“Tories cling on to tax exiles’ right to vote for life despite bill delay”

“The government has said it remains committed to passing a law that could allow tax exiles the right to vote and donate to political parties for life, after it failed to pass through the House of Commons.

MPs, including the serial filibusterer Philip Davies, tabled dozens of amendments to the overseas electors bill for debate on Friday, resulting in it being dropped after parliamentary time to discuss it ran out.

Under current law, British expatriates can remain on the electoral roll, allowing them to vote and make donations, for 15 years after they leave the UK. The overseas electors bill proposed removing the time limit, giving all expats the right to vote and donate for life.

Speaking on behalf of the government, the cabinet office minister Chloe Smith told the House: “The government remains committed to scrapping the cap.” The Conservative party pledged to bring in the law in its 2017 manifesto.

Anti-corruption campaigners and Labour MPs had expressed alarm at the bill. Margaret Hodge, the former chair of parliament’s public accounts committee, described the bill as “shocking” and warned it would “increase tax haven billionaires’ influence and allow dirty money donations to political parties”.”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/mar/22/tories-cling-on-to-tax-exiles-right-to-vote-for-life-despite-bill-delay

“Outgoing NHS digital chief wrote ‘puff piece’ for future employer in ‘jaw-droppingly inappropriate’ behaviour”

“NHS England’s outgoing chief digital officer has been criticised for “jaw-droppingly inappropriate” behaviour after she announced her departure for a health technology start-up she had praised in a “puff piece” article without disclosing she was joining its payroll.

Juliet Bauer is currently serving out her notice period after announcing she was departing from NHS England last week, and faced criticism for leaving the NHS to join a health tech firm— days after the long-term plan called for a major NHS expansion in the sector.

Bauer, one of the top officials who worked on the NHS Long-Term Plan, is accused of a conflict of interest after she wrote a high-profile article in The Times newspaper praising Kry, a video appointment app, without disclosing she had been hired by the company.

In the article last week, and under her NHS title, Bauer wrote that data provided by “Europe’s biggest video GP consultation provider” showed “high levels of patient and GP satisfaction.”

She said that from April she would taking up a new job at “one of the largest and most trusted digital healthcare providers in Europe,” but did not specify that she would be joining Kry, leading to NHS England distancing themselves from the article.

Speaking to the Financial Times (FT), Meg Hillier, chair of the public accounts committee (PAC), labelled the article a “puff piece advert for the new employer,” and said she was “shocked at the lack of judgement.”
“This revolving door of senior officials going into businesses they have worked with has long been an issue but this is brazen,” Hillier added, arguing that the move was “jaw-droppingly inappropriate.”

As reported in the FT, the chief clinical information officer for health and care Simon Eccles defended his former colleague and said she was a “fantastic” during her time at the NHS, but acknowledged that the article had been inappropriate.

He said: “I think muddling that (view) with any individual commercial provider, which that piece did, was a mistake.

“There’s nothing wrong with saying ‘I now work for a company who’s trying to do this and I think that this company will do great things’ once you’ve left us, but that’s not what happened.”

Bauer announced her departure days after the long-term plan she helped to develop was published, but Eccles emphasised that she could not have had any undue influence over the tech-focused NHS Long-Term Plan.”

http://www.nationalhealthexecutive.com/Robot-News/outgoing-nhs-digital-chief-wrote-puff-piece-for-future-employer-in-jaw-droppingly-inappropriate-behaviour

“David Davis Reveals £3,000-An-HOUR Job With Firm Led By No-Deal Brexit Champion”

“David Davis has landed a £3,000-an-hour job with JCB, the multi-national construction giant led by a billionaire who has championed a no-deal Brexit.

Theresa May’s former Brexit Secretary disclosed his lucrative role as ‘external advisor’ for Lord Anthony Bamford’s firm in the official MP register of interests on Thursday.

