Tag Archives: corrupt

‘Rotten to the core’: Labour’s Burgon calls out #ToryCorruption in the Covid crisis

Snout in the trough (all right – bucket) again: I’ve suggested the Conservatives should rename themselves the Corruption Party – and, judging by their reaction to Burgon’s speech, it seems clear they know what they are.

Every word spoken by Richard Burgon in this speech is right.

Listen to the complaining noises coming from the Tory benches while he’s saying them (they know he’s right).

This is a man the Starmerites in Labour say should not have the chance to lead their party.

But he is exactly the kind of leader the UK needs.

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Tory MPs have been using private emails to covertly conduct government business for YEARS

Boris Johnson: who knows how much government business the prime minister has corruptly carried out over his own personal email account, in order to hide it from your scrutiny? And before anybody says they expect honesty from the PM, let’s all remember that we all knew what he is before he won the 2019 general election.

Why is everybody making such a fuss about Matt Hancock carrying out government business on the sly via his private email account now? Tory ministers have been doing this habitually since 2011.

There can only be one reason for it, too – and that is to avoid proper and lawful scrutiny of activities that they know are not acceptable behaviour for government ministers.

Michael Gove was caught using private emails to communicate with Department for Education personnel, all the way back in 2011.

Financial Times journalist Chris Cook established that Gove and some of his special advisers (or Spads) had been using private email accounts to conduct business which appeared to many (eventually including the Information Commissioner) to be Government business. It was suggested that this had been done to avoid potential disclosure of the emails through FOI.

Did Gove receive any punishment for this? No.

Liam Fox’s personal email account was hacked by Russians in 2019 when, as International Trade Secretary, he was responsible for negotiating a trade deal with the United States.

The hackers lifted 450 pages of classified information from the account, prompting Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party to ask why Fox had been using an unsecured personal email address to carry out government business.

Has there ever been an answer to this question? No.

There have been attempts to justify the use of private emails – Tory MP Tom Tugendhat claimed in 2016 that he had received private advice from GCHQ, the government communications centre in Cheltenham, that a Gmail account would be more secure against hacking than the government’s own system.

It’s possible that he was telling the truth – after all, it has been claimed that GCHQ routinely monitors MPs’ private email accounts in any event. Alarmingly, it seems the US National Security Agency is also privy to any information gathered during these sweeps. Why?

And now we have information showing that Matt Hancock, Lord Bethell, Helen Whately and PM Boris Johnson himself have all misused their personal email accounts in order to hide business they have done as members of the government from lawful scrutiny.

You may have heard misinformation claiming that ministers are allowed to conduct some business by private email, depending on the seriousness of the matters concerned and the level of security to be applied.

This Writer heard a mealy-mouthed Tory apologist making such claims on Radio 4’s PM on June 28. They are not true.

Cabinet Office guidance clearly states that “The originator or recipient of a
communication should consider whether the information contained in it is substantive discussions or decisions generated in the course of conducting Government business and, if so, take steps to ensure the relevant information is accessible (e.g. by copying it to a government email address)”.

There is no opt-out. Any and all emails in which government business is carried out must at least be copied into the government’s email system and any failure to do so is a breach of the rules.

Sadly, the guidance note does not describe any sanctions that could be used against government ministers or officers for misuse of private email accounts to carry out government business in secret. This is a common omission that makes the rules themselves a dead letter; worthless.

In other words, while it is entirely possible that Hancock, Johnson and all the others have been corruptly hiding dirty Tory deals for more than a decade, there isn’t a damned thing that can be done to stop them.

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Matt Hancock is incompetent, utterly corrupt and hypocritical. Judge JOHNSON by what happens to him

Lover boy: what do you think attracted Gina Coladangelo into a social distance-busting affair with Matt Hancock? It’s hard to see the incentive from this image.

This is a test of Boris Johnson’s leadership.

Matt Hancock has appeared to be Teflon-coated ever since he was first appointed as Health Secretary in 2019.

