Tag Archives: Owen

Owen Paterson no longer has his second job after being forced to quit as MP

Owen Paterson with his (former?) boss, Peter Fitzgerald of Randox. It seems that, after being forced out of Parliament, Paterson has also “stepped back” from his consultancy work. Wouldn’t he need that job more, now?

The BBC is reporting that Owen Paterson, whose refusal to accept a month’s suspension as an MP after being found to have been using Parliamentary space and equipment to carry out his second job sparked a scandal… no longer has his second job.

Apparently he has “stepped back from his consultancy work, for which he was earning £100,000 a year on top of his £81,932 MP’s salary”.

Really?

But his former colleagues – like Andrew Rosindell – have been arguing that MPs are, really, hard-up and need these second jobs to survive (poor dears!) so wouldn’t Paterson now need his consultancy work even more?

Perhaps he needed it more than his employers needed him, after his removal from the Green Benches. So I have to ask: did he step back or was he simply dropped?

It has been argued – persuasively – that MPs are only hired by firms to represent their interests to the government. We have seen a wealth of evidence to this effect in the awarding of Covid-19-related business contracts.

Owen Paterson is no longer an MP. And suddenly he no longer has his second job.

Doesn’t this simply confirm what was argued? And shouldn’t the likes of Laura Kuenssberg admit it, rather than shrouding it with obscure verbiage?

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Aftershocks of the Paterson scandal: qui bono?**

Owen Paterson: he quit his job as an MP, but will he – and his corrupt Tory party – be REWARDED for it?

If you’ve been locked away for the past couple of days, here’s the situation:

The primary result of Paterson’s fall is that there will be a by-election in North Shropshire.

No indeed. It will be an opportunity for Keir Starmer to parachute his ex-Tory trophy John Bercow in (perhaps), but Bercow would not be an acceptable choice for the Labour Left, so such a decision may lead to a further split in that party.

Labour has refused to countenance the possibility of a single Opposition candidate, chosen from among all the non-Tory parties. Presumably Starmer sees no advantage for him, especially if such a candidate – from another party – wins and then reneges on any agreements.

So the Conservatives are likely to retain North Shropshire, even if they put up a shaved monkey for the seat (and they probably will) – because the other parties are squabbling among themselves.

Meanwhile, the Tories who are actually occupying Parliamentary seats have been disgracing themselves all over the place. Here’s Nadhim Zahawi, admitting that he didn’t bother to read the report on Owen Paterson’s behaviour before voting to support him last Wednesday (November 3).

Note his scrabbling attempt to backtrack with a claim that he didn’t take in every detail. It’s nonsense, of course; he didn’t read the report. He was told to support Paterson so he did, without thinking. That’s Fascist Britain for you.

Here’s a good question:

The fact is that Zahawi would not have been able to answer, as he would know that either position would be unsafe for him.

Still, his choice seems to have been less difficult than that faced by other Tory MPs who (presumably) were leaning against supporting Paterson.

We are told that they were threatened with sanctions if they didn’t vote the way Boris Johnson wanted:

So much for justice, honesty and decency in Boris Johnson’s Conservative government. Even if you’re on his side, you have to do what you’re told, without thinking, or face sanctions. There’s another fairly recent national government that did much the same but I can’t quite recall where it was…

To prove the point, Tory Angela Richardson was fire from her job as a secretary to Michael Gove, because she stuck to her principles and refused to support Paterson. The following morning, when it had become clear that the Tories would not be able to save him and their plan to corrupt the standards system had failed, she was reinstated:

One would hope that her stand would put her in a much better position than her blindly line-toeing colleagues (including This Writer’s MP, Fay Jones. I’d like to know her reasons for supporting corruption!) in a general election. But in tribal England, that seems unlikely. Sad.

And what of Owen Paterson himself?

Perhaps we should all lobby the production team of HIGNFY, never to invite a corrupt, disgraced former MP to guest on the show?

As for the knighthood, why stop there?

So it seems he’ll be heading for the House of Lords – which is already bursting at the seams with Tories after previous efforts by David Cameron and Boris Johnson to fill the place with people who don’t deserve to be there:

Crime really does pay in Boris Johnson’s Conservative government, doesn’t it?*

It seems the Tories will keep the Parliamentary seat that their corrupt MP just vacated, even though their conduct throughout the affair shows that none of them deserve to be in Parliament at all.

