Brexit: East Devon – a district divided.

So, Swire voted against May’s Brexit deal, Parish voted for it.

Just where does this leave East Devon?

Piggy-in-the-middle.

Not a good place to be!

The no confidence vote later today will be interesting. If Swire votes to retain May after voting down her deal will that make him a hypocrite?

MP who earns (possibly massively) over £350,000 gets loan from lobbyist for office and staffing costs

Pigs, snouts, troughs – though with this income and STILL needing a loan maybe he needs some help or counselling?

£275,000 from Daily Telegraph, his MP’s salaryand expenses AND staffing costs. AND his Register of Interests (in full after the article) shows another £100,000+ from other sources.

“Boris Johnson received £23,000 in loans and donations last month from a company run by the Australian political strategist Lynton Crosby, official documents have revealed.

The former foreign secretary, who is widely regarded as a potential Conservative leadership contender, declared he had been given an interest-free loan of £20,000 from CTF Partners, in the latest register of MPs’ interests.

Earmarked for “office and staffing costs”, the loan is due to be repaid by 20 January. Johnson also received a £3,000 donation from CTF Partners before Christmas. …

[Johnson] He has since become a regular columnist for the Daily Telegraph, using the platform to to offer a strident critique of the government’s Brexit strategy. According to the register of MPs’ interests, Johnson receives £275,000 a year for the column, which he has estimated takes him 10 hours a month to write.

Johnson was criticised in December after it emerged he had accepted a £14,000 trip to Saudi Arabia from the country’s foreign affairs ministry only a few days before the journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in Istanbul.

Crosby was closely involved in May’s disastrous 2017 general election campaign. The £4m the Conservative party paid for his company’s services was its single biggest outlay. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/11/boris-johnson-received-23000-from-lynton-crosby-strategy-firm

BORIS JOHNSON REGISTER OF INTERESTS (in full as of today):

Johnson, Boris (Uxbridge and South Ruislip)

Johnson, Boris (Uxbridge and South Ruislip)
1. Employment and earnings
Payments from Hodder and Stoughton UK, Carmelite House, 50 Victoria Embankment, London EC4Y 0DZ, via United Agents, 12-26 Lexington St, London W1F 0LE:
29 September 2017, received £15,372.17 for royalties on book already written. Hours: no additional hours. (Registered 20 December 2017) This is a late entry which was the subject of a Report, published on 6 December 2018, by the Select Committee on Standards.

17 October 2017, received £1,167.40 for Bulgarian and Hungarian subrights and royalties on book already written. Hours: no additional hours. (Registered 20 December 2017) This is a late entry which was the subject of a Report, published on 6 December 2018, by the Select Committee on Standards.

8 February 2018, received £499.49 for Czech subrights on book already written. Hours: no additional hours. (Registered 12 March 2018) This is a late entry which was the subject of a Report, published on 6 December 2018, by the Select Committee on Standards.

30 March 2018, received £6,013.27 for royalties on book already written. Hours: no additional hours. (Registered 17 April 2018)

17 April 2018, received £560.13 for Czech subrights on book already written. Hours: no additional hours. (Registered 09 May 2018)

10 July 2018, received £11,290.17 for French and US royalties on books already written. Hours: no additional hours. (Registered 22 August 2018) This is a late entry which was the subject of a Report, published on 6 December 2018, by the Select Committee on Standards.

28 September 2018, received £8,968.27 via United Agents, 12-26 Lexington St, London W1F 0LE, for royalties on book already written. Hours: no additional hours. (Registered 02 November 2018)

12 December 2018, received £525.12 for Hungarian subrights on book already written. Hours: no additional hours. (Registered 17 December 2018)
Payments from HarperCollins UK, 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF via United Agents, 12-26 Lexington St, London W1F 0LE:

26 September 2017, received £1,382.58 for advance on book already written. Hours: no additional hours. (Registered 20 December 2017) This is a late entry which was the subject of a Report, published on 6 December 2018, by the Select Committee on Standards.

11 January 2018, received £5,970.76 for US and Dutch royalties on book already written. Hours: no additional hours. (Registered 05 February 2018)
5 July 2018, received £37.82 for French royalties on book already written. Hours: no additional hours. (Registered 22 August 2018) This is a late entry which was the subject of a Report, published on 6 December 2018, by the Select Committee on Standards.

