Daily Archives: June 23, 2009

Jim Pickard

Newsflash:

Gordon Brown hast just told the Commons that two Iranian diplomats have been expelled from Britain – after the Iranians expelled two British diplomats. 

Jim Pickard

Gordon Brown is “dishonest and foolish”: Larry Elliott is concerned about Britain’s declining economy and the prime minister’s response

One in 10 households with good credit records are now in negative equity (let alone those with bad credit records): so why no major outcry? 

Jim Pickard

The GMB threatened last summer to end donations to 35 Labour MPs. But the warning has proved a damp squib with only five losing funding from the union.

The union, one of Britain’s “big three”, said in June last year that it would withdraw financial support from up to 35 MPs because they had failed to back traditional Labour policies.

The announcement was seen at the time as a sign of growing alienation of unions under Gordon Brown’s government.

But the GMB’s failure to implement the threat may raise scepticism over similar warnings.

Unison, the public sector union, said last week that it would cut its support for Labour unless the party stopped “biting the hand that feeds it”. 

Jim Pickard

Margaret Moran, Labour MP, made the headlines after claiming £22k for treating dry rot at her home in Southampton – more than 100 miles from her Luton constituency. Since then our colleague Miles Johnson has been asking questions about a business she runs called Equality Networks. Here is Miles’ latest dispatch:

Margaret Moran, the Labour MP for Luton South forced to stand down over her parliamentary expenses claims, warned Jacqui Smith, then Home Secretary, against a Muslim organisation in her constituency which was competing for funding with her own non-profit company.

Documents seen by the Financial Times show that in July 2007 Ms Moran sent a letter to Jacqui Smith “to raise concerns” over a Luton-based community organisation was receiving public funding and had applied for “Preventing Violent Extremism” funding from the Department of Communities and Local Government.