Tag Archives: cash

Blatant corruption as Jenrick and fellow Tory Berry allocate millions to each other’s constituencies

Robert Jenrick: he reckons it is ‘perfectly normal’ for ministers to corruptly funnel money from their own department’s funds into their own constituencies.

“Perfectly normal” is it, Robert Jenrick?

If you are utterly corrupt, it might be perfectly normal to allocate millions of pounds from a regeneration fund to your fellow MP’s constituency in return for him giving £25 million to yours. Not if you’re honest!

Jenrick tried to brazen out the Labour Party’s accusation against him when he appeared on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show:

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has dismissed Labour’s call for an investigation into the award of a £25m regeneration grant to his constituency.

He told BBC One’s Andrew Marr show the decision to give the money to Newark, Nottinghamshire, had been taken by fellow minister Jake Berry.

Mr Jenrick said he had himself decided to grant funds to a town in Mr Berry’s constituency under the same scheme.

He called this “perfectly normal” and accused Labour of “distraction”.

The £25m was awarded to Newark under the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s £3.6bn Towns Fund, set up last year to help places that had “not always benefitted from economic growth in the same way as more prosperous areas”.

Here’s a clip of him doing just that:

Jenrick is the Secretary of State for Housing and Berry is a minister within the same government department.

The public has already passed its own verdict on whether the decisions were corrupt – and both Jenrick and Berry have been found lacking:

There will be no inquiry into this and neither Jenrick nor Berry will face the sack, or even any disciplinary action. Boris Johnson’s government doesn’t believe it is accountable to the public.

They’ll probably divert attention by claiming the controversy is about something different. Jenrick has already tried:

He added: “This is perfectly normal. Ministers don’t get involved in making decisions for their own constituency.

“But neither should their constituencies be victims of the fact that their MP is a minister.”

That is not the issue. Just to spell it out so it is perfecly clear: The issue is that ministers from the Ministry of Housing have colluded to funnel cash from that ministry’s Towns Fund into their own constituencies.

Jenrick’s passion for corruption is already well-established – remember the controversy over his decision to help Richard Desmond avoid paying £50 million to a community where he wanted to build a new development that did not conform to planning rules.

Now we may add Berry to our ever-growing list of corrupt Tories.

Source: Robert Jenrick dismisses call for constituency fund probe – BBC News

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#PoorBoris – UK citizens give what sympathy they can to PM ‘complaining about money’

Don’t cry, Mr Johnson: we all know it’s hard for you to feed yourself, your paramour and four of your six kids on a £150,000+ income, with your accommodation supported by the state. But we’re not sure you or anyone you know should be in charge of the nation’s economy if you can’t. It was Tories like you who said the economy was like a household budget, after all.

If you behave more like a performing monkey than a prime minister, you get what you deserve when you complain.

It seems the UK’s performing monkey – Boris Johnson – is complaining, as his fans in The Times explain:

The headline defies reason! Overburdened, underpaid and ‘misery on his face’!

Overburdened? This is the prime minister who has spent more time on holiday then any of his recent forerunners – possibly than all of them put together, if you average it out for a single year.

Underpaid? Let’s see how that plays out for our £150,000-a-year public servant in some of the comments from those he is supposed to serve:

 

Well…

Here‘s Phil Harrison: “This piece is jaw-droppingly offensive. a) He earns five times the national median wage at a time when millions are losing jobs. b) He’s already minted. c) He only looks after 4 of his 6 kids?! YOU WHAT?? Does he want a medal? He should be in court.”

Indeed. Johnson probably claims Child Benefit for the other two…

Indeed. If Johnson had not wanted to support his children, one wonders how he came to have so many. Lost In The Shire has a thought about that: “I sometimes imagine his supporters think he slipped and accidentally impregnated a host of women and so that’s why he doesn’t need to pay to support or acknowledge all of his own children.”

Still, there’s a lot of good advice for him, such as this, from WeeHalfPint: “If we all clap, that should help him put food on the table, yeah?”

Queen Neferure has more practical help for him: “Hi @BorisJohnson I’m sorry to hear you are struggling on £150k. I get ESA, which for the over 25s is less than £4k per year. If you need any help with budgeting, do not hesitate to contact me or contact your local jobcentre, @CitizensAdvice or @StepChange for help.”

How about this?

Alternatively, perhaps he could try taking advice from a fellow right-winger, as suggested here:

Sara Anzani adds: “He should try living on £5.65 a day, like he and the rest of his government expect asylum seekers to.”

Of course, Johnson isn’t struggling to pay the bills on his own; he has a partner. These Novel Thoughts was prompted to make the following suggestion with this in mind: “Is Carrie working? If so, surely that’s another salary coming in. If not, why do they need a nanny? And given the fact that Johnson only works about a day a week, can’t he do some cleaning?”