23 October 2018, received £491.75 via Rogers, Coleridge and White Ltd, 20 Powis Mews, London W11 1JN, for royalties on books already written. Hours: no additional hours. (Registered 02 November 2018)

Payments from HarperCollins UK, 1 London Bridge St, London SE1 9GF, via Rogers, Coleridge and White Ltd, 20 Powis Mews, London W11 1JN:
30 September 2017, received £42.79 for royalties on books already written. Hours: no additional hours. (Registered 20 December 2017) This is a late entry which was the subject of a Report, published on 6 December 2018, by the Select Committee on Standards.

30 April 2018, received £244.91 for royalties on books already written. Hours: no additional hours. (Registered 09 May 2018)

5 September 2017, received £63.72 from Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, via United Agents, 12-26 Lexington St, London W1F 0LE, for royalties on book already written. Hours: no additional hours. (Registered

20 December 2017) This is a late entry which was the subject of a Report, published on 6 December 2018, by the Select Committee on Standards.
From 11 July 2018 until 10 July 2019, articles for the Telegraph Media Group Ltd, 111 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 0DT, for which I expect to receive £22,916.66 a month. Hours: 10 hrs a month. First payment received on

13 August 2018. I consulted ACoBA about this appointment. (Registered 17 September 2018) This is a late entry which was the subject of a Report, published on 6 December 2018, by the Select Committee on Standards.

28 September 2018, received £800 from The Spectator (1828) Ltd, 22 Old Queen Street, London SW1H 9HP, for an article. Hours: 2 hours. (Registered 15 October 2018)

9 October 2018, received £2,000 from Associated Newspapers Ltd, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT, for an article. Hours: 2 hrs. (Registered 02 November 2018)

2 November 2018, received £94,507.85 from GoldenTree Asset Management, 300 Park Avenue, 21st Floor, New York, NY 10022 via Chartwell Speakers, 14 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8HN, for a speaking engagement on 8 November 2018. Travel and accommodation also provided. Hours: 2 hrs. (Registered 09
November 2018)

2. (b) Any other support not included in Category 2(a)
Name of donor: Jon Wood
Address of donor: private
Amount of donation, or nature and value if donation in kind: £50,000 for office and staffing costs
Date received: 1 October 2018
Date accepted: 1 October 2018
Donor status: individual
(Registered 17 October 2018)

Name of donor: CTF Partners Limited
Address of donor: 4th Floor, 6 Chesterfield Gardens, London W1J 5BQ
Amount of donation: Interest free loan of £20,000 for office and staffing costs, to be repaid by 20 January 2019.
Date received: 20 December 2018
Date accepted: 20 December 2018
Donor status: company, registration 07196537
(Registered 04 January 2019)

Name of donor: CTF Partners Limited
Address of donor: 4th Floor, 6 Chesterfield Gardens, London W1J 5BQ
Amount of donation: £3,000 for office and staffing costs.
Date received: 21 December 2018
Date accepted: 21 December 2018
Donor status: company, registration 07196537
(Registered 04 January 2019)

3. Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources

Name of donor: Surrey County Cricket Club
Address of donor: The Kia Oval, Kennington, London SE11 5SS
Amount of donation, or nature and value if donation in kind: Two tickets with hospitality to Test Match at the Oval, value £1,800
Date received: 8 September 2018
Date accepted: 8 September 2018
Donor status: company, registration IP27896R
(Registered 01 October 2018)

Name of donor: Democratic Unionist Party
Address of donor: 91 Dundela Avenue, Belfast BT4 3BU
Amount of donation, or nature and value if donation in kind: Hospitality and travel to Belfast for myself and a member of staff, estimated value £355.94
Date received: 24 November 2018
Date accepted: 24 November 2018
Donor status: registered political party
(Registered 20 December 2018)

4. Visits outside the UK

Name of donor: American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
Address of donor: 1789 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20036
Estimate of the probable value (or amount of any donation): For myself, flights £6,666.09, hotel accommodation £1,459.52 and other costs of £1,059.56; for my staff member, flights £6,666.09, hotel £994.82; total £16,846.09
Destination of visit: Washington DC, USA
Dates of visit: 13-15 September 2018
Purpose of visit: To receive Irving Kristol Award at AEI Annual Dinner.
(Registered 15 October 2018)