And Paterson himself is set up for a nice little peerage and more than £300 per day for turning up at the House of Lords.

*All right, what he did is not defined as a crime, otherwise he would be facing criminal charges. But it is certainly not acceptable behaviour, as this entire affair demonstrates.

**What an illiterate! I meant cui bono. After realising my mistake I decided to leave it in, mostly because I reckon more people might read the article, simply to correct my spelling! What a world we live in.

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Paterson quits as MP – rather than face the wrath of his constituents?

Owen Paterson: he won his vote in Parliament, but did he already realise that it wouldn’t do him any good?

All that corruption for nothing!

After so much effort from his Tory colleagues to save him from a 30-day suspension that might lead to a by-election, Owen Paterson has gone the whole hog:

It seems he realised that he may face far more humiliation in a by-election than he does by simply bowing out gracelessly. And a few other calculations may have had something to do with it…

Yes indeed. Consider this:

Still, from his resignation speech, it seems a peek into his mind right now may reveal something like this:

I mean, he thinks politics has been cruel – to him!

Normally I would not be giving space to might-as-well-be-Tory Labour berk Wes Streeting, but even I have to admit he makes a good point here:

And here’s another:

Possibly the best issue to raise about this whole sad farrago is that of the erstwhile North Shropshire MP’s former sponsors:

Given the above information, there’s an important question to be asked (by Old Git, below):

But will the repercussions rumble on?

Aha! It seems Paterson may have a few secrets that may be worth something if he spills them.

Will he do a Dominic (Cummings) and stab his former boss in the back?

That would be fun, wouldn’t it?

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#OwenPaterson suspension: even #Torycorruption is incompetent

Owen Paterson: he won his vote in Parliament, but did he already realise that it wouldn’t do him any good?

The Conservative government has u-turned over its plans to stop corrupt MP Owen Paterson from being suspended and to change the system that demanded it.

Tories were under a three-line whip from Boris Johnson to support yesterday’s (November 3) decision – but it has backfired in their faces, prompting massive public and political protest.

The Conservatives expected the Standards Commissioner, Kathryn Stone, to resign after they showed such blatant disregard for her work, making it easy for them to dissolve the role and replace it – but she has not.

And now the Tories have realised that they cannot credibly impose a new system for investigating MPs without cross-party support, because the public would recognise it as corrupt Tories letting corrupt Tories off the hook. None of the other parties in Parliament have supported the plans.

So the plans are changing radically, as Sam Coates lays out in the video below:

The really good news is that Owen Paterson will now face another vote over his suspension, that he is likely to lose. This means he will probably be suspended from Parliament for 30 days after all. A Liberal Democrat MP has already secured a debate for Monday (November 8).

This makes him vulnerable to a recall petition and a by-election that he may lose – and it seems more likely that this will happen after yesterday’s debate and vote, because more people in his North Shropshire constituency now believe he has brought shame upon them.

The Tories still want to change the MPs’ disciplinary system in favour of their corruption, but they have accepted that linking it with Paterson’s case is too obvious; it makes that corruption plain.

Leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees Mogg, has said the link between the two issues needs to be severed.

But he is likely to be foiled in this, because that link has already been forged – by him and the other incompetents in the Tory leadership.

So the end result of all this jiggery-pokery is that Paterson is likely to be ousted from Parliament after all – and all the Tories who tried to save him, along with their government, have been tarred with the filth of their own corruption.

Good. It’s exactly what they deserve.

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Tories tell the UK: ‘We are all corrupt; we are all Owen Paterson’

Master and servant: Owen Paterson with his boss, Peter Fitzgerald of Randox.

I see Countdown‘s Susie Dent still has her finger on the pulse of current affairs:

The question of the day is, did we learn anything from the vote to save Owen Paterson from a 30-day suspension as an MP that we didn’t know already?

Debatable, isn’t it?

We know why he had been recommended for suspension – or at least, we should…

Well… he may have been instrumental in getting Randox that contract. The real shocker is the fact that many of the Randox testing kits had to be withdrawn due to concerns about contamination – meaning care homes did not get the test kits they needed. And we know that the 30,000 or so care home deaths were a major controversy in the Covid-19 crisis.

