Tag Archives: corruption

Did underwear peer really make £65m from Covid contract corruption?

Accused: Lady Mone.

How low can our politicians go?

Just at the moment, there’s a very low bar to limbo under – but it seems former Ultimo underwear boss turned Tory peer Michelle Mone may have managed it.

The allegation in The Guardian is that, while the rest of us laboured under lockdown, desperate to keep ourselves and our relatives alive, Lady Mone was making £65 million from a Personal Protective Equipment manufacturer in thanks for her recommending its products in the “VIP lane” for firms fast-tracked by politicians or officials.

Not only has the “VIP lane” since been branded illegal, but it has been claimed that much of the gear from PPE Medpro didn’t meet the standard.

It was suggested that…

Michelle Mone, a Tory peer, her husband, Douglas Barrowman, and her children secretly received £65m originating from the profits of PPE Medpro, a company that was awarded large government contracts during the pandemic after she recommended it to ministers.

The government lubricated such questionable deal-making by setting up a “VIP lane” into which suppliers recommended by politicians or officials were fast-tracked.

PPE Medpro’s business was referred to the VIP lane after Lady Mone contacted the ministers Michael Gove and Lord Agnew to offer help in May 2020. A few weeks later, the government contracted to pay the firm £203m for protective equipment for the NHS.

A court later said that the VIP lane was unlawful. Perhaps worse, it was ineffective. The government is now in dispute over millions of surgical gowns supplied by PPE Medpro that it says were not up to scratch. PPE Medpro insists its products passed inspections.

Lady Mone… denies becoming fantastically rich by profiting from a company she lobbied to be awarded state contracts.

But she is also

being investigated by the Lords commissioner for standards after being accused of failing to declare an interest in PPE Medpro.

The Guardian, outraged, claims that peerages should not be a means to personal or ideological ends.

But isn’t that the best that can be said of almost any UK politician these days?

They all seem to be on the take and for many, it seems, that is the only point of being in Westminster at all.

It isn’t many years since it was possible to discuss genuine political theory when examining politicians’ behaviour – but now all we see is avarice.

Too many have been caught lobbying for the firms that gave them their second or third job, or using their position to rig the rules in their own fields of business, or seen to have set themselves up for high-paid jobs after leaving Parliament. Haven’t they?

Sadly, we don’t have a way of looking into candidates’ minds before they get elected into their Commons seats, to detect the corruption before it can do its worst.

So, what is the solution to the rot that’s making Parliament reek?

Source: The Guardian view on crony capitalism: a moral corruption stalks parliament

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Truss chief of staff is being investigated by FBI for US bribery and corruption

This being a bank holiday weekend, This Writer is either otherwise occupied or almost totally incapacitated, so I’m putting up material that has interested me – and I hope it interests you. Make of it what you will:

Here‘s a bit more information on Mark Fullbrook being quizzed by the FBI.

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Boris Johnson’s anti-corruption champion quits – calls on PM to resign

John Penrose: when the Anti-Corruption Champion resigns because of the behaviour of the prime minister, it can only mean that he has found the PM to be corrupt.

Is this the killing blow against Boris Johnson?

The government’s anti-corruption champion has resigned, saying it is clear that Johnson has broken the Ministerial Code and the only honourable choice for the PM is to step down as well.

John Penrose, MP for Weston-Super-Mare, has himself suffered criticism related to corruption because he is married to Dido Harding who – as the person in charge of the government’s disastrous ‘test and trace’ strategy – wasted £37 billion of public money on a system that did not work at all.

But he has salvaged his reputation today by making it clear that he considers Boris Johnson to be unfit to lead the Conservative Party or the country – and that his reason for believing this is corruption.

In a letter to Johnson, published on Twitter, he stated: “It wouldn’t be honourable or right for me to remain as your Anti-Corruption Champion… nor for you to remain as Prime Minister either.”

