Monday, October 12, 2009

A Bad Day for Jacqui Smith

This is what the Standards Committee Report into the case of Jacqui Smith says:

“He [John Lyon] has also concluded that Ms Smith spent more nights at her constituency home than at her London home between 28 June 2007 and 31 March 2009. Ms Smith has agreed with this conclusion.13 The figures which underlie it are based on a reconciliation between witnesses’—including Ms Smith’s—personal recollections, the evidence provided by Ms Smith’s personal and ministerial diaries, and the evidence of police records (ie, records of the protection provided to Ms Smith by the police when she was Home Secretary).” (Pages 4 and 5)

But this is wat Jacqui Smith said when the original story broke:

“The spokeswoman said Ms Smith spends ‘the bulk of the week’ at her sister's home in London. Asked how many nights she stayed there, the spokeswoman said: ‘She tends to go home Thursday evenings and returns on Sunday or Monday.’ When it was pointed out that this suggested an average of three-and-a-half days a week, the spokeswoman replied: ‘She doesn't count the number of nights.’” (Mail on Sunday 8 February 2009).

Further spokeswoman comment:

“The London home is Ms Smith's main home where she spends the bulk of her time. The Commons Fees Office has said it is happy with the arrangement.” (Daily Mail, 16 February 2009).

But Ms Smith still seems unrepentant:

“I am disappointed that this process has not led to a fairer set of conclusions, based on objective and consistent application of the rules as they were at the time.” (pages 6 and 7)

I was slightly surprised that Jacqui Smith didn't just issue a full and frank apology this afternoon in the House of Commons, rather than appear to go through the motions. It doesn't really matter that she feels she was the victim of the system - no one cares. A full, heartfelt apology together with a willingness to pay some money back it what she should have done. That was the only way for her to draw a line under it, and she missed the opportunity.

And in other news, we learn now that the Prime Minister is being asked to pay back £12,000. That's £12,000! Lord Paul is now also under investigation for wrongly claiming £38,000.

And then there's Damian Green. I hope to write about that a bit later.


Bill Quango MP said...

Agree 100%

The stupid woman has only managed to make a humiliating apology that doesn't help her with the public one bit. Brown's Labourers continually manage to make the worst of a bad situation.

Anonymous said...

So if they don't pay it back, then what?

Perhaps their pensions should be taken from them ot a lien put on their bank accounts.

Also, as with any fraudulent claims, surely they should be tried and when found guilty jailed.

That's what happens to the hoi polloi, why are MPs protected and why do you have any sympathy for the thieves?

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"A bad day"? She took us for £120K and had to pretend to be sorry in front of her fellow troughers. She also gets to keep ever bloody penny she stole from us.

In what way is that a bad day for her?

Anonymous said...

What are the questions about CMDs mortgage?

Is it anything along the lines of, "why have you got a mortgage that you're claiming interest for when you're worth millions, isn't this just arranging your affairs to maximise what you can scam out of the taxpayer?"

Quietzapple said...

As the Fees Office pressed many MPs to make their London residence their Principal residence, without evidence on this point any account is unduly attenuated in my view.

As I even defended Pickles' account (on Question Time) on the Dully Tele blogs re his Brentford pied a terre when his constituency is Brentwood in Essex my bona fides are reasonable to say the least.

Hate politicians if you must, but your tendentiousness will undermine you as mater progress thus.

The conservatives who claimed Jacqui Smith was hardly ever at her sister's house were pretty clearly dissembling to put it mildly. Where she slept is her own business, where her principal residence should justly have been her decision, not that of the billionaire press.

It is quite clear that Lyons, like Legg, doesn't want to be the object of all the dissing which reasonable reports, often upsetting soo many of your 'commenters" have occasioned.

Bullying with billionaire backing is not pretty.

Alan Douglas said...

BAD day ? She gets to keep all the dosh for saying sorry ?

Anyway, I am so glad all this is happening - we now ALL have a multitude of excuses for any real or imagined law-breaking. If THEY can use such nonsense, as we are "all equal under the law" WE can use the same crap, and insist we are dismissed by the Leith police.

Alan Douglas

Anonymous said...

Don't be crowing so soon, Iain.

Dodgy Dave's mortgage seems to require further investigation.

Not exactly a good sign.

