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Captain_Swoop 3rd November 2021 07:13 AM

Boris Johnson has backed a shake-up of the rules on MPs' behaviour, amid moves to prevent a senior Conservative being suspended from the Commons.

Owen Paterson was found to have misused his position to benefit two companies he worked for.
But he says he got unfair treatment and his allies will seek to change the rules and scrap his punishment in Commons votes later on Wednesday.

The government has ordered all Tory MPs to back the suggested reforms.

During Prime Minister's Questions, Mr Johnson also argued that a right of appeal must be introduced for cases such as Mr Paterson's to ensure "natural justice".
But Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said the Conservatives were "wallowing in sleaze" and accused them of changing the rules to suit their own ends.

MPs are due to vote later on whether to endorse a recommendation from the Commons Standards Committee that Mr Paterson be suspended for 30 days - which would trigger a recall petition, potentially leading to a by-election in his North Shropshire constituency.

Mr Paterson's supporters will try to overturn the recommendation.
They are also calling for a new committee to be set up to consider changes to the process for investigating MPs.
If the Commons backs this - which is likely to happen, given the government's large majority - Mr Paterson's proposed suspension would be put on hold.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-59143727

KDLarsen 3rd November 2021 08:50 AM

Paterson's sleazy chums have saved his bacon, although the majority was reduced to just 18. Presumably the Standards Commissioner will tender her resignation shortly. It'll be interesting to see if Labour, Lib Dems and/or SNP take up places on the new committee. At least one SNP MP said he wouldn't.

Carrot Flower King 3rd November 2021 09:27 AM

I still don't understand why MPs cannot be held to the same standards of probity (financial, moral, criminal and everything) as pretty much every other public servant (as we have seen the police are a separate category).

The 2 former public sector (NHS, local authority, university) bods in this household are very interested to know how the likes of Paterson get away with nonsense which would have had us sacked and unable to work again. But, as he is one of those MPs who can't work out how to live on £80+k a year, I suppose understanding mere rules is too far beyond his intellect...

Captain_Swoop 3rd November 2021 10:00 AM

Labour will boycott sleaze commission, says Keir Starmer

https://theguardian.com/politics/202...s-keir-starmer

KDLarsen 3rd November 2021 10:09 AM

Kathryn Stone, the standards commissioner, will not resign and instead see out her term, which runs until December 2022.

Captain_Swoop 3rd November 2021 10:31 AM

The only amendment required is that the Bribery act needs to be amended to apply to MPs.

Nessie 3rd November 2021 10:33 AM

Neil Hamilton is furious. They did not change the rules for him.

Carrot Flower King 3rd November 2021 10:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13646577)
Labour will boycott sleaze commission, says Keir Starmer

https://theguardian.com/politics/202...s-keir-starmer

Snag is that the Tory Corruption Colluders have already thought of that and have made proposals for the new Waving Corruption Through While Looking The Other Way committee to run without opposition parties.

Carrot Flower King 3rd November 2021 10:53 AM

They've been banging on about "natural" justice, as though there is anything remotely natural about this particular social construct, so I asked my tomcat about it: he informed me that "natural justice" means I have to feed him on demand, stop preventing him from eating queenie's food, supply him with an unlimited array of fleecy blankets, stop shutting doors to keep him out of rooms, allow him to chase queenie whenever he wants, order a hit on next door's dog...

Shall I let Andrea Ledsome know?

Captain_Swoop 3rd November 2021 12:57 PM

Susie Dent tweeted

@susie_dent
Word of the day is ‘malversation’ (16th century): the corrupt administration of power.

Captain_Swoop 3rd November 2021 02:14 PM

This aged well.

Owen Paterson tweeted
@OwenPaterson
· Oct 10, 2019
“EU “membership” has so corrupted our political classes and inured them to anti-democratic erosion, that at this moment...over half of Parliament is happily & actively engaging in suppressing democracy...There can be no stronger argument for leaving the EU”https://brexitcentral.com/four-more-...-to-be-busted/

Captain_Swoop 3rd November 2021 04:24 PM

The Tory Anti-Corruption 'Champion' Jon Penrose MP, voted in favour of letting Owen Patterson get away with corruption.

They have voted to do away with the brown envelopes and back handers but to keep the money.

Captain_Swoop 3rd November 2021 04:31 PM

To add insult to injury Paterson himself got to vote.