He wrote: “My reason for stepping down is your public letter last week, replying to your independent Adviser on the Ministerial Code about the recent Sue Gray Report into ‘partygate’.

“In it you addressed the concerns over the Fixed Penalty Notice you paid, but not the broader and very serious criticisms of what the Report called ‘failures of leadership and judgment’ and its conclusion that ‘senior leadership at the centre, both political and official, must bear responsibility for this culture’.

“You will know (and your letter to your Adviser on the Ministerial Code explicitly says) that the Nolan Principles of Public Life are absolutely central to the Ministerial Code, and that the seventh of them is ‘Leadership’.

“So the only fair conclusion to draw from the Sue Gray Report is that you have breached a fundamental principle of the Ministerial Code – a clear resigning matter.

“But your letter to your independent Adviser on the Ministerial Code ignores this absolutely central, non-negotiable issue completely. And, if it had addressed it, it is hard to see how it could have reached any other conclusion than that you had broken the code.”

Mr Penrose listed some of what he considered to be Johnson’s achievements, but then stated: “I hope you will understand that none of these can excuse or justify a fundamental breach of the Ministerial Code. As a result, I’m afraid it wouldn’t be honourable or right for me to remain as your Anti-Corruption Champion after reaching this conclusion, nor for you to remain as Prime Minister either.

“I hope you will now stand aside so we can look to the future and choose your successor.”

Damning words.

They make it clear that the government’s Anti-Corruption Chief considered Johnson to be corrupt according to the rules.

And they state that the prime minister should resign ahead of today’s vote on his future. Staying on to await the result of a ballot would be dishonourable and wrong.

Johnson now sits on the horns of a dilemma. Should he resign now, on Penrose’s advice? Or should he try to brazen it out and tempt the wrath of backbenchers incensed at being asked to support somebody who is dishonourable and corrupt?

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If this is Boris Johnson’s excuse for refusing to quit, how can he be allowed to stay?

Boris Johnson tries to understand how this internet thing works: okay, this wasn’t how the Mumsnet interview was conducted but it conveys our pathetic prime minister’s failure to understand what was going on and that his silly lines wouldn’t work there.

Boris Johnson’s big excuse for refusing to resign in the wake of revelations of a corrupt party culture at 10 Downing Street while the rest of the UK was in Covid-19 lockdown is that it would be “irresponsible” to go in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis that he created and a foreign war that has little to do with him at all.

What?

He said the Partygate revelations had been “a totally miserable experience” for people in government.

What? What’s miserable about partying regularly while everybody else in the country was forcibly separated – according to rules that Johnson himself made but unilaterally decided did not apply to him?

Questioned on Mumsnet, Johnson gave a very poor account of himself. He said,

“I think that on why am I still here, I’m still here because we’ve got huge pressures economically, we’ve got to get on, you know, we’ve got the biggest war in Europe for 80 years, and we’ve got a massive agenda to deliver which I was elected to deliver.

“I’ve thought about all these questions a lot, as you can imagine, and I just cannot see how actually it’d be responsible right now – given everything that is going on simply to abandon a) the project which I embarked on but b)…”

and that’s as far as he got before somebody cut him off.

He said he was “very, very surprised” and “taken aback” that he was fined for attending his surprise birthday party in the Cabinet room because it “felt like a work event” despite Sue Gray publishing photos of him swigging beer from a can at the time.

Let’s remember that the only kind of “work event” allowed at the time was a meeting to discuss business. None of the rules Johnson himself announced to the nation ever said parties involving the consumption of alcohol could take place at people’s place of work.

But then, perhaps we should not be surprised that Johnson tried to wheedle his way out of guilt for attending that party (and all the others for which he unaccountably was not fined) with a false interpretation of his rules.

After all, the very first question in the interview was: “Why should we believe anything you say when it’s been proven you’re a habitual liar?”

For goodness’ sake – this is a man who can’t even string a reasonable argument together to save his own skin.

For the good of us all, he has to be removed from the UK’s politics.