He immediately set about corrupting and discrediting the position (which some might consider a hard job, after his Tory forerunners stank up that office in their own ways). I’ll go into that shortly.

The current allegations are that he corruptly appointed a college friend, Gina Coladangelo, to a non-executive directorship in the Department of Health, where he then had an affair with her – breaking social distancing rules in the process.

So he was abusing his power in order to bypass the selection process to get his choice. Oh, but wait:

A government spokesman said Ms Coladangelo’s appointment had been “made in the usual way” and had “followed correct procedure”.

If “the usual way” is bypassing fairness in order to appoint cronies, we might be more inclined to accept this explanation. Was “correct procedure” the emergency rule that the government used to dodge competitive tendering to give Covid-19 contracts – and huge amounts of public money – to Tory cronies?

He was also abusing his own social distancing rules by having an affair with this woman.

And he was a hypocrite because he had criticised Professor Neil Ferguson for breaking the rules to have an affair, then deliberately did the same thing himself:

Mr Hancock called Prof Ferguson’s actions “extraordinary”, adding that social distancing rules were “there for everyone” and were “deadly serious”.

Let’s add these latest indiscretions to the list already accumulated by Hancock, shall we?

First, perhaps we should discuss the firm run by his in-laws that he got onto the NHS procurement list and that made him a major shareholder right before it received a big NHS Wales contract.

Perhaps he’s counting his lucky stars, today, that it wasn’t a firm run by relatives of his wife?

His policies caused thousands of Covid-19 deaths in care homes.

He claimed nearly £1,000 of public money for software to improve his image on the internet.

He failed to supply personal protective equipment (PPE) to NHS medical staff – and then lied about it. He fed us a lie that there was never a PPE shortage.

He broke the law by keeping details of Covid-19-related contracts with companies run by Tory cronies secret.

He broke his own 10pm pub curfew because he considers himself to be above the rules he imposes on the rest of us.

After promising that care homes would enjoy regular Covid-19 testing, he failed to provide it.

He lied about hitting the 100,000-a-day Covid-19 tests target.

He liedrepeatedly – about causing the deaths of 40,000 care home residents.

He created a “fast-track” system to award Covid-19 contracts to companies run by Tory cronies.

He got his vaccine strategy from a Hollywood movie.

He blamed young people for causing a rise in Covid-19 when the real culprit was his government policies.

He lied that suicides had decreased during the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, they were on the rise.

He lied that the government was merging its failed contact-tracing app with one developed by Apple and Google.

He received £100,000 in donations from horse racing organisations – and questions were asked about how strongly this influenced his decision to open Newmarket to horse racing during the early-2020 lockdown.

And now, this affair.

Hancock’s offences are legion. So is his incompetence. But Boris Johnson has stood by him throughout all of the above – possibly in the knowledge that, as long as Hancock is around, Johnson himself won’t take all the blame for the decisions of his government.

In times past, a cabinet minister like Hancock would have been off to “spend more time with his family” the moment a whisper of an indiscretion or lack of integrity made it into the newspapers.

That hasn’t happened yet with Hancock – but for how much longer can Johnson resist demands to sack his floundering flunkie?

The longer he delays, the more incompetent and weak Johnson will make himself seem.

Source: PM must sack Matt Hancock after affair claims – Labour – BBC News

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Why is police officer part responsible for corruption in Daniel Morgan inquiry being trusted to clean it up?

Cressida Dick: This Writer is cursing the fact that this image isn’t a post-arrest mugshot.

We should be furious about this. It is an invitation to allow the corruption to continue until all the UK’s police forces are poisoned.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has insulted the nation with her response to the findings of the Daniel Morgan inquiry.

She said it was a “matter of great regret that no one has been brought to justice” – but failed to say anything about the fact that she shares responsibility for that failure.

Dick started her statement by saying she wanted to acknowledge the “resilience” and “determination” of the Morgan family, but that’s not what they wanted; they wanted her to acknowledge the failings the inquiry discovered – including those in her own behaviour.

