Tag Archives: expenses

Ministers line their pockets as landlords while claiming public money to pay their own rent

Eight of Boris Johnson’s cabinet ministers are leeching money from the public to pay their own rent while acting as landlords themselves, renting out properties to others.

Last year they claimed a total of £145,838 back from taxpayers for ­properties they live in while in London.

While there is nothing illegal in what these people are doing, let us remember that they belong to a party that has consistently filibustered attempts to reform the private accommodation rental sector.

So, for example, Tories talked out a private members’ bill to prevent so-called “revenge” evictions (and the MPs doing the talking were themselves landlords).

And the same landlords also blocked plans to force landlords to ensure their properties are fit for human habitation.

So the following people are living it up, having co-operated in forcing tenants across the country to put up with substandard living conditions or be evicted.

Here’s the list:

Defence secretary Ben Wallace claimed £27,550 for rent in 2018/19 but lets out a flat in south-west London.

Minister without portfolio and Tory Party chairman James Cleverly billed taxpayers £14,400 while letting out a house in Lewisham, south-east London – just seven miles from Westminster.

Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry claimed £13,050 for rent while getting income from three houses in Anglesey.

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns claimed £18,900 for rent but let a ­property in Cardiff to tenants.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack claimed £11,310 while earning income from two cottages in his Dumfries and Galloway constituency.

Security Minister Brandon Lewis charged £21,795 while renting out his home in Essex.

Attorney General Geoffrey Cox charged £22,680 while letting a property in London and farmland in west Devon.

And Chief Whip Mark Spencer claimed £16,153 for hotels while pocketing rent on a farm.

On top of their £79,468 MPs’ salaries, ministers receive at least £31,680 for extra responsibilities.

Source: Eight ministers in Boris Johnson’s cabinet lining their pockets as landlords – Mirror Online

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Convicted expenses forger’s ultimatum to voters: ‘You’ve got to support me’

Chris Davies: Some of us think he should be behind prison bars rather than campaigning to win back his comfortable Parliamentary seat.

Disgraced former Tory MP Chris Davies has scandalised voters in Brecon and Radnorshire by campaigning for re-election with the words “you’ve got to support me”.

They come at the end of an election communication full of logical contradictions. Let’s examine them – we can laugh at him at the same time.

He begins: “Over 10% of residents in Brecon and Radnorshire have signed the recall petition. That means we’ve now got a by-election.”

This is true – but it was almost 20 per cent of residents who signed the recall petition. With by-election votes being significantly lower than in normal elections, this hostility to Mr Davies seriously harms his chances.

“Over three years ago as a new MP, I made a stupid mistake. I submitted incorrect paper work (sic) for a legitimate expense for my office. As a result, I’ve completed community service and paid a fine of £1,500.

“This is my fault and no one else’s.”

It is welcome that Mr Davies admits that he was responsible for the wrongdoing – even if he doesn’t want to admit that it was a criminal offence for which he was convicted in a court of law. People voting for him would be supporting a convicted criminal and endorsing the actions that led to his conviction.

“I sincerely apologise – to you and to all the residents of Brecon and Radnorshire.”

I doubt the sincerity of this apology. Firstly, he spent nearly a year denying that he had committed an offence and only admitted it when his case got to court. Secondly, my household did not receive this letter so he is clearly not apologising “to all the residents of Brecon and Radnorshire”.

Now he moves on to discuss the by-election. Does he mention Conservative policies that will make life easier for the people of the constituency, or that are already doing so? No.

“But we’ve got a by-election now. And we’ve got a simple choice,” he writes.

“This by-election is between me, who votes for Brexit in Parliament – and a Liberal Democrat, who will block Brexit in Parliament.”

What utter gibberish. Clearly he is terrified of Labour candidate Tomos Davies, who is the freshest face in the constituency’s politics and also the only one whose reputation is not stained by failure. And why not mention Brexit Party candidate Desmond Parkinson, who would also vote in Parliament to leave the European Union and whose party has enjoyed considerable success in the matter of weeks since it was formed?

The fact is that the result of this by-election will be dictated by several elements: Most important will be the different candidates’ policies regarding issues that affect people in the constituency. These are grassroots issues. People will want to know who supports the structures of our society – the services provided by local government, our education system, law and order. Which is the best party (among those standing) to combat climate change? We know the answer to all these questions is Labour. The Tories and Liberal Democrats colluded in dismantling the fabric of UK society between 2010 and 2015 and the Brexit Party is a one-issue organisation as its title clearly states.