Name of donor: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Address of donor: PO Box 55937, Riyadh 11544
Estimate of the probable value (or amount of any donation): Travel, food and accommodation, estimated value of £14,000
Destination of visit: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Dates of visit: 19 – 21 September 2018
Purpose of visit: Meeting with regional figures to promote education for women and girls.
(Registered 17 October 2018)

6. Land and property portfolio: (i) value over £100,000 and/or (ii) giving rental income of over £10,000 a year
From 1 November 2016, house in London, owned jointly with my wife: (i) and, from 1 March 2017, (ii). (Registered 20 March 2017)

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmregmem/190107/johnson_boris.htm

Seaton disgraced ex-Mayor Peter Burrows: town council responds, names names

“Seaton Town Council has revealed the details behind the resignation Mayor Peter Burrows.

He stood down last week after it was revealed he used his position to make an ‘offensive’ remark on social media about a local business.

In an official statement issued today (Friday January 11) the town council says:

“On Monday evening, January 7, at the Seaton Town Council meeting, councillors were advised by Cllr Burrows that he had been involved in an altercation on Facebook which resulted in him referring to himself as Mayor and using a Twitter account named “Seaton TIC” to ask members of the public to ‘avoid’ The Hat micropub.

“However, Mr Gary Millar, proprietor of The Hat, had not been involved in the altercation and was therefore an entirely innocent party.

“Seaton Town Council wishes to make it clear that despite using the term Mayor and using what purported to be a Tourist Information Centre account, Cllr Burrows was not authorised to use his title for personal matters, nor was he authorised to represent the TIC.

“He was acting in a purely private capacity and the council dissociates itself from his actions. Nevertheless, we apologise unreservedly to Mr Millar and The Hat for the impression which Cllr Burrows gave that he was acting on behalf of the council.

“On Monday Cllr Burrows tendered his resignation as chairman and Town Mayor because he recognised that his behaviour had brought his office as Town Mayor and the council into disrepute. The council will now report Cllr Burrows to the Monitoring Officer for breaching our Code of Conduct.

“The council will also be considering a motion at a meeting on Monday January 21, calling for Cllr Burrows to resign as a town and district councillor. The council has also asked Cllr Burrows to close the Twitter account involved and he has done this.

“Seaton Town Council enthusiastically supported the opening of The Hat and recognises the distinctive contribution this attractive, well-run establishment has already made to the town’s life.

“The Council is keen to support the town centre and The Hat is exactly the kind of new business we want to see in Seaton. Mr Millar has conducted himself with dignity throughout this affair and we deeply regret the harm Cllr Burrows attempted to cause to The Hat. We wish it and Mr Millar the very best for the future.”

** Cllr Burrows confirmed to the Midweek Herald that he had stepped down after offering his ‘unreserved apologies’ to the business concerned. He said he would be making a statement to The Herald shortly.”

https://www.midweekherald.co.uk/news/cllr-peter-burrows-brought-the-authority-into-disrepute-1-5848139

Update on Seaton ex-Mayor Peter Burrows situation

As reported here:

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2019/01/07/breaking-news-seaton-mayor-peter-burrows-resigns-after-bringing-the-office-into-disrepute/

Owl hears that the aggrieved party has made a formal complaint to the EDDC Monitoring Officer and is taking legal advice on possible further action.

Owl is awaiting an official statement from Seaton Town Council, which would be usual in these circumstances.

“Brexit deadlock ‘is blocking vital domestic policy reforms’ ” says cross-party group of MPs

“A powerful cross-party group of MPs today warns Theresa May that Brexit is “sucking the life” out of her government – as cabinet sources admit that the crisis is forcing vital domestic business off the government’s timetable.

With the deadlock over May’s Brexit deal unresolved, and a key vote in parliament postponed until mid-January, the chairpersons of six all-party select committees have signed a statement saying long-drawn-out arguments over Brexit are having a “serious detrimental effect” on wider domestic policy.

The MPs, who include the Tory chairs of the treasury and education select committees, Nicky Morgan and Robert Halfon, add that: “Rather than continuing to drag out the Brexit process for months more, we must bring it to a close if we are to prevent serious damage to our country”.