Then how about this for cheek:

“I have been personally determined that the Met provided the Panel with the fullest level of co-operation in an open and transparent manner, with complete integrity at all times.”

As far as I can tell, that is a direct lie – Dick herself was singled out for criticism in the inquiry report for obstructing the investigation by denying the inquiry panel access to vital information.

So: no co-operation; no openness; no transparency – and absolutely no integrity at all.

Referring to the report, she stated: “We will take the necessary time to consider it and the associated recommendations in their entirety.”

I can only conclude that she will take as much time as it takes to find a way of dismissing the report’s accusations of “institutional corruption”, to avoid bringing in any of the changes the inquiry panel demanded, and to deflect the criticisms that related directly to her.

In other words, This Writer is willing to bet that, having been found to have betrayed her duty to the public in order to protect the Met’s reputation, Dick will again betray her duty to the public in order to protect the Met’s – and her own – reputation.

It should also be noted that Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave’s comment that he does not accept that the Met is “institutionally corrupt” – as the inquiry found – is cause for deep concern.

He was saying that he will attempt to obstruct plans to root out the corruption that the inquiry found.

I said it in a previous article and I’ll say it again here:

If Priti Patel could be trusted to do her job properly, she would have already demanded the suspension of Dick and every other police officer involved in this 34-years-long corrupt cover-up – all of them.

She would then invite law enforcement officers from a completely different place – possibly even from a different country, because I don’t think anybody here can be trusted to be honest (think Hillsborough) – to investigate their roles and determine whether and what criminal charges should be levelled against them.

But she isn’t doing any of that.

She’s trusting one of the people responsible for the corruption to clean it up. She’s making this worse.

Source: Daniel Morgan report: Cressida Dick apologises for failings in case | Metro News

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Cressida Dick and Met police ‘institutionally corrupt’ in hindering Daniel Morgan murder inquiry

Cressida Dick: next time I publish an image of her I want it to be the mugshot taken after she is arrested.

How will the police be reformed after the damning report on the murder of a private detective – who had been investigating police corruption?

And how can we trust any measures when the current Metropolitan Police Commissioner actively participated in the corrupt cover-up of what happened to Daniel Morgan – and the current Home Secretary wanted to edit the independent report on this fiasco before the public could see it?

Do we all know the story? Morgan’s body was found in a south London car park in 1987, an axe buried in his head. He had been investigating police corruption.

To date, no fewer than five investigations have been conducted into the murder. Nobody has been convicted.

In 2013, then-Home Secretary Theresa May launched an independent inquiry to examine “police involvement in Daniel Morgan’s murder, the role played by police corruption in protecting those responsible for the murder from being brought to justice, and the failure to confront that corruption”.

It also looked into “the incidence of connections between private investigators, police officers and journalists at the News of the World and other parts of the media, and alleged corruption involved in the linkages between them”.

When the inquiry panel tried to publish its report in May, current Home Secretary Priti Patel tried to interfere, saying she needed to see it and may need to censor any part of it that she could claim might affect national security or human rights obligations.

She had no right to do so. The panel objected in the strongest possible terms and Patel had to back down. The report has been published in full today (June 15).

It reveals that the Metropolitan Police is “institutionally corrupt” and singles out Met Commissioner Cressida Dick for personal censure.

Panel chairman Baroness Nuala O’Loan said the Met’s first objective in its approach to the inquiry was to “protect itself” for failing to acknowledge its many failings since Daniel Morgan’s murder in 1987.

Its handling of the investigation into Morgan’s death was “institutionally corrupt” and placed concerns about its reputation above its duty to investigate the murder properly.

The Met deliberately misled the public and Morgan’s grieving family.

It delayed handing over vital documents to the inquiry panel, thereby hindering its own work. An investigation that was not expected to take long ended up being stretched out over eight years.

Then-Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick – along with her successors after she was promoted – was responsible for refusing to provide access to this information and never provided a reasonable explanation.

