Tag Archives: Lord

#BBC lapses back to its old ways – fails to correct #LordSheikh on #Labourantisemitism


This is the reason people are indifferent to the BBC losing its licence fee: its news content is indifferent to factual accuracy:

That’s Lord Sheikh, President of the Conservative Muslim Forum, protesting that the Labour Party has been found anti-Semitic while discussing Nusrat Ghani’s sacking from her job as transport minister over her “Muslimness”.

The trouble is, of course, that Labour has never been found to be anti-Semitic.

He was either lying or misinformed.

BBC News Channel present Joanna Gosling should have known the facts but decided not to correct the Tory lord.

If the BBC cannot provide accurate information, then it does not deserve to continue.

The irony is that the corporation’s demise is being ordered by the Conservative Party – after the BBC has bent over backwards to become that organisation’s propaganda arm.

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#Corruption row over #DowningStreetRefurbishment intensifies with #GreatExhibition revelation

Duper’s delight: This is the smile Boris Johnson wears when he is lying. Watch his face in the video clip of him being asked about his WhatsApp messages and you’ll see the same smirk.

Did Lord Brownlow pay for Boris Johnson’s flat to be redecorated, to ensure his plan for a “Great Exhibition v2.0” would have prime ministerial support?

Downing Street says no – because the plan is not being pursued. But Brownlow did discuss it in a meeting with Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden a few weeks after his WhatsApp chat with Johnson about the flat and the exhibition in November 2020.

And Downing Street can’t define any material difference between “Great Exhibition v2.0” and a so-called “Festival UK” that apparently will happen this year.

Johnson faced investigation over the funding of his flat refurbishment last year because it gave rise to fears that he was caught in a conflict of interest, if he was aware of the identity of the person(s) paying for his expensive flat redecoration.

He was cleared by the ministerial standards watchdog he had employed, Lord Geidt, last May – but in December the Electoral Commission published information showing that Johnson had contacted Brownlow seeking extra funding in November 2020.

This prompted another investigation by Geidt, leading to the publication of the WhatsApp exchange in which the redecoration funding and the exhibition plan were linked.

Geidt then, unaccountably, cleared Johnson a second time – despite the apparent conflict of interest.

Was this because he’s Johnson’s employee, and not an independent advisor on ministerial interests?

Johnson, of course, claimed he has “followed ministerial guidance at all times” – but he couldn’t keep the smirk off his face while he was doing so:

The affair has brought the Ministerial Code into disrepute, with some people asking…

… and others suggesting…

One conclusion we can draw with certainty is that there will be no attempt by this Tory government to reform the Ministerial Code in order to prevent the corruption we see here; it helps them, so they won’t change it.

They’re probably hoping that, even though we see them now, we’ll forget what has happened by the time the next election rolls around. They really do hold us in that much contempt.

Here’s some background reading:

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#DowningStreetRefurbishment: #BorisJohnson’s excuse makes him either a liar or a fool

Lord Geidt: has he been fooled by Boris Johnson – twice? Or is it in fact Johnson who is the fool?

“I’ve changed my mobile phone” is fast becoming the Tory government version of “the dog ate my homework”, isn’t it?

What’s amazing is that Boris Johnson’s advisor on ministerial interests, Lord Geidt, has accepted this excuse for why Johnson did not provide important information to the inquiry on funding for Johnson’s Downing Street flat.

We all know the details now, don’t we? If not, just skip past the quoted parts that follow, taken from a previous Vox Political article, giving the story so far:

Johnson was accused last April of having misled Parliament by failing to provide details of funding for the renovations to his official Downing Street flat.

The allegation was that private donations to the Conservative Party totalling £60,000 had been used as part of £200,000 worth of refurbishments to the flat.

If so, it should have been reported to the Electoral Commission, because the Ministerial Code demands that “a statement covering relevant Ministers’ interests will be published twice yearly”. The last such statement (at the time of the investigation last April) had appeared in July 2020, eight months previously.

If Johnson had received the money from other people, this created a potential conflict of interest but Geidt concluded very swiftly that Johnson did not breach the Ministerial Code and that no conflict, or reasonably perceived conflict, of interest arose.

He said that £52,000 had been contributed by Lord Brownlow, but via a blind trust, meaning Johnson seemed unaware that Brownlow had contributed his own money to it.

But the Electoral Commission had launched its own investigation – and this has just concluded that Johnson did approach Brownlow for cash, via WhatsApp – the government’s favoured method of avoiding scrutiny, back in November 2020.

It seems clear that, having requested it from Brownlow, Johnson could not have been unaware of its origin when the bills were suddenly paid.

