Tag Archives: MP

Did £150k-salaried Boris Johnson oppose #FreeSchoolMeals because he has to buy food for his own kids?

Rolling in it: Boris Johnson has received enormous amounts in donations related to his work as a member of Parliament. But now, as prime minister, he complains about having to pay for his own food and that of four of his six children, while denying free school meals to people earning less than £6 per hour.

Sour grapes from the UK’s prime minister?

In this case it seems likely.

Boris Johnson was one of the 322 Conservative MPs who voted against free school meals for children whose families have fallen below the poverty line, either because of 10 years of Conservative-fuelled wage depression or because the Covid-19 crisis is forcing them to live on a fraction of their normal income.

His choice to starve poverty-stricken children came only weeks after it was revealed that he is “complaining about money” because he is having to use his £150,402 prime ministerial salary to feed himself, his paramour and four of his six children. At least his accommodation is provided by the state, though!

Was his vote fuelled by resentment?

Well, it is a possible interpretation. It doesn’t present the prime minister in a very good light but, if people complain when you mention this to them, just remind them that they voted for him.

Of course, Johnson does receive a certain number of donations from pro-Tory sources. These seem to have dried up since he became prime minister but I note from the register of members’ financial interests that he has received two “gift hampers” worth a total of £1,100, that he registered in May.

Could the contents of those not have helped him out?

And the £14,672 he has made from his various books since the current Parliament began last year should also ease the burden a little, This Writer would have thought.

Come to think of it, some of the money donated to him in previous years might come in handy, considering the huge amounts he received.

For example, in 2019 he received from polling and market research company CTF Partners Ltd,  £3,000 and an interest-free loan of £20,000 for office and staffing costs.

From JC Bamford Excavators Ltd, of Uttoxeter (Constituency: Burton and Uttoxeter; MP: Kate Griffiths (Con)): £64,000.

From “general secondary education” firm RTC Education 2 Ltd (Constituency: Harrow West; MP: Gareth Thomas (Lab)): £10,000.

From First Corporate Shipping Ltd (trading as The Bristol Port Company) (Constituency: Cities of London and Westminster; MP: Nickie Aiken (Con)): £25,000.

From “holding company” IPGL Ltd (Constituency: Kensington; MP: Felicity Buchan (Con)): £20,000.

From real estate trader Countywide Developments plc (Constituency: Warwick and Leamington; MP: Matt Western (Lab)): £10,000.

From bookkeepers MET Trading Ltd (Constituency: Leeds North East; MP: Fabian Hamilton (Lab)): £5,000

From investment firm Killik & Co LLP (Constituency: Cities of London and Westminster; MP: Nickie Aiken (Con)): £10,000.

From Audley Ltd (for whom Companies House failed to provide the nature of the business) (Constituency: Cities of London and Westminster; MP: Nickie Aiken (Con)): £5,000.

From “business support services” firm Albion Agencies Ltd (Constituency: Cities of London and Westminster; MP: Nickie Aiken (Con)): £5,000.

From Dow Investments plc (Constituency: Edinburgh North and Leith; MP: Deidre Brock (SNP)): £10,000.

And from private donors: an eye-watering £633,900!

And a prime minister who has recently received this kind of wealth begrudges free school meals to children whose parents are living on £5.80 an hour.

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Can Parliament’s bars let us know how many post-10pm drinkers catch Covid-19, please?

NOTE: Shortly after I published this story, Parliament’s bars announced that they will stop selling alcohol after 10pm. The reason?

MPs said the rules risked making Parliament look “ridiculous” to the public.

That was very much my intention when I wrote the following:

I think it’s great that Parliament has put up its own bars as testing-grounds for the effectiveness of the 10pm pub drinking curfew.

It seems the bars on the Parliamentary estate – the Members’ Dining Room, Adjournment, Smoking Room, Terrace Pavilion, Pugin Room and Members’ Tea Room are exempt as they provide a food and bar service:

A spokesperson for the House of Commons confirmed that the new restrictions on hospitality do not apply to the venues on the parliamentary estate, saying: “As catering outlets providing a workplace service for over 3,100 people working on the Estate, the current regulations on hospitality venues do not apply to Commons facilities.”

Some have said this is another example of Boris Johnson’s cronies setting one law for us and then breaking it themselves. Many of them made reference to Orwell’s Animal Farm (which may soon be banned under Gavin Williamson’s new education rules):

Others disagree with the Animal Farm reference. I haven’t read it so I’m not in a position to comment.

