Tesco Value? Millionaire peer gets paid ministerial role

Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe

Bringing up the rear of the reshuffle, former Tesco director Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe gets a job at BIS. A late appointment, the Daily Mail will doubtless be irked that the peer wasn’t available for their ‘Downing Street catwalk’ sexism fest. Neville-Rolfe isn’t so much ‘blue rinse’ as ‘blue streak’, sporting primary colours in her hair — currently a fitting Tory blue.

Roles as a top Tesco executive from 1997 to 2013 and a non-executive director of ITV, made Neville-Rolfe one of Britain’s highest paid businesswomen. While other wealthy peers have refused government salaries, however, Neville-Rolfe has decided to trouser the cash.

Well, every little helps.

Owen Paterson “lacks balance”

Owen Paterson GWPF/Charity Commission

Owen Paterson hasn’t wasted any time having been sacked as environment secretary, with news that the climate change sceptic will be giving the annual lecture of Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). Greenpeace have praised his bravery in ‘coming out’:

“Some people would say that for the last two years Paterson has been delivering a rolling 24/7 lecture for the GWPF. Maybe it’s for the best that he’s come out of the closet and formalised the relationship.”

But Scrapbook cannot help wondering whether Paterson giving a lecture to the GWPF proper …

… or the separate arm they have been forced to set up because the Charity Commission ruled that they “lacked balance and promoted a particular line of opinion”?

SEE ALSO: Left vs Right charity complaints …

Clegg offered Mike Hancock ‘best deal possible’ to stay in Lib Dems

Mike Hancock: with Simon Hughes, Alistair Carmichael and Nick Clegg

A top Liberal Democrat boasted that Nick Clegg had offered Mike Hancock the “best deal possible” by allowing him to remain a full member of Portsmouth Lib Dems — despite growing evidence that he sexually exploited a vulnerable constituent, an exiled party member has claimed.

Portsmouth councillor Eleanor Scott, who quit the party over the Hancock scandal and claims of bullying, told a full council meeting that local party leader Gerald Vernon Jackson — arguably the most prominent Lib Dem in local government – made the comment at a meeting of their local council group.

Gerald Vernon Jackson, known locally as ‘GVJ’, even travelled to London last June to back Hancock up at a disciplinary meeting with chief whip Alastair Carmichael and Simon Hughes (inset above) organised at the behest of Nick Clegg.

What’s more, Vernon Jackson hopes to succeed Hancock as Porstmouth South MP — despite being at the helm of both the Lib Dems and the council during a massive cover-up of the scandal. The local party even printed the leaflets which smeared Hancock’s victim.

Knowing a by-election would wreck his Westminster ambitions, GVJ is even backing disgraced Hancock to continue as MP.

Weirdo BNP Youth member threatens to disown his ‘gay’ pet dog

Jack Renshaw BNP gay dog

One of the BNP’s leading young membersManchester University student Jack ‘Boot’ Renshaw — has admonished his own dog on Facebook for, errr, doing dog stuff:

“I wish my dog would stop licking the penises of other male dogs. I love you, Derek (my dog) – but – don’t challenge my principles because my principles will likely win.”

When not having his sexuality threatened by Labrador Retrievers, Renshaw clearly fancies himself as something of a cack-handed political orator, as his starring role in this utterly creepy video illustrates:

Scrapbook wishes Derek the dog luck in his future encounters with other male dogs.

Seriously ill woman confronted Clegg on Bedroom Tax 10 MONTHS AGO

  • Clegg finally calls for reform of hated Bedroom Tax
  • But victim with illness confronted him nearly year ago
  • Used small ‘spare’ bedroom to store oxygen concentrators

Just watch him trying to weasel his way out of it on the detail by asking her about Discretionary Housing Payments — which she had already been refused.

EU nominee to dump shares after Scrapbook highlights lobbying links

Lord Hill: shambles

David Cameron’s nominee for the European Commission has been forced to announce the sale of his £375,000 shares in a lobbying group — just hours after Scrapbook highlighted a serious conflict of interest.

We published details of the Brussels-based EU lobbying operations of Huntsworth Plc — in which Lord Hill has a stake having sold his own public affairs business to them in 2006 — at around 2pm yesterday afternoon. At 10pm the Press Association reported:

David Cameron’s nomination of Lord Hill to represent Britain on the EU commission has been branded a “shambles” after he had to sell shares in a lobbying firm to avoid criticism over conflicts of interest.

The peer is acting to head off concerns over his significant holding in £140 million global public affairs company Huntsworth, which operates in Brussels.

With journalists briefed that the government wants to secure a finance-related position for Hill, companies listed as clients of the Huntsworth group underscore the utterly unsustainable nature of his shareholding:

  • Experian
  • Financial Reporting Council
  • Oil & Gas UK
  • Institute and Faculty of Actuaries
  • City of London Corporation
  • HSBC Bank
  • Capital One Bank
  • Investec Bank
  • La Salle Investments
  • SCM Private
  • Yorkshire Building Society

Forcing a top Tory peer to offload hundreds of thousands of pounds of shares in unfavourable market conditions (Huntsworth stock is down 40% since April) … it’s all part of the service.

Cameron’s commission candidate owns shares in EU lobbying firms

Lord Hill

In what could be the Tories’ second high profile appointments cock-up this week, it turns out that David Cameron’s nominee for the UK’s next European commissioner owns shares in multiple EU lobbying firms.

Before leading the House of Lords, Lord (Jonathan) Hill had an extremely lucrative career as a lobbyist, co-founding the public affairs outfit Quiller. He now has a stake in at least two similar companies which have a direct office presence in Brussels.

Records obtained by Scrapbook show that Hill owned 50% of Quiller before it was sold to Huntsworth Plc for £5.9m in autumn 2006 — presumably in a mixture of cash and shares, the latter of which appear on Hill’s entry in the Register of Lords’ Interests. Hill consequently has an interest in Huntsworth’s massive network of communications businesses — including Grayling and Citigate, which boast offices “in the heart of Brussels’ EU quarter”.

Lord Hill register of Lords' interests

Quiller have already been in hot water over their clients’ regular access to Conservative ministers –having employed one of George Osborne’s pals in a leadership role at the company. As a peer, Hill even intervened to support the sell-off of school playing fields to Tescoone of Quiller’s clients.

So how is it in any way sustainable for the UK’s Commission nominee to be making money from companies which lobby the Commission?

DWP caught burying bad news while media distracted by reshuffle

DWP sign

The secretary of state’s optimism — not to mention utter lack of self awareness — has certainly caught on in DWP:

The Bedroom Tax: “improving social justice”!

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