Monthly Archives: May 2009

Jim Pickard

I’ve written in Saturday’s FT that Ukip is becoming increasingly confident of its ability to beat Labour in Thursday’s European elections. The implications for Gordon Brown’s credibility hardly need spelling out.

A couple of recent have already put the two parties close. Tomorrow will see a Populus survey in The Times which puts Ukip ahead of Labour by several points (19 per cent to 16 per cent). Read more

Jim Pickard

TSSA are the white collar transport union* who have been leading the drive for Network Rail to come clean about six-figure discrimination payments made to former members of staff several years ago.

It emerged in recent reports that some of the departees had made claims about a senior director of the rail operator allegedly involving highly inappropriate behaviour. Read more

Jim Pickard

Julie Kirkbride’s resignation yesterday seems to have lowered the bar at which MPs are expected to step down (by the next general election, that is). Read more

Jim Pickard

It transpires that Cash rented his daughter’s flat even though he owned an apartment in Pimlico which was apparently not being used at the time*. Here is the story in full. Read more

Jim Pickard

The scene: an elections hustings in a market square. Senior MPs are surrounded by a baying mob.

The crowd: String ‘em up, string ‘em up, string ‘em up. Read more

Jim Pickard

There have been serious questions over MPs paying capital gains tax – or otherwise- in the wake of the expenses revelations.

Their defence has been that individuals can decided which of their homes are “first” or “second”, and this doesn’t have to tally with what they tell the Commons’ officials. Read more

Jim Pickard

Labour and the Tories are falling over each other to claim themselves the party of reform (missing the whole point, as I explained earlier today).

Jackie Ashley, the columnist, can barely believe how nimbly David Cameron is dealing with the expenses issue despite many of his MPs being implicated in a big way. Read more

Jim Pickard

Prepare yourself for a new MP expenses story; this time about Dennis Bates, an accountant who is married to Labour MP Meg Munn (pictured).

 Read more

Jim Pickard

The editorial in the Times by Alan Johnson (proposing proportional representation) was seen by that paper as a covert bid for the Labour leadership.

Well, possibly. But the alternative theory is that Gordon Brown is desperate for Labour to look like it is doing something about the expenses scandal that he has authorised senior colleagues to “go out there and talk reform”. Read more

Jim Pickard

I’ve heard of Esther Rantzen, obviously.

David Van Day, never. The former singer from Dollar, apparently an 80s pop duo, has said he could become the latest anti-sleaze parliamentary candidate. The 52-year old wants to stand against Nadine Dorries at the next general election.

Apparently he was appalled by Ms Dorries’ radio interview where she accused the Telegraph of “McCarthy-ite witch hunts” and warned that some of her MP colleagues were “beginning to crack”.

Van Day, an unsuccessful former Tory council candidate, wants to start a “No Expenses Party”. Read more

Jim Pickard

In retrospect I chose the wrong fortnight to be on holiday. But from my Cornish vantage point I couldn’t help wondering who had inadvertently come out of the expenses saga smelling of roses.

Firstly the central London MPs. They couldn’t claim the additional cost allowance so there was never any temptation – unlike those in outer London. Thus Harriet Harman sails through unscathed. Read more