Socialist Worker

Blackmail and expenses scandals hit toxic Tories

Issue No. 2506

The Tory expenses scandal keeps ticking. So police have been given extra time to investigate a range of election fraud allegations against Tory MPs.

And the inquest into the death of Elliott Johnson, who killed himself after alleged bullying in the Tory party, was set to begin this week.

That case raises many things. Not least, Tory activist Mark Clarke has been accused of bullying, blackmailing and sexually assaulting fellow activists.

Elliott Johnson had accused him of bullying.

Then there is Robert Halfon.

Bear with Troublemaker a moment. Robert Halfon is a Tory minister who faced an alleged sex blackmail plot.

Halfon admitted to an affair after being told that Sam Armstrong, acting on Clarke’s behalf, intended to film him and his lover.

Sam Armstrong is still employed as an adviser by South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay.

Conservative chairman Lord Feldman is under some pressure over what he knew when about the scandal.

Feldman has rejected Halfon’s plea to sack Armstrong.

Banned

Though Armstrong was banned from last year’s Tory conference, along with Clarke.

To add to the mix Mackinlay’s South Thanet constituency is involved in the election expenses controversy.

The party is accused of failing to declare thousands of pounds spent in key seats.

Some of the claims relate to the way activists toured the country in buses and stayed in hotels.

None of this found its way into the decarations of local expenses. The buses were organised by Mark Clarke and a lot of time was spent in Thanet.

Tories also paid at least one unemployed woman to pose as a party supporter and help their general election campaign in South Thanet.

She denied being a Tory and said she saw a job advert at the job centre and was put on the bus and given a rosette.


Poshos’ pound shop in Mayfair

A new shop offering bargains to billionaires is set to open in London’s Mayfair.

The luxury discount store will open in August in a secret location (yawn).

It will offer every single item on sale for an eye-watering £1,000.

David Shapiro told the Daily Mail newspaper, “I think we are more accessible to the general population than many of the other retailers in Mayfair.

“There are many shops in Mayfair where you can’t buy anything under £10,000, or £100,000 or £1 million.

“As far as Mayfair goes, we are definitely one of the cheapest stores. If people really want something they will save up to buy it.”


Syrian Scots detention

Glasgow police, who “unlawfully” arrested three brothers campaigning against war in Syria, have seen their case dismissed in court due to “unreliable” evidence.

Three years ago, Police Scotland made the arrests on Buchanan Street, Glasgow.

Last Thursday a Glasgow Sheriff Court judge threw out the police claims as “unreliable”.

Film evidence played a crucial part in proving the innocence of the campaigners.

The judge stated he was “astonished” after watching the video evidence from the scene.

As the detention was “unlawful”, the three men had committed no crime by resisting arrest.

Without the amateur footage, a “serious miscarriage of justice” may have occurred—the judge added.


Did cops know about Birmingham bomb?

A “significant” piece of information has been sent to the coroner who is considering reopening the Birmingham pub bombings inquests.

Senior coroner Louise Hunt said she received “sensitive information” from an undisclosed source.

Hunt added that it related to an allegation the security services had some advanced notice of the 1974 bombings.

Lawyers for the families of the

21 people killed in 1974 have already alleged the security services may have had prior knowledge of the attacks.

Paddy Hill, one of the “Birmingham Six” men wrongly jailed for the crime after being tortured into confessing, said, “There was a mole.

“I am also quite sure that the Birmingham Police had information before the bombs went off.”

Documents relating to the case have been sealed until 2069.


Tax haven firms look to buy up Land Registry

All bidders to snaffle up the government sale of the Land Registry have links to tax havens.

Two US private equity firms and a Canadian pension fund with business links to tax havens or secretive jurisdictions are among the venture capital businesses making bids.

The Land Registry database collects information on every house sale in England and Wales and is valued at more than £1.2 billion.

The companies are Omers, the Canadian pension giant, and Advent International and Hellman & Friedman, American private equity firms.

Omers would bid through a division that has a linked company in Delaware.

Advent has a British division whose parent company is based in Boston, Massachusetts, but is incorporated in Delaware. One of the officers for H&F’s British division is listed at Companies House as H&F Europe Holdings, which is registered in Delaware.


Everything can be made into a commodity in the end. Hillsborough branded clothing—including underwear—is available on Amazon.

A women’s pink thong with “96” and a portrait of the faces of the victims is available.

There are also beer glasses, mugs, sweatpants, shorts, caps and t-shirts all brandishing “96”.


Kwotuah Walenkaki, whose daughter died while playing in an east London park, has said it’s “disgraceful” she has been denied legal aid for the inquest.

The reason given is that it’s not in the public interest.

Alexia Walenkaki, five, was playing on a rope swing in Mile End Park when a tree trunk holding the swing fell on her.


The things they say


"I spend 80 percent of my time on unpaid work"

Tony Blair has no money


"We just don’t know"

David Cameron leads a chant—yes a chant—at a Remain rally on Monday


"I think it is quite wrong to punish children for decisions taken by their parents"

Lord Waldergrave former minister and provost of Eton College threatens to resign from the Tory party at sugestions people from posho schools shouldn’t get the best jobs


"A very serious issue with serious consequences"

Lib Dem peer Lord Paddick flew from New York to make a four-minute speech and flew out the same day. The final cost to us was £8,897.84—equivalent to nearly £20 a word or £2,224 a minute


"All we have to do is catch the prime minster with a live boy or a dead girl and we are away"

Tory MP on the plans to oust David Cameron


All rise

£14.2BN

Amount landlords raked in last year. That is up almost a £1 billion on the previous year


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