That was the situation on December 11. Now, Lord Geidt has published a WhatsApp exchange between Johnson and Brownlow, in which Brownlow said there would be no problem finding the cash for the flat refurbishment because he knew how it would be provided.

The intention had been for the money to come from a blind trust, but this did not happen and it was all provided by Brownlow instead.

So it seems incongruous to This Writer that Johnson claims not to know who provided the cash, having gone straight to Brownlow when he needed more.

Furthermore, his excuse that he had replaced his mobile phone and no longer had access to the WhatsApp exchange does not make sense, because his WhatsApp account would, logically, have been transferred to the new phone.

It is a simple process and one that This Writer feels sure Johnson would have carried out – if he didn’t want to lose all of his WhatsApp contacts and all of his chats. Is it the way the Electoral Commission gained access to the Brownlow chat?

Whatever the case, it seems clear that Johnson either lied to Lord Geidt by saying he couldn’t access the Brownlow chat when he could – or Johnson is an imbecile who can’t use a mobile phone properly.

In either case, he should not be the prime minister of the UK.

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What’s happening with #LordGeidt’s re-investigation of #DowningStreetRefurbishment ?

Lord Geidt: he may not look angry in this image but he’s probably raging on the inside.

It’s been a while since a furious Lord Geidt announced he was reopening his investigation into the funding of Boris Johnson’s redecoration of the 11 Downing Street flat that is his official residence. But what’s happening with it? Anything?

Geidt was angry because it was revealed earlier this month that Johnson had lied to him, meaning his investigation had cleared the prime minister in error.

I wrote:

What actually happened, it seems, was this:

Johnson wanted to redecorate the flat but his tastes ran to much more expense than the £30,000 per year annual allowance he receives for this purpose.

The Conservative Party then received a donation for £67,801.72 from Brownlow’s firm Huntswood Associates Ltd – but declared only £15,000 of it as a donation. The rest went towards the flat redecoration via a payment from the Tory Party to the Cabinet Office.

This, plus the £30k allowance, was still not enough so Johnson WhatsApp’ed Brownlow for more on November 29, 2020, leading to a further payment direct to contractors of £59,747.40.

The Tories said the £53k they didn’t declare was not a donation, but was in fact “a donation to the Prime Minister via the party”, or “a ‘gift to the nation’”, or “a ministerial matter”, or “the repayment of a loan”.

But the Electoral Commission disagreed, saying the full amount “was a donation and should have been reported to the Commission”; the party’s records of the £53k sum were “not accurate”; and there were “serious failings in the party’s compliance systems”.

As a result, the Conservative Party has been fined £17,800 for failing to comply with electoral law. See information here and here for more details.

That covers the money that went through the Conservative Party but not the extra cash that Brownlow put up himself.

It seems clear that, having requested it from Brownlow, Johnson could not have been unaware of its origin when the bills were suddenly paid.

Johnson said at the time of the original investigation that he had not known the source of the money until February this year, when the evidence now shows he knew in November 2020.

All the information about the case is available and it shouldn’t have taken Lord Geidt long to come to a new decision.

So what is it?

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#DowningStreetFlat controversy resurfaces as information shows #BorisJohnson lied to investigation

Has this Downing Street story resurfaced now so manipulative people can confuse it with the story about the Downing Street party last year?

Even if not, it seems to be doing just that, as commenters on Twitter have been mixing the two merrily.

So, for clarity, here’s Labour’s Zarah Sultana with the story:

Boris Johnson – a liar?

Okay, it’s not much of a revelation. But the evidence that he lied to an investigation by Lord Geidt, the independent advisor on ministers’ interests, about how he paid for the flat can only harm Johnson at a time when he desperately needs validation.

Johnson was accused last April of having misled Parliament by failing to provide details of funding for the renovations to his official Downing Street flat.

The allegation was that private donations to the Conservative Party totalling £60,000 had been used as part of £200,000 worth of refurbishments to the flat.

If so, it should have been reported to the Electoral Commission, because the Ministerial Code demands that “a statement covering relevant Ministers’ interests will be published twice yearly”. The last such statement (at the time of the investigation last April) had appeared in July 2020, eight months previously.

If Johnson had received the money from other people, this created a potential conflict of interest but Geidt concluded very swiftly that Johnson did not breach the Ministerial Code and that no conflict, or reasonably perceived conflict, of interest arose.

He said that £52,000 had been contributed by Lord Brownlow, but via a blind trust, meaning Johnson seemed unaware that Brownlow had contributed his own money to it.