Captain_Swoop 3rd November 2021 04:34 PM

So will the voters reward them with a bigger poll lead?
Every time Boris acts in a way no other Prime Minister would even try he gets a bigger poll lead.
He knows he can get away with anything.

Captain_Swoop 3rd November 2021 04:37 PM

Lucy Allan MP (Conservative) Tweets
@lucyallan
Replying to @montie and @OwenPaterson
Those who care more about party politics than justice and empathy for others, no matter their politics or background, have no business being an MP. The extraordinary personal attack we heard today from @rhonddabryant wrapped up in sanctimonious virtuousness was sickening.



(@rhonddabryan, Labour MP for the Rhondda speech video in link)

Quote:

If the public believes we are marking our own homework, our reputation will be tarnished.
https://twitter.com/RhonddaBryant/st...79646567297027

Captain_Swoop 3rd November 2021 04:45 PM

Storiest concerning Lucy Allan from over the years

Tory MP admits adding 'death threat' to Facebook post over Syria air strikes vote
Lucy Allan said she was trying to expose the 'unacceptable' abuse sent to MPs over the Syria vote
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...-a6764766.html

Tories rocked by new 'bullying' storm as MP Lucy Allan accused of 'vicious' abuse of sick staff member
Anew bullying row hit the Conservative Party today after one of its MPs was accused of “vicious” verbal abuse against members of her own staff.
https://www.standard.co.uk/news/poli...-a3139526.html

She alsoo shared doctored right-wing videos of Keir Starmer, which she refused to apologize for.

Captain_Swoop 3rd November 2021 04:53 PM

Mail Headline for tomorrow

“Shameless MPs sink back into sleaze”

It's a start but it is still a lie. It is "Tory" MPs

Captain_Swoop 3rd November 2021 05:02 PM

In a statement, Owen Paterson says: "After two years of hell, I now have the opportunity to clear my name."

LondonJohn 3rd November 2021 05:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Carrot Flower King (Post 13646547)
I still don't understand why MPs cannot be held to the same standards of probity (financial, moral, criminal and everything) as pretty much every other public servant (as we have seen the police are a separate category).

The 2 former public sector (NHS, local authority, university) bods in this household are very interested to know how the likes of Paterson get away with nonsense which would have had us sacked and unable to work again. But, as he is one of those MPs who can't work out how to live on £80+k a year, I suppose understanding mere rules is too far beyond his intellect...


Ummm I think it's perhaps important to point out what happened today (and, just as importantly, what didn't happen today).

This wasn't simply a case of Conservative MPs being whipped in order to "get Paterson off" or "to allow him to get away with corruption" (as some of the media and opposition parties - and most people here - have misinterpreted it). Conservative MPs (and Lab and LibDem and SNP) have been heavily censured by the Standards Committee in the past, without any similar type of intervention.

What was/is potentially different in the case of Paterson is that there are allegations that the process was, to some degree, unfair. That may or may not be true - but the important thing here is that there is currently no mechanism whatsoever for trying to find out whether such allegations have any merit or not. And on top of that, there's long been a level of disquiet that sanctions handed out by the Standards Committee are not open to any level of appeal.

Ironically, you point to academia LAs and the NHS as comparators..... yet all of these institutions allow for interrogation of any disciplinary process, plus the right of appeal.

But nobody should be under any illusions that today's amendment vote was any sort of attempt to dismiss the Standards Committee's findings and exonerate Paterson. It was not. Indeed, many Conservative Government ministers have already let it be known that while they feel the Paterson case has brought into sharp focus the need for reform of the procedures, they still believe Paterson to be guilty and they believe he'll be rightfully sanctioned accordingly in due course.

Of course, none of the above plays well on the shoutiverse that is social media, and of course opposition parties and certain sections of the media are going to see things another way.... but there we are.


(PS: I am not a supporter of, or advocate for, the current Conservative Government)

LondonJohn 3rd November 2021 05:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13647013)
Mail Headline for tomorrow

“Shameless MPs sink back into sleaze”

It's a start but it is still a lie. It is "Tory" MPs


You probably want to look back through recent history on this one.....

Captain_Swoop 3rd November 2021 05:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LondonJohn (Post 13647056)
Ummm I think it's perhaps important to point out what happened today (and, just as importantly, what didn't happen today).

This wasn't simply a case of Conservative MPs being whipped in order to "get Paterson off" or "to allow him to get away with corruption" (as some of the media