But those are just consequences of his crime, which was simply to have undertaken paid lobbying for the companies that employed him – as Standards Committee member Chris Bryant made plain in his speech:

In fact, Bryant’s speech is well worth watching in full because it puts the whole situation in its proper context and damns those who have undermined Parliament’s processes in order to protect a corrupt colleague for bringing shame down upon all MPs:

 

We know why Paterson’s fellow Tory backbenchers wanted to stop it from happening: it made him vulnerable to a recall demand and to the possibility of losing his seat in a by-election.

We knew that he had claimed the investigation into his activities had been unfair and that worrying about it may have driven his wife to her death. It seems, however, that he had not suggested anything of the sort at the inquest into her death – so he was probably lying.

It seems his claim changes with the wind:

And others are getting in on the act:

We know that the decision to suspend the current process of independent investigation of MPs and replace it with a process whereby Tories investigate each other will result in corrupt decisions; look at the way Boris Johnson has ignored flagrant breaches of the Ministerial Code – including his own – because as prime minister he was responsible for policing such breaches.

Yes, but how do we do that, Howard?

It turns out that fully a quarter of the Tories who lined up to support Paterson – and corruption – have themselves corruptly broken Parliament’s rules:

The Tories were fully aware that they were exposing their own corruption to the gaze of the world – and were completely comfortable with it. Some of them appeared on television, attempting to dismiss criticisms by saying they were unhappy with the investigation system rather than with its findings against Paterson. And they were shot down as hypocrites:

And we now know that Labour under Keir Starmer is not interested in tackling Tory corruption because 28 Labour MPs failed to vote against the motion that got Paterson off the hook; if they had, the attempt to pervert Parliamentary justice would have failed.

Ultimately we know that, while this vote superficially helps Owen Paterson keep his job despite his corruption, the deeper effect is to further undermine faith that our elected government is trustworthy – a faith that has already been perilously eroded by all the previous corruptions of Boris Johnson and his crooked cronies:

And, knowing all of the above, we are absolutely incandescent with fury:

One thing we also knew – that came out strongly here – is that current Commons Speaker Lyndsay Hoyle is not strong enough to restrain the Tories’ corruption:

This is not over.

Parliament will now act on the amendment that protected Paterson (proposed by Andrea Leadsom, by the way; let’s make sure the right people get the blame).

We will see how the process unfolds. My guess is that it will scandalise and outrage the public to a huge degree – if they get to hear about it.

So please feel free to share this article – especially to people who voted for the shower of scum that was on display during this debate and vote.

Oh, and you can check how your own MP voted, here:

(Mine supported the corruption.)

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Tories will legalise corruption TODAY to stop a corrupt Tory being suspended from Parliament

Master and servant: Owen Paterson with his boss, Peter Fitzgerald of Randox. Funny that… wasn’t Paterson supposed to be working for the people of North Shropshire?

Here’s the story:

Former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has committed “egregious” breaches of Parliamentary rules by taking nearly three times as much cash for “paid advocacy” of private firms that employed him.

He broke official lobbying rules, and he smeared the independent commissioner who investigated these breaches.

His advocacy of one of the companies, Randox, meant faulty Covid-19 testing kits were supplied to care homes and had to be recalled. The resulting delay may have caused the deaths of 30,000 care home residents and staff.

The Independent Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards ruled that he must be suspended from Parliament for 30 working days. The length of time means a by-election could be called and he could be ejected from Parliament altogether. Read the full facts here.

Well, his fellow Tories aren’t having that!

They have launched a Parliamentary motion saying the investigation was flawed and that Paterson’s case should be examined by a committee of MPs – dominated by Tories. They want to sack the standards commissioner, Kathryn Stone, and dissolve the cross-party Standards Committee.

The result would be that Tory MPs get to judge whether their friends should be punished for corruption.

Obviously, this means corruption will run rampant in the future. And we all know it:

The hypocrisy is overwhelming.

This is a government that won’t hold an inquiry into the mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic (of which the Paterson case is just a small part) – because it is “too busy” dealing with the ongoing crisis – but will happily change its timetable to rescue a corrupt colleague:

And look who has been recruited to help save this corrupt, rule-breaking MP:

Rob Roberts (pictured), the Tory MP who was himself suspended from Parliament for sexually harassing staff, and was only readmitted earlier this week, is one of the signatories who supports the new amendment:

(In fairness, Elphicke was convicted on three counts of sexual assault, not rape.)