But the Electoral Commission had launched its own investigation – and this has just concluded that Johnson did approach Brownlow for cash, via WhatsApp – the government’s favoured method of avoiding scrutiny, back in November 2020:

So what actually happened, it seems, was this:

Johnson wanted to redecorate the flat but his tastes ran to much more expense than the £30,000 per year annual allowance he receives for this purpose.

The Conservative Party then received a donation for £67,801.72 from Brownlow’s firm Huntswood Associates Ltd – but declared only £15,000 of it as a donation. The rest went towards the flat redecoration via a payment from the Tory Party to the Cabinet Office.

This, plus the £30k allowance, was still not enough so Johnson WhatsApp’ed Brownlow for more on November 29, 2020, leading to a further payment direct to contractors of £59,747.40.

The Tories said the £53k they didn’t declare was not a donation, but was in fact “a donation to the Prime Minister via the party”, or “a ‘gift to the nation’”, or “a ministerial matter”, or “the repayment of a loan”.

But the Electoral Commission disagreed, saying the full amount “was a donation and should have been reported to the Commission”; the party’s records of the £53k sum were “not accurate”; and there were “serious failings in the party’s compliance systems”.

As a result, the Conservative Party has been fined £17,800 for failing to comply with electoral law. See information here and here for more details.

That covers the money that went through the Conservative Party but not the extra cash that Brownlow put up himself.

It seems clear that, having requested it from Brownlow, Johnson could not have been unaware of its origin when the bills were suddenly paid.

Certainly his former advisor (and now bitter enemy who calls Johnson the “Shopping Trolley”, using an image of one, on Twitter) Dominic Cummings seems to think so:

Lord Geidt is said to be furious about it – and has reopened his investigation. Whether he did so at the request of Labour’s Angela Rayner (below) is not known to This Writer:

The prime minister’s office at Downing Street has said it will answer any questions Geidt has.

If he finds information that shows Johnson did know the source of the money – or had reason to – then he is likely to have broken not just the Ministerial Code but also the wider Members’ Code, applicable to all MPs.

Any such breach would require his resignation from his job – although as final arbiter on breaches of the Ministerial Code, he could always corruptly dismiss the findings. He’s done that before.

Coming after the allegations about Christmas parties in Downing Street while London was in Tier 3 lockdown, before a by-election triggered by the resignation of a Tory MP amid corruption claims, and while Tory backbenchers debate whether they’ll support new Covid-19 social distancing rules that many believe Johnson is imposing as a distraction, this is another hammer blow to Johnson’s credibility.

If he is found to have known about any of the parties, or the Tory loses the by-election, or Parliament fails to ratify the ‘Plan B’ measures, or he’s found to have broken either of the codes relevant to the flat refurb – or any combination of them – Johnson’s career should be over.

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Why is ‘Lord Fraud’ attacking the Benefit Cap that he helped impose?

Lord Freud: his policies were nonsense and he talked nonsense in support of them. Now he is attacking his own Benefit Cap. Why?

A formerly-Labour turncoat who helped impose on millions of people the Bedroom Tax and the £30/week cut in Employment and Support Allowance has turned again – on his own party.

Lord Freud was commonly known as ‘Lord Fraud’ in response to the many false claims he made about his draconian policies – and now he has as good as admitted that the label was true.

He has said that the Benefit Cap, imposed while he was a minister at the Department for Work and Pensions in 2013 under Iain Duncan Smith, David Cameron and George Osborne, did nothing to improve the nation’s finances.

Instead, it whipped up support for the Tories among the public, who had been taught to believe that people on benefits were “scroungers” and “skivers” by the Tory rhetoric of the time.

This Writer has been commenting on the Benefit Cap, almost since This Site began, pointing out continually that its claim to be an austerity measure was a sham. Now, once again, I have been proved right.

The cap was initially set to limit benefits at £26,000 a year, but this was reduced to £20,000 for people outside London and £23,000 for those in the capital in 2015.

The saving was £190 million – slightly more than 0.1 per cent of the then-£177 million social security bill. It did nothing to pay off the huge debts we were told had arisen as a result of the 2008 financial crash and the Great Recession that followed.

According to the Mirror, Freud is now saying

Mr Osborne’s chief of staff Rupert Harrison told him: “I know it doesn’t make much in the way of savings but when we tested the policy it polled off the charts. We’ve never had such a popular policy.”

Freud himself is now pleading for Chancellor Rishi Sunak to lift the cap:

I urge him to use a small proportion of [a £25 billion surplus Sunak is said to have] to alleviate the real hardship suffered by our very poorest citizens.

