Thursday, May 07, 2009

Telegraph to Publish MPs' Expenses Disc

Stay tuned tonight. The Telegraph has apparently bought the complete disk of MPs' expenses, which might explain Mr Brogan's light blogging today. They are splashing on it tomorrow, but I imagine Messers Robinson and Bradby may cover it at 10pm. All other lobby hacks are meanwhile looking green and thinking up spoilers...

UPDATE 10.10: BBC News leading on the story, spending 10 minutes on it. Details of 13 Cabinet Ministers' expenses being published first. Gordon Brown, Hazel Blears and Jack Straw under the spotlight. Brown gave his brother £6,000 to pay half a cost of a cleaner. I dread to think how dirty his flat was then...

The Telegraph has posted a taster story HERE.

65 comments:

Mirtha Tidville said...

Yum Yum, cant wait....understand Fat Jaqui has been caught out again paying rates on her Redditch `second` home at the rate you would only if it were your primary residence......more than oops..she gotta go now its fraud....

Marian said...

This initiative is long overdue and hopefully it will be detailed enough to root out these Westminster scroungers at last. Perhaps it will precipitate a General Election too.

Constantly Furious said...

I've been trying - with others - to encourage people to report Jacqui Smith and Baroness Uddin for fraudulent claims on the DWP's website.Better get that done quick, as there'll be a whole load more to do tomorrow!

Bardirect said...

Robinson and Bradby to "cover it" or cover it up?

Man in a Shed said...

Gordon's going to need his bicycle clips tomorrow.

Dame Celia Molestrangler said...

Excellent news. Now we'll see where the skeletons are really buried and what this useless lot have been up to - at our expense.

Anonymous said...

Wait, so let me get this straight, this is THE very same list of expenses we where waiting for the release of in June/July?

This will be the list of claims that has "several Labour MPs on suicide watch"?

And basically, will this expose the MPs having affairs, cheating the system and doing naughty stuff, or is this something else?

Iain Dale said...

Got it in one

Anonymous said...

Spoiler............its a fake disk. Leaked by Parliament authority.

Oliver Drew said...

Iain - I take it this disc will include the data that they were going to cover up - hotel names etc?!

If it is, then Christmas has effectively come early. Heads are gonna roll - hopefully not literally, but I expect resignations.

Daniel1979 said...

oh goodie. Thanks for the heads up!

Unknown said...

Am I the only person concerned that this could somehow scupper the Tory Dreadnought? We seem to be unstoppable right now and this is the type of unexpected skeleton that can be a real banana skin for any government in waiting. My only hope is that whatever Labour fiddles have taken place are noticeably worse than Tory ones.

forfar-loon said...

They should give away free copies of the disk on cd!

Anonymous said...

Hahah, *excellent*! I'd heard the Commons had tried to censor bits of it like the details of hotel stays and taxi journeys. I hope this is as totally uncensored as possible.

I'm very eager to see if there really is anything so grotesque that we will have Members of Parliament seriously comtemplating the meaning of life.

I'd put the "suicide watch" rumours down to media hype, but if there's a shred of truth to what has been alleged then I want to be the first in line to see if my MP has been doing anything disgusting.

The Empty Suit said...

Lead item on the Radio 4 news just now. Here we go, lads, over the top...

PS Word verification "witer" - how appropriate

insider said...

Blears is in it up to her teeny weeny neck.

3 homes and 3 lots of very small pieces of furniture.

Nothing's too good for the working classes.

Boo said...

Guess number ten will have to bolt down the printers

Tom said...

Probably wiping up the remains of broken nokias and spilt printer ink...

Anonymous said...

Fantabuloso!

Daniel1979 said...

The story is now up on the DT - Nothing too shocking in it, so far... http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/5293147/MPs-expenses-Telegraph-investigation-exposes-allowances.html

Anonymous said...

phil woolas is an arse has he been claiming expenses on dildos?

Anonymous said...

Brown gave his brother £6,000 to pay half a cost of a cleaner.

Not been funny but why should the taxpayer pay for a cleaner? I wish I had a cleaner my Flat could do with £6K of cleaning.

