Here’s the story:
Today the Tories will effectively vote to legalise six-figure corporate sponsorship of MPs
— David__Osland (@David__Osland) November 3, 2021
Former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has committed “egregious” breaches of Parliamentary rules by taking nearly three times as much cash for “paid advocacy” of private firms that employed him.
He broke official lobbying rules, and he smeared the independent commissioner who investigated these breaches.
His advocacy of one of the companies, Randox, meant faulty Covid-19 testing kits were supplied to care homes and had to be recalled. The resulting delay may have caused the deaths of 30,000 care home residents and staff.
The Independent Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards ruled that he must be suspended from Parliament for 30 working days. The length of time means a by-election could be called and he could be ejected from Parliament altogether. Read the full facts here.
Well, his fellow Tories aren’t having that!
They have launched a Parliamentary motion saying the investigation was flawed and that Paterson’s case should be examined by a committee of MPs – dominated by Tories. They want to sack the standards commissioner, Kathryn Stone, and dissolve the cross-party Standards Committee.
The result would be that Tory MPs get to judge whether their friends should be punished for corruption.
Obviously, this means corruption will run rampant in the future. And we all know it:
Owen Patterson, outraged he’s being held accountable for paid lobbying. It’s a clear breach of the rules. He only got suspended, he doesn’t have to pay it back.
Now Johnson is trying to change the rules to remove that sliver of accountability, corrupt bastard.#JohnsonOut
— Super Tanskiii (@supertanskiii) November 3, 2021
If you investigate a Tory MP and find him guilty of sleaze your reward may be the sack. (Just in case you were wondering why the police show so little interest in corruption in procurement.) pic.twitter.com/u9h950VetF
— Jo Maugham (@JolyonMaugham) November 3, 2021
Whips want to junk the ENTIRE system which aimed to curb MPs involvement in policing their own rules and conduct
There’s a “Andrea Leadsom amendment” which refuses to endorse the punishment for OP and sets up a talking shop to discuss replacing the existing investigation system
— Sam Coates Sky (@SamCoatesSky) November 2, 2021
Say what you like about this stuff but it is incontrovertibly normal. This is what happens in UK 2021. This is the society you eagerly & knowingly helped to bring about pic.twitter.com/VKfPS3mYne
— Ally Fogg (@AllyFogg) November 3, 2021
The investigation found Owen Paterson had:
– Taken nearly 3 times his MPs’ salary for “paid advocacy”.
– Broken official lobbying rules
– Smeared the commissioner investigating him
So now the government is trying to overturn the unanimous decision to suspend him. https://t.co/f21s18xgf1
— Adam Bienkov (@AdamBienkov) November 2, 2021
This is what Johnson means when he smirks that he is in favour of having his cake and eating it: his govt want to both write the rules and break them with impunity. And if they get caught, they just vote to avoid accountability. Dangerous times for democracy. #NPWA https://t.co/DTOgMsSZzz
— Billy Bragg (@billybragg) November 3, 2021
The hypocrisy is overwhelming.
This is a government that won’t hold an inquiry into the mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic (of which the Paterson case is just a small part) – because it is “too busy” dealing with the ongoing crisis – but will happily change its timetable to rescue a corrupt colleague:
The UK’s governing party:
We can’t have an inquiry now on the mismanagement of #COVID19 because “we’re too busy fighting the pandemic”.
We’ve changed the parliamentary schedule to have an urgent debate to save a Tory MP who got caught breaking the rules. https://t.co/LTFqQC931h
— Devutopia (@D_Raval) November 3, 2021
And look who has been recruited to help save this corrupt, rule-breaking MP:
Anyone surprised the scum gather ranks around Patterson ?
As Tom Jones once sang , it's not unusual. pic.twitter.com/zUGBPi3mnk
— Oz – Sickrabbit Soundlabs 100% PRO LIFE 💙# (@SICKRABBIT67) November 3, 2021
Rob Roberts (pictured), the Tory MP who was himself suspended from Parliament for sexually harassing staff, and was only readmitted earlier this week, is one of the signatories who supports the new amendment:
Remember when the Tories gave rapist Charlie Elphicke the whip back so he could take part in the vote of confidence on Theresa May? https://t.co/YO0Lrz6MbE
— Simon Vessey (@Simon_Vessey) November 3, 2021
(In fairness, Elphicke was convicted on three counts of sexual assault, not rape.)
And “Loathsome” Lucy Allan, Telford’s Tory, claimed that MPs should be allowed to appeal, and to take their case to a tribunal, as in other workplace disciplinary actions. This is more hypocrisy.
In any workplace disciplinary action you are entitled to: know the case against you, have a fair hearing, and to an appeal. If you are unhappy with the outcome, you can then apply to a tribunal. MPs should be treated no less favourably in their workplace. https://t.co/RLuSKGlZjL
— Lucy Allan MP (@lucyallan) November 2, 2021
As Labour’s Lisa Nandy pointed out in a TV interview, the Tories have imposed a system on benefit claimants in which they are denied the right of appeal or of resorting to a tribunal.
Lisa Nandy: This is the most appalling double standards.. Owen Paterson has broken the parliamentary rules.. & nobody is disputing that.. so there has to be sanctions.. as it matters for trust in politics, it matters for trust in govt & what the govt is doing is undermining that. pic.twitter.com/qIvEyibUlr
— Haggis_UK 🇬🇧 🇪🇺 (@Haggis_UK) November 3, 2021
So Loathsome Lucy in fact wants preferential treatment for MPs. Otherwise why don’t they allow the same right to benefit claimants?
This Writer’s opinion:
Owen Paterson took hundreds of thousands of pounds from private firms and there’s a strong argument that tens of thousands of people died as a result. He should be suspended from Parliament. He should face the threat of being voted out in a by-election.
But he won’t.
The Tory government is so corrupt that it wants its MPs to be able to do what they want – no matter who dies as a result – with absolutely no repercussions.
And with a massive Parliamentary majority that they secured by making fools of millions of UK voters – they will spit on democracy, due process and accountability.
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.
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