I doubt his sincerity.

This is the man who, after advising New Labour on ways of making the benefit system more harmful to claimants, joined the Conservatives in order to continue inflicting harm on vulnerable people with the new government that was formed in 2010.

In addition to policies like the Benefit Cap, Bedroom Tax and the cuts to sickness benefit ESA, he also tried to suggest that people with disabilities should be forced to work for less because they were not “worth” the minimum wage.

After his words created an outcry, he apologised. Perhaps he thought his own job was at risk?

When he retired to his eight-bedroomed mansion, I said he based his policies on nonsense and defended them with nonsense – and now, according to his own words, we can all see that I was right.

Now he has spoken up to attack one of those policies, on a pretext of trying to help struggling families, and I don’t believe it.

He is a Tory. He hates the poor and his policies between 2010 and 2016 demonstrate this with a horrifying consistency.

So I have to ask:

What’s in it for him?

Source: Benefit cap scandal as Tory ex-minister claims cruel policy was designed ‘to win votes’ – Mirror Online

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Johnson’s green credibility is blown; he flew back to London for meal WITH CLIMATE CHANGE DENIER

Not the Garrick Club dinner: you can bet Boris Johnson wasn’t drinking water (if that’s really what it was in this pic) at the booze-up with climate denier Lord Moore on Tuesday.

So much for all that nonsense Number 10 was spouting about Boris Johnson’s plane being super-green and its carbon footprint being negated.

It turns out he couldn’t catch a train back to London from COP26 because he was going to a meal with a climate change denier and wanted to get there on time.

Downing Street also said “time constraints” prevented Johnson from travelling by train – and this is clearly more true than all that crap about the environment.

According to the Mirror, Johnson left COP26 at 6.20pm on Tuesday, arriving at London Stansted at 7.16pm.

The train journey would have taken four and a half hours – meaning he would have been very late for the flash dinner reunion for Daily Telegraph journalists, including former editor Lord Charles Moore, who once said the climate crisis was “speculation”.

So there you have it.

After falling asleep at the major meeting to stop climate armageddon – maskless, thereby polluting the atmosphere around national treasure David Attenborough…

He took a plane – the more polluting option, no matter what Downing Street says (have those carbon-offsetting trees been planted yet?)…

And spent the evening at a slap-up meal in the Garrick Club with a self-confessed climate denier.

What a hypocritical puff of hot air.

Source: Boris Johnson took private jet from Cop26 to dine with climate sceptic at members’ club | The Independent

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NI protocol: Frost’s new plan gets cold reception from EU. Rightly?

Lord Frost: he has turned his back on ‘Building Back Better’ and he isn’t ‘Getting On’ with anything – particularly the EU and Northern Ireland.

Both the UK and EU are putting forward ideas to change the Northern Ireland Protocol that aims to prevent a hard border being set up between the province and the Republic of Ireland. The problem is obvious: they don’t agree.

Worse still is the admission by Brexit Secretary Lord Frost that the UK only signed up to the protocol, back in 2019, because Boris Johnson was in a hurry to “Get Brexit Done”.

The implication is clear:

Johnson has only ever seen Brexit as an electoral tool – to fool voters into electing a Conservative government. He never really supported its agreements.

Let’s remind ourselves of what Johnson said about the deal in 2019, and what he has said about it since:

So it was a “great new deal”, but only up to the point at which it was implemented, after which it was a barrier to trade. A barrier that Johnson and Frost created!

Frost has now turned on the deal that he himself, personally, negotiated, saying that it is no good. It seems the whole world has responded with incredulity at the sheer cheek of this man, many agreeing with Neale Richmond’s analysis of him, below:

Frost reckons the NI Protocol is unworkable and blames the EU for imposing rules that restrict the flow of UK goods across the artificial border that Johnson put in the middle of the Irish Sea after lying that he’d do no such thing.

He has devised an entirely new protocol that strips the European Court of Justice of its governance role and proposes international arbitration of the way provisions in the protocol are implemented.

But the EU has said it would be very hard to see the Protocol surviving without ECJ oversight and was set, today, to propose its own changes:

The proposals are understood to include a unique deal around agri-food – which includes agriculture, horticulture, and food and drink processing – aimed at sharply reducing the checks on products moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

There will also be an arrangement to allow the continued sale of chilled meats from Great Britain in Northern Ireland; these products were facing a ban.

The EU has also said it is going to change its laws in an attempt to solve regulatory issues which are posing a threat to the supply of medicines to Northern Ireland.

