Tory ex-Ministers hawk their influence for cash

Owl says: Does this disgraceful behaviour go top down, bottom up – or both? Owlis of the opinion it is the latter!

Former cabinet ministers have been exposed attempting to profit from a new cash for Brexit gravy train in Westminster, following an undercover investigation.

Lord Lansley, the former health secretary, was secretly filmed offering to use his knowledge and connections from within West­minster to provide “intelligence” on Brexit to a Chinese company offering him tens of thousands of pounds.

The peer, who has previously been accused of “ripping the heart” out of a bill to regulate lobby­ing, showed he was willing to pick up information from a key Brexit cabinet minister. He advised how the deal could be kept secret from the authorities by employing him through his wife’s company.

Peter Lilley, the former deputy Conservative Party leader, was also willing to approach key ministers on the Chinese company’s behalf. As part of his pitch for the job he described how he attended two advisory groups with influence over the Brexit minis­ters, one of which has never previously been revealed.

A third former minister, Andrew Mitchell MP, also appeared happy to give paid Brexit advice to the Chinese company. He charges £6,000 a day and disclosed that he was looking to work up to 10 weeks a year for private clients despite being paid £74,962 as an MP. “My constituents don’t mind what I’m paid,” he said.

The three men were secretly filmed as part of a joint undercover investigation by The Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches into politicians improperly making money from Britain’s negotiations to leave the European Union. …”

[there follows several pages of sleazy revelations]

Source: Sunday Times (pay wall)

3 thoughts on “Tory ex-Ministers hawk their influence for cash

  1. See also https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jan/28/tory-ex-ministers-deny-charging-fee-for-brexit-related-advice-is-wrong where the three Tory ex-ministers deny that all this is wrong.

    As far as I can see, they believe that anything they do is ok, and nothing they can do (and actually do do) is wrong in their eyes. The Conservative Party has no principles (or at least none they are unwilling to sacrifice for expediency or personal gain) and no moral compass or moral standards.

    Conservatives – for the amoral not the many.

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  2. I do not have access to the several pages of sleaze referred to, but when you analyse what the Owl has reposted, there are several fundamental issues of democracy identified:

    1. Three ex-ministers willing to represent the interests of foreign powers, presumably in conflict or contradiction with the interests of Britain. Just who are they representing and whose side are they on (aside of course from their own personal side which is patently obvious from this report)?

    2. An ex-minister who is prepared to go against the spirit of the MP’s Register of Interests – which is supposed to help make their activities which might influence their voting more transparent – by funnelling the payments through his wife’s company. From a democratic perspective, this is equivalent to money laundering. It might also be legally questionable from a tax perspective because instead of being treated as personal income it will instead be part of the corporation tax. Either way, a very dodgy way to be paid.

    3. A secret advisory group never previously revealed. In a democracy, policies should be openly stated and openly debated, not kept secret. How many other secret deals (possibly in return for donations to the Conservative Party – see several articles questioning this elsewhere on EDW) do we not know about? To be a Democracy you have to have transparency – since we don;t have transparency, are we really a democracy?

    4. Another Tory Minister who doesn’t think it wrong that he should be spending up to 20% of his time earning an extra £300k working for people other than his constituents. Personally I believe that MPs are elected to Parliament in order to represent their constituents, and if that is not what they believe then they have no justification to be in politics.

    And I wonder whether it is surprising that all three are Tory MP’s and Tory ex-ministers?

    Conservatives – For themselves not the many

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  3. “Water, water everywhere, but ne’er a drop to drink…”

    How come none of the lobbying money is flowing my way?

    I would like it to be known throughout this land that I AM VERY WILLING TO ACCEPT CASH FOR INFLUENCE providing that you understand that:

    a. I will not actually let the cash influence me in any way; and

    b. I have no influence in any case.

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