As for the misery on his face. Well, The Times stated that being a performing monkey prime minister was his life’s ambition.

Perhaps he has discovered the truism that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting.

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Did Boris Johnson axe international development department so he could misuse its cash?

Boris Johnson can’t be trusted with cash: he seems to give it to his friends whenever he can – and the fear is that he’ll do it with the budget of the soon-to-be-scrapped Department for International Development.

Boris Johnson is being urged to forget his plan to scrap the Department for International Development on the grounds that money would go to the wrong nations.

The DfID is being merged with the Foreign Office but whereas the DfID has spent a majority of its budget in the poorest countries and has a reputation for transparency, the same cannot be said for the FO – especially under Boris Johnson.

When he was Foreign Secretary (between 2016-2018), it was in the middle of spending £84 million on China – which can hardly be said to require aid.

Indeed, 39 per cent of FO cash has gone to higher- and middle-income nations, with just 22 per cent going to the poorest countries.

The facts of the matter have only just been revealed, so it seems the FO can get away with hiding its spending – handy if you want to hand public cash to your mates.

So the question is:

Is Johnson scrapping the DfID so he can appropriate its money and give it to his dodgy contacts in foreign countries, in the same way he has handed billions of pounds of Covid-related cash to firms run by his cronies, who have provided nothing in response?

And, if that is even the suspicion:

Shouldn’t the plan to scrap the DfID be itself scrapped – to avoid trust in the government collapsing even more than it already has?

Source: Boris Johnson ‘can’t be trusted’ on foreign aid as millions sent to China revealed – Mirror Online

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Is Robert Jenrick safe from the sack because Boris Johnson is implicated in Westferry corruption scandal?

Jenrick and Johnson: both have personal connections with property developer Richard Desmond, so why have they been interfering in the determination of his planning applications?

Here’s an interesting kink on the Westferry planning scandal:

Let’s assume there’s something in what John Stevens – and Henry Mance – are saying and that Richard Desmond, the man behind the Westferry development plan, had a considerable amount of contact with Boris Johnson. That would create cause for concern, and we would certainly be justified in wanting to know the nature of any communications.

Now consider this:

A key player in the controversial Westferry Printworks development can be revealed as an investment firm owned by a super-rich Tory donor and crony of Boris Johnson.

The “development manager” is a company which has donated £200,000 to the Tories.

[The planning application] was made by a company owned by Mr Desmond but the developer was London and Regional Properties, a firm behind £9billion of building projects owned by [Ian] Livingstone and brother Richard. It is unclear if LRP is still involved, but Westferry Printworks is listed as a development on its website.

The company donated nearly £202,000 to the Tories between 2005 and 2012.

It is run by [Mr] Livingstone, who the Prime Minister appointed to the board of his Mayor’s Fund for London.

Mr Johnson approved the original plans for the East London site during his final days as Mayor of the capital.

So now this “cash for favours” row has a strong connection with Boris Johnson and Downing Street.

Also suspicious is the Tories’ apparent desperation to distance themselves from any interest in Mr Desmond and his firm – for example, by banning the BBC from using photographs of Mr Desmond and Robert Jenrick together at a Conservative Party fundraising event:

The Conservatives have banned the BBC from publishing pictures of Robert Jenrick and Richard Desmond at a party fundraising dinner.

The pictures are owned by Conservative Party, with the BBC saying it was prevented from publishing them. A spokeswoman for the corporation told Yahoo News UK on Thursday: “We didn’t use them for legal reasons.”

The same article states that Johnson is standing by his minister:

Downing Street said on Thursday that the prime minister still has “full confidence” in Jenrick, adding Johnson had spoken to the embattled minister in recent days and “considers the matter closed”.

Isn’t that what a prime minister would say if he was unable to fire his underling – for example, because the flunky was only doing what the PM had told him to do?

I ask merely rhetorically.

Meanwhile, it seems Jenrick is now embroiled in another “cash for favours” row:

Labour has called on… Robert Jenrick, to explain a ministerial meeting with a “family friend” who had a financial interest in the future of a rival mining project that Jenrick was overseeing.

The Guardian revealed this week that Jenrick met the Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer while the then exchequer secretary to the Treasury was considering a request for financial support from Sirius Minerals for a mining project that would have rivalled Ofer’s own firm Cleveland Potash.

A spokesperson for Jenrick said on Friday that Ofer was a “family friend” and that the minister had notified officials, who advised him to step back from the decision on Sirius.

But the spokesperson did not say when Jenrick recused himself and the Guardian understands he retained oversight of Sirius’s request for support for at least six months after the meeting.

Put this together with the amount of money that property giants give to the Conservatives…

The Tories have received more than £11m from property developers since Boris Johnson became prime minister, an investigation has found.