And “Loathsome” Lucy Allan, Telford’s Tory, claimed that MPs should be allowed to appeal, and to take their case to a tribunal, as in other workplace disciplinary actions. This is more hypocrisy.

As Labour’s Lisa Nandy pointed out in a TV interview, the Tories have imposed a system on benefit claimants in which they are denied the right of appeal or of resorting to a tribunal.

So Loathsome Lucy in fact wants preferential treatment for MPs. Otherwise why don’t they allow the same right to benefit claimants?

This Writer’s opinion:

Owen Paterson took hundreds of thousands of pounds from private firms and there’s a strong argument that tens of thousands of people died as a result. He should be suspended from Parliament. He should face the threat of being voted out in a by-election.

But he won’t.

The Tory government is so corrupt that it wants its MPs to be able to do what they want – no matter who dies as a result – with absolutely no repercussions.

And with a massive Parliamentary majority that they secured by making fools of millions of UK voters – they will spit on democracy, due process and accountability.

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Tory corruption: North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson REPEATEDLY boosted companies that employed him

Master and servant: Owen Paterson with his boss, Peter Fitzgerald of Randox. Funny that… wasn’t Paterson supposed to be working for the people of North Shropshire?

North Shropshire’s Tory MP Owen Paterson has turned out to be as corrupt as they come – using his position as a public representative to boost the private interests of two companies. And it seems thousands of people may have died as a result.

Paterson is set to be punished for corruptly using his Parliamentary position to win contracts for two companies that employ him.

Yes, it is corruption. Yes, it is against Parliamentary rules. He should be booted out of the Palace of Westminster and told never to come back. In a proper, working democracy he would be arrested and sent to prison.

Would you like to know what will actually happen?

He’ll be suspended from Parliament for 30 working days.

That’s right – he gets a month’s extra holiday.

Here’s the report on Sky News:

And here’s the BBC:

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Stone opened an investigation into the MP following accusations he had lobbied on behalf of two companies who employed him.

Her report said he was a paid consultant to Randox and Lynn’s Country Foods and had made approaches to the Food Standards Agency and Department for International Development ministers about the companies.

The commissioner also found Mr Paterson had breached the MPs’ code of conduct by using his parliamentary office on 25 occasions for business meetings with clients between October 2016 and February 2020 and in sending two letters relating to business interests on House of Commons headed notepaper.

The report noted that there was no immediate financial benefit secured by the two companies-

Oh, really?

That would be Randox Health. Perhaps the Commissioner didn’t notice this significant fact because her report only goes as far as February 2020.

Randox was awarded its £133 million contract in March 2020 – and, yes, it was a closed process – unadvertised and with no other companies being asked to bid.

A month later, Paterson was a party to a call between Randox and James Bethell, then the Tory minister responsible for Covid-19 testing supplies.

Randox was hired to supply 2.7 million testing kits – but 750,000 of them were withdrawn after spot checks in July found that some of the kits, supplied by a Chinese manufacturer but sent out by Randox, were not sterile and could therefore be contaminated.

The failure delayed plans to provide regular testing for English care home residents and staff. We later discovered that Tory government failures to protect care homes resulted in around 30,000 unnecessary deaths.

But that was no concern for Randox – its contract was extended for a further six months in October last year. Again, the process was closed – unadvertised, with no other companies permitted to bid.

Much of this information may be confirmed by reading this Guardian article.

In fact, it should have been to safeguard the health of the people of the UK – especially, in this case, care home residents and staff. Instead, thousands died – possibly because he vouched for a company that provided substandard testing kits.

And his punishment is a 30-day holiday.

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Is it too early to demand an investigation into the naked Covid-19 cronyism that has cost so much cash – and so many thousands of lives?

Two-fingered salute: this will be the likely response if we ask Boris Johnson politely for an inquiry into his procurement methods for Covid-19-related equipment and services.

Listen to the following video from our old friend Jeremy Corbyn:

He’s right about the cronyism. The New York Times – a US newspaper and one from a country that supports private enterprise over socialism – recently ran an article examining the phenomenon.

Its findings were an indictment against Boris Johnson and his ragtag gaggle of freeloaders, for whom the phrase, “We’re all in it together,” actually means, “Everyone for themselves!”

