Tag Archives: boris johnson

Why are Tories using Foreign Office to vet their Russian donors?

Boris Johnson / Russian flag

Boris Johnson is asked a question about the Tories’ vetting of Russian donors on LBC — and immediately opens up another can of worms:

“We’ve done, obviously we are relying heavily on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office because they are leading on this and I’ve had absolutely categorical assurances

“I think I’ve met this gentleman’s wife and she seemed very nice but they’ve checked him/her out as far as they possibly can and we think that he doesn’t come anywhere near this category [of being a Putin crony] and that is reason really.

“I am assured by the FCO and they ought to know.

So … errr … why are taxpayers footing the bill to check the backgrounds of controversial donors to the Conservative Party? Labour are posing the following questions:

  • What checks have CCHQ conducted on Russian donors to the Conservative Party?
  • Which Conservative Party donors have the FCO looked at?
  • How many FCO staff and at what grade have worked on checking Conservative Party donors and over what time period?
  • What advice has the FCO passed on to David Cameron, Boris Johnson and CCHQ, and given this was funded by taxpayers’ money will this now be made public?

The involvement of the Foreign Office is even more intriguing given that the Conservative Party already had their own private vetting arrangements in place, retaining Control Risks Group — an international consultancy specialising in “political, integrity and security risks” — to vet staff and individuals participating in their campaigns.

Getting taxpayer-funded officials to do this would obviously be cheaper.

Has Boris wasted public money on his Westminster comeback bid?

Boris Johnson

A report from the Airports Commission placing a £2bn price tag on moving wildlife habitats for a Thames Estuary airport should surely be the last nail in the coffin for the proposal — dubbed ‘Boris Island’ owing to its support from the London mayor.

But the message seems not to have got through at City Hall, where blind optimism prevails. Boris’ aviation spokesman claims:

“every environmental objection can be answered, every obstacle can be overcome and there is nothing in the evidence published that should prevent the estuary option being shortlisted [by the Commission in September]“

So why is he so keen to keep the Isle of Grain airport plan alive? The answer may lie 50 miles to the west — where the MP in Boris’ ‘perfect safe Commons seat’ has just announced his retirement.

Boris Island faltering increases the likelihood that provision would be made for a spur of High Speed 2 to connect with Heathrow — by emerging from a tunnel right right next to his prospective Uxbridge and West Ruislip constituency.

Indeed, Boris told HS2 campaigners that he objects to the Heathrow spur:

“He agreed that there was no sense building passive provision for the spurs … when no decision had been made on where the country’s hub airport would be and thereby potentially wasting money planning for a part of the route that might never be built.”

With the controversial Heathrow connection closely flanking the constituency on two sides and leading to an increase in aircraft noise pollution across West London, the last thing a 2015 Boris Westminster campaign would need is hundreds of angry HS2 campaigners harrying his every move — especially when he is still London mayor.

What’s more, his administration has spent millions of pounds backing the estuary proposal.

So has Boris wasted taxpayers’ money investigating a long since discredited scheme just to keep the unhelpful politics of HS2 and Heathrow clear of  his Westminster ambitions?

Ex-Boris appointee mocks cancer patient, refuses to apologise

Boris Johnson and Brian Coleman

A former top appointee of London mayor Boris Johnson has refused to apologise after mocking a cancer patient’s condition on Twitter. Brian Coleman — Boris’ chair of the London Fire Authority from 2008 to 2012 — told a prostate cancer sufferer that “it must be the hate in you rather than the cancer which is eating you”.

Having been ejected from the Conservative party for assaulting a woman in the street, Coleman has apparently been adopted by Barnet Rotary Club in North London. Cue the following exchange with Roger Tichborne, who blogs about his condition:

Brian Coleman cancer attack

But speaking to the local Times Series, Coleman insisted the comment was appropriate, refused to apologise — and facetiously suggested that Tichborne’s condition would improve if he stopped blogging and tweeting about him.

“Yes. You’d think his family and friends would tell him … to stop.”

“The man’s so full of hate – for me, for the mayor, for the council. I’m sure if he let all that go, his life and his health would improve.

Scrapbook wonders what charities patronised by Barnet rotarians would think of his remarks.

Their most recent gala dinner was in aid of Cherry Lodge Cancer Care.

Johnson and Livingstone happy reunion

Johnson and Ken Livingstone reunited

It’s good to see Johnson and Livingstone playing nice at today’s Base London infrastructure conference.

Ken Livingstone and Boris’ father Stanley, that is.

Image via Tim Fitch

Awkward hacking conviction timing for Boris ‘codswallop’ Johnson

Sublime timing from Boris …

UPDATE: Not a word from Boris on hacking despite dozens of re-tweets of our question and one from a sitting member of the London Assembly. He did respond to a quip about being fat though …

#AskBoris: Boris responds to question about being fat

His solemn vow: the quote that screws Boris on Commons comeback

Boris Johnson

It’s already been resurrected by the eagle eyed James Forsyth this week, but here are the quotes from mayoral election day 2012 which Boris Johnson will be absolutely hammered with if he goes for a Commons seat:

“I made a solemn vow to Londoners to lead them out of recession, bring down crime and deliver the growth, investment and jobs that this city so desperately needs. Keeping that promise cannot be combined with any other political capacity.”

“If I am fortunate enough to win I will need four years to deliver what I have promised. And having put trust at the heart of this election, I would serve out that term in full.”

Even he can’t bluster his way out of this one.

UPDATE: Framed as an election pledge, this is the most damaging but Buzzfeed have him denying he wants to stand for parliament TEN more times.

Picture: Andrew Parsons

Boris Johnson to announce return to Parliament ‘in July’

Boris Johnson at Tory conference

London mayor Boris Johnson is “virtually certain” to announce a return to Parliament within weeks, it has been claimed.

Sources have told The Sun of the leadership hopeful’s plans to reveal his hand in the Summer — to avoid overshadowing the final Tory conference before the general election:

“Boris knows he needs to make an announcement in the summer, most probably in July.”

With a string of (mostly elderly) Tory MPs willing to vacate their seats, constituencies linked to the Old Etonian have included:

But with Boris apparently minded to stay on at City Hall — keeping an election promise but leaving Londoners with a part-time mayorScrapbook reckons that proximity to the capital will vital to avoid a political mauling.

Not that he will give a monkeys once he’s back in the Commons.

How’s your Tory leadership campaign going, Boris?

Boris Johnson zipwire

Scrapbook is enjoying the latest salvo in the unofficial Tory leadership contest. With Michael Gove playing down his prospects out in favour of George Osborne, the education secretary was given a “right royal bollocking” for highlighting the “preposterous” number of Etonians in David Cameron’s clique.

Then Sayeeda Warsi goes on telly with this sign. Osborne was allegedly called “oik” by pals in the Bullingdon Club because he attended St Pauls rather than Harrow or Eton — like Boris and Dave.

Sayeeda Warsi

Then Louise Mensch accuses Boris (who served five years as European community correspondent for the Telegraph) of being — shock horror — a Europhile:

And what has Boris hit back with during this period? Errr … getting his dad to go on the Today programme to argue for a change in Tory leadership rules which would favour his son.

Boris Johnson with Stanley Johnson

Slow clap.

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