Tag Archives: nick clegg

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.

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.

Hancock ‘review’ body has his friend on management committee

Mike Hancock support from Lib Dems

Having ignored concrete evidence that Portsmouth Lib Dems were helping Mike Hancock’s campaign even after his behaviour was exposed, Nick Clegg and party president Tim Farron have finally stuck their heads above the parapet — promising a “review” which will examine “inappropriate behaviour” as well as wider allegations of bullying under the now deposed Lib Dem regime on the City Council.

But chair of the local party, Simon Dodd, clearly didn’t get the memo. He told the local press that it was a “routine review” to be conducted by the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors (ALDC) after local elections, adding:

“It’s got nothing to do with any allegations that have been made”

And if that doesn’t sound like a whitewash, guess who is on the ALDC management committee …

… Cllr Gerald Vernon Jackson, friend of Mike Hancock and the, errrr, leader of Portsmouth City Council during their massive cover up.

SEE ALSO: How the Lib Dems are still backing ‘suspended’ Hancock

Nick Clegg outdoes Dennis Skinner with spoof ‘Recall Bill’

Clegg and Cameron: the new politics

Cracking a tame gag (VIDEO) as Black Rod entered the Commons prior to the Queen’s Speech, Dennis Skinner’s comedy powers looked to be fading today – as he was overshadowed by Nick Clegg.

Flexing his satirical muscles, MPs smirked as it transpired the so-called ‘Recall Law’ Clegg is credited with inserting into the coalition’s programme wouldn’t actually allow their electors to trigger a by-election.

Some people seem not to have got the joke though:

How we all laughed!

SEE ALSO: Voters can’t recall MPs with proposed recall law

Has Cable breached rules on declaring £4,000+ Oakeshott poll?

Vince Cable as Yoda

As Michael Crick observed earlier this week, a private constituency poll is a substantial donation-in-kind which should be declared as an interest by any MP lucky enough to receive one:

It’s not just Cable who was given details of Oakeshott’s ICM polling either. Cable’s PPS Tessa Munt was briefed and Oakeshott is also close to Ian Swales, whose Redcar constituency was surveyed. Cable admitted this week:

“in one particular case concerning … Tessa Munt from Wells, we sat down and discussed the details with her”

Scrapbook understands a 500-person constituency poll with 12 questions would come to an absolute minimum of £4,000 a popwell above the £1,500 threshold for declaration under Section 4 of the rules for the Register of Members’ Financial Interests.

Section 4(a):

“This category deals with sponsorship or other forms of support by companies, trade unions, professional bodies, trade associations and individuals.”

The support must be “linked to a Member’s candidacy” — which localised general election opinion polling unquestionably is:

“For the purposes of the Register of Members’ Financial Interests, support should be regarded as “linked” directly to a Member’s candidacy or membership of the House if it is expressly tied to the Member by name, eg if it is a contribution to the Member’s fighting fund …”

With the register published every two weeks, MPs’ disclosures up to Monday 26 May — one day before the scandal broke — are due for publication. When it drops we’ll know what interests were declared by Oakeshott’s pals and exactly when they were registered — this needs to be within four weeks of receiving the support.

Calculations on the timings aren’t straightforward but could result in apologies from multiple MPs — including Saint Vince …

  • Commons authorities would presumably take the view that the date on which sponsorship was ‘received’ was the day on which an MP was shown the polling by Oakeshot — but we don’t know these dates.
  • We do know when the fieldwork for the polling was completed, however, and Oakeshott is likely to have received the tabulated figures from ICM within 2-3 working days.
  • The Twickenham fieldwork, for example, was completed on Wednesday 16 April, so let’s assume Oakeshott had the details by Monday 21 April at the latest.
  • The scandal of the provenance of the damaging polling — and the prospect of disclosure of details under article 2.6 of the British Polling Council rules – developed this week on Tuesday 27 May.
  • If Cable registered his interest in the poll after the scandal broke on Tuesday, then in order to be ‘in the clear’ with the rule on registering interests within four weeks, he’d need to have been shown the poll by Oakeshott on or after 29 April (four weeks prior).

If a declaration of Oakeshott’s Twickenham polling doesn’t appear in Cable’s entry in the next published update of the Register of Members’ Interests, then a defence against a rule breach would rely on the claim that Oakeshott received the results on an expensive poll of his friend’s seat — and then kept the details secret from Cable for more than a week.

There are a number of working assumptions, but the table below breaks these down for the different MPs involved (Sheffield and Inverness were ‘attack polls’ but included for completeness):

Oakeshott polling and Register of Members' Interests update 1

Curiously, Tessa Munt has decided to pretend she’s on holiday:

We’ll know more next week.

 

Six of Ed Davey’s local Lib Dems are backing plot against Nick Clegg

Ed Davey

With Nick Clegg fighting for this political life this week, leadership dark horse Ed Davey (6/1 with Ladbrokesseems to have gone to ground since the scale of the Lib Dems’ Euro defeat became clear.

To compound matters, influential members of his local party are on manoeuvres — with the Lib Dem’s former local leader urging Clegg to “resign as the leader of the party he has failed repeatedly.”

Guido has highlighted six prominent members of Vince Cable’s Twickenham party who have signed the Lib Dems 4 Change letter, which coincidentally is exactly the same number as from Davey’s Kingston base:

  • Former Kingston Lib Dem council leader John Tilley
  • Former Kingston Lib Dem Deputy Leader Steve Harris
  • Canbury candidate and dirty tricks merchant Dan Falchikov
  • Former councillor Mary Watts
  • Former candidate Rosemary Tilley
  • Member and wife of ousted councillor Elaine Ryder-Mills

With other leadership contenders such as Norman Lamb and David Laws backing Clegg with mid-week local paper interviews, Davey hasn’t been seen since doing the obligatory media rounds on Sunday evening:

“These have been disappointing results. But that is what people’s expectations were, given the polls. I am just proud that we fought a positive campaign, made the case for Europe – Nick Clegg leading from the front, taking on the Eurosceptics.”

A delightfully double-edged turn of phrase, which emphasises Nick Clegg’s central role in the fiasco: ‘He led us to defeat’.

Quote of the day (great clunking ham fists edition)

Senior Lib Dem source on Cable/Oakeshott moves against Nick Clegg:

“The most ham-fisted attempt at a coup since Mark Thatcher”

Ironically enough, Cable was one of the only MPs to pursue the case of Equatorial Guinea coup plotter Simon Mann with parliamentary written questions.

“Isn’t the game up, Deputy Prime Minister?” Media pursue Clegg

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