Secondly, Brecon and Radnorshire is a marginal constituency where people vote tactically in order to achieve the result they want – but this has not worked well over the last decade or so. In 2010, a majority of people voted Liberal Democrat because they did not want a Conservative government – but the Liberal Democrat they supported (Roger Williams) then went into a coalition with the Conservatives that had been agreed by his leaders two months before the election. His supporters ended up with a Tory government in any case and the following five years were an appalling betrayal of their trust.

In 2015, the Liberal Democrats demanded that the election in Brecon and Radnorshire was a “two-horse race” between them and the Tories in a desperate bid to head off a growing vote for Labour in the constituency. Thousands of voters were fooled and Mr Davies slipped into Parliament on the back of the resulting split in the opposition vote.

And in 2017 the Liberal Democrats repeated the lie and Mr Davies increased his majority.

Finally, Brexit skews everything. There are supporters of every party who are reconsidering where they will put their vote on the basis of their opinion about whether the UK should stay in the European Union.

So where Mr Davies writes: “For the last 40 years, only Conservatives and Lib Dems have won here. It’ll be the same this time round,” he is talking through his hat.

He compounds the lie in the very next sentence, which ends with an ultimatum: “So if you want an MP who’ll back Brexit in Parliament, you’ve got to support me.”

This is a lie. Two parties in this election support Brexit no matter what – the Brexit Party and the Conservatives. Both will be happy to leave the EU without any deal to support UK businesses and the economy, and this could be disastrous for the majority of people here; we have already seen a large drop in production as a result of uncertainty, and what about all the international car manufacturers who are threatening to pull out?

The Liberal Democrats support remaining in the European Union because they think it will encourage people to vote for them – and let’s face it, their performance in the European Parliamentary election – even though no MEP will have any say on Brexit at all – suggests they are right. For a party that is struggling, with only 13 MPs in the Westminster Parliament, it could be a lifeline. But their policies have not changed and they would merrily jump right back into bed with the Conservatives if it meant they would have another taste of power.

None of these parties care about what happens to the people of the United Kingdom. They have ideological or selfish reasons for saying what they have. The only party interested in the well-being of the UK population, it seems, is Labour. That’s why Labour says it won’t support a ‘no deal’ Brexit that will harm the people, and will only support a deal that has a chance of maintaining living standards in the UK. It is also the reason Labour wants any Brexit proposals to go back to the electorate for a confirming vote, alongside the choice to remain in the EU if those proposals aren’t worth taking.

Mr Davies ignores all of that. His words: “A vote for anyone elsse will let the Lib Dems sneak through.

“We saw what happened in the Peterborough by-election a few weeks ago. People voted for the Brexit Party – and they got Labour.” This is a gross misinterpretation of events there. The Brexit Party attracted votes from traditional supporters of both the Conservatives and Labour. If that organisation had not stood a candidate, those votes would have remained in their traditional homes and it is likely that Labour would still have won.

“It’ll be just like that here,” writes Mr Davies. “A vote for the Brexit Party will mean that we end up with the Lib Dems.”

It’s like a bad attempt at brainwashing – or a return to what the Nazis called “The Big Lie”: Repeat a claim often enough and people will believe it.

This time it isn’t true.

“The Lib Dems have promised to do everything they can to stop Brexit. So another MP voting against Brexit will mean it could be delayed again – or even completely blocked.” Mr Davies writes as though any Brexit will be good for the UK. This is a lie.

“The Lib Dems are completely open about their plans to stop Brexit. So if you don’t want ANOTHER MP who’ll block Brexit, then you’ve got to support me.”

That’s his line: Don’t support the Brexit Party because he’ll give you exactly what they are offering. Support a convicted criminal so he can put your livelihood in jeopardy.

I have an alternative proposition.

Think for yourself.

Don’t let yourself be led by the nose, like a farm animal going to the slaughter, by these ideologically-obsessed suits whose only interest is lining their own pockets.

Vote for a candidate who will stand up for better services and living standards in Brecon and Radnorshire, and who will demand that Brexit works for all the people of the UK – not just the rich and selfish – or should be scrapped altogether if the people demand it.

