like to complain to the Met too cheers Debbie ( DPAC)

    1. Mike Sivier

      Yes of course you can.
      The only reason I didn’t cross-post the link onto the DPAC Facebook page was I couldn’t see any link between this and disability and didn’t want to spam.

      1. ria evans

        is there anywhere we can sign and share this as a petion against Osborne I will sign. why should they get all the benefit and we the people are going hungry and our children are losing out on a family home and life

  3. Tom

    Mike,

    You might have more luck with this if you took it up with Liberty UK, the CAB, or some other organisation which would be able to help you file a prosecution. I don’t think you’ll have much luck complaining to the police.

    Best of luck in any case.

    1. Mike Sivier

      You might be right but I think it’s necessary to go through the ordinary channels that anyone would reasonably believe they should follow, before exploring extraordinary options. We are citizens of the UK; so is he. The law is supposed to be for all of us and this is a way of testing that.

      1. Nicki Dawes

        Would be ok if the government hadn’t been closing CAB’s by the handful recently maybe you would be able to go to one.. If all else fails could you consider a civil suit?lol… best of luck and i will copy this complaint to my local police, too.

  4. francis healy -mcadam

    Mike, I agree with what you are doing, but you must know that the law is not for us ordinary people, but an instrument to protect people like Osborne from us. It is neither blind nor even handed: A rioter stealing a bottle of water gets months in jail. A cop criminally assaulting a man who dies, with hundreds of witnesses and film footage goes free. A local authority responsible for neglect resulting in the deaths of 4 firefighters? £30,000 fine. Osborne is not even in jeapordy for his revolting theft from us.

    1. Dave CenTauR

      Tbh, that’a a bit naughty. The ‘cop’ was using a recognised method for forcing a belligerent member of the public to comply with repeated instructions to move on. The issue wasn’t just what we all saw on main TV. It had been on-going further up the street that had been closed by police due to concerns over public safety, as well as their own safety. This chap wanted to walk up that street but couldn’t because it had been closed off. On other coverage you can see him making it difficult for the officers to do their job. After a while the afore-mentioned officer pushed him to force him to move along – with tragic consequences as he lost his footing and fell. It’s an absolute tragedy for all involved.

      1. Chris Blackmore (The Walrus)

        Clearly, what you saw is not what I saw. I saw a man hit so hard in the back with a weapon that he suffered internal injuries that killed him. If you think that is a “recognised method” you are as bad as them.

  5. francis healy -mcadam

    I’m not even sure he has committed any fraud in respect of the interest only mortgage on the property (unless there has been a complication like a remortgage with cash going from lender to slimy George). You are on much better ground with the paddock: It’s not part of the property, or neccessary for the use of the property. If it has been bundled together with the property to falsely claim excess mortgage interest expenses for his home then it sounds like straightforward fraud and false accounting. But we both know he will get away with it. These are the wolves that feed upon the sheep. We dont even expect justice.

    1. Mike Sivier

      He claimed enough to pay interest on the full mortage (house and paddock) while stating it was only for the house. Fraud and false accounting – as you say.
      As regards your concerns over whether the law is upheld equally and without favour, this issue is a way of testing that. If the system is found wanting, then it will be up to us – the people – to campaign for change. Here in the UK we are notoriously bad at that (or have been, lately). That’s why politicians have been able to get away with taking so much from us, over recent years.

      1. Fiona

        Can we not all copy your letter and send it to our local MP’s? Making them aware of a possibility of a an ensuing scandal? Stating that is a copy of a complaint made on the Police’s own website. This because it will force the police to take it seriously before George has time to alter any paperwork! I think your complaint well written and totally clear, so the police have no excuse! We should all phone the police anonymous line and read out your letter!

    2. Ella Burton

      He shouldn’t be claiming ANYTHING on a home that he has not had to buy to carry out his Parliamentary duties. These would or should not be acceptable expenses under any definition of the term!

      1. Mike Sivier

        He said he needed the house to carry out his duties, but the extra land went undeclared. Why he would need a paddock to do an MP’s work is beyond me. How much work he carried out at that house is also unknown to me.