The inquiry panel’s report states [boldings mine]:

“The family of Daniel Morgan suffered grievously as a consequence of the failure to bring his [killer] to justice, the unwarranted assurances which they were given, the misinformation which was put into the public domain, and the denial of failings in investigation, including failing to acknowledge professional [in]competence, individuals’ venal* behaviour, and managerial and organisational failures.

“The Metropolitan Police also repeatedly failed to take a fresh, thorough and critical look at past failings.

“Concealing or denying failings, for the sake of the organisation’s public image, is dishonesty on the part of the organisation for reputational benefit and constitutes a form of institutional corruption.”

“The Metropolitan Police were not honest in their dealings with Daniel Morgan’s family, or the public. The family and the public are owed an apology.”

A statement by Morgan’s family condemned “a culture of corruption and cover up in the Metropolitan Police, an institutionalised corruption that has permeated successive regimes in the Metropolitan Police and beyond to this day.

The independent panel made a number of recommendations which include:

  • Law enforcement agencies should be subjected to a newly created “statutory duty of candour”.
  • Metropolitan Police should properly vet employees and have “adequate and effective processes” to establish whether any officers and staff are “currently engaged in crime.”
  • The force should make sure it has the necessary resources to tackle corrupt behaviour among its officers and to ensure police watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct is also sufficiently resourced to investigate such matters.
  • An investigation should be carried out by another police watchdog, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS), looking at police practices and procedures to determine whether “sufficient resources” are available to protect police whistleblowers.

I have absolutely no confidence that any of these recommendations will be honoured by those concerned.

Patel has made a statement in Parliament, saying she has demanded a full response to the report from Dick. I have no confidence that anything these two cook up between them will bear any relationship to the facts; they will try to mislead us again.

If Patel could be trusted to do her job properly, she would have already demanded the suspension of Dick and every other police officer involved in this 34-years-long corrupt cover-up – all of them.

She would then invite law enforcement officers from a completely different place – possibly even from a different country, because I don’t think anybody here can be trusted to be honest – to investigate their roles and determine whether and what criminal charges should be levelled against them.

This is a most serious matter; we are seeing corruption at the heart of the police and government – of an ingrained, institutional nature.

And the Tories – themselves proven to be institutionally corrupt over the last two years of Boris Johnson’s government – are entirely unfit to tackle it.

*Showing or motivated by an inclination towards being bribed; corrupt.

Source: Daniel Morgan murder: Met chief censured for hampering corruption inquiry | Daniel Morgan | The Guardian

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Crony contract to Tory friends was ‘unlawful’ – but government is lying about the decision

Backhander: the Tory government is still claiming there was nothing wrong with the Public First contract but the High Court’s ruling is final – it was not legal.

The High Court has ruled that a Tory government decision to award a £560,000 contract to friends of a Tory minister and advisor gave rise to “apparent bias” and was unlawful.

The Tories are already trying to spin this by saying there was no suggestion of “actual” bias, and the contract was not awarded due to personal or professional connections between Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings and their friends in Public First, Rachel Wolf and James Frayne. She co-wrote the Conservatives’ 2019 election manifesto and he worked on the campaign to leave the European Union with Cummings.

I don’t know what the Cabinet Office is trying to achieve by saying that. The judge’s ruling is crystal clear: the government broke the law:

Delivering her ruling, Mrs Justice O’Farrell said: “The claimant is entitled to a declaration that the decision of 5 June 2020 to award the contract to Public First gave rise to apparent bias and was unlawful.”

Nothing else matters. Public First and the Cabinet Office can say what they like but the decision to award the contract to Tory cronies was not permitted within the law and that is the end of the matter.

This Site has been reporting on it since July last year, when the contract first became public knowledge.

I wrote at the time: “It’s jobs for the boys, the Old School Tie, and every other example of favouritism you can imagine in the Tory government during the Covid crisis!

“They’re using emergency regulations, that allow services to be commissioned quickly, to pass huge amounts of money to their friends.

“And apparently there’s a conflict of interest as it seems to involve Eurosceptics working on focus group research related to Brexit – parts of the work contracted involved research on public attitudes to Brexit, which is dodgy in a Eurosceptic firm – although a Cabinet Office spokesman said this was a bookkeeping issue. Do you believe that?