Clearly there are huge differences between the two sides and these are likely to lead to weeks of negotiation, with the future of peace in Northern Ireland – as provided under the Good Friday Agreement that many signatories have already abandoned – in the balance.

For Johnson and his government, the damage has already been done. Their contradictory behaviour has been universally condemned by opponents and former allies alike, both within and outside the Conservative Party:

Particularly infuriating is the Johnson government’s refusal to discuss any of its policies without lying about them – including this one:

Clearly there was no good faith and the plan was always to cause trouble in Northern Ireland and to rip up the agreement later.

And what about Bernard Jenkin’s appearance on the BBC’s Newsnight?

Notice the faux pas at the end when he said, “We tried to make it worse – work.”

But Jenkin wasn’t convincing. Too many of us have had our eyes opened to the harm these lying clowns have caused, and we’re not going to believe any more.

Some of us have been proved to have been right all along:

We are realising what Johnson has been able to do, simply by lying repeatedly to us – not only about Brexit but about everything else he was planning to do:

And we see the consequences:

The trouble now is those tribal members of the public who simply won’t accept the evidence that is now in front of them.

It is.

And some will carry on supporting it, even when their own standard of living plummets.

All we can hope – those of us who seriously want a better future for our bitterly divided and misled island nation – is that enough people have realised the depth of Johnson’s – and Frost’s – betrayal to make a difference before it is too late for us all.

But the clock is ticking…

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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Bethell sacked – for destroying evidence in ‘government by personal email’ scandal?

Lord Bethell: he previously claimed he never used his private accounts for official business. Now he has been sacked by the Tory Government – as This Site suggested. Is he about to face court action too?

Before we start, it should be made clear that Boris Johnson has given no reason for sacking Lord Bethell as a health minister in his Cabinet reshuffle.

That being said, Bethell is a key figure in a major – ongoing – scandal in which government decisions may have been made using personal email and/or WhatsApp accounts in order to avoid public scrutiny.

Bethell had claimed that he never used his private email or telephone accounts for official business – but then replaced his mobile phone before it could be searched for information relevant to £85m of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) deals that are subject to a legal challenge.

The government is expected to disclose Bethell’s correspondence on those matters – by email, WhatsApp and SMS – as part of legal proceedings issued by the Good Law Project.

The Health Secretary has a responsibility to preserve and search documents for information relevant to the case from the point at which judicial review proceedings were issued in late 2020, under the government’s “duty of candour” – and the phone was replaced in early 2021.

The government has admitted it made no effort to issue Bethell with a preservation notice requiring him to save documents, claiming that ministers’ official correspondence was routinely saved as a matter of course. However, this did not cover government business conducted by private means.

It seems Bethell has not reactivated his WhatsApp, SMS and private email accounts from that phone, although there is nothing to stop him from doing so. Efforts are being made to recover information in those accounts from his mobile phone provider.

I wonder if those efforts have borne fruit and Bethell’s departure from government is happening ahead of more serious proceedings in the courts.

Whatever happens there, this development indicates that Boris Johnson’s government is not as immune to public scrutiny as he has previously tried to suggest.

The prime minister has often shrugged off criticism after serious complaints were made about his own misbehaviour and that of his ministers, but at least three of the worst offenders – Gavin Williamson, Robert Jenrick and now Bethell – have been ejected in the reshuffle.

Is Johnson going for plausible deniability – putting distance between himself and Bethell so he won’t be caught in the backlash if serious wrongdoing is exposed?

Tory lord says foreign-owned firms perform better. But WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?

Morrisons: the supermarket chain is currently subject of a bidding war between overseas investors. It doesn’t matter who wins; British shoppers will lose.

This Lord Grimstone is apparently a business minister, which explains why the UK’s economy is tanking after Brexit.

He reckons “overseas invested companies are more productive and produce more jobs”.

And he has pointed at the fact that foreign investors have spent more money acquiring UK-listed businesses in the last eight months than in the previous five years.

This Writer has just two points to make.

Firstly, are foreign investors perhaps bidding on UK firms because Brexit and Covid-19 have cut their value to a fraction of what they were?

These people are probably hoping to make a cheap investment that will turn into a massive profit when the economy starts opening up again. This leads me to the next point.

Secondly, if formerly UK-owned firms are bought up by foreign investors, won’t all the profits go abroad, rather than staying in the UK? Put simply, won’t they bleed us dry?

A good example of this is our privatised rail service, which is now largely owned by foreign government-owned rail firms, meaning the enormous prices we pay for our train tickets helps to subsidise cheap rail travel across continental Europe.

And millions believed the Tories when they said Brexit meant taking back control!

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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