Breaking: This morning I have written to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards….

…because No 10 keep changing their story and are still not telling the truth.

“I am conscious of the duty owed to the target of an investigation but I act out of the duty towards the victims. Mr Pincher deceived me and others in 2019. He cannot be allowed to use the confidentiality of the process three years ago to pursue his predatory behaviour in other contexts.” MacDonald of Salford

See tweet here

Planning applications validated by EDDC for week beginning 20 June

Stagecoach axes Exeter’s new night bus service

After being declared ‘not fit for purpose’, Exeter’s failing bus service has announced major timetable changes which include a reduction in some services, new routes and the loss of a newly the city’s recently launched night bus. Stagecoach says its new bus work is being implemented at the end of the month due to changes in peoples’ travel patterns following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Anita Merritt 

The bus service fire has come under vast criticism from dissatisfied passengers since the pandemic. Cancellations and reduced timetables have been blamed on a lack of drivers and a drop in passengers compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Exeter’s highways committee recently describing the city’s bus service as ‘not fit for purpose’. Devon County Council heard in April that it would only receive £14 million towards bus improvements as part of the government’s ‘bus back better’ programme – less than half the amount it originally bid for.

Today, July 4, Stagecoach has unveiled plans for what it calls a ‘more sustainable bus network’ to attract greater passenger numbers over the long term. The changes in Exeter, developed in consultation with Devon County Council, will be effective from July 31 and include the following:

  • Exeter Park & Ride services timing changes
  • Redesigned connections from the city centre to Exminster and Pinhoe / Science Park, affecting routes B/2B, L and K
  • Enhancement to services between Exeter and Cranbrook, with a redesigned service for journeys onto Honiton and Axminster, affecting routes 4/4A/4B. Changes will also take place beyond Seaton on and route 9A
  • Simplified services between Tiverton / Cullompton and Exeter, affecting routes 1/1A/1C
  • Exeter Night Buses will be withdrawn until the autumn with Devon County Council looking at the feasibility of an alternative solution
  • Some minor changes to the location of stand departures at Exeter Bus Station
  • A frequency change to Route 56 connecting the city centre to Exeter Airport

Stagecoach South West managing director Mike Watson said: “We have designed a new core package of services to provide a sustainable bus network now, so that we can grow services over the long term. In addition to this, with the current nationwide shortage of bus drivers, we need to concentrate our resource on the services where demand is greatest to ensure that vital journeys and connections are maintained and to provide a network that best meets the changing needs of the communities we serve.

“Buses remain fundamental to daily life in Britain. Looking ahead, they are also critical to helping achieve a green economic recovery, tackling climate change, ensuring cleaner air, and supporting connected communities.

“We will be working together with national and local government to attract more people out of their cars and onto more sustainable public transport. The more people who switch to bus, the stronger our networks will be. It can generate vital investment for more electric vehicles, helps keep fares low and ultimately will help us to expand the bus network to meet new demand.”

The changes in full can be found here

Boris Johnson was made aware of formal Chris Pincher complaint

Surprise, surprise, the story changes – Owl

Boris Johnson was made aware of a formal complaint about Chris Pincher’s “inappropriate behaviour” while Mr Pincher was a Foreign Office minister from 2019-20.

By Ione Wells

The complaint led to a disciplinary process which confirmed his misconduct.

BBC News understands the PM and the foreign secretary at the time – Dominic Raab – were told about the complaint.

The claim raises fresh questions about what the PM knew before making Mr Pincher deputy chief whip in February.

For days ministers have insisted Mr Johnson was not aware of specific allegations against Mr Pincher when he was appointed deputy chief whip – whose job it is to uphold discipline among fellow Tory MPs.

Mr Pincher, the MP for Tamworth, was suspended as a Conservative Party MP last week over allegations he groped two men at a private members’ club in London. He says he is seeking professional medical support and has no intention of resigning as an MP.

In the latest statement addressing what Mr Johnson knew, Downing Street said the prime minister was aware of media reports and some allegations about Mr Pincher’s misconduct that were “either resolved or did not progress to a formal complaint”.

He added: “It was in one way concluded in some form. These issues tend to be anonymous.”

Mr Pincher apologised after the disciplinary process concluded, BBC News has been told, but the MP has not responded to our request for comment.

The message from No 10 has developed since last Thursday when Mr Pincher first resigned. Since then, Mr Pincher has faced a number of historical claims, which he denies.

On Sunday and Monday morning, ministers continued to stress that Boris Johnson was not aware of specific allegations when he gave Mr Pincher his most recent government job.

But later on Monday, Downing Street conceded the prime minister was previously aware of “reports and speculation”, but nothing firmer than that.

The BBC has been told a formal complaint was made against Mr Pincher while he was serving as a Foreign Office minister from July 2019 to February 2020.

An official complaint was raised about Mr Pincher for “inappropriate behaviour” and it triggered a process, overseen by the Cabinet Office, which resulted in a report that confirmed misconduct.

Both the prime minister and Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary at the time, were made aware of the disciplinary process, the BBC has been told.

Mr Raab’s team have been approached for comment, and the Foreign Office said: “We have robust measures in place to respond to any allegations of inappropriate behaviour. It’s our long-standing policy not to comment on individual cases.”

On Monday evening, No 10 reiterated that the prime minister was not aware of any “specific allegations” being looked at, and that in the “absence of a formal complaint it would not be appropriate to stop the appointment”.

Mr Johnson’s allies have defended his handling of the situation, with Cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg telling BBC Newsnight: “There’s always a lot of gossip going on in politics, there’s gossip about all sorts of politicians, an awful lot of which is untrue.

“You can’t hire and fire on the basis of rumour… There are rumours about so many people in politics in all parties.”

But opposition MPs have been critical, with Labour’s Daisy Cooper saying: “I think what we’ve seen time and time again with Boris Johnson is that he’s just prepared to carpet over things and try and hope they go away until they become a real problem.”

The prime minister’s official spokesman has previously said that before Mr Pincher was appointed a deputy chief whip, advice was sought from the government’s propriety and ethics team, part of the Cabinet Office, who did not advise against the move.

The spokesman declined to comment on a claim by the PM’s former chief aide Dominic Cummings that Mr Johnson had referred to the MP as “Pincher by name, pincher by nature”.

“I’m simply not going to comment on content of what was or wasn’t said in private conversations,” the spokesman said.

Pornography Watching MP Neil Parish on Why He Did it…..

Ten minutes of excruciating interviews reveal more than we really need to know.

‘She knows I’m no angel, she chases me around the kitchen with scissors saying ‘snipper snap’ knowing full well what part of my anatomy she is after. She knows what I’m like’.

As a local wag whispered into Owl’s ear “Tiz a gurt shame er didden ketch un”.

Neil also clearly harbours ambition to return to public life.