“The Tories are using the Covid-19 crisis to funnel public money away from vital services and into their friends’ bank accounts.”

And I quoted The Guardian‘s report which is interesting in that it states the contract was worth £840,000. It’s curious that these amounts always fall when people are in trouble over them – and always rise when public money is being used to pay.

One piece of information that should have been a dead giveaway was the fact that Public First’s registered office is a residential address – a house – in Long Eaton, Nottinghamshire.

Public First was also behind the disastrous plan to bias (there’s that word again) ‘A’ level results against students who didn’t go to Public Schools like Eton.

The collaboration led to the result we all know:

The algorithm used by Ofqual downgraded 40% of the A-level grades assessed by teachers under the process set after the exams were cancelled, leading to a storm of protest from students, parents, school leaders and teachers, that culminated in a complete government U-turn on Monday and the system being scrapped.

Details of this contract were not made public and Ofqual declined to say how much public money had been spent hiring the firm of Tory cronies. It was only later that the organisation had to admit handing over £49,000 of your money to buy poorer results for your children.

Ofqual’s boss at the time, Sally Collier, later resigned – apparently in shame at having given Public First the contract, and at what that firm did with it.

So now here’s the big question: if the contract to Public First was not legal, shouldn’t that money be paid back?

And if so – by whom?

Say what you like about Public First; the work was carried out. Whether it was carried out to an acceptable standard has not been recorded (and the Ofqual experience casts doubt on that) but somebody did the work that was contracted, and we may expect that it was done in good faith.

So, shouldn’t the government minister(s), who broke the law by awarding the contract wrongly, now pay back into public funds at least the £560,000 quoted in the High Court’s judgement?

Matt Hancock, maybe? Or Boris Johnson?

Source: Government acted unlawfully over firm’s £560,000 Covid contract – BBC News

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Gerrymandering Tories are trying to rig constituency boundaries YET AGAIN

How gerrymandering works: constituency boundaries are drawn to give a particular party the best chance to win – even (especially!) if they don’t deserve to.

This is yet another perennial piece of corruption from the Conservative Party.

Recently we’ve seen them revive their plan for a “Royal Yacht” for them to sail in on trade junkets to foreign countries. It was a waste of money in 2012 when it would have cost £60 million. Today it’s supposed to cost £200 million that would be better spent alleviating poverty.

We’ve discovered they have revived their plan to give NHS England patients’ confidential medical records to private companies. The idea was for all patients’ data to be included unless the opt out – but there was no publicity, meaning nobody knew about it until organisations like This Site published stories about it.

They are pushing on with a plan to stop courts from ruling on whether government decisions or actions are unlawful – a serious blow against the rule of law and a huge step towards dictatorship in the UK.

And now we have been told they are reintroducing – for around the third time since they took office in 2010 – plans to rig national election results by changing constituency boundaries to give themselves the best possible chance of winning seats.

It’s a very old and well-known form of political corruption and it’s quite easy to tell when the change isn’t coming in to ensure all constituencies have roughly the same number of voters: instead of looking roughly square or circular, constituencies turn into very strange shapes indeed.

This is because whoever redrew the electoral boundary was trying to get as many voters for their party into each constituency as possible, while limiting the support for other parties.

I haven’t seen the proposed new constituency map so I can’t say for sure that this is what is happening.

But I can make an educated guess, on the basis of the BBC’s commentary on it here: “Overall the changes will benefit the Conservatives at the expense of Labour.”

If anyone – of any political persuasion – was serious about making constituency boundary changes fair, they would base their calculations on the last election result, so that – if the new map had been in operation then – the number of seats going to each party would have been the same.

But they’re not.

So I’m confident that this is another corrupt Tory stitch-up.

My advice is that you need to look at the proposed new boundaries of your constituency and, if it’s not currently held by a Tory, find out if it would be from now on.

If the new borders mean it would, then complain, campaign and get it changed.

