Monday, February 08, 2010

Brown Withdraws Whip From the Expenses 3

So Gordon Brown has finally withdrawn the whip from the three Labour MPs who face criminal charges over their expenses claims. Better late than never.

This is yet another example of the Prime Minister dithering. Whereas Cameron acted quickly to withdraw the whip from Lord Hanningfield, Brown allowed an impression to be created that he was dithering and uncertain. The fact that Labour's solicitor is also advising the three adds further questions. Is the Labour Party paying their legal fees?


dff said...


This seems a great coup for Cameron: the whip withdrawn minutes before he is due to speak. It reminds me of the number of announcements that are made late on Wednesday mornings, ie just before PMQs. It is also reminiscent of last spring when the expenses scandal first broke. In my view, Cameron deserves more credit than he receives for holding the Labour Government to account and forcing them to change direction on a number of important issues. We should after all judge an opposition partly on how effective they hold the Government of the day to account. On this score, Cameron has quite a good story to tell, and more should be made of this.

trevorsden said...

Thats interesting because the Telegraph (on line) is quoting Harman as saying Cameron's remarks could jeopardise the trial of the troughing 3. And now Brown does what Cameron asks!

By jeopardise I presume Harman means they might 'get off' which is hardly a neutral stance from her ...

Her point is of course stupid, since an employer finding an employee fiddling the books would give that person the sack - which does not prevent a subsequent trial.

DespairingLiberal said...

As I've explained before and as revealed in various diaries, he "dithers" because his Stalinist tendancies cause him to be permanently backed up taking trivial decisions that should happen much lower down in the system. According to all who have worked with him he is absolutely paranoid about allowing anyone lower down the chain to decide anything.

DespairingLiberal said...

That's true Trevorsden, but the press would not then be allowed to report that the manager says they are certainly guilty, which is in effect what Paul Staines and Iain Dale have both been doing - I think it's a stretch that they can't be construed as "press" with their large readerships, daily publication, heavy advertising and numerous media appearances.

I suspect we will hear more of this when the cases come to trial!

golden_balls said...

Your point that he dithered is accurate but thats Brown for you. it seems such a simple and straight forward thing to do to have the whip withdrawn i wonder what did take him so long.

The other point you make regarding the solicitor involved is more difficult should the Labour Party have the final say over who they represent ?

I do wonder if DC will be so forthcoming with Browns demands for clarification regarding Lord Ashcroft.

Any sign that will happen iain ??

Unsworth said...

Usual golden_bollox.

"I do wonder if DC will be so forthcoming with Browns demands for clarification regarding Lord Ashcroft."

WTF have Brown's 'demands' got to do with Cameron? Cameron should simply tell Brown to sod off, he's not answerable to Brown, nor is Ashcroft.

Time for Brown to come clean about the old exercise-book £50k rip off. After all, he's the Prime Minister, isn't he?

golden_balls said...

I see Clegg has mentioned Lord Ashcroft and asked for the same clarification this might get interesting.

Lets hope this gets more media attention theres something that just doesn't feel right about this opinion nothing more.

He *Lord Ashcroft* has had many chances to clarify his postion.

Whether iain unsworth and others agree or not its damaging the tories. For my part i hope he doesn't lol

Victor, NW Kent said...

How and why would Cameron's remarks jeopardise the trials? The main thrust was that he, Cameron, did not believe they should be able to claim Parliamentary immunity.

If there are to be jurors, not a certainty, we might be better off with 12 who can read and are aware that there is a world around them than with 12 who have no idea at all about anything. The fiction that one can find 12 jurors who have spent the last year out of touch is an absurdity.

They will quickly be made aware of the charges against the accused, their task is to assess whether those are supported by facts.

Unsworth said...

Yet more golden_bollox.

It's not damaging the Tories - it's damaging Labour. The constant whining on about Ashcroft is seen by almost everyone with any sense to be nothing more than a monomaniac diversion. After all, exactly the same golden_bollox could be repeated endlessly about Sainsbury, the Hindujas, Deripaska and innumerable other Mandy's Mates. There's so much sleaze and corruption in this administration that most people have simply stopped being surprised.

The average bloke in the street doesn't give a toss about Ashcroft. What really pisses him off is the state of the nation.
When are the NuLab cretins going to face up to the fact that they have stuffed the economy and thereby stuffed their electoral chances? The fact that all of their leaders have been proven liars is not helping their chances one little bit. If Clegg seriously believes that he can make any mileage out of this crap he's even stupider than he already appears.

John said...

"Brown allowed an impression to be created that he was dithering and uncertain"


Brown always dithers. There is nothing new there.

trevorsden said...

dear goldoen horlicks - what interest is Ashcrofts position to you? or Brown or anybody but the taxman.

despairing liberal - Its been made clear by Legg what the 4 parliamentarians did. its a public matter. Whether legal or illegal its perfectly legitimate to take away the whip, for breaking parliamentary or party rules (bringing into disrepute etc). All of which has nothing to do with any legal matters.

Staines you me Dale can say what we like - and we can conclude that they are guilty of breaking parliaments rules and we can complain that their party has not acted properly. Nothing wrong with that.

Jon said...

It seems that three MPs have been suspended from the Labour Party as well as having the whip withdrawn. Does anyone know if Hanningfield has been suspended from the Conservative Party? And does he remain a member of the Essex County Council Conservative Group or has that whip been withdrawn as well?

Ben said...

Martha Kearney on WATO claimed that Brown had thus taken the wind from Cameron's sails.

No he didn't. He just showed us again that he's indecisive and inept.

Not as if we didn't already know.

Jimmy said...

I've seen no announcement to the effect that Hanningfield is not still a member of the tory group on Essex CC, merely that he has stepped down voluntarily as group leader. I suppose if Lightweight thinks their are points to be scored from withdrawing the whip one day earlier than Labour did then obviously he'll go for it. I doubt the electorate is going to see this chapter as a plus for either main party. Still, it keeps the focus away from policy, which is obviously his weak area.

DeeDee99 said...

Whenever Lord Ashcroft's tax status is raised by Labour, why don't the Conservatives raise the case of Lord Paul? He is a Labour donor; he is non-domiciled and - just for good measure - he is being investigated for expenses irregularities.

Ashcroft doesn't claim any expenses.

tory boys never grow up said...

While we are on the subject of speedy action by party leaders to deal with disgraced representatives of their party. Perhaps someone could explain why this councillor who called in whose blog for the compulsory sterilisation of some benefit claimants, and does not even appear to have repdudiated his own comments (this is not the same as having taken them off his website)is still a member of the Conservative Party and was even invited to the recent Conservative bloggers event addressed by the Party Chair??

trevorsden said...

DeeDee99 - no point raising Lord Paul, or even Sainsbury - waste of time mentioning Mittal or his passport. Labour activists are too thick to notice. And LibDems are not bothered that they are spending stolen money either.

Jimmy said...


Ashcroft is said to have given undertakings to the Cabinet Office as to residence, not domicile, although if the torygraph is to be believed he denies this now. Anyway we should know soon enough, as the Cabinet Office has four weeks left to spill the beans.