It was revealed the Tory MP will make £60,000-a-year in 2019 and 2020 working just 20-hours-a-year for the firm. …”

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/david-davis-lands-ps3000-an-hour-job-with-firm-led-by-no-deal-brexit-champion_uk_5c48aa5ee4b025aa26bf5e22

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

“Visas for super rich investors scrapped amid crackdown on money laundering”

Owl says: WHAT! The government WASN’T checking the accounts and investments of these people to begin with? Well, who would have guessed!

“The government will suspend golden ticket investment visas, which allow non-EU nationals to stay in the UK if they invest £2m, amid a crackdown on organised crime.

Just buying into UK companies, or buying government bonds, will no longer be enough for Russian oligarchs, Middle Eastern oil barons and other super rich investors to stay in the UK.

The tier 1 investor visas, which gave investors permission to stay in Britain for up to three years, are being scrapped at midnight tomorrow.

The changes will force applicants who want to come to the UK to hire British auditors to comb through their accounts and prove they control the investments.

Around 1,000 people applied for the visas in the past year. …

“I have been clear that we will not tolerate people who do not play by the rules and seek to abuse the system,” immigration minister Caroline Nokes said.

She added: “That is why I am bringing forward these new measures which will make sure that only genuine investors, who intend to support UK businesses, can benefit from our immigration system.” …

http://www.cityam.com/270279/visas-super-rich-investors-scrapped-amid-crackdown-money

“Rightwing thinktank deletes offer of access to ministers for donors”

“One of the UK’s most influential rightwing thinktanks has deleted passages from its website promising access to government ministers in exchange for donations after the Guardian began making inquiries about its funding.

The Adam Smith Institute, a neoliberal thinktank credited with inspiring some of the most controversial privatisations of the Thatcher and Major governments, offered invitations to “power lunches and patrons dinners with influential figures, including politicians, ministers, journalists and academics” to anyone donating £1,000 a year.

The regulator, the Charity Commission, said on Friday that it had started examining the institute’s accounts for “potential areas of non-compliance” with accounting rules.

It is the second rightwing thinktank whose conduct is being examined by the commission for possible breaches of the rules.

Earlier this year the chief executive of the Institute of Economic Affairs was filmed by an undercover reporter appearing to promise a potential donor access to a minister in exchange for funding a report on agribusiness. The group says it is “spurious to suggest that the IEA is engaging in any kind of ‘cash for access’ system” and denies wrongdoing.

The Adam Smith Institute is made up of three different entities: a British company, a British charity and an American non-profit foundation, each with different rules on tax and the ability to carry out political activity.

In a 2012 book, Madsen Pirie, one of the institute’s founders, said: “It was a very messy patchwork and it took us years to sort it out. We used the term ‘Adam Smith Institute’ loosely to cover all our activities, no matter which heading they occurred under.”

Charities, which enjoy support from the British taxpayer, are required to be genuinely independent from other entities.

There are strict rules on how charities can spend their funds. Research and education are acceptable as long as they do not set out to promote a particular viewpoint, but political campaigning is banned. …

… The Charity Commission said: “All trustees of all charities must ensure they preserve their charity’s independence and make decisions that are solely in furtherance of their charity’s purposes.

“The public rightly expect trustees of charities to take these responsibilities seriously, and demonstrate accountability to the public for the way in which their charity is governed, and the work their charity undertakes.

“An important factor in demonstrating transparency is ensuring financial accounts are compliant with the accounting framework. We can confirm that we are examining the Adam Smith Research Trust’s financial accounts to examine potential areas of non-compliance with that framework.”

The development comes amid questions about the political campaigning activities of a network of thinktanks and groups linked to an address in Tufton Street in Westminster.”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/dec/01/rightwing-thinktank-deletes-offer-of-access-to-ministers-for-donors

Tory donor’s money comes from apartment block with “100 women available in a single night”

What to say … £290,000 to Tory Party, calls himself “astronomically wealthy”, women from Romania, human trafficking… no suggestion, of course that he knew anything about it, just the landlord … just another day for another Tory donor.