Does anyone have the guts to get that job done?

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Knighthood for dunce Williamson: confirmation that Johnson wants to ‘keep skeletons in closet’?

Gavin Williamson: another honour for the Tory Party’s ‘Mr Stupid’ – to ensure he doesn’t reveal all Boris Johnson’s guilty little secrets?

Twice-sacked Tory ministerial failure Gavin Williamson is to be knighted – for reasons that none of us can understand.

The government is saying he’ll have the honour “for political and public service”, but his record of service to politics and the public is so shockingly bad that a prison sentence for treason would be more appropriate.

He has been sacked from two ministerial posts – as secretary of state for education and defence – after causing huge scandals.

The Huffington Post has listed just some of his worst offences:

His handling of disruption to schools during the height of the pandemic and the grading of GCSEs and A-levels after exams were cancelled was widely seen as disastrous.

The firing from defence came following an inquiry into the leak of information from a security council meeting about Chinese telecoms firm Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s 5G mobile network. Williamson denied being the source of the leak, despite having an 11-minute conversation with a journalist that broke the story.

Away from policy errors, Williamson is perhaps best-known in British politics for his habit of making a gaffe.

In September, Williamson confused footballer Marcus Rashford with another sports star. [He] told the Evening Standard that he had met Rashford, a prominent campaigner for free school meals, while it was later revealed he had actually met rugby union player, Maro Itoje. Both men are black.

Last year, Williamson said he did not remember what A-Level grades he received – despite remembering opening the envelope.

In the wake of the poisoning of Sergei Skripal in 2018, Williamson … said: “Frankly, Russia should go away and should shut up.” The tenor of his warning clearly had little effect.

Days after his Rashford gaffe, Williamson urged teachers to return to in-person teaching – during a virtual appearance at a conference.

Williamson was told off by parliamentary authorities after using Instagram in the House of Commons.

In 2018, Williamson was attempting to deliver a speech on Isis in the Middle East when a voice coming from his jacket pocket interrupted proceedings. Siri could be heard saying: “Hi Gavin, I found something on the web for: ‘In Syria, democratic forces supported by…’”

The list of Gavin’s gaffes is very long indeed.

So, why the knighthood?

Well, he did run Boris Johnson’s campaign to become the Conservative Party’s leader in 2019. Some say he was given his cabinet position as Education Secretary as a reward; it certainly seemed incongruous after previous PM Theresa May had sacked him from Defence.

But the smart view is that, as an intimate colleague of Johnson, Williamson is getting the honour in order to keep him quiet – to prevent him from exposing any “skeletons in the prime minister’s closet” of which he has knowledge:

The Prime Minister fears the backbencher could open up on what he saw when he was running his leadership campaign, and a knighthood is seen by some as the price for buying his silence.

But such a move is likely to anger teachers, unions and pupils and risks further disillusioning the public as he allegedly held a Christmas party at the Department of Education (DoE) in December 2020.

The party was hosted at the DoE cafe in Westminster and up to two dozen staffers attended.

The DfE did not deny Covid rules had been broken and admitted “it would have been better” not to have held the event while the rest of the country was banned from doing so.

If this is the real reason, then it is simply more evidence of Boris Johnson’s corruption – and of the corruption that infects the heart of the UK government that accepts him as its leader:

Who can argue with that?

Source: Gavin Williamson could receive knighthood from Boris Johnson in bid ‘to keep skeletons in closet’

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More than 100,000 new #Covid19 infections but #BorisJohnson dithers. Why?

So it has finally happened.

Yesterday (December 22), the UK reported 106,122 new cases of Covid-19.

We had been warned to expect this, months ago. It took a while but the prediction has come true.

Why did it come true? Partly because of the rise of the Omicron variant, partly because Boris Johnson failed to close our borders the instant its existence was suggested, partly because he had already loosened other restrictions that hindered the spread of the disease.

Mostly because Boris Johnson really couldn’t care less.