Personally I think Brown is as bas as the other Cabinet Pigs! That stroke where he got the Taxpayer to pay for his westminister flat and then on becoming PM - changed it into his wifes name at the top of a Property boom, where she took a Lifetime Mortgage out on it is not right IMO!

Anonymous said...

This has cheered me up a wee bit. I'm shocked at the continued shamelessness of some politians who don't resign. Uddin and Jacqui are 2 fresh examples.

Anonymous said...

from Sea Shanty Irish:

Off topic (but commenting here because this is the thred that everyone will be looking at for a wee while)

Iain, your comments re: Derek Draper earlier today, demonstrate your caliber as a politico and human being.

Shows why I got good vibes from you the day we met (first and only time in person) at your old Poltico's bookstore.

Also why you deserve your status as one of the best bloggers. And should be in Parliament . . . leastways as long as voters insist on sending Tories to the green benches!

Cheers, SSI

arthur largetrump said...

I smell lord custard spin

If hazel blears is the worst then get it out now cause she's already in loads of poop.

Unknown said...

'Hazel's as honest as the day's long, and doesn't lead a lavish lifestyle'.

Ah, that makes it alright then.

You see it's one thing to nick the price of a crate of Brown Ale, and quite another to nick the price of a bottle of bolly.

Oldrightie said...

All above board. Labour are so utterly perfect and only there for the workers? Is the cleaning bill really the billions we are paying Jimmy Brown's brother's company, EDF, to clean up our own nuclear waste?

Martin said...

Gordon Brows flat was probably full of broken mobile phone,s laser printers and SNOT everywhere

North Briton said...

This is Browns last throw of the dice.Release the information now,get some doomed ministers and non entities to resign(ie Blears,Purnell etc) and then release the Tory expenses before the Euro and Local elections and get Pravda and the Labourgraph and to lead on Tory Sleaze whilst saying that Labour were within the rules!!!!
Nuclear option from Brown,it may work for a short while!!

The Grim Reaper said...

Here's hoping that someone in Downing Street has decided to lock away all the printers and mobile phones safely away from Gordon. Otherwise, there will be scenes of unimaginable carnage inside No 10 tonight. When Mandy visits to say "calm down, calm down" in presumably a Scouse accent later, Gordon will probably end up ramming his head through a television screen.

So far, I've been disappointed. There's no dynamite in here, no killer revelation as of yet. Here's hoping the Telegraph are keeping the best until the weekend newspapers - then things could really go boom!

Deeply Suspicious said...

This smells of spin. Trying to defuse the situation and distract the public.

Liz said...

I'm sure the Tories and Lib Dems will come out of this badly too - but it'll be interesting to see where the emphasis is placed in the press. I'm suspecting that the current government is now so unpopular that we'll hear a lot more about Labour abuses.

Incidentally, I would love to find a job which would allow me to expense a cleaner.

GWH said...

Blears is claiming on three homes? Is that even close to within the rules?

Anonymous said...

I susect, they will release it bit by bit, you dnt release your ig guns in the media, its just titbits, the big stuff will be tomorrow.

Stepney said...

You know it's really funny. I'm self employed, work from home and employed a cleaner but my accountant said that the £88 a month I was paying was going to be challenged by the taxman.

So let me get this straight:

my £1056 was deemed excessive by HMRC yet Brown Bros can splurge £12000 of our taxes and that's OK?

Old Holborn said...

All of you, blog it.

Set the Blogosphere alight with this

646 corrupt bastards are employing spin doctors tonight, to weasel their way out of this. Favours are being called in.

Use your voice. Use your blog. 646 of them, 60 MILLION of US

Well done Iain. It's going to be along night

Unknown said...

Where will the spotlight fall?
Who will be left to take the rap?

Maybe it is finally Brown's turn and the Labour civil war will now commence.

Even the Chipmunk won't escape unscathed!

Laurence said...

"Within the rules" is a completely specious mantra.

It is right that MPs – our lawmaking honourable members – bow to no higher authority. The unelected "Commons authorities" must not be granted more power. Any such power is a threat to democracy.

The game-changer is the wonderful Freedom of Information Act (I sometimes think it's the only good law that's been passed in 12 years), which quite simply is exposing dishonour.

That is the only "rule" we need.

It's unfortunate for us and for them if many, perhaps most of our MPs have proved they are incapable of acting honourably without rules. We need them replaced with MPs who can.