Source: Parliament: Shake-up of England’s electoral map outlined – BBC News

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Delta variant shows Tory Covid crisis will end as it began – in incompetence and corruption

Still going strong: the delta variant of Covid-19 is now dominant in the UK after more than a year of Tory refusal to close the nation’s borders – and is almost three times as likely to put you in a hospital as the original strain of the virus.

When you learn that the dominant form of Covid-19 in the UK now is the ‘delta’ variant that was discovered in India only recently, what does that tell you?

It tells This Writer that Boris Johnson’s insistence on keeping the UK’s borders open was an act of homicidal stupidity.

And it shows that the silly ‘traffic light’ system to indicate which countries are safe to visit does not work at all.

That’s because this new variant of Covid-19 has not only beaten all the supposed safeguards that Johnson’s government has imposed; it is now infecting more people than any other strain of the disease.

And it is more likely to cause serious illness than any other variant, too:

The facts show that 75 per cent of new cases are of the delta variant – and that it is being transmitted most commonly through schools.

This should end the debate over whether it was a bad idea to reopen schools while the pandemic was at its height; of course it was.

And it still is. Parents are now 1.6 times more likely to end up hospitalised if their children bring the delta variant home with them than they were with the original version of the virus last year.

It also shows that press releases from Public Health England should not be treated as factual. Consider:

Possibly the worst part of all this is that many Tory MPs seem determined to finish the “unlock” (as Grant Shapps referred to it in the Guardian article) on June 21, no matter how many people suffer as a result:

You see, your health doesn’t matter to these people. It never did.

Money matters to them.

You are stock. You are a commodity that they use in order to make money for them. The granting of billions of pounds of public money to Tory donors via PPE contracts that went unfulfilled – causing tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths – is an example of that thinking.

And if some of the stock dies out due to disease, it will replenish itself in a few years’ time, so they’re not bothered about that at all, either.

Don’t you wish you lived in New Zealand?

That country had a sensible, socialist prime minister who locked down properly, as soon as she heard a whisper about how bad Covid-19 might be – including closing all that country’s borders.

It was then able to carry on as normal, with the minimal number of cases that did present themselves receiving proper treatment, correctly isolated from the rest of the population. I believe there was a functioning test and trace system there, too.

So New Zealand has been able to function more or less as normal while other countries scrabbled to develop a vaccine – and now the vaccine is available, it is running an efficient injection programme.

The people of New Zealand chose their leaders wisely.

The UK’s diehard Tories (coupled with Labour traitors who hated Jeremy Corbyn) forced Boris Johnson on us.

They gave us the incompetence and corruption of Matt Hancock, Dominic Cummings, Gavin Williamson, Rishi Sunak and all the other ministers who have ignored their duty to the public in order to line their pockets and those of their friends.

They’re giving us the delta variant.

They’re giving us the potential of a premature end to all lockdown restrictions that would trigger yet another wave of Covid-19 infections in the summer or the autumn.

Ultimately, they have given many of us death.

 

Source: UK tightens borders and travel rules as variants spark new alarm | Coronavirus | The Guardian

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Tory corruption is here to stay, judging by the people involved in the Greensill scandal

Snout in the trough (all right – bucket): perhaps the Conservatives should rename themselves the Corruption Party?

A lobbyist is running the Tory government’s inquiry into the Greensill scandal.

A lobbyist is running Parliament’s watchdog on lobbying.

And more people in public life are being identified as employees of the collapsed finance firm Greensill Capital, meaning their loyalties were divided between working for the public good and making profits for this private company. And this is just one firm. How many other MPs, former MPs and people in charge of other public organisations are also enmired in this corruption?

Consider this:

For those who can’t read images well, it says the government review of lobbying is being headed by Nigel Boardman, a consultant with law firm Slaughter & May – which lobbied against tightening lobbying laws.

It seems clear that the ‘fix’ is in – anyone who works for a firm that wants more freedom to lobby the government won’t find any corruption in David Cameron’s activities for Greensill, right?

