ANDREW PIERCE: ‘Cover-up’ row hitting Keir Starmer on home turf | Daily Mail Online


ANDREW PIERCE: This month, two female former staffers called on Labour to end its use of confidentiality agreements to ‘cover up’ sexual harassment allegations. It’s a bad look for Starmer.

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Be it Tory or Labour there are some very ‘bad smells’ in politics will or does this extend to other Parties, who knows.

All though Westminster is not the total ‘Gentlemens Club’ and I use that loosely, it still has a far way to go. As  for some male MPs gentlemen is not the correct terminology as for some misogynistic, pervert, slimeball, abuser and others could be more correct.

There may not be many, but the few cast for the many and one is too many and there appears to be many more than one.

For far too long the political, so called, elite have done what they wish, wherever and whenever they wish to. The Houses of Parliament need to correct their order and if they are unable or unwilling then this has to be done by outside forces. However, from events over the years the Met Police too need to correct their order, but somewhere there must be a force or forces which need to be allowed to correct  the behaviours of the few.

Source: ANDREW PIERCE: ‘Cover-up’ row hitting Keir Starmer on home turf | Daily Mail Online

Here’s how we can make our MPs more accountable | Letters | The Guardian


Letter: Dr Andrew Bates suggests having professional appraisals and fact-checking exercises to keep our elected representatives doing what they should

 

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Very good suggestions, but I feel there is one drawback at least.

Would anyone wish to stand to be a Member of Parliament on this basis. Not saying that MPs lie, but do they always tell the real truth.

Also with many of the facts that MPs and more so Ministers are given by the respective workers and Civil Servants who would check the information they are giving, could they not mislead MPs and Ministers if they so wished to or am I being to cynical.

 

Source: Here’s how we can make our MPs more accountable | Letters | The Guardian

Tories vote to tear up sleaze rules after MP found guilty of paid lobbying | The Independent


Result shows Tories ‘rotten to the core’, says Labour’s Angela Rayner

 

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Over the years there have been a number of MPs suspended from Parliament for numerous reasons, but was there a request for appeal for those MPs.

I say this because there being no appeals system is supposed to be the reason the Tories have taken this action, rather than trying to stop a suspension. But this is casting doubt on their actions for to most people it looks as though they are supporting sleaze whether they are or not.

This reason would have been more believed if they had acted so when the person in question was not a Conservative MP, so I can see why people are convinced it is not the real reason. So, which view is correct, well can it ever be proved, but by doing so, it again gives rise to query a Conservative action, when there have been so many recently.

It is commendable to show support to your colleagues, but it is even more commendable to show support to those who are not your colleagues.

So, if the body who looks at misconduct is changed and changed immediately, as there has to been somebody looking at conduct, and the same result occurs will Boris and some of his MPs then accept the results, I some how do not believe so, especially when the new body is being mooted to have a majority of Conservative MPs. This does not look as being ideal, but as we can see not all Conservative MPs agree with the Governments decision and this has to be looked at as being encouraging.

Sleaze is never acceptable as it give more support to the public to believe all MPs are guilty of sleaze and therefore considerable mistrust of the UK ruling body.

In some ways this can be seen in the actions of Prince Andrew and his actions of not being open to contact the US Judicial authorities and this is showing a great disrespect for his Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in her age, her position and gives an impression that he only carers about himself and that he feels he has privilege above all others, just in the same way as this ruling Government.

All in this respect are certainly guilty of arrogance and abuse of power, assumed or not.

 

Source: Tories vote to tear up sleaze rules after MP found guilty of paid lobbying | The Independent

Make lying in the House of Commons a criminal offence – Petitions


The Government should introduce legislation to make lying in the House of Commons a criminal offence. This would mean that all MPs, including Ministers, would face a serious penalty for knowingly making false statements in the House of Commons, as is the case in a court of law.

Source: Make lying in the House of Commons a criminal offence – Petitions

Care leaders brand MPs ‘shameful’ over Immigration Bill vote : Care Home Professional


Care organisations and unions have condemned “out of touch” MPs for voting in favour of the government’s controversial Immigration Bill.

Source: Care leaders brand MPs ‘shameful’ over Immigration Bill vote : Care Home Professional

Gareth Lyon: By professionalising councillors, we are repeating Parliament’s mistake at a local level | Conservative Home


The last century has seen a well-intentioned, but largely self-defeating, attempt to improve the honesty, responsiveness, and accountability of our political system by spending more on it. Instead, we have seen the rise of an increasingly well insulated professional political class, the hollowing out of voluntary parties, and the creation of an institutional ratchet which is dragging political thought to the statist establishment left.

1911 saw the first Parliamentary pay structure introduced in an attempt to curb what were perceived to be unaccountable outside influences on MPs’ political priorities and decision-making. It was also an attempt to widen access to political careers. The second of these reasons, however, does not really stand up as a justification. This reform happened at a time when such access was already widening considerably, largely as a result of the “outside influences” – or independent interests, such as trade unions, cooperative societies and philanthropists. The widening access we have seen over the past century would be likely to have occurred anyway. So, we are left with a system which depends for its legitimacy on the somewhat contentious proposition that the last century has seen a profound and remarkable rise in the honesty and fairmindedness of our Parliament.

The payroll for our MPs, in turn, led to allowances for Peers, MPs’ expenses, and the proliferation of MPs’ staff, and most perniciously of all, Short Money.

Clearly Parliamentarians and their staff must be paid but each extension of the taxpayer’s largesse has helped to establish a career path for the so-called “career politicians” of tabloid ire and a largely unaccountable ecosystem of policy advisors, researchers and party staff insulated from outside influences, contributing to the increasing disconnect between political decision-makers and the wider community. As with any institution, these party machines have developed their own independent interests and agendas.

