Socialist Worker

The Troublemaker—tired overworked Tories are hiding houses and lobbying

Issue No. 2649

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson (Pic: Velislav Nikolov/Wikimedia commons)


Boris Johnson has “an ­over-casual attitude towards ­obeying the rules of the house” after a Commons ­standards watchdog found he had failed to declare his share of a property in Somerset on time.

The Commons standards committee said the former foreign secretary had breached rules by failing to declare a financial interest within the required time limit.

The committee dismissed Johnson’s claim that he had not fully understood the rules.

Johnson failed to register a ­ 20 percent share of the ­ownership of the property within the timetabled 28 days of acquiring it.

The committee said this offence followed a previous failure to register a financial interest.

The ruling follows an ­earlier warning after Johnson was found to have failed to declare almost £53,000 of earnings before the 28-day deadline.

Last year Johnson was also found to have broken rules that prevent former cabinet ministers taking up new jobs for three months after leaving office, by signing up for his £275,000-a-year Daily Telegraph column.

He apologised each time—so presumably that’s OK then.


Nadine Dorries has complained that MPs have to actually work.

The Tory wrote of, “MPs eating wall to wall ­canteen food, no exercise, ­sleeping badly, ­working 18 hours a day in permanent atmosphere of unpleasant confrontation, dispute, disappointment and chilled fear from security threats.”

She currently earns a £79,468 salary a year as an MP.

On top of this, between 1 December 2017 and 30 November 2018, Dorries claimed £21,840 in expenses for a second home in London plus £1,522.42 for travel.


Tory Owen Paterson is on the payroll of Randox as a ­consultant. Randox is a private forensic ­testing firm based in Northern Ireland.

Paterson, the MP for North Shropshire ,may have broken ­parliamentary rules on lobbying.

Paterson and Randox lobbied the Department for International Development to secure contracts from the department.

After a meeting the department sent Randox a list of contacts who could ­provide them with contracts.

Former environment secretary Paterson is paid nearly £100,000 a year by Randox.


Gender pay gap grows in 45% of companies

The gender pay gap has got worse at nearly half of Britain’s biggest firms over the last year. The gap grew at 45 percent of firms, and stayed the same at a further 7 percent.

The figures are for the year to 31 March.

Companies, charities and public sector departments that employ 250 workers or more have to publish their gender pay gap figures. Some 10,428 filed data—roughly the same as last year.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has said it will take action against firms that missed the deadline. But it doesn’t have a list of companies required to file figures.

  • The pay gap grew at most of Britain’s biggest academy chains—at ten out of the 16 largest trusts.

At two of them, the Delta Academies Trust and the White Horse Federation, women earned 55p for every pound earned by men. The average pay gap was 31 percent across the 16 trusts—much higher than the 9.1 percent average.”


Panic!

Panic!


The Mail on Sunday had a rush of blood to the head and published an eight page special on “How to protect your cash from Corbyn”.

Its wise advice was to invest in drinks firms because alcohol consumption will go up.

Pay your private school fees early to avoid tax and buy gold.

It advised “Think Red Corbyn and Puce McDonnell. Think Chavez. Think Venezuela. All bets off.”


An ethics panel set up by Google has been scrapped after one week.

Some 2,500 workers signed a petititon against one board member being opposed to LGBT+ rights and immigration.

The group was tasked with examining moral issues around artificial intelligence.


Hard pressed royals get showered with presents

Because the royals don’t have enough wealth and possessions, other rich scroungers have thrown more at them over the last year.

An official list of gifts given to the queen and other royals in 2018 was published last week.

Presents came from US president Donald Trump, the king and queen of the Netherlands and the High Commissioner for Malta.

Gifts included bottles of whiskey, sculptures, jewellery, paintings, wine and electrical goods. Trump gave prince Philip a fishing rod, a gold-plated Bafta Award pin and a bronze sculpture of a fox.

Piles of toys and baby accessories were showered on Harry and Meghan. For a baby that hasn’t yet arrived.

And as an added bonus, although the royals can use and wear the gifts, they aren’t considered to be their personal property. So they pay no tax on them.

 


Tories’ Universal Credit cover up

The Tories knew 17 months ago that the rollout of Universal Credit (UC) was causing significant hardship—and covered it up. A government-commissioned study on issues facing claimants moving to UC is dated November 2017, but was only published last Thursday. It was based on research carried out between October 2016 and July 2017.

It showed that some 78 percent of tax credit claimants who moved to UC were struggling with bills. A quarter said they were having “real financial problems” and falling behind with many bills.

Another 13 percent were falling behind with some bills, and a further

13 percent were keeping up but said it was a “constant struggle”. Some 27 percent struggled “from time to time”.


Tory fine for election fix

A former Tory Norwich City Council election candidate has been fined £300 after he admitted three counts of election fraud.

Alex Jackson-Dennis was the Conservative agent for Tory candidates in last May’s Norwich City Council elections.

He admitted three counts of election fraud—causing or permitting a false signature on nomination papers.

His verdict contrasts with Chris Fernandez, an election agent for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.

Chris was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment for the same offence.


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The Troublemaker
Tue 9 Apr 2019, 13:11 BST
Issue No. 2649
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