You've a lot to learn about when to talk and when to stay schtum.

Jimmy said...

No mention of the inadequate response from Dave I see. I would have thought an evasive response was far more embarrassing

LurkingBlackHat said...

It been a fanastic day for Jacqui Smith.

It has been proved that she repeated lied about the housing arrangements and the number of nights spent in her sister's box room.

Yet today she has been told she can keep the £64,000 she knowingly fraudently claimed.

That is what I call a result.

She should be paying it back and spending some time as a guest of Her Majesty.

Oliver Drew said...

So what you're trying to say, whilst being diplomatic Iain, is that Jacqui Smith is a liar, that she lied when she said her sister's home was her main home and that she lied when she was caught....

She is a liar, and she should be forced to pay the money back and taken to court...hopefully the Sunlight Center (I think it's them) manages to get her to court.

Anonymous said...

I think by only offering a partial apology, Ms Smith has effectively lost herself her job as an MP. Well worth the effort. If all the other MPs make a meal of it as she has done, it's going to get very messy.

Quiet_Man said...

So, she (ahem) stole £120,000 of taxpayers money and all she has to do is apologise?
I did that I'm fairly sure I'd be sacked and prison would be awaiting. One rule for them another for the rest of us.

Anonymous said...


We learnt today that Ms Smith has been found guilty of claiming for something incorrectly. To anyone else it's fraud but that's par for the course these days.

What I want to know is are we allowed a refund for the investigation?

If she has been found guilty and then nothing is done about it - what was the point of spending more of our money which we haven't got yet to reach the conclusion?

We usually get a white-wash but this time we just got an ineffectual investigation. Nice one.

Paul Donnelley said...

Jackboot Jacqui will almost certainly lose her seat at the next election anyway - so she can spend more time with her husband.

Talking of her husband - wasn't he paid £40k a year as her adviser? If she was in London (we know she wasn't) how did he advise her? Over the phone? Text messages? Emails?

She should be forced to pay back all the money!

Bath plugs for the many, not the few said...

Still attempting to justify herself, still in denial and still lying.

She is the very model of a New Labour politician, and we will be well rid of her at the next election.

Anonymous said...

She commits fraud, admits fraud in Parliament. But not only is she not going to be prosecuted, but goes on to keep the money! What do they have to do, before they have to pay for their crimes?


Quietzapple said...

Its Osborne's flipping rather than Chameleon's simple well worked out Greed which should generate Tory concern.

Anonymous said...

Oh, you jest. A bad day for Jacqui Smith, my backside.

A bad day would have been: -

Upholding of the complaint

A demand to repay all expenses paid since she first entered Parliament

Interest accruing on the amount owed

A 100% penalty for cheating the taxpayer

Confirmation that police have been requested to look into a case of fraud

Now that would have been a 'bad day'. And something that anyone else would have expected under similar circumstances.

The Grim Reaper said...

Quite a good day for Jacqui Smith, I'd say. It could be a thousand times worse.

What does Call Me Dave think of all this? Go on Dave, tell us...

Anonymous said...

Come off it Iain, it was a perfect day for Jacki Smith.
If I were both a liar and a thief and all that was required of me when caught was an apology, frankly, I would piss myself laughing.

Anonymous said...


You are Professor Stanley Unwin and I claim my £5.

Either that, or you got a dictionary for your birthday.

Unsworth said...

This is most certainly not a bad day for La Smith. She's just got clean away, hasn't she? Stands up and gives her 'apology' to her fellow thieves and then waltzes off with large amounts of our cash. At least Ali Baba had only forty co-conspirators, eh?

Bad Day? Absolutely not. She must be laughing her (support) socks off.

The Lakelander said...

I, for one, feel sorry for Jacqui.

It can't be nice for everyone to know that, while you're hard at work on parliamentary business late into the evening, your husband is giving himself a swift fifty back in the family home.

So that's why she's not a benefits-in-kind cheat!

AP said...

I was thinking of ringing my bank and saying sorry.

Do you think they will let me off my overdraft ?

Warsteiner said...


I have totally lost ALL faith in democracy in this country after today's events. Do yourself a favour, carry on with your publishing and blogging, don't get immersed in that cesspool that is Westminster.

jon dee said...

Smith's disingenuous apology did nothing to combat the charge of thievery, made against her earlier this year.

Her warped self-justification continues with an arrogance her constituents won't fail to notice.

Parliament and voters will be better off without her in so many ways.

Joe Public said...

Why are there different laws for MPs & the proletariat?

Anonymous said...

Jacqui Smith has been told that her expenses claims were inadmissable - yet providing she says sorry, she can keep the money. HOW is that a bad day?

She should be required to repay every penny and be prosecuted for fraud. That's what would happen to a benefits cheat - and that's all she is.

I hope her Constituents take the appropriate action.

And then there's Damian Green. His arrest was unnecessary and wrong ... yet once again, Ms Smith is not held to account. Just what is this woman FOR?

Quietzapple said...

Poor, p poor Anon, perhaps unsure about "Tory":

[Irish Gaelic tóraidhe, robber, from Old Irish tóir, pursuit; see ret- in Indo-European roots.]
To'ry adj., To'ry·ism n.

But do feel free to ask again.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Quietzapple!

I hope your new dictionary gives you more pleasure than it gives us.

Drivel, embellished with long adverbs and adjectives, is still drivel.

Anonymous said...

Silly silly silly woman.

The Police's work sheets prove that she spent more time in Redditch.

Why did she decide to further lie to Parliament today?

Houdini said...

I can't believe she is getting to keep her ill gotten gains.

Maybe the Tories should demand she pay it back, or is that too aggressive a stance?

Mirtha Tidville said...

Being Liebour means never having to say your sorry silly billys.....apart from sillyapple did anyone really believe anything else..

Malcolm Redfellow said...

And not a word about Eleanor Laing.

So it's all totally impartial here, then. As usual.

Err ... do you want other examples?
Hint: pot ... kettle ... blacking factory.

Nick said...

Why aren't they paying the interest on their interest free loan?

Not expenses any more, so their little exemption from taxes doesn't apply.

Unless they pay a proper rate of interest, its a perk and subject to tax


Quietzapple said...

This thread reminds me of a river somewhere . .

Its those who spiel with nothing to say . .

Piddle, that's it!

(I wonder if any of her critics will bother reading the addendum she wrote to the report on herself? No, Justice not high on any of the rivers around here . . )

Cardinal Richelieu's mole said...

"MPs on the Standards and Privileges committee decided not to make her pay back money because “it is impossible to quantify” the financial implications of her decision or say “with any certainty whether the taxpayer is any worse or better off as a result.” " per "The Times" newspaper.

What useless innumerate troughers - of course Smith's embezzlement can be given quantitative expression (not accurately maybe, but good enough). Give us our money back Smith!

Anonymous said...


With every post, you dig yourself a deeper hole.

Your lack of basic education and intelligence is writ loud. No amount of flowery prose will hide the fact that you are so far out of your depth on this blog.

Everyone can see it, except you.

Poor, poor, Quietzapple. You are a pathetic joke. A useful idiot of the left.

Post away to your heart's content and keep us all laughing at you.

Grumpy Old Sod said...

Jaquiboot's apology benefited her and cost the taxpayer about £928/second.

Hardly value for money for the taxpayer, but then what do you expect...

Anonymous said...

So the next benefit cheat that takes £100k of our money illegally & lies about it later can just say sorry and make it ok?

Thieving liar. Do they really wonder why they are the most despised people in the country. Hell, even Vanessa George would think twice before being seen with Smith.

john miller said...

I understand a Tory MP has defended Brown, suggesting that it is none of the effing public's effing business what Gordon pays his cleaner.

Are they criminally stupid, or just insane?

I have no interest whatsoever in what Brown pays his cleaner. He could pay her £10,000 a week for all I care. But the point is, Rt effing Hon Tory MP, he didn't pay her did he? I did. And therefore I very much care that he paid her £75 per hour.

Anonymous said...

It seems rather convenient that the focus has been on cleaning and gardening services. Surely this takes away from the really serious incidents of "flipping" and the avoidance of capital gains tax.

What is going to happen about the hundreds of thousands of pounds of capital gains tax avoidance and who is challenging the decision of the almost totally Labour committee who concluded that Smith didn't have to repay close on £120,000?

I really want to see some action on this or politics is "doomed" aye "doomed" - but then Brown has doomed it anyway.