Under the heading Waste, negligence and cronyism: inside Britain’s pandemic spending, the paper stated: “In the desperate scramble for protective gear and other equipment, politically connected companies reaped billions.”

It began: “When the pandemic exploded in March, British officials embarked on a desperate scramble to procure the personal protective equipment, ventilators, coronavirus tests and other supplies critical to containing the surge.

“In the months following those fevered days, the government handed out thousands of contracts to fight the virus, some of them in a secretive “V.I.P. lane” to a select few companies with connections to the governing Conservative Party.”

The paper said it analyzed the roughly 1,200 central government contracts that have been made public, together worth nearly $22 billion (£16.28 billion):

About $11 billion [£8.14 billion] went to companies either run by friends and associates of politicians in the Conservative Party, or with no prior experience or a history of controversy.

Meanwhile, smaller firms without political clout got nowhere.

It said the procurement system was cobbled together during a meeting of anxious bureaucrats in late March, and a wealthy former investment banker and Conservative Party grandee, Paul Deighton, who sits in the House of Lords, was later tapped to act as the government’s czar for personal protective equipment.

Eight months on, Lord Deighton has helped the government award billions of dollars in contracts –– including hundreds of millions to several companies where he has financial interests or personal connections.

It looks like we should start making a list of names in advance of a future corruption inquiry, and this Lord Deighton should be at the top of it!*

That’s if we ever get all the information…

Citing the urgency of the pandemic, the government cast aside the usual transparency rules and awarded contracts worth billions of dollars without competitive bidding. To date, just over half of all of the contracts awarded in the first seven months remain concealed from the public

The paper mentions some of the firms with Tory connections that received funding:

Uniserve Group: Awarded $1 billion in PPE contracts, the company is among the biggest winners. Its founder is an adviser to a pro-Brexit think tank panel chaired by two prominent government ministers.**

Randox Laboratories: Awarded $646 million in testing contracts. Owen Paterson, a government minister [and another name for our list], is a paid consultant for the firm.**

Deloitte: Awarded a contract to consult on PPE procurement retrospectively and without competition. The company has made non-cash donations to the Conservative Party and others.**

Around $6 billion went to companies that had no prior experience in supplying medical personal protective equipment. Fashion designers, pest controllers and jewelers won lucrative contracts.

PPE Medpro: This company won its first contract barely three weeks after it was set up. It went on to win nearly $274 million in PPE contracts.**

Ocean Footprint: The marine equipment supplier was awarded a $7 million contract without having any prior experience in supplying medical PPE.**

PestFix: The pest control supply firm won more than $470 million in PPE contracts. It supplied 600,000 face masks that could not be used for their original purpose.**

More than $5 billion was awarded to companies with histories of controversy, from tax evasion and fraud to corruption and human rights abuses.

KPMG: Its UK arm recently faced a negligence lawsuit over alleged accounting failures linked to the collapse of outsourcing giant Carillion.**

Serco: Awarded $285 million for testing and contact tracing. The company admitted… defrauding the government and paid a $30 million fine in 2013.**

Honeywell: Embroiled in two global bribery probes. The UK PPE czar is a shareholder.**

All of the companies named by the NYT have denied wrongdoing, and there is no evidence to suggest that government officials were engaged in illegal conduct.

But there is ample evidence of cronyism, waste and poor due diligence. Some of it has been documented by the British media, but the scale of the problem is wider than previously known.

Officials ignored or missed many red flags. Dozens of companies that won a total of $3.6 billion in contracts had poor credit, and several had declared assets of just $2 or $3 each. Others had histories of fraud, human rights abuses, tax evasion or other serious controversies. A few were set up on the spur of the moment or had no relevant experience — and still won contracts.

The paper contacted the Department of Health and Social Care, which led the Tory government’s pandemic procurement. In denial of all the evidence, a spokesperson said that “proper due diligence” was carried out for all contracts.

How can it have been?

Did this person mean that they ran all the necessary checks, saw the information that showed the firms were not suitable to receive these huge contracts (and this huge responsibility), and handed over the cash anyway?

If so, then the government was negligent. Considering the system as described here, this seems likely:

Junior staffers reviewed thousands of proposals and passed on a chosen few to their bosses, who often had only a day to sign off on contracts, according to a government official involved in the process. Some businesses said they were left waiting months as their proposals went unanswered. Others said it was difficult to keep up with what the government wanted, with safety specifications sometimes changing after deliveries had already been made.