Any other choice is insanity – and that especially includes voting for convicted expenses forger Chris Davies.

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Chris Davies re-selection makes mockery of by-election triggered by his expenses conviction

Chris Davies behind bars: Some of us might wish he were in a similar situation permanently.

The shock development in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election – so far, is that expenses cheat Chris Davies has been replaced as the Tory candidate by… expenses cheat Chris Davies.

Is this a joke? Clearly the Brecon and Radnorshire Conservative Association can’t be taking the matter seriously – right?

Well…

With Nigel Farage threatening to do a deal with the Tories if Boris Johnson became prime minister, and the Brexit Party eyeing the ‘Leave’-supporting constituency eagerly, they may have thought it wouldn’t matter if they supported the convicted criminal.

And there were rumours that Mr Davies was threatening to stand as an independent if he didn’t get the Tory ticket, potentially splitting the vote so that neither his own party nor the Brexiteers could get in.

The fact is that those of us who aren’t Tories are unlikely ever to get confirmed details of the facts behind the decision.

Mr Davies himself was upbeat about his selection, as quoted in the Mirror: “A lot has been achieved over the past four years, but there is so much more to do, and I am the right person to do it.”

Yes. A lot has been achieved by the Conservatives in Parliament over the last four years. Let’s consider:

We have seen the central government grant to local authorities cut to the bone, leaving organisations like the Powys Social Services department struggling to honour its duty of care in even the most basic way.

And if you want to know why your local school is hard-pressed to provide educational materials for your children, it’s because of MPs like Mr Davies – not councils or the Welsh Assembly Government.

The misnamed Universal Credit is impoverishing working people and the unemployed alike.

And incomprehensible cuts to sickness and disability benefits have left the most vulnerable people in Brecon and Radnorshire contemplating suicide – because they think death would be an improvement on the life that Mr Davies has forced upon them.

Farmers can look forward to the loss of their EU subsidies after (if?) Brexit happens. The Tories have said they will continue to pay those funds at the same rates for a short period afterwards, but it is likely this will be to get them past the next election before the hammer falls. Mr Davies is a big supporter of Brexit.

The list goes on and on. If you are a constituent of Brecon and Radnorshire, no doubt you could name completely different examples of harm inflicted by Mr Davies and his overprivileged ilk.

So we return to the question of Mr Davies’ re-selection. Is it a joke?

If so, it is in very poor taste.

Source: Chris Davies: Tories RE-SELECT expenses criminal MP to fight crucial by-election – Mirror Online

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By-election for Brecon and Radnorshire after MP convicted for falsifying expenses

Expenses faker: Chris Davies.

A by-election will take place in This Writer’s constituency of Brecon and Radnorshire after Tory MP Chris Davies was convicted of falsifying expenses claims.

Under Parliamentary rules, the conviction meant a “recall” petition would be opened automatically and Mr Davies would lose his seat if more than 10 per cent of the electorate here voted to oust him.

That petition has now closed and it has been revealed that the target number of 5,303 signatures has not only been reached but nearly doubled. 10,005 people signed.

A by-election will take place in the near future.

Mr Davies will be eligible to stand again – but the seat is considered a target for the Liberal Democrats and Labour may use it as a testing-ground for its Brexit policy. Will the party’s local members be able to get their message across on the doorstep?

On a personal note, I’m delighted. Mr Davies was among the first to condemn me – with absolutely no evidence – when I was falsely accused of anti-Semitism in 2016 and it is significant that while I was – and remain – innocent, he is now a criminal.

As an MP, I do not believe he represented the majority of people of Brecon and Radnorshire – but he is not alone in that. During the Coalition government of 2010-15, the Liberal Democrat MP he replaced also carried out the demands of the Conservative-led government and did not hear the pleas of his constituents. I recall the controversy over the anti-lobbying Act in particular.

The Liberal Democrats lost credibility as a result of their alliance with the Conservatives against the people of the UK and I think that is why Roger Williams lost Brecon and Radnorshire to Mr Davies.

But people have short memories – and some may even wish to allow a Lib Dem back in, simply to stop a Conservative, whether Mr Davies or someone else, from regaining the seat.

This will be interesting!

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If Esther McVey becomes PM, will most of the UK’s budget be devoted to making her look good?

