Socialist Worker

Sleazy does it

Issue No. 2138

£116,000 in a spare bedroom

This week New Labour minister Yvette Cooper complained about the “moral irresponsibility” of bankers and condemned their bonuses.

But it’s not just bankers that are living the high life with our cash. Home secretary Jacqui Smith has nominated her family home as her second address – allowing her to claim £116,000 in allowances.

Smith’s children go to school in Redditch, Worcestershire. Yet she insists her “main home” is her sister’s spare bedroom in south London.

Since she became an MP in 2001, Smith has pocketed a total of £782,000 in expenses.

Just in case she’s still strapped for cash, her husband Richard Timney is paid £40,000 a year from public funds to be her adviser.

Moonie hands pass to lobbyist

Gordon Brown’s good friend Lord Moonie of Bennochy has given a pass granting access to parliament to Robin Ashby, a defence industry lobbyist.

Peers are only supposed allowed to issue such passes to “secretaries and research assistants”. Ashby is the managing partner of a lobbying firm and director-general of the UK Defence Forum.

Lord Moonie was accused last month of being one of four Labour lords ready to accept money from lobbyists in return for helping to amend legislation.

Tories hit the jackpot too

The Tories are not standing by and letting Labour’s sleaze go unchallenged – they’re busy getting their grubby hands on the loot as well.

Last February, David Cameron and the Tories fought to relax the laws that regulate gambling on slot machines in pubs, clubs, casinos and amusement arcades.

Shortly afterwards the Tories received four donations totalling £200,000 from four companies owned by Trevor Hemmings, a billionaire gambling and leisure tycoon.

Cameron hires his banker pals

Who would you turn to for advice on how mending the economy? For Tory leader David Cameron the answer is bankers, of all people.

The seven “business leaders” appointed to his economic recovery committee this week include Sir Peter Middleton, former chair of Barclays, Sir Brian Pitman, former chair of Lloyds TSB and Sir James Sassoon, former investment banker.

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Article information

Tue 10 Feb 2009, 18:24 GMT
Issue No. 2138
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