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Others who signed off on the statement are the chair of the work and pensions select committee, Frank Field; the Tory chair of the digital culture media and sport committee, Damian Collins; the Labour chair of the environmental audit select committee, Mary Creagh; and Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat chair of the science and technology committee.

While the six have very different views on Brexit they agree that the government is letting people down with its near-total preoccupation with the issue at a time of crisis in the NHS and social care, rising knife crime, failing public transport, chronic homelessness and environmental challenges. Labour members including Creagh say government austerity has made neglect of poorer communities by government even more shocking.

Their intervention follows news on Friday that chaos over Brexit has forced NHS leaders to postpone a new long-term plan for the NHS and put back, yet again, a long-awaited green paper on the future of social care until January. Both decisions dismayed MPs and organisations across the health and social care sectors.

Asked why the social care green paper had been delayed, a government source told the Observer the crisis over Brexit had “wiped the grid clean and meant we have had to push stuff back. So social care won’t be until January.”

Underlining the sense of national crisis, Church of England bishops said yesterday that they would pray this weekend for national unity and “courage, integrity and clarity for our politicians” after a week of turmoil.

Nadra Ahmed, chair of the National Care Association, which represents small and medium-sized care providers, said: “If the matter wasn’t serious it could be farcical. Clearly, the government recognised in 2017 that there was an ‘urgent’ need to review the funding of long-term care to ensure we can predict a sustainable service which will meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable members of our society. We have become used to the fact that creating solutions in the growing crisis in social care is not really that urgent after all.”

Field told the Observer he had been urging May for months to allow legislation to be brought forward by select committees or through private members bills if the government could not find the time itself. But he had had no response to his idea.

Other areas of policy that MPs say have been subject to Brexit-related delays include the fair funding review, intended to reform and improve how local government financing is organised, and a government strategy on internet safety. Labour says the results of government consultations on housing issues such as longer tenancies and consumer rights – which concluded months ago – have not materialised. The domestic abuse bill, championed personally by May, also has yet to be introduced. The Missing Persons Guardianship Act, which was meant to allow the families of people who have gone missing to take control of their affairs, has not yet come into force even though it became law over a year ago.

In their statement the six select committee chairs say: “Long-drawn-out arguments over Brexit and delays in reaching an agreement on our future relationship with the EU are having a serious detrimental effect on the conduct of wider domestic policy. MPs of all parties and ministers should be addressing the most urgent challenges facing our country: safeguarding our NHS, improving social care for the elderly; stepping up the fight against crime and knife crime; sorting out our benefits system; improving our public transport and safeguarding the environment for future generations. The Prime Minister should return to addressing burning social injustices which she insisted, on entering Downing Street, would be her main priority. Instead, Brexit is sucking the life out of government at a time when our towns, cities and citizens face serious spending restraints. Rather than continuing to drag out the Brexit process for months more, we must bring it to a close if we are to prevent serious damage to our country.”

Charities, too, expressed exasperation at the government’s failure to address domestic issues, pointing to the housing crisis and chaotic rollout of universal credit. Campbell Robb, chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, says that low-income families that backed Leave in 2016 have since been hit by price rises, spiralling housing costs and tax credit reductions. He called on the government to “get a grip and deliver for people on low incomes”. “Failing to meet their expectations of a better life after Brexit would be costly for the political parties. We need a bold package of domestic reforms, not just favourable trade terms.”

Greg Beales, who campaign director at the housing charity Shelter, said vital reforms were still needed to tackle the housing crisis and bolster renters’ rights. “But too much is currently stuck in the mire while Brexit crowds out everything else.”

Yet another policy area that has been neglected is transport, as the government has struggled to address months of timetabling chaos and pushed back the electrification of railways in the north. Darren Shirley, who heads the Campaign for Better Transport, said that there was “a bandwidth problem across government” with key domestic issues “dropping down the agenda” because of Brexit.”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/dec/15/mps-warn-brexit-deadlock-sucking-life-out-of-government

Fake news on Labour Party being manufactured by secretive group in Scotland funded by Foreign Office

Owl says: the UK becoming more like Russia every day!

“Secret Scottish-based office led infowars attack on Labour and Jeremy Corbyn.