  6. colin

    if this is true then osborne is a thief if he is convicted then he should be fired from his job thatl be 1 criminal not runing our country in the meantime lets not forget all those people dying as a result of being decleared fit for work by the governments puppits atos THIS GOVERNMENT ARE MURDERING US.

  7. John Henderson

    It is a sad fact, that this will be yet another case of David V Goliath where Goliath wins (as is all too frequent senior with public Officials / Servants)
    If one can’t BUY Justice then one wont receive it! (keep a eye on the Max Clifford case )

    1. Mike Sivier

      If that IS a fact, John, then it’s time for a change. That can only happen if enough people get together and demand it. I hope you’ve filled in the online form or made a complaint by other means.

  8. Silver

    Good Luck Mike,attack on as many fronts as possible.The publicity,in itself,helps the Toxic Tory image.Really appreciate all you are doing.

  9. Jonathan Malory

    If this is all true it’s totally outrageous. It’s the kind of thing UK media are always accusing Third World dictatorship types of doing. I t also highlights how ignorant this person is to think it’s acceptable to do this, and/or that no one would care to notice.

  10. Jacqui Butterworth

    Hi Mike
    I tried to contact the police online-not sure if it got through as a bit complicated. I hope it was alright to copy your letter as it was brilliant-far better than anything I could put together. If I should not have copied please let me know. Also can I copy and distribute to concerned citizens,

    Regards, Jacqui

    1. Mike Sivier

      I would have preferred it in your own words. If the police get a series of complaints written in exactly the same way, they might believe they’re all coming from the same person or organisation and be less likely to pursue it, I think.
      I’m fine with you distributing it on to other people, as long as you ask them to re-word it. Thanks for the kind words about my own writing, but the aim is to get a proper investigation going, and you can do that even if your spelling is bad and you get the details in the wrong order (neither of which, I’m sure, apply to you).
      I’m hoping to put out an update later today, as more information about the process comes to light.
      For right now, I know that the police have recorded a crime number for this situation, and they have passed it to the relevant office for investigation.

  11. Mike Sivier

    In reply to Fiona: I would certainly encourage everybody reading this to write to their MP and, as part of that letter, if you want to quote what I wrote, that’s fine by me (but say you are quoting what somebody else wrote, otherwise they may get together and decide that everybody quoting me is, in fact, one person spamming them all under different names and addresses!
    I would advise you to hold off for a little while, though. I’ve got an ‘Osborne Update’ to write, having heard from the Metropolitan Police, that might be illuminating. It won’t be for a couple of hours (it’s nearly 8pm as I write this) but I hope the wait will be worthwhile.

    1. Mike Sivier

      … and send it where?
      This is a crime. The correct thing to do when you know about a crime is report it to the police. They have to act on reported crime. If enough people call for action on THIS crime, it sends a very firm message out to the politicians.

  12. Gerry Dickinson

    He and all those including CAMRON NEED TO ANSWER TO THESE EXPENCES THEY GOT INCLUDING THE MONIES PAID FOR FOOD WINE AND TV LICENCES ITS ROBBING US PUBLIC lets face it they won a joint government not just a tory They all must pay our money back and those who did it befor this last election n

  13. John Evans

    Might it not be a good idea to copy this to every newspaper and magazine that you possibly can worldwide. I am no good with computers and still consider them to be one of Satan’s little irritants on mankind but I am sure you can contact others to spread the load. I imagine that Ian Hislop at Private Eye would be interested.

    1. Mike Sivier

      The newspapers that ran the original story have been contacted and one has certainly indicated an interest in doing a follow-up story. As for the others… There is an issue over where their allegiances lie. I won’t be contacting anyone else but I’m happy for anyone reading this to contact any media organisation they like, and drum up support. It’s better if it comes from more than one person, too.

  14. Peter Boiston

    Glad i have read this. But feel sick and depressed because i am going to collect my £47 industrial injury benefit up so i can feed my gas and electricity for a week .
    I started my job in the 70s when the tories got in and ive not seen them do anything for the poor.