Concerns have been raised about the apparent increased influence property developers have over the Conservative government. Their contributions make up nearly a quarter of the £47.5m in donations received by the party from last July to March, up from 7.9 per cent of the total two years ago.

The latest analysis by the OpenDemocracy website found that the Conservatives’ top 10 property donors have given more than £5.7m to the party since Mr Johnson took the helm in July – up from around £1.5million for the equivalent top 10 in the final 12 months of Theresa May’s premiership, a three-fold increase. In total, around 120 individuals and companies from the sector have donated since July last year.

… and there is certainly enough evidence to ask questions.

Of course, there can be no implication of wrongdoing by Conservative donors whose contributions are made only through support for Tory policies; who have no personal connection with Conservative ministers.

But when there is a connection, as with Idan Ofer and Jenrick, and with Richard Desmond and both Jenrick and Johnson, it is not only right to ask questions – an investigation is positively demanded.

The Westferry matter goes a step beyond even this – because wrongdoing is known to have happened, and because the person who is refusing to take action against the minister responsible for the transgression himself has a connection with the developer – and the development itself.

I mean, who can blame us for questioning Jenrick when it seems he won planning permission for an extension to his Westminster home, against planning officers’ recommentations, from councillors who were his fellow Conservatives?

Conservative councillors on Westminster council gave planning permission for an enlargement of Jenrick’s townhouse despite officers recommending the application be refused because it would harm the appearance of the building and the conservation area.

Planning officers were recommending refusal of this third application but Steve Summers a Tory councillor and a neighbour of Jenrick made an official request that a planning committee take the decision and not officers.

In November 2014 the three Conservative members of the planning committee — Richard Beddoe, Robert Rigby and Paul Church — voted to overturn the officers recommendation and approve the scheme. Ruth Bush, the single Labour member of the committee voted against the application.

In March 2018 Robert Davis who was chair of planning at Westminster council for 17 years resigned after the Guardian revealed he had received hospitality and gifts hundreds of times including from property developers.

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The Tory squeeze is on: one in four adults are struggling to buy food in Covid-19 pandemic

A few coppers and some silver coins: all the Tories think you’re worth.

The Tories are using the Covid-19 crisis to force more of the UK’s struggling population into poverty, it seems, with increasing reliance on food banks as disposable incomes plummet:

One in four adults in the UK have struggled to access food they can afford during the coronavirus pandemic, leaving them susceptible to hunger and potential malnutrition, a new report warns.

Research by Feeding Britain and Northumbria University’s Healthy Living Lab indicates a far broader group of households, in addition to the poorest, are now struggling to pay the bills and put food on the table, often following a loss of earnings or problems with the benefits system.

The findings, based on a survey with 1,004 responses, shows nearly 25 per cent of adults looking after children have eaten less during the pandemic so they can feed them, while half have tried to cope by buying less expensive food they would not ordinarily choose to buy – a figure that rises to nine in 10 among adults who live in the poorest households.

Even strategies commonly used during lockdown – such as buying less expensive food, borrowing food, using food banks and restricting the food eaten – have not enabled adults to become food secure and live free of hunger and potential malnutrition, the report says.

It comes after figures published earlier this month revealed demand for food banks is greater than ever – with The Trussell Trust, the UK’s biggest network of food banks, handing out 89 per cent more food parcels in April compared with the same month last year, while the Independent Food Aid Network (Ifan) recorded a 175 per cent increase over the same period.

This is not an accident.

Other countries’ governments have been able to support their people through the crisis – most of them much poorer than the UK.

So this is a conscious choice by your Conservative masters; they are using Covid-19 to put you firmly in your place.

It seems they think that place is in debt – and this should come as no surprise. People who have to work long, hard hours trying to pay off debts that (no doubt) are increasing in spite of those efforts have no time or energy left to question the corrupt antics of their political leaders.

Think about that when you open your bank statement and find it is red.

Source: ‘Uphill struggle’: One in four adults struggling to afford food during coronavirus pandemic, study finds | The Independent

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Coronavirus: DWP/Post Office plan to send cash benefits to claimants at risk has one serious flaw

Cash money: it’s one of the most obvious ways possible of transmitting diseases – and the Tories want to send it direct to the homes of the people the coronavirus is most likely to kill.

We’re all being asked to use cash money as little as possible under the coronavirus lockdown because it is a notorious carrier of disease.

Those little gold, silver and bronze coins that we normally handle every day – who knows where they’ve been? This Writer knows of people putting them in their mouths so anything could be on them.

And paper money – what else has been on the hands that have handled them? Again, the mind can only imagine.

So why in blazes is the Tory-run Department for Work and Pensions trying to send this money into the homes of people whose lives are most at risk from coronavirus?

Is it a deliberate attempt to bypass social distancing procedures and make sure they catch the disease?