But I do hope that the authorities at the Parliamentary bars keep us appraised of how their brave effort to keep our democracy in alcohol goes.

They will of course be keeping details of everybody who enters, in case Covid-19 breaks out in one, several, or all of these bars.

I expect regular updates. If they show no infections, we’ll know that it is safe to open all the rest of the UK’s pubs for normal hours again. Won’t we?

Source: Parliament bars exempt from 10pm curfew | The Independent

If this is how Tory MPs regard #socialdistancing they can’t expect us to do as they say

#ToryLawBreakers yet again: this time Tory MPs ignored social distancing to push to the front of the queue to vote – on a Bill that would break international law if passed.

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised: as MPs voted to break international law, they also broke their own rules on social distancing.

How can they expect us to obey those laws – including the new “rule of six”, when they set such a bad example?

Here’s what happened, via the Enfield Independent:

Pass readers in the division lobbies used by MPs to record their votes stopped working.

They instead had to queue up, walk through the chamber and pause at the despatch box to announce their name and vote.

The problems emerged during a vote on the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill, with MPs asked to approve clause 46 – which is at the centre of a devolution row.

SNP health spokeswoman Dr Philippa Whitford [stated that] there was a “total failure” of social distancing in Parliament for the vote.

In a tweet, she said: “Now pass-readers aren’t working in either voting lobby so we see the Rees-Mogg conga in all its glory – with obvious crowding in members lobby & total failure of social distancing! Interesting that wearing of #Facecoverings limited to Welsh, NI & Scots MPs.”

Labour former minister Ben Bradshaw added: “More chaos in the Commons voting lobbies tonight as the card reading machines that replaced the previous perfectly good electronic voting system break down again & arrogant Tory MPs push to the front of the long queue completely ignoring social distancing rules.”

Were there no police on the Parliament estate, to arrest these lawbreakers?

If not, why not? There’s supposed to be a police presence there, just to protect our democratically-elected representatives from lunatics and terrorists.

There is a clear precedent here, though:

As Conservative MPs clearly do not accept the need for social distancing – or masks – in circumstances decided by their own whim, we don’t have to either.

Clearly everybody in the real world that isn’t Westminster Never-Neverland needs to use their judgement, but if we get challenged on apparent law-breaking we can simply invoke the Clause 46 precedent.

You never know – it might become as popular as the Cummings excuse that came before it.

Source: Total failure of social distancing during House of Commons vote, claims MP | Enfield Independent

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#InternalMarketBill: why did these #ToryLawBreakers vote for the #WithdrawalAgreement if it was so bad?


Hundreds of Conservative MPs voted for the EU Withdrawal Agreement to become UK law in January – on the grounds that it would bring the UK back together as “one invigorated nation”. Why have the same people now voted to betray the same agreement?

Back in December last year, as his then-EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill passed its second reading in the House of Commons, Boris Johnson said: “Now is the time to act together as one reinvigorated nation, one United Kingdom.

“Now is the moment to come together and write a new and exciting chapter in our national story, to forge a new partnership with our European friends, to stand tall in the world, to begin the healing for which the whole people of this country yearn.”

He ditched that idea with the Internal Market Bill, which has caused as much division within the countries of the UK as it has with the European Union.

The Bill – if passed into law – will break the terms of the EU Withdrawal Agreement. That’s breaking not just national, but international law.

Johnson has said that it is necessary because the EU has reneged on the spirit of the withdrawal agreement, but this is a lie. In fact, like the spoilt little boy he is, he has decided he doesn’t like the terms of his own treaty so he wants to change it unilaterally, to suit himself.

On January 9 this year, 329 of his Conservative colleagues voted to approve the Withdrawal Agreement that Johnson hates so much now.

And on Monday, 339 of his Conservative colleagues voted to rip it up.

How can they justify this behaviour?

Either the Withdrawal Agreement isn’t right for the UK, in which case they should not have supported it in January, or it is – and they should not be breaking international law to wreck it now.

This Writer thinks every single one of the Tories who voted to contradict themselves needs to be asked just what the hell they think they’re playing at.

They are:

Are none of these people able to think for themselves?

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#ToryLawBreakers: the 340 MPs who voted like sheep to turn the UK into a rogue state

It’s all about Brexit: Johnson’s Internal Market Bill will break international law by contradicting the Withdrawal Agreement he signed with the EU.

