The government blocked a money laundering investigation into a firm that donated £2.2 million to the Tories.
HMRC refused to assist a French probe into Lycamobile, citing the fact it is the “biggest corporate donor to the Conservative party” and gives money to a trust founded by Prince Charles.
In an official response to the French, dated March 30, 2017, a HMRC official noted telecoms giant Lycamobile is “a large multinational company” with “vast assets at their disposal” and would be “extremely unlikely to agree to having their premises searched”.
The donations to the Tories included a single cash sum of £542,500 in March 2016. That came after the first articles accusing the company of money laundering had appeared.
Cash collectors working for the company were caught on camera dropping rucksacks containing hundreds of thousands of pounds at post offices in London.
French prosecutors charged nine people with money laundering of at least £13.4 million and VAT fraud.
Lycamobile has denied financial mispractice.
Lycamobile’s owner, Subaskaran Allirajah, was a member of the exclusive Leader’s Group for top Tory donors.
He attended the Tories’ fundraising ball in February 2015 where he bought a statue of Margaret Thatcher for £210,000.
He dined with David Cameron or members of his cabinet twice in while donating. And he is close to Boris Johnson, after bankrolling his general election campaign.
Buzzfeed News, which broke the story, approached HMRC to ask about its response to the French request.
In response a press officer indignantly, colourfully and emphatically denied that Lycamobile’s donations would ever be cited as a reason not to conduct criminal raids. “No HMRC official would ever write such a letter,” he said. “This is the United Kingdom for God’s sake, not some third world banana republic where the organs of state are in hock to some sort of kleptocracy.”
Alas, after verifying the contents of the email seen by Buzzfeed, the HMRC harrumphing came to an abrupt halt.
It was, a different spokesman said, “regrettable”.
It’s a boy!
The nation—or rather journalists—rejoice at a new royal.
Princess Margaret was born on August 21, 1930. John Gordon, editor of the Sunday Express, thought a horoscope predicting her future would be good for sales. Astrologers were asking for a fortune to tell a fortune. So his assistant Richard Harold Naylor knocked one up.
The article, “What The Stars Foretell For The New Princess” was a success and the newspaper horoscope was born. They changed the format a year later for signs of the zodiac to make it quicker to write each week.
With a similar level of mystical insight Troublemaker offers a prediction. There will be the onerous duties of being a royal.
The child will have to appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony for waving duties. Many jaunts to former bits of the empire will take place. He will do nothing, at our expense, for a long time.
Royal scroungers in figures
- 2,000 - the aproximate number of babies born in Britain on Monday
- 600 of those will spend their childhood in poverty
- £7,500 - cost of a one night stay and delivery package at the private Lindo Wing, excluding consultants’ fees
- £9,400 - cost per year for Willcocks Nursery School, which junior scrounger Charlotte attends
- £4.5 million - cost to us of refurbishing William and Kate’s Kensington Palace apartment in 2012
- £42.8 million - the amount the queen received from us via the Sovereign Grant in 2016-2017
- £6.35 million - cost of security for Kate and Wills’ 2011 wedding
- £2.8 million - total of that which was just to pay cops’ overtime
Prince Charles told a non-white woman, “Well, you don’t look like it” when she said she was from Manchester.
Writer Anita Sethi said she was “stunned” and her feelings went from “shock to humiliation to rage” following the encounter at the Commonwealth People’s Forum where she was a speaker.
Troublemaker presumes all princes are racist.
Did Michael Gove help with DUP dodgy fundraiser?
Two top Tories have attended party fundraisers for the DUP. The Electoral Commission is investigating whether public money may have been laundered into party coffers.
Michael Gove headlined a function at a hotel last September. Ex-cabinet minister Priti Patel spoke at a similar bash.
Both events charged £1,500 per table—and face claims that their role as DUP fundraisers was not made clear.
The event attended by Gove was pitched to potential attendees as a “chance to shape forthcoming agriculture policies”.
What’s more, unionist-dominated Mid East and Antrim Council paid £1,500 to sponsor a table. While the cheque was apparently made out to the hotel, DUP MP Ian Paisley asked the council to send the payment to his office.
Leave it - Ukip and Nigel Farage aren’t worth it
Nigel Farage’s team of bodyguards—there must be a team—should be prepared.
Will Carling, the former England rugby captain, doesn’t seem to like the former Ukip leader very much. “When I see Nigel Farage’s face,” says Carling, “I would just so love to hit it with a right hook. What a feeling that would be.”
Luckily for Farage, the Tory MP Sir Nicholas Soames has placed his frame between the combatants, advising Carling Farage was “not in any way a man to waste your magnificence on”.
Which, translated from the original posho means, “Leave ’im, Will mate, he just ain’t worth it.”
Paula Walters, who is standing for Ukip at next month’s local elections, is finding it hard to stand over her Twitter account.Various offensive tweets about Muslims and posts comparing migrants to terrorists are of course nothing to do with the account bearing her name.