 

Source: Gareth Lyon: By professionalising councillors, we are repeating Parliament’s mistake at a local level | Conservative Home

All these MPs claim for a TV licence – but many people who need it can’t – inews.co.uk


For many people, the BBC is more than just a broadcaster. It is a companion, a (good) teacher, an alarm clock, a sleep aid, an entertainer and a provocateur. It is not just a news source but the soundtrack to our lives. Like it or loathe it, one thing’s for sure – you feel a certain way about it, that’s as British as talking about the weather.

And so, the announcement that millions of pensioners will have to pay £154.50 for a TV licence from next year because the corporation plans to start means testing it has got tongues wagging.

BBC bosses have confirmed the move, with Director General Lord Hall saying the decision to cut the funding free TV licences for the over-75s – to the tune of £745 million a year – stemmed from Conservative austerity. Former Culture Minister Ed Vaizey seemed to agree, saying we shouldn’t forget it was the Treasury under George Osborne that decided the BBC would have to shoulder the cost to meet welfare targets.

Other politicians have also condemned the move. Theresa May is said to be “very disappointed” by the decision while Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, has accused the Government of “breathtaking gall” in trying to “blame the BBC for this mess”.

Read more

Why should MPs get free TV licences but not the over-75s?

However, whatever happens next, there is one group who will continue to be able to access free TV licences in the future: politicians. MPs work hard, often unsociable hours and they can claim a free TV licence for their constituency offices as an expense.

Figures published by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) and obtained by i show that so far, in the expenses year 2018-2019 up until January (reporting is not yet complete for February and March), 154 MPs have made such a claim.

This includes Conservatives such as the former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey, who has overseen the rollout of Universal Credit, Michael Fabricant, Kevin Hollinrake, who founded the estate agency chain Hunters, Sir Roger Gale and Anna Soubry. Labour’s Hillary Benn, Karl Turner, Lisa Nandy, Kate Osamor and Yasmin Qureshi are also amongst those making the claim.

An incredible resource

The BBC says cutting free licenses for older people will save them somewhere in the region of £500m. I don’t question for a moment whether paying £154.50 a year for a TV licence is good value or that, now, more than ever, we need the quality rolling Brexit coverage of Laura Kuenssberg as well as the dark relief of truly innovative shows like Killing Eve.

And, no matter how connected the world becomes, BBC World Service will always be an incredible resource. We need more of this, not less and, for that, the BBC has to be able to compete with the likes of Netflix who are currently able to outspend it hand over fist. Something has to give.

Conservative leadership contender Jeremy Hunt has defended MPs ability to make these claims as a “legitimate expense”, but MPs earn around £80,000 a year which is far above the national average of £29,009. So is it fair that politicians can collect work perks when schools and care homeshave to pay?

 

Source: All these MPs claim for a TV licence – but many people who need it can’t – inews.co.uk

Breaking: Leadsom resigns from Cabinet | The SKWAWKBOX


Tory chaos goes up a gear with what may be first of series of resignations to pressure PM May

Andrea Leadsom has resigned from her Cabinet position as Leader of the House of Commons.

In a letter to Theresa May, Leadsom blamed failure to deliver Brexit and a breakdown in government processes for her decision and urged May to step down:

 

Source: Breaking: Leadsom resigns from Cabinet | The SKWAWKBOX

We must ‘hold our nerve’ on Brexit, May to tell MPs : Reuters


The United Kingdom is on course to leave the European Union on March 29 without a deal unless May can convince the bloc to amend the divorce deal she agreed in November and then sell it to sceptical British lawmakers.

“The talks are at a crucial stage,” May will tell parliament’s House of Commons on Tuesday, according to remarks supplied by her Downing Street office. “We now all need to hold our nerve to get the changes this House has required and deliver Brexit on time.”

British lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected May’s withdrawal deal last month, with the major sticking point being the Irish ‘backstop’ – an insurance policy to prevent the return of a hard border between the British province of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Critics say the policy could leave Britain subject to EU rules for years or even indefinitely after leaving the bloc.

The EU says the backstop is vital to avoiding the return of border controls in Ireland and has refused to reopen the Brexit divorce deal, though May insists she can get legally binding changes to replace the most contentious parts of the backstop.

“By getting the changes we need to the backstop; by protecting and enhancing workers’ rights and environmental protections; and by enhancing the role of parliament in the next phase of negotiations I believe we can reach a deal that this House can support,” May will say.

European Union Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said on Monday the bloc would agree to tweak the political declaration on EU-UK ties after Brexit that forms part of the package, to reflect a plan for a closer future relationship that could obviate the need for the contentious backstop.

“It’s clear from our side that we are not going to reopen the withdrawal agreement but we will continue our discussion in the coming days,” Barnier said.

The leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, said lawmakers would back May’s deal if there were assurances the backstop was time-limited or the United Kingdom was allowed to leave it unilaterally, suggesting the deal itself did not need to be renegotiated.

Slideshow (6 Images)

 

Source: We must ‘hold our nerve’ on Brexit, May to tell MPs : Reuters

Breaking: May’s legal advice confirms UK can only exit with EU’s ok | The SKWAWKBOX


Theresa May has published information on the legal advice the government received on the implications of her withdrawal ‘deal’ with the EU.

Two sections of the information made available are likely to spell the end of her career and probably of her government.

Page 26 of the document spells out that the agreement has no firm end date or ‘any provision for its termination’ – and that the UK has no power to extricate itself from the agreement without the EU’s agreement:

 

Source: Breaking: May’s legal advice confirms UK can only exit with EU’s ok | The SKWAWKBOX