You can tell that last point is true because he has delayed announcing any new restrictions that could limit Covid’s advance.

Yes, it would look awkward for Johnson to announce new regulations just after he had been shown breaking his own rules previously, but the first duty of any government is to protect the people – not to protect its own image. By delaying, Johnson is causing even more harm.

Even more damning is the possibility – I would call it a likelihood – that Johnson is delaying any announcement so he can use it to push any further damaging revelations about his own selfishness, incompetence and corruption off the news agenda.

How many people will suffer for the sake of Johnson’s ambitions?

We shall see.

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The #ToryCorruption wagon doesn’t stop rolling just because #BorisJohnson is in trouble

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

There has always been more to Tory government corruption than Boris Johnson possibly going to parties.

Just trawling through Twitter yesterday I found more examples of the kind of behaviour that shows corruption is widespread in the Conservative government. It might be radiating outward from Johnson but that doesn’t mean it will go away if he does.

See for yourself:

The scandals won’t stop just because one UK constituency got rid of its Tory.

They all have to go.

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Amid #ToryCorruption and #DowningStreetParty scandals, #BorisJohnson is running away AGAIN


Not just a filthy liar but a craven coward. What a wretched piece of verminous filth the UK has as a prime minister.

I refer of course to Boris Johnson, who is using the birth of his second child with wife Carrie (something like his eighth in total, although even he doesn’t seem sure) as an excuse to run away from all the scandals he has caused.

With people across the nation – including his own backbench MPs – screaming for his resignation over the lies he spat at us about the various Downing Street Christmas parties last year…

With Tory MPs across the board planning to rebel against the so-called “Plan B” Covid-19 restrictions he rushed to announce yesterday in a desperate and failed attempt to distract us from his wrongdoing…

With a by-election coming up next week that is being touted as a litmus test for public feeling on his unsuitability for office, even though it is in a Conservative “safe seat”…

He’s running away to “make time with his family”.

That is not the behaviour of a prime minister.

When a person enters public life, they understand that their personal issues – no matter what they are – must be considered of lesser importance.

That’s why all those Tory MPs who resigned because of legover scandals back in the 1980s always said they were looking forward to spending more time with their family (and why some of us laughed scornfully and asked “which one?”).

Johnson can be prime minister or he can be Mr Family Man. He can’t be both – especially when, as his spokesperson admitted “this is a particularly challenging time for the country”.

If he wants to run away from all the trouble he has caused, then he should resign as prime minister and as a member of Parliament. The UK will be far better-off without him blighting us.

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How others see us: Papua New Guinea shreds Johnson’s government

Incredible sulk: how Boris Johnson would probably look if he read this article from Papua New Guinea.

This humiliating summary of Boris Johnson’s government comes from Papua New Guinea, once partly a British protectorate.

What a takedown for Johnson that a country the UK used to rule is now ridiculing his rule of his own land:

For those who have trouble reading text in images, here it is:

So once more to the UK, where the court of despot Johnson is arrayed by the kind of sycophants and shills who would have made Caligula blush. And that’s just the journalists.

The UK is ‘world beating’ in that it is the first country voluntarily to impose economic sanctions on itself, and the first to suffer the labour shortages and stagnating wage growth that nobody but those who predicted it could have predicted.

Eagle Annual nostalgia has begat a reckoning with which Johnson’s poltroons are ill-equipped to deal. In recent weeks several pillaging lawmakers have been lacerated by the self-same media that only months ago turned a blind eye to the slaughter through negligence of tens of thousands. And they’re getting twitchy.

WhatsApp messages are deleted quicker than you can say “Kathryn Stone should consider her position”. Taxes of minimum wage carers that ended up as PPE contracts in the silken pockets of Savile Row suits are being laundered in the usual way: through real estate and favours further down the road.