Now let’s look at how Parliament got into a position where a former prime minister was able to insinuate himself into the corridors of power on behalf of his new employer and influence current ministers to provide Greensill with huge amounts of public money. Why didn’t the lobbying watchdog spot it and put a stop to it?

Here‘s iNews:

A senior member of the Government’s own lobbying watchdog runs his own firm advertising his access to ministers at the highest echelons of power.

Andrew Cumpsty sits on the Government’s Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba), and boasts of his access to Cabinet ministers.

Do you think that might have something to do with how the rot has set in so far?

And then there’s this:

Hogan-Howe – now a Lord, and therefore well-placed to put in a good word for his employers – has only been discovered because of the focus on Greensill.

But how many other firms have their fingers in government pies via members of Parliament they just happen to have in their pockets?

And how much are our MPs and former MPs earning from second (or third, or fourth, or however many) jobs with these organisations?

Yes, there’s a Parliamentary inquiry happening, independently of Boris Johnson’s Slaughter & May-led whitewash, but that won’t go far enough either.

We need a full investigation into the current employment situations of all former MPs. Do they work for firms that have government contracts and, if so, how were those contracts secured?

Let’s find out how deep the rot has set in.

Because if we don’t – and if we don’t then clear it all out – then we may as well accept that Tory corruption is here to stay; it isn’t only part of the fabric of political life – it is the heart of the UK’s politics.

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Tories announce new scheme for buildings with ‘Grenfell’ cladding – while taking millions from builders who used it (allegedly)

Inferno: Grenfell Tower went up like a roman candle because it was covered in flammable cladding – killing an official total of 72 people.

The wrongness of this should be evident for all to see.

Firstly there’s the wrong of the new scheme to replace Grenfell-style cladding on tower blocks.

If you live in a block that’s taller than six storeys, your building will get a share of a £3.5 billion government fund to get rid of the flammable death stuff.

If your block is smaller – four to six storeys, then the government will stuff you with a loan, so you have to pay to strip off your own cladding. You get to pay it back at £50 per month, for “many years”.

Okay, they’re “low interest” but they’re also “long term”. Okay, they’re attached to the property – not the occupier – but that just means anybody in an affected block of four-six storeys is hammered with negative equity for – as good as – ever; new buyers would factor the loan into any decision on whether to buy and it is likely to lower prices.

Secondly, there’s the wrong of the £2.5 million allegedly donated to the Conservative Party – the political organisation running the government that has introduced these cladding replacement schemes – by the builders who installed the terminally-flammable cladding in the first place.

That’s right. The Tories stumped up £3.5 billion for one scheme, knowing they’ll tax that money right back*, set up a second scheme that takes cash direct from the people affected – and the people responsible for all the trouble, gave the Tories £2.5 million (allegedly).

*Apparently there’ll be a £200 million a year tax on the property industry to pay for all this – but you know the top bosses will just pass the cost on to clients rather than pay any of it themselves.

That’s great value for money – for the (allegedly) builders!

And that’s especially true when we remember that the firm that sold the cladding used at Grenfell Tower knew about the risk of fires in 2013, but continued to offer a flammable version of it.

And there’s even more wrong!

There was no announcement … for people in buildings of three storeys or less, who it appears could still be hit with eye-watering cladding bills by their freeholders.

There was also no new answer to who will pay for expensive “waking watches” – wardens who patrol buildings to check they are not currently on fire. Mr Jenrick referenced a £30m fund to replace waking watches with fire alarms, that was already open.

We also don’t know when the new support will launch or when we will get more detail about it.

And we don’t know if the £50-a-month loans for people in low-rise blocks will ever be written off. If they’re not, the announcement indicates a flat that faced a £50,000 bill could be paying it off for more than 80 years.

Some have condemned the Tory government’s behaviour as “incompetence” but let’s try to be honest about it, shall we?

If they really did take money, it’s corruption.

Source: Fury at new cladding scheme – how it works and why it ‘betrays’ flat owners – Mirror Online