Ugh: She might have spent nearly £10,000 of OUR cash in an attempt to prettify herself but it was clearly money for old rope.

On the basis of this revelation, if Esther McVey drops out of the Tory leadership contest it won’t be because of any sexism on the party of her fellow MPs.

It will be because they are concerned about the drain on the national budget caused by her attempts to make herself look attractive.

Who would have thought she would want to spend so much public money trying to make herself seem pretty?

Still, the facts don’t lie: She claimed £8,750 on expenses, over two years, for the services of a photographer and public relations person.

The public will interpret this as an admission that she is more interested in her own image than in matters of importance to the nation.

That should be enough for her colleagues to stop her prime ministerial ambition in its tracks.

Source: Esther McVey claimed £8,750 in expenses for personal photographer | Politics | The Guardian

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Owned: Scrounging skinflint Tory Nigel Adams gets what he deserves

Nigel Adams: He only recently resigned as a government minister so there’s not much he can do in recompense for this goof.

Labour has announced that, the next time the party is voted into office, it will extend the adult living wage to cover people aged 16 and 17. That means it will be £10 per hour.

This didn’t go down well with Nigel Adams, the Conservative MP for Selby and Ainsty in North Yorkshire, whose political career (so far) has been conspicuously inconspicuous. He was a Wales Office minister and a government whip, but resigned over Theresa May’s Brexit talks with Theresa May.

“Why not throw in a free iPad and free Spotify subscription?” he sneered on Twitter.

Why not indeed?

After all, as Rob Thompson made perfectly clear – with an illustration: “You bought a keypad for £169 and then made US BLOODY PAY FOR IT!

Yes indeed. It was all in the expenses account. He charged the taxpayer for that so, if Labour did thrown in a free iPad and Spotify subscription, he wouldn’t have a leg to stand on if he opposed it.

Labour isn’t planning to throw in a free iPad and Spotify subscription, to the best of This Writer’s knowledge.

So when the legislation comes around to extend the living wage to £10 per hour for everyone aged 16 onwards, it’s good to know Mr Adams will support it. Right?

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Recall petition means possible by-election for Tory MP after criminal conviction over fake expenses

Chris Davies: Behind bars – altbough he won’t be jailed over his fraudulent expenses claim.

It’s happening: Voters in Brecon and Radnorshire will be asked to sign a petition demanding a by-election after their MP was convicted of expenses fraud.

Chris Davies – who also happens to be This Writer’s MP – was fined £1,500 and ordered to do 50 hours’ community service after he was found guilty of submitting fake expenses invoices for £700 of landscape photographs to decorate his office.

The “recall petition” will trigger a by-election if it is signed by 10 per cent of the constituency’s electorate or more.

The comments of Mr Justice Edis, when sentencing the MP, were damning: “It seems shocking that when confronted with a simple accounting problem, you thought to forge documents. That is an extraordinary thing for a man with your position and your background to do.

“There was no error here. What you did was done quite deliberately and it must have taken some time to create your fake documents. MPs ask the public to place their trust in them and in an election that’s what happens.

“They become the guardians of the nation’s democracy and depend on the public holding them in high esteem. Any significant betrayal of that standard is serious and crosses the custody threshold.

“The recall process may end your political career – that’s part of the machinery.”

Chris Davies has turned out to be utterly useless as a representative of the people. His actions have shown that he was interested only in serving himself.

This Writer will be signing the petition. I hope many other voters in Brecon and Radnorshire will also want a proper MP – for a change.

Source: Tory MP Chris Davies could face byelection after fake expenses claim | Politics | The Guardian


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Davies guilty of expenses fraud. Time for a by-election in Brecon and Radnorshire

Guilty: Chris Davies.

Chris Davies, Conservative MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, has admitted two offences of expenses fraud. Now the people of Brecon and Radnorshire can have their fun.

We (the Brecon and Radnorshire electorate) may now petition for the MP to be recalled and for a by-election in the constituency.

If at least 10 per cent of registered electors sign a recall petition, we can have an election and get rid of him.

The petition should be triggered automatically, and it will be for Brecon and Radnorshire’s Returning Officer – and also Powys County Council’s chief executive – Dr Caroline Turner to make it available to the public.

If it isn’t, Brecon and Radnorshire electors can register their concern by contacting Dr Turner via the council on 01597 826000.