Normally, companies would bid on individual contracts with requirements published in advance. But given the government’s frenzied need for supplies, most companies simply submitted broad proposals through a government website. Government officials then decided yes or no, or in some cases approached companies themselves.

The race to procure PPE – Personal Protective Equipment – is a very clear example (and a sore point for the government).

The necessity to have such equipment easily available in readiness for the arrival of a pandemic infection like Covid-19 was highlighted by Exercise Cygnus in 2016 – the Tory government’s own simulation of the effect of a pandemic on the UK which predicted that the NHS would collapse due to lack of resources – and by top medical journal The Lancet, which published a direct warning to Boris Johnson that he needed to secure “supply chains of pharmaceuticals, personal protective equipment, hospital supplies and the necessary human resources” on January 24.

Johnson ignored the warnings. In fact,

Ministers could have avoided the panicked spending spree, critics said, had they not ignored their own pandemic preparedness plan and sold off stocks of P.P.E. from rainy-day reserves in the first three months of the year.

So the government’s claim that

the huge global demand for P.P.E. had created “a highly competitive market” and that it used “the quickest and most accessible routes” to buy protective gear

appears to be nonsense.

Having given way his own supply of PPE, Johnson then had to scrabble to buy some back. You can bet he had to spend more doing this than he raised from the sale, too – those are the laws of supply and demand and as a Tory, he should have known such things. But his people’s behaviour was actually worse:

In choosing speed over due diligence, however, ministers squandered millions on “unsuitable” items, including some that did not meet safety standards, according to the National Audit Office.

The government said that only a tiny portion of the supplies, 0.5 percent, had been found unfit for their intended uses.

Yes, but then the government said it followed due diligence in awarding contracts to unsuitable firms as well, so its people are hardly to be trusted.

The VIP lane

As if the above information wasn’t bad enough, Matt Hancock (another name for our list) secretly authorised a so-called “VIP lane” for favoured companies to win procurement contracts, in April.

These firms

proved to be 10 times more likely to win contracts than those outside that group, according to the National Audit Office.

The government did not carry out systematic company checks, including for potential conflicts of interest, until it had already spent nearly $2 billion, auditors found. Officials did not always document who recommended a company or why it was awarded a contract.

This site has already documented the story of Ayanda Capital. Awarded $340 million (£251.6 million) to supply personal protective equipment, it eventually delivered 50 million masks worth more than $200 million (£148 million) that could not be used for their original purpose, because the ear loop fastenings did not match the government’s new requirements.

One of the firm’s senior board advisers was Andrew Mills (another name for our list) who also worked on the government’s Board of Trade, meaning there was a clear conflict of interest even though we don’t know what part he played in the awarding of the contract, if any.

Ayanda has said the masks met all the government’s requirements when the order was placed and – considering the evidence that requirements were likely to change after contracts were signed – it is entirely possible that this is true. It is the fault of Boris Johnson and his government that this process failed. They chose to employ firms that were unable to provide the equipment that was needed.

Meanwhile,

many companies and business people, often better qualified to produce P.P.E. but lacking political connections, had no access to the V.I.P. lane. Multibrands International, a British manufacturer that had been producing P.P.E. for China since December, was among them. Its owner, Rizwana Hussain, spent months trying to reach government officials through public channels.

Ms. Hussain had offered to supply the government starting in March, her emails show. She was still at it in early May when news broke that 400,000 protective gowns that the government ordered from Turkey had proved to be unusable. “I was so upset thinking, ‘Why are we listening to these disastrous happenings when we’re here and are offering our help?’” Ms. Hussain said.

She said that although her company could produce large quantities of P.P.E. at its factories in China and India, she never heard back from the government.

Government officials said the high-priority lane was set up to efficiently prioritize credible offers of PPE for the National Health Service, and that all proposals, whatever channel they went through, were assessed by the same standards. Does anybody really believe that?

But they have not released the names of the nearly 500 companies that made the V.I.P. list., fuelling questions of cronyism.

It seems clear there is enough evidence here – or lack of it, in many instances – to justify an inquiry. This Writer, being a lay person, is unsure what form such an investigation should take. Judicial review? Public inquiry? Perhaps somebody with more specialised knowledge could let us know.

We already know that Johnson will try to brush this scandal under the carpet (his carpets must be bulging with the amount of mess he has hidden beneath them).

It is our responsibility to ensure that he doesn’t get away with it.

*The New York Times had quite a lot to say about Lord Deighton:

Two of the contracts linked to Lord Deighton were P.P.E.-related. One, for $78 million, was awarded to Honeywell Safety Products, a subsidiary of Honeywell International, a company he holds shares in.

Lord Deighton is also a shareholder of AstraZeneca, the British pharmaceutical company that is developing a vaccine with Oxford University, and was awarded $205 million for test services.

He also holds shares in the consulting firm Accenture, which was awarded a $5.6 million contract to help develop England’s ill-fated contact tracing app and detect fraud in procurement. Another company he has a stake in, UBS, won $770,000.

Neither Lord Deighton nor the companies would divulge the size of his share holdings.

A $406,000 contract was awarded to a consulting firm, Chanzo, to help set up and run the P.P.E. procurement system, including providing a chief of staff for Lord Deighton.

Chanzo’s founder and chief executive, Jean Tomlin, is a long-time business associate of Lord Deighton, and worked with him on the Olympic committee. Ms. Tomlin is also a fellow director at Hakluyt, a corporate intelligence firm founded by former British intelligence officers, which Lord Deighton chairs.

Lady Alison Deighton, his wife, is a former director of N.M. Rothschild, which won a $770,000 contract for consulting services. Another consulting contract of the same value went to Moelis & Company, an investment bank where one senior adviser and Labour peer, Lord Charles Allen, was also on the Olympic committee board with Lord Deighton.

** The article also provides the following information on the companies it names:

PestFix said it had repurposed its business during the pandemic to supply medical P.P.E. and said the government changed its specifications after it had supplied the face masks. PPE Medpro said that it was awarded contracts based on the considerable experience and expertise of its staff. Uniserve Group said that its director had no connections to the Conservative government. Deloitte said that its U.K. arm does not give cash contributions to political parties. Ocean Footprint said it had previously sold masks to the boat-building industry. Serco said that it “took significant steps to reform itself” after the 2013 fraud scandal. Randox Laboratories did not respond to questions and Owen Paterson declined to comment. All other companies mentioned in the article either declined to comment or did not respond to questions.

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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Detention of leftie journo’s sister shows police are letting themselves be political tools AGAIN

Political activist: Eleanor Jones.

This is disgraceful.

As the story shows, Eleanor Jones is a political activist – but there’s nothing wrong with that.

She is also the sister of leftie journalist Owen Jones, and that makes this story even more sinister – in the opinion of This Writer.

Are the police using anti-terror legislation to gather information on the political enemies of the current (Tory) government?

That would be a misuse of their powers. But when police can arrest people who are not under suspicion, and don’t have to divulge the information they possess about those people, how can anything be proven?

Clearly the law is inadequate and the public need proper protection.

A political activist has accused Police Scotland of “disgraceful” treatment after officers used controversial anti-terror powers to detain and question her for hours at Edinburgh Airport.

Eleanor Jones, who had been in Edinburgh to attend her grandfather’s funeral, said she felt “violated” after handing over her mobile phone and laptop passwords to the officers.

She was also quizzed about the political beliefs of family members, including her twin brother Owen, who is a high-profile columnist for the Guardian.

Her treatment has fuelled calls for a rethink of Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 – the legislation used by the single force – which gives police sweeping powers in an airport.

The force was able to detain Jones in this way due to the Terrorism Act 2000.

The legislation’s notorious Schedule 7 gives police huge powers to stop, search and hold individuals at ports, airports and international rail stations.

It can be invoked without an individual being suspected of involvement in criminal activity and there is no right to remain silent.

Officers can detain a person for hours and retain their belongings for up to seven days. It is an offence to wilfully fail to comply with a request made by an officer under this legislation.

Jones said Police Scotland was responsible for a “misuse of the Act” in her case and said the legislation was used as a “power tool”. She added: “Being an activist is not the same thing as terrorism.”

She added that the force will not tell her what, if any, information Police Scotland retains on her.

Source: Revealed: how Police Scotland treated a political activist like a terrorist | HeraldScotland


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