Explosive leaked documents passed to the Sunday Mail reveal the organisation’s Integrity Initiative is funded with £2million of Foreign Office cash and run by military intelligence specialists.

A secret UK Government-funded infowars unit based in Scotland sent out social media posts attacking Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.

On the surface, the cryptically named Institute for Statecraft is a small charity operating from an old Victorian mill in Fife. But explosive leaked documents passed to the Sunday Mail reveal the organisation’s Integrity Initiative is funded with £2million of Foreign Office cash and run by military intelligence specialists.

The “think tank” is supposed to counter Russian online propaganda by forming “clusters” of friendly journalists and “key influencers” throughout Europe who use social media to hit back against disinformation. But our investigation has found worrying evidence the shadowy programme’s official Twitter account has been used to attack Corbyn, the Labour Party and their officials.

One tweet quotes a newspaper article calling Corbyn a “useful idiot”, that goes on to state: “His open visceral anti-Westernism helped the Kremlin cause, as surely as if he had been secretly peddling Westminster tittle-tattle for money.”

A message from the UK Government-funded organisation promotes an article that states: “Unlike Galloway (former MP George Galloway) Corbyn does not scream conspiracy, he implies it,” while another added: “It’s time for the Corbyn left to confront its Putin problem.”

A further message refers to an “alleged British Corbyn supporter” who “wants to vote for Putin”.

It is not just the Labour leader who has been on the receiving end of online attacks. His strategy and communications director Seumas Milne was also targeted.

The Integrity Initiative, whose base at Gateside Mill is near Auchtermuchty, retweeted a newspaper report that said: “Milne is not a spy – that would be beneath him. “But what he has done, wittingly or unwittingly, is work with the Kremlin agenda.”

Another retweet promoted a journalist who said: “Just as he supports the Russian bombardment of Syria, Seumas Milne supported the Russian slaughter of Afghanistan, which resulted in more than a million deaths.”

The Integrity Initiative has been accused of supporting Ukrainian politicians who oppose Putin – even when they also have suspected far-right links.

Further leaked documents appear to show a Twitter campaign that resulted in a Spanish politician believed to be friendly to the Kremlin being denied a job. The organisation’s “Spanish cluster” swung into action on hearing that Pedro Banos was to be appointed director of the national security department.

The papers detail how the Integrity Initiative alerted “key influencers” around Europe who launched an online campaign against the politician.

In the wake of the leaks, which also detail Government grant applications, the Foreign Office have been forced to confirm they provided massive funding to the Integrity Initiative.

In response to a parliamentary question, Europe Minister Alan Duncan said: “In financial year 2017-18, the FCO funded the Institute for Statecraft’s Integrity Initiative £296,500. “This financial year, the FCO are funding a further £1,961,000. Both have been funded through grant agreements.”

Politicians and academics have reacted with fury to news a covert Government-funded unit had been attacking the official opposition in Parliament.

Labour MSP Neil Findlay said: “It would appear that we have a charity registered in Scotland and overseen by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator that is funded by the UK Government and is spewing out political attacks on UK politicians, the Labour Party and the Labour movement. “Such clear political attacks and propaganda shouldn’t be coming from any charity. We need to know why the Foreign Office have been funding it.”

David Miller, a professor of political sociology in the School for Policy Studies at the University of Bristol, added: “It’s extraordinary that the Foreign Office would be funding a Scottish charity to counter Russian propaganda which ends up attacking Her Majesty’s opposition and soft-pedalling far-right politicians in the Ukraine.

“People have a right to know how the Government are spending their money, and the views being promoted in their name.”

Source: Scottish Daily Record

Grants to facilitate people with disabilities to put themselves forward for office

“People with disabilities are to be offered thousands of pounds to help them run for elected office in next year’s council elections as part of an effort to tackle under-representation in town halls.

Grants averaging £4,000 will be made available to some to cover costs of campaign expenses including specialist transport, screen reader software, sign language interpretation and braille transcription.

Only 10% of councillors have a disability, compared with about 20% of the UK population. The government is offering £250,000, which is expected to fund around 60 candidates. [The Guardian]

The Access to Elected Office fund provided such grants since its launch as a pilot in 2012 under the Coalition government, but after the 2015 general election the Conservatives put it into limbo.”

https://www.markpack.org.uk/156796/access-to-elected-office-fund-returns/