It is as This Writer predicted – despite the many contradictory justifications Boris Johnson provided for his international law-breaking Internal Market Bill, no fewer than 339 of the 363 other Conservative MPs voted with him to ruin the UK’s reputation for many years to come.

You can read some of the arguments against Johnson’s nonsense Bill here.

And Labour’s Ed Miliband made a spectacular speech trashing Johnson here.

But it was not enough to stop hundreds of Tory MPs following Johnson mindlessly through the “Aye” lobby. Clearly they had been told to do it and have no ability to think for themselves.

Voters should remember this when they finally return to the polls in four years’ time (if we’re lucky). To help you all out, there follows a list of the offenders, courtesy of Hansard.

If your MP is among these offenders, make sure everybody in your constituency knows about it, and what it means. They should be barred from government – of any kind – at the earliest opportunity.

Here’s the list of shame:

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Is this plan for daily Covid testing of MPs simply to shore up support for Johnson?

Speaker: Lindsay Hoyle in action.

Why is the Commons Speaker, who is supposed to be neutral, suggesting a plan to re-fill Parliament with braying Boris Johnson loyalists?

Johnson made a fool of himself at Prime Minister’s Questions last week when his pre-scripted attack on Keir Starmer about a spurious connection with terrorism exposed him to ridicule.

Some commentators said Johnson was finding it hard to stand up to Starmer without the support of hundreds of Tory backbenchers behind him, egging him on.

So now Lindsay Hoyle has proposed a plan to pack the screaming mob back in:

MPs could be tested daily for coronavirus to allow them to safely fill the chamber of the House of Commons, the Speaker has suggested.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle told Times Radio he had spoken to the NHS and government about getting “a quick turnaround of tests” to allow more MPs in.

Of course, some of us have been asking why MPs have been saying it is safe for our children to be packed back into schools when they are still working from home because they fear catching the virus so much.

It is possible that a return to full attendance at the House of Commons will encourage some of them to claim that it was a silly criticism.

If so, we’ll have to remind them that the situation isn’t the same – because I don’t see the government authorising daily testing of every school attendee. Do you?

Source: Coronavirus: Test MPs for Covid-19 every day, says Speaker – BBC News

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Legal action over Russian intervention in UK politics? Let’s hope it happens before Johnson gags the courts!

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Boris Johnson and Evgeny Lebedev: 10 days after saying he saw no evidence that Russians were influencing UK politics, Johnson elevated a Russian to the House of Lords. He says there’s no evidence for an investigation into Russian influence in UK politics, despite a Parliamentary committee producing a lengthy report containing a large amount of it.

A group of MPs has threatened court action to compel the Johnson government to investigate allegations in a report on Russian intervention in UK politics.

Well, let’s hope they follow it through soon because Johnson is acting to stop the courts from having any power over his government.

Yes, that is dictatorship. You voted for it, folks! (Or if you don’t, being good, decent Vox Political readers, your neighbours did.)

It was in the Tory manifesto for the December 2019 election, for everybody to see, on page 48: a plan to forbid the courts from making orders that restrict the government from acting in any way it pleases.

I’m sure Hitler did something similar in Germany during the 1930s.

A group of politicians are threatening legal action unless Boris Johnson orders an independent investigation into Russian interference in elections.

The letter signed by Green MP Caroline Lucas and Labour’s Chris Bryant follows a report which said the UK “badly underestimated” the Russian threat.

The parliamentarians argue the prime minister’s “lack of action” breaches the right to free elections.

The government said the UK had “robust systems” to protect elections.

Johnson has very close personal relationship with very notable Russians based in the UK. But we’re sure that has nothing to do with his reluctance on this matter… aren’t we?

Source: Boris Johnson threatened with legal action over Russia threat – BBC News

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MP stopped by police in London for ‘driving around whilst black’

Dawn Butler: she’s proved many times that she is an MP who actually cares about her constituents’ lives – but that won’t stop her being victimised by Metropolitan police.

Almost exactly a month after two black athletes were stopped and handcuffed by Metropolitan police, Brent MP Dawn Butler has suffered the same humiliation. For the same reason?

Ms Butler, a Labour MP, was stopped while travelling as a passenger with a friend, who is also black.

Police who stopped her said the car was registered in North Yorkshire – but changed their tune after they realised who they had pulled over, and said they had input the licence plate into their system incorrectly.

A likely story!