The DWP and Post Office have launched a joint initiative to deliver benefit payments direct to the homes of claimants shielding because of the risk of coronavirus infection.

The new service from the Post Office will enable cash benefit payments to be sent to individuals identified by the DWP as shielding at home because of the risk of infection from COVID-19 and who agree to receive payments in this way.

The joy of it – for the malicious Tories – is that if these claimants die of the disease alone at home, nobody will know for a considerable period of time and they won’t be added to the government’s already-questionable death figures.

But someone needs to have a serious talk with whoever approved this homicidal plot – and get them to find a less terminal way of paying people what they are owed.

Source: DWP and Post Office launch joint initiative to deliver cash benefit payments direct to homes of claimants most at risk from coronavirus – Rightsnet

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Not long now until Brexit – but what are the Tories planning next?

Drug buddies: Will Boris Johnson hand over any cash saved on Brexit to Donald Trump for substandard US medicines?

This short Twitter dialogue says it all.

A hundred years or so ago, back during the EU referendum campaign, Brexiteers tried to fool us into thinking the UK would save £350 million a week – and all of the money could be diverted into funding the National Health Service.

I suppose they thought it was a very funny joke, especially when it fooled so many of us into supporting the ‘Leave’ option.

(Apparently it might have been a different story, had more of our population been better-educated. What does that say about ‘Leave’ voters.)

Now it’s a matter of days until they have to make good on their offer.

Rachael Swindon pointed this out on Twitter – with a sharp observation on the validity of the original promise.

And Karen Owen’s response makes clear where she thinks the cash will go.

https://twitter.com/K4Owen/status/1222123312270249984

Oh, was the referendum campaign only four years ago? Sorry – I guess it just seems like this farce has been going on forever.

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Lack of cash means NHS is mothballing entire wards, exactly when they are needed

There is plenty of money in the UK but the Tories have decided to starve public services like the NHS to give tax breaks to the very rich.

This has led to chronic underfunding for services across the board, including health – which has also had to cope with the introduction of profit-making private companies into the system which drain out even more money.

They talk about funding increases but the amount they provide each year is barely a quarter of the average since the NHS was formed in 1948.

There can be only one conclusion: Whatever the Tories are planning for the NHS, it isn’t good for your health.

Hospitals are mothballing scores of wards, closing them to patients despite the NHS’s ongoing beds crisis, new figures reveal.

At the last count in September 82 “ghost wards” were recorded containing 1,429 empty beds, the equivalent of two entire hospitals, according to data provided by hospital trusts across England. It represents a sharp increase on the 32 wards and 502 beds that were unused four years earlier, statistics obtained under freedom of information laws show.

The closures, often a result of hospitals not having enough staff or the money to keep wards open, have occurred at a time when the health service is under unprecedented pressure and struggling to cope with demand for beds.

Source: Revealed: 82 ‘ghost wards’ containing 1,400 empty NHS beds | Society | The Guardian


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Ex-cabinet ministers accused of telling China how to cash in on Brexit in C4 ‘sting’

The senior politicians were lured to a luxury Mayfair office (pictured) where they were secretly filmed discussing being paid for telling Chinese tycoons how to make money out of Britain leaving the European Union [Image from the Daily Mail].

Tory sleaze.

But is this the story the Sunday Times dropped for its fake news about a left-wing purge of Labour MPs?

A political storm erupted … over claims that three former Cabinet ministers secretly tried to earn thousands of pounds in a ‘cash for Brexit’ scandal.

The senior politicians were lured to a luxury Mayfair office where they were secretly filmed discussing being paid for telling Chinese tycoons how to make money out of Britain leaving the European Union.

Those targeted were ex-Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, former Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell, and ex-Trade Secretary Peter Lilley. All three … denied wrongdoing.

The latest Westminster sleaze claims follow a three-month investigation by Channel 4’s Dispatches programme.

Source: Cabinet ministers accused of telling China how to cash in on Brexit


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Help is available for people suffering Universal Credit-related money problems

Local councils have a duty to provide help for people with no income due to delays in Universal Credit payments – but they aren’t telling anyone.

Vox Political reader has written in as follows:

“With Christmas on our doorstep, the Universal Credit roll-out is going ahead as planned with people being changed over at the beginning of December, which could leave families with little to no money for up to 12 weeks.

“Please ensure that anyone you know who is struggling understands that THERE IS HELP.

If your money is stopped/late/delayed you can go to the council and fill in a Nil Income form.

“That will reinstate rent and council tax [they mean housing benefit and council tax reduction] and give access to further help like meter credits, food bank vouchers and emergency cash payments.

This info is not readily available sadly and it should be. The authorities will only deal with it if you ask specifically which is a disgrace.

“So if your benefits have been sanctioned or if you suffer cash flow problems from UC, then remember help is still available.

Also … never vote Tory again.


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