Calls for Robert Jenrick to be removed from his role as a housing minister are escalated after he admitted he knew he was saving tycoon Richard Desmond between £30m and £50m by approving plans for a £1 billion development at Westferry, London – in defiance of planning rules.
Desmond subsequently gave the Conservative Party a £12,000 donation, raising questions about this being a “cash-for-favours” scandal.
According to the Mail:
He insisted ‘all the rules were followed’ over the 1,500-home development in east London.
But he told MPs he knew that the timing of his decision would save the businessman a fortune.
Steve Reed, Labour’s housing spokesman, urged Mr Jenrick to make a full Commons statement, publish all correspondence and ‘disclose all conversations with all Government ministers and officials’.
In response, the Cabinet minister said information relating to the decision has now been passed to Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill.
So he knew he was breaking planning regulations – in fact Jenrick had to quash the planning permission he had granted, as a result of the scandal, and he knew that doing this would benefit the developer, who subsequently rewarded the Tories with a donation. And he isn’t publishing anything.
He still says he’s innocent of wrongdoing, but Jenrick must know how suspicious his behaviour looks.
Indeed, anti-corruption expert Elizabeth David-Barrett, a professor of governance and integrity who is also the director of the Centre for the Study of Corruption at the University of Sussex, has already said he should have resigned:
“In most previous governments, Robert Jenrick would have resigned well before now.
“The questionable conduct that is tolerated and defended in this current government is creating a dangerous new world in which standards in public life are seen as a concept from the past, and personal patronage and loyalty are now prized higher than combatting corruption.
“Although Robert Jenrick eventually reversed the decision on the Westferry scheme, under threat of legal action, this should not be the end of the matter.
“If there is no subsequent investigation into alleged misconduct, then the message that sends is that ministers can do whatever they like and just reverse the decision if their actions are questioned. The system needs to be preventive and act as a deterrent.”
Fat chance of that, under Boris Johnson!
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:
Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.
1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.
2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical
3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com
And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!
If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!
Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.
The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here: