Thursday, October 15, 2009

Another Tory MP Stands Down

David Wilshire has tonight announced he is standing down at the next election. He issued this statement...
"The allegations made in today’s Telegraph are deeply hurtful and unjustified. However, my Constituents rightly want reassurance and the truth. This is why I have referred this to the Commissioner. I am confident that he will confirm that I have done nothing wrong. That said, I am very conscious that the allegations and investigation will cause great distress to my family and friends. These allegations also run the risk of harming my local party and our national party’s chances of winning at the next General Election. In the circumstances I have reluctantly concluded that it is sensible for me not to seek re-election next year."

This followed an interview earlier today with Conservative chief whip Patrick McLoughlin. Mr Wilshire clearly believes he is in the right but has fallen on his political sword to save embarrassment to the party. Was he pushed or did he jump? I have no idea, but there will be many people in Tory High Command who breathed a sigh of relief when they heard about his decision. It's rare for enquiries by the Standards Commissioner to be completed very quickly and the last thing they will have wanted is something like this hanging over the party in the runup to an election.

Was David Wilshire right to stand down? Yes, I believe he was. Frankly, he had little alternative. Whatever your views on what provoked his departure, at least he didn't prolong the party's agony.

UPDATE: Paul Waugh recounts the day.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Utter BS. He was pushed and you know it.

Anonymous said...

Next for the political gallows, Jacqui Smith.......

Felicity S said...

I wish more would follow suit and do the honourable thing now to save the party embarrassment

NIall Harbison said...

It is really interesting watching what is happening to you guys over in the UK and a lot of us are hoping it spreads fully to all our politicians over here as a new era of transparency can only be a good thing for all of us.

Old Holborn said...

Has he paid the money back?

Has he hell....

People go to prison for 15 years for stealing less.

Felicity S said...

Whether he was pushed or not it hits tomorrows papers then its a one day story

Uncle Bob said...

At least one party's leadership has got a bit of backbone. I've no doubt he jumped before he was pushed but it was the only decision that could be made.

Rich T said...

He hasn't stood down. He's been told to push off.

So the resignation was an admission of guilt was it? Does this mean he will be repaying our money without any further delay? With interest.

J R Hartley said...

Stands down and keeps the cash. You watching Jacqui???????

JacqBoot's election count could well be the "Portillo moment" of 2010.

Nickname unavailable said...

I hope the next one will be Julie Kirkbride...

Anonymous said...

Felicity S said...
I wish more would follow suit and do the honourable thing now to save the party embarrassment

I wish more were honourable to being with and saved the taxpayer the expense of their dubious claims.

Quietzapple said...

We met as teenagers and he was quite clear it seemed that he was to become Spelthorne's MP and make a fair fortune while promoting small business culture I recall.

Few would approve of whatever precisely his business arrangements wrt his expenses were.

I look forward to his statement re any severance pay outside the ordinary which may have been forthcoming.

True Belle said...

The bigger fish have been allowed to swim freely and confidently, deep, even deeper beneath the smaller frantic swirling shoal!

Paul Halsall said...

As Weaked Weasel pointed out, this non-bugger was one of the pushers of section 28.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

It was a blatantly stinky bit of fraud. The fact that Cameron dithered at all shows how desperately short of moral fibre he is.

My guess, though, is that the pragmatists decided he was toast and the word came down from Tory high command. What else could they do? And is it not divine justice that someone who introduced such a nasty and ultimately pointless piece of legislation as "section 28" is finally unmasked for perpetrating such a meretricious and fumbling bit of public fiscal buggery.

Jimmy said...

"to save embarrassment to the party."

Not to mention 100k

Chris Paul said...

Extraordinary that this behaviour - reminiscent of Den Dover and other Tory MEP scams to pay their own companies for admin services - is not getting roundly condemned by you Iain. Assuming of course that the reported facts are true facts.

Wilsher was paying girlf to run his office AND also paying the company they both owned for consultancy. This is extraordinary. Like your mate who had wife and sons in pay plus Dover-type pout sourcing from self.

This makes anything from the gardening/cleaning Legg pummelees look very lame and small.

Cameron supposedly reviewed his MPs long ago. How has he let this, and other cases I hesitate to mention least this spoil a cracking tale or three for the MSM, how has he let these fester so long?

Strong leadership my arse.

Chris Paul said...

Just a thought. This one has surely been known to Con high ups for a goodly while. Cameron reviewed everyone did he not. My suspicion is that Wilsher (and others) have been save up to be ousted by "strong leader" (my arse) from time to time.

Anonymous said...

Iain, you are soft.

All the MPs claim they're in the right and have done nothing wrong.

You've also fallen for the line that it is retrospective and unfair.

They took money they knew they weren't entitled to, either tha or they're dis-honourable and thick.

Whatever they are, they stole from the public purse. That makes then thieves (those who didn't steal are accomplises before and after).

Anonymous said...

He has one of the safest seats in the country so he will feel hard done to having been slung out before his story has been examined - does anyone know why, if it was for important work which was entirely above board (?!) he stopped paying himself £3000 a month?

Hawkeye said...

An anonymous poster said: "Next for the political gallows, Jacqui Smith......."

What? You think she will resign? At least Wilshire regained some face by resigning (or being pushed) so quickly.

It shows how dim Jacqui Smith is. She must know she is toast at the election so by announcing her resignation now she would actually help Labour and regain some honour (only a smidgin, admittedly) herself.

Is it possible that she believes that she win her seat next May?

Unsworth said...

"I am very conscious that the allegations and investigation will cause great distress to my family and friends. These allegations also run the risk of harming my local party and our national party’s chances of winning at the next General Election."

And

"at least he didn't prolong the party's agony."

Two points:

A) Wilshire ought to have fully understood that his actions (as an MP, particularly) would inevitable impinge his family, friends etc. For him to think otherwise is gross stupidity. Anyone who chooses to adopt a public position should know that - and make his/her calculations. Clearly Wilshire was sufficiently arrogant and stupid as to believe that unlikely.


B) If Wilshire was at all serious about damage to his Party he should have considered what might happen if his dubious activities were ever laid open to public view. Hanging on till the General Election is certainly prolonging the matter - to his considerable pecuniary advantage. His pronouncement is cant of the highest order.



Frankly I'm sick of this 'not seeking re-election' claptrap. Time for these people to do the really honourable thing of resigning immediately and apologising publicly. John Nott, Estelle Morris, and perhaps David Davis come to mind, but no doubt there are (a very few) others.

Anonymous said...

If the media didnt run with this all day Cameron would have done nothing.

Neil A said...

Even if we give him the benefit of the doubt, and accept that the payments to his company were for genuine admin services that were actually provided by the company at a competitive rate, and we charitably assume that he reasons for employing his own company were to do with trust and working relationships, rather than financial reward (and that is such a big benefit of the doubt I feel the need to pause and take a deep breath.......)

Politicians are supposed to have judgement, and nobody in their right mind could judge that this arrangement was above reproach. Wilshire has proved, if nothing else, that he doesn't have the political nous necessary to be a decent candidate for his party.

If it turns out that his company was being paid money for old rope then I am pretty sure that would constitute fraud and he should be arrested. Not that I expect that to happen.

Little Black Sambo said...

He supported Section 28? He wasn't all bad then. (Not, O ye single-issue fanatics, that it has ANYTHING to do with MPs troughing.)

Ian said...

Funny how you describe his actions as honourable. They myust have changed the definition of that word since my school days

Anonymous said...

Well if Bracknell doesn't work out...

Dimoto said...

You have to laugh how the Labourites get all indignant when a bit of Tory sleaze pops up. Talk about old habits die hard, they just don't get it. Beams in eyes and all that ...

Quietzapple said...

Wiltshire has just been par for the Tory course, in some ways.

Most Tory MPs look for their preferment as joint with their business career, and perforce some tend to view the Commons as subject to the same 'morality' and 'arrangements' so far as they can make them.

Business is business.