Harman is right that "the system needs to be changed" (tonight, Newsnight). The simple way is to call a general election.

Anonymous said...

The chipmunk claimed for 3 homes in a single year !

How can the costs of a cleaner be valid? Especially when its your brother?

Tory claims are going to have to be nuclear to top that.

Eddie 180 said...

Apparently Gordon Brown paid his brother to pay the cleaner as it helped the cleaner with the National Insurance...

I would have thought Gordon Brown would have organised NI liability and benefits when Chancellor (whilst using this arrangement) so that people easily paid the correct amount and received the correct benefits without the need for artificial arrangements.

Martin S said...

How exciting!

Cjamesk said...

This will gift votes to the BNP imo as all parties are going to get burnt, this could be a tipping point in British Politics.

I'm concerned where this may lead, or I'm just being paranoid!

No Society said...

Ok. One section of the blog society may hate this but in my humble opinion and notwithstanding Iain’s recent aberration; my view is that he is the front line delivering real news.

It means that we are close to a major communication change. 1-2years, we will see a clarity never witnessed in any lifetime since Roman times. Dale leads from the front and his patronage is far more educated than Mr. Guido…

Challenge me... fellows

no longer anonymous said...

At last, the scum who govern us are revealed in all their corrupt glory.

Bond007 said...

Beautiful.

I would have timed it for two weeks time though ... just in time for the EU elections

Anonymous said...

Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, Hazel Blears, the Communities Secretary and Paul Murphy, the Welsh Secretary, are among 13 members of the Government who have been dragged into a growing row over taxpayer-funded allowances.Great God Almighty, are there no subs at the Telegraph who have the merest grasp of the rules of punctuation? Do none of them know the use of the semi-colon for the separation of list items?

Honestly, I weep.

Tony said...

I've had it with the Labour Party. I was going to vote for them in the hope that they'd change and become a true party of the working class again, but looking at this, all they are there for is to benefit themselves.

It'll be the BNP for me on June 4th.

Anonymous said...

Sea Shanty Irish here:

Electorally speaking, two weeks is just perfect to let the whole thing bubble and stew.

Just ask Gordon . . . Ramsey that is!

Anonymous said...

Sea Shanty Irish here:

The expenses fiasco will do nothing to enhance the reputation of parliament and parliamentarians, that's for sure.

And it's also certain that members of all parties (those with more than a handful of MPs anyway) will be (self) touched by the scandal.

BUT the chief sufferers will be the Labour Party and Labour MPs.

Why?

First, because they have more MPs, and thus more hostages to fortune.

Second, and even more important, they are in power, they are in charge, thus they bear the most responsiblity.

Remember the scandal of the US House "Bank" in 1994? Which consisted of members of Congress receiving what amounted to interest-free loans via overdrafts, which for some members were quite substantial.

Now there were Republicans implicated in this. But more Democrats, because there were more of them in the US House at the time.

And the giant shytehammer fell upon the Dems, wielded by that great ethicist Newt Gingrich!

Yak40 said...

It's all going to be released over several days !!

Mandelson is utterly shameless, isn't he ?

Don't forget Uddin, she's pulled a lot more than some of these people.

Paddy said...

I must say that I am disappointed. I really was hoping for more dirt right at the top. I'm praying that the papers are saving the proper explosive stuff for Sunday but, then again, surely if they had real dirt on someone in the ZaNuLab Cabinet then that person would have resigned by now? Obviously I know that this lot are particularly more vile than usual but I'd expect that they'd have the sense to know that the game was up and would do one decent last thing.

Agree that this could have been doing with being delayed by another 10-14 days for maximum impact in the run-up to the Europeans. Electorally speaking, I think that the BNP has most to gain on 4 June from this. However, given that most of the growing BNP vote is coming from former Labour voters, mainly working class people in the north-west, I suppose any Labour loss is a Tory gain. I really think the BNP have an excellent chance of pushing into 3rd position at the expense of Labour or the Lib Dems. Very interesting times ahead.

Patriot said...

I hope they all get exposed. I don't care if it derails the Tories. If they are just as corrupt as the filthy Labour scum then I hope they all burn.

I think it will be unlikely the Conservative front bench come out of this unscathed.