The Tories are a superstitious tribe, but the magical incantations of ‘Oven Ready’, ‘Leave Means Leave’, and ‘Get Brexit Done’ that once made half the nation dance in ecstasy are now inducing a danse macabre, as the women of child-bearing age fire boltguns into the temples of screaming pigs and the men contemplate imminent planetary systems collapse by driving their SUVs at the new ascetics: smug [smug? Shurely shome mishtake?] pensioners who block motorways.

Everyone knows the reckoning is coming. Westminster is buzzing with the sound of shredders working overtime and Tories squabbling over scraps from the pharma, gambling, and petrochemical firms with whom they’ve spend a decade screwing their constituents.

But Boris doesn’t mind. The caste system left behind by the empire means there’s no shortage of Home Counties talent willing to lick the brogues of a proven liar. The price Britain has paid for painting two thirds of the atlas red is a ruling order so damaged that its members would rather sell their souls to a corporation before admitting that a single mother on eighty quid a week is their equal.

The “shredding” part is particularly relevant now, as demands for Lord Bethell to produce evidence of his meetings with Randox build in volume. What happened to his emails and text messages? Where are the minutes of his meetings?

Has the paperwork already been through one of those buzzing shredders?

And what punishment will Bethell face if he refuses point-blank to co-operate and cough up the juice?

Are we so corrupt – as a country – that we’re just going to let him get away with it?

No wonder we’re such a laughing stock around the world.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Join the campaign to keep Tory choice Paul Dacre from running ‘independent’ Ofcom

Paul Dacre: if he’s the Tory choice, then he certainly shouldn’t get the job.

The Conservatives are trying to rig the selection of a new chairman for communications regulator Ofcom.

They want to install former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre, even though he has already been through the selection process and was rejected.

The interview panel deemed him “not appointable” a few months ago – so the Tories have taken time out to appoint a new panel member: Michael Simmonds, a former Conservative Party advisor who is married to Conservative MP Nick Gibb (and therefore brother-in-law to BBC board member Sir Robbie Gibb, himself a former Downing Street comms chief under Theresa May).

In fact, the interview panel’s connections with the Conservatives are multiple (and therefore extremely suspicious). See the Guardian article (link below) for further details.

They have also rewritten the job description.

The intention seems clear – as the Good Law Project states in its article (link below): “When Boris Johnson doesn’t like the outcome of an official process, he tries to rip up the rules and start again.

“Ministers… are now shamelessly pushing to appoint Mr Dacre by adjusting the requirements of the role and re-running the recruitment process with a different interview panel.”

Lawyers acting for the Good Law Project have written to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, who has the ultimate say over the appointment, stating that this “second competition raises very serious concerns, in particular as to whether it has been held, and designed, in order to favour Mr Dacre’s candidacy”. And they have a point.

Ofcom should be independent of both the Government and the services it regulates. The appointment process must follow the rules of the Governance Code for Public Appointments: whoever is hired should be selected on merit, through an open and fair process.

The Governance Code for Public Appointments does allow for Ministers to appoint someone who is not deemed “appointable” by the Assessment Panel. But there are safeguards built into the Governance Code: they must first consult the Commissioner for Public Appointments, and they are required to explain their reasons and justify their decision publicly.

“The reason why Ofcom must remain independent of Government is the same reason the media must remain independent of Government: neither can do their job if they are in the Government’s pocket,” states the GLP in its article.

“We’re asking the Secretary of State to explain why the competition for Chair is being rerun and why Mr Dacre is being allowed to reapply.”

Unfortunately, the Culture Secretary is Nadine Dorries.

The GLP says it wants proper answers but is hardly likely to get any from her.

It is threatening court action if it doesn’t get them.

You can help… try… to change Dorries’s mind – by signing a petition calling on Dorries not to appoint Dacre.

Also the video is worth watching.

In honesty, this will probably end up in court. The Tories want to dismantle the BBC – despite having stuffed it with their own people – and they know Dacre will help them do it.

But this would be blatant government interference in an organisation that should be independent.

And it needs to be fought.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
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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:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook