Sunday, July 06, 2008

Anti-sleaze rules come back to haunt Cameron...

More whiffs of Tory sleaze today - less than 48 hours after Boris Johnson's Deputy Mayor was forced to resign facing a whole series of allegations. David Cameron is now under pressure to take action against his sidekick George Osborne who is accused of breaking Tory rules by accepting up to £10,000 for a speech in Jersey.

I have to say Osborne's defence when questioned by Andrew Marr on the BBC this morning appeared decidedly dodgy...

He insisted he didn't break anti-sleaze rules by taking between £5k and £10k, as well as complimentary flights and accommodation from the Jersey Institute of Directors.

His problem is that Tory guidelines clearly state:

'Shadow Ministers should not solicit fees for broadcuasting, speaking engagements and articles. Fees should not be accepted if the subject matter relates directly to your Shadow Ministerial responsibilities.'

Ironically, we know what those rules say thanks to Mr Osborne's previous rather questionable conduct.

They were made public a few months ago when wee Georgie faced an investigation by the House of Commons Standards Committee into donations.

Then, the Committee upheld the complaints against him.

Other Tory frontbenchers now facing similar conflict of interest claims include Shadow schools secretary Michael Gove said to have received a donation from the director of an independent boarding school.

And Gove's deputy Tim Loughton apparently earns up to £35k a year as director of a company that provides camera equipment for schools.

Will Cameron enforce his own rules, or will he back wee Georgie and the rest...?

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

Must be taking after Labour.

Anonymous said...

I hate to be all sanctimonious about this but I am a lone parent carer for an autistic young person.

I recently travelled quite a distance to speak to a gathering of carers and disabled people organised by a charity about certain aspects of being a carer and how this might highlight policies/experiences for other carers and how they might be able to support the people with disabilties in their care.

I was not paid a fee and would not have accepted one. Nor did I after the event claim back my travel expenses.

I did not claim back my travel expenses since I thought that the charity's money was probably better spent elsewhere and in this respect differs from the Osborne case in that the organisation he spoke to clearly had lots of money to slosh around.

But as for a fee. Its really not that difficult not to be paid.

The difference between his need for money and mine?

Any claim by the Tories to be concerned about 'the poor' is patent nonsense.

He could speak for free in the name of service to the public (if that's what his speech was).

He could also if he wanted support redistribution of some of the wealth which he probably does not need to those of us who do but by dint of circumstances lack. And I don't mean dropping some shillings in a cap.