Tony_E said...

This is a Telegraph story, so it may have come from No10 itself. Nothing there is particularly damaging, so what is there to come?

My guess is that Saturday will see Lib Dems in the spotlight, but he real charge will come on Sunday, when one or more senior Conservatives will be lambasted across the front pages, with the Labourgraph leading from the front. The expenses issue will be minor, but will have left a trail to some personal misdeed such as infidelity.

With the current direction of the Telegraph, I just smell a rat.

Anonymous said...

Exciting times ahead in the next few days Ian!
Didn't know if this would be of any use to you?

Anonymous said...

£6,000 for cleaning a home? But Brown was staying at No10 (NOT No11) since 1997. Grace an favour, so why are we paying his brother to clean his flat that he did not live at?

Anonymous said...

Lets be clear - Brown is running the same second home scam as Smith.
10 days after Blair announced his resignation he switched his second home from his flat to to his real main home.
He knew full well he would have the use of several 'grace and favour' homes and would not use his flat (I think its now rented).

Anonymous said...

With regard to my previous post, with his brother submitting the cleaning bill, he gets better tax relief from the IR. So getting it paid by Parliment, and then his brother paying the bill is maximising the tax fiddle. Even if the £6,000 is correct in the first place.

Anonymous said...

If these MPs are claiming expenses for cat food, windows, cookers, tv's etc. then the question to as is what they spend their salary on cause it looks like they don't spend a penny of it and live of the tax payer.

Rush-is-Right said...

I just heard Harman on the Toady Program. She named Derek Conway twice. Disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Brown would have needed a cleaner to sweep up all those Nokia fragments that regularly litter his floor...

Paul Halsall said...

It's very odd that Tory and Lib Dem politicians are not really responding to this. I suppose that is because they know their time is coming since the Telegraph claims it has expenses for all MPs.

Moreover, although e silentio arguments are not worth much, Harriet Harman, the Milibands, and Alan Johnson seem to be in the clear - all potential heirs to Gordon Brown.

It will not exactly be "fun", but will be interesting to see this stuff come out over the next week or so.

Meanwhile, as of this morning, Harriet Harman is smelling of roses.

http://englisheclectic.blogspot.com/

Twig said...

I don't trust the Telegraph.
I agree with North Britain and Deeply Suspicious.
This stinks of New Labour damage control.

Oliver Drew said...

@Paul Halsall, nobody is in the clear yet. The Telegraph can only release so much information in one paper for it all to be effective. If too much info is released at once something important will get lost in the crowd.

I don't agree with this "New Labour is controlling this" idea - because otherwise they would not have risked further damage to the PM now (or senior members of his cabinet) by releasing all the information. They are not yet so inept that they would've given them this information by accident. And they certainly would not give it on purpose.

Yes the Telegraph will go for the Tories and Lib Dems too, and quite rightly. However, as the House of Commons is majority Labour, there will be more Labour stories than Tory and Lib Dem.

Good on the Telegraph. Don't care who it derails, but the whole job lot of them who have been caught fiddling should simply resign.

Boo said...

Nice to see that Labour are still in Tory attack mode.

Ms Harman - we are not really corupt, cept a few like Dereck Conway.

Mr Mandelson - "When you see something like this in a paper like the Telegraph you can either react with sort of boiling anger at the attempt to smear or traduce half the cabinet and you should rail at what motivates a Tory supporting paper to mount an operation like this.

"Or you take it more philosophically, you accept that this is what passes for modern journalism – you don't allow yourself to be diverted from it as a minister and you get on with your day job, and that's what I intend to do."

I hope when the Tory expenses come out David Cameron will off decisive leadership or it really is a plague on both houses.

Twig said...

Oliver Drew
"I don't agree with this "New Labour is controlling this" idea - because otherwise they would not have risked further damage to the PM now (or senior members of his cabinet) by releasing all the information. They are not yet so inept that they would've given them this information by accident. And they certainly would not give it on purpose."
Oliver,
The Telegraph would have paid cash for the disc which was being touted around the press.
This would be the only way they could be sure it was taken off of the market.
Now the timing and content of the various disclosures is under the control of Brown's "press office", so they can let the steam out gradually before the FOI release in July, a month after the euros.