  15. Paul Holton

    I am a public servant and if i was to claim a penny over on my mileage claim of what i was entitled to, the likelihood is i would lose my job and be prosecuted for fraud and quiet rightly. My mileage expenses are to but cut by 10p pr mile soon on top of a pay freeze for the last 3 years, and these idiots want a 30% + pay rise! Why is the situation different for these people? simply they are criminals and need to be stopped. And oh it is likely i will lose my job soon in the next rond of savage cuts to public services, or be transfered to the private sector to do the same job, they are already commissioning money out to the private sector to pick up the work left by my departing colleagues. They are committing crimes against the people and need to be stopped.

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  17. A John Coles

    I wish there were more of us that could get collectively involved without having the brains of a lawyer. Every success in all that you do in this. Its time this rascal was brought to give account for himself

  18. Mhara Costello

    A really excellent letter; Clear and precise, leaving no one in any doubt of the facts.Will be interesting to see how the police attempt to ‘wriggle out’ of doing their lawful (and public) duty on this one. Which they undoubtedly, (and depressingly) will. I’ve forwarded a copy to my MP Grahame Morris. One of the few, a good man.

    1. A John Coles

      I understood the police were there to do their lawful, public duty without fear or favour, irrespective as to who or what was involved. Can we not get a petition together to shame them and whoever else is involved in bringing this to a non prejudicial conclusion

      1. Mhara Castello

        Hi John, re “lawful public duty” etc; that’s how it’s supposed to work. Unfortunately, we all know different. A petition’s worth considering – maybe better to await the outcome of Mikes letter first? And Mikes views on the matter. As for “the brains of a lawyer,” I take your point, but what ‘we the people’, MAY lack in ‘brains’, we more than make up for in integrity. A word this present bunch of shysters (allegedly a government) could never even begin to comprehend.

      2. A John Coles

        We’ll just have to heap on more pressure then, get more people involved. I’m sure there are more than enough folk that would like to see justice done in this particular case. A petition would be at least a start

  19. A6er

    Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating and commented:
    From Mike Sivier’s renowned blog Vox Political, his attempt to get an investigation started in regards to Chancellor George Osbourne using tax payers money to pay for a farmhouse and land he bought in 2000 for £455,000. Full story follows…

    1. Malcolm Burt

      I`m pleasantly surprised to have this coming through again,as i thought it was dead & buried at one stage.If Mike has got all these details,there must be other politicians from various parties who are aware of these facts & if so,why has it been left to a journalist to expose?

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  21. Mike

    Best to convince the police that George is a celebrity. They’ll focus in on him then. (or has that game become boring now?)

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  23. Clare

    every member of government likely do the same …the chief of police is hardly likely to challenge it they are all one and the same , we have corrupt government and a corrupt police service to boot , they will no doubt be sat together sipping champagne and laughing at your request ..sadly thats how it is and always has been

  24. stephanie

    i think the law should change and its about time police did there jobs and started taken them to court for fraud and let them do time in the nick and make them pay back the money then hit on everyone and stop this and teach them a lesson , they do it to everyone else why is it they get off so easy it makes me mad we work just as hard as them we dont get any special treatment ,

  25. Diana Allinson

    If this is correct. And I can’t see any reason to believe otherwise then a thorough investigation should ensue forthwith. No one should be immune regardless of status.

    1. Terry Cfc Poole

      it appears that according to government legislation, MPs are immune from prosecution whilst in public office….im sure that I read it somewhere, perhaps it can be checked out, and the point verified, if at all.

  26. b-b-p

    The banks control the City Corporation. The City Corporation controls the City of London police. The City of London police state their purpose is “to protect the UK from economic crime” and they take the lead role on that for UK policing.

  27. paul higley

    ive aske the mmet police to investigate the above and expenses fraud comited by cameron and ian duncan smith which is all registered with the national audit office/ive had no reply

  28. florence arthur

    This whole government are corrupt, but h should be prosecuted for fraud against the taxpayers of this country ,and the uk as a whole. time the Met did what it is supposed to do, or are they the governments yes men ???.its a disgusting state of affairs and should be investigated NOW.

  29. Lynda

    I think the police should look in to Mr Osborne because there is no smoke with out fire if this is right he should be done for fraud and jailed like other people that get caught for claiming money they are not entitled to after all he just a person not god

  30. sandy thomson

    you had my sympathy’s until you talked the biggest load of s*** about that poor man who died at the hands of the police, just like you Osborne is economical with the truth

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