There should be an announcement by the House of Commons Speaker’s Office, too. You can email [email protected] to ask about it, too.

Source: Tory MP Chris Davies guilty of false expenses claim – BBC News


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MP who claimed Vox Political writer supported anti-Semitism is charged with expenses fraud

Chris Davies: Brecon and Radnorshire’s cartoon MP.

People have been celebrating this all over my Twitter feed today, and I can’t say I blame them. But I have to insert a note of caution.

Yes, Chris Davies, Conservative MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, member of the European Research Group (ERG) of Tory eurosceptics and Conservative Friend of Israel who gleefully joined in the accusations when This Writer was falsely accused of anti-Semitism, has been charged with two counts of making a false instrument and one of providing false or misleading information for allowance claims, after allegations he falsified two invoices in support of parliamentary expenses claims.

(That’s expenses fraud, to you and me.)

He will appear before magistrates in Westminster on March 22.

But we all need to remember he has been charged, not convicted.

He is entitled to a fair trial (although that’s more than I had, with regard to the anti-Semitism claims).

If he is found guilty of any or all of the offences, then the voters of Brecon and Radnorshire can have a lot of fun. The reason?

We will be able to petition for his removal as MP, and for a by-election to be held in the the constituency.

If at least 10 per cent of registered electors sign a recall petition, we can have an election and get rid of him.

As far as I’m concerned, that can’t happen soon enough. But it will only happen if justice is served so I must appeal for everyone to withhold their opinions until after the verdict.


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Priti Patel’s enormous expenses make her the most expensive MP in Parliament – claim

Priti Patel: Now you know why she’s always wearing that smug smile.

The indignation broke like a wave over Twitter yesterday evening (February 2) – that Priti Patel’s expenses claims may make her the most expensive MP in Parliament, taking home more money than prime minister Theresa May receives in her salary.

I have fact-checked this – it’s very simple and you can do it yourself by visiting this web page – and it shows that in the financial year 2017-18 she pocketed £152,672.15, which is actually more than is suggested in John Clarke’s tweet:

And it justifies all the other nasty comments that have been made about her. Here are a few:

Rob says: “More Tory snout in the trough – taking everything giving nothing.”

“More greed. It amazing how much these MPs get away with,” tweets Leighton Royston.

“D” reminds us that Ms Patel “Called UK workers the laziest in the world. Patel is once again top of the “expenses” list. Keep voting for this and blaming the poor if that’s what works for you….idiots.”

This ties in with a recent comment to This Site by “Growing Flame” as follows: “I always thought that many Tory voters voted for their favourite Party knowing full-well that other British citizens would suffer because of it. And that was the POINT. People vote Tory to punish others of whom they disapprove, such as the less well-off or ethnic minorities or immigrants or gays etc.”

Meanwhile, Conservative MPs like Ms Patel make a fortune for doing nothing. So who do you think really deserves to be punished?

And Richard Mayer suggests: “She would happily stop foreign aid to the poorest in the world but claims double her annual salary as expenses from the taxpayer.”

Yes, her attitude to foreign aid is odd – she’d stop aid for the poorest but she wanted to give a lot of help to Israel, if you remember: She wanted our International Aid money to fund field hospitals run by the Israeli government in the Golan Heights (land which belongs to Syria but has been illegally occupied by Israel for many years).

She made that claim after a “family holiday” to Israel at which she held meetings with senior members of the Israel government including prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. I wonder whether she claim that on expenses (it would be a contradiction but would anybody be surprised) – such a claim would have been honoured during the tax year in question.

And of course her payout after resigning in disgrace as International Development Secretary was £17,000. She should have been sacked but Theresa May wanted to give her your money and that meant she was asked to resign instead.

If I had claimed such a large amount in expenses while I was working as an employee, I’m sure I would have been called into the appropriate office for a good, hard talking-to, followed by a whittling-down of the claim; the company would have found reasons to disallow some items. That never seems to happen with MPs. Why not?

All this money has gone to a woman who is a national – and international – disgrace and a stain on our national character. She’ll probably be back in the Cabinet soon, if the Tories are lucky enough to stay in government. Will you meekly accept that? Or will you do whatever you can to prevent it?

Afterword: Some commenters have called into question whether Ms Patel’s expenses make her Parliament’s most expensive MP, and it seems worthy of investigation. Expect more on this as and when I’m able to provide it.


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