This was the third time Ms Butler has been stopped and searched by police since she became a member of Parliament. She described it in the video she took of the incident as follows:

 It’s like you cannot drive around and enjoy a Sunday afternoon whilst black.

Her friend, who was driving, has been stopped “regularly”, according to the Guardian‘s report. In that case, Met police officers should have got the hang of tapping his plate number into their system (I would have thought).

On July 8, athletes Ricardo dos Santos and Bianca Williams were stopped and handcuffed while their three-month-old son was left in the car.

No social distancing procedures were followed in that incident and it seems unlikely that any were employed in that involving Ms Butler.

According to the Guardian,

Another officer, a woman, had “inflamed the situation” by saying tinted rear windows on the car could be illegal.

How interesting that Met officers are still using this hoary old chestnut after being called out on it after the July incident – and on previous occasions, when the tints were all found to be entirely legal.

In this case

The law about tinting on windows applies only to the windscreen and front windows.

In fairness, the Met response to Ms Butler’s report of the incident has been much more reasonable than to the athletes.

Is that because, in addition to being black, she is a member of Parlament?

Source: Labour MP Dawn Butler stopped by police in London | UK news | The Guardian

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Was ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ really meant to help super-rich Tories get cheap meals at the taxpayer’s expense?

Nadhim Zahawi: this image from a few years ago highlighted his choice to strip people with disabilities of much-needed benefits while guzzling taxpayers’ money in expenses claims. Now fat Nadhim is using our money to guzzle cheap restaurant meals too.

It seems the chief beneficiaries of Rishi Sunak’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme are… his fellow Conservative MPs.

Here’s a tweet from multi-millionaire Jeremy Hunt, confirming that he has been using public money to subsidise a meal:

For all we know, he may have claimed the rest of the cost on expenses…

Also vowing to take full advantage of the public – I mean, public money being put up for the scheme – was another Tory multi-millionaire, Nadhim Zahawi, who told BBC Breakfast:

“I’m looking forward to going out and using the Eat Out to Help Out scheme to make sure me and my family enjoy a nice meal over those few days.”

Asked if he will be having a half price meal, Mr Zahawi said: “I’ll be going out and helping those restaurants in Stratford-on-Avon, in London, wherever I can, of course. I think it’s the right thing to do.”

Asked if he could choose to pay full price, he replied: “Well… It’s worth all of us going out and if the Government is supporting the sector, why not?”

It’s exactly as some of us predicted – while poor people starve under the privations forced on them by the Tories’ ridiculous Covid-19 policies, the super-rich are stuffing themselves silly and charging it to the taxpayer.

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In UK politics, is an accusation of anti-Semitism really more serious than one of rape?

The gossips have been flaying the skins off the jungle drums since we learned a Conservative MP has been arrested for rape.

Much of the chatter has centred on the suspect’s anonymity, which seems to have provoked a lot of confected outrage.

This Writer isn’t outraged by it.

I’ve been to an awful lot of court cases and I’m satisfied that when matters get that far, it is right for the defendant to be named. It is the victim’s identity that must be protected.

Matters haven’t got that far.

And accusations of rape are extremely serious, with major reputational harm attached.

So, until such time as Her Majesty launches a criminal prosecution against the MP involved, I don’t mind him remaining nameless.

Once she does, his identity should be allowed no protection at all – most particularly because he is a member of Parliament. We should expect a higher standard of behaviour from our representatives.

The other talking-point is more worrying.

People have been complaining because the suspected MP has not been suspended by the Conservative Party, in the same way that Labour members and representatives were suspended the instant they were accused.

Doesn’t this say more about Labour than the Tories, though?

Whether the chatterers like it or not, a UK citizen – no matter what the accusation against them – is innocent until proven guilty.

The Tories – for the time being, at least – are right to protect their MP from the (possibly-unwarranted) attacks that suspension would attract.

Conversely, what about Labour’s decision not only to suspend members who have been accused of anti-Semitism, but for the party actually to go out of its way to inform the media (as it did in my own case)?

That’s right – it is Labour that is at fault.

Or am I mistaken?

I suppose it depends whether you think being accused of anti-Semitism – harbouring personal opinions of hatred against Jewish people simply because they are Jewish – is to be accused of a worse crime than rape – a direct attack that violates the victim’s body and often (personally, I would say always) traumatises them for the rest of their life.

Let me know your opinions – and be sure to include your reasons for holding them.

Source: Tory MP not suspended over rape allegation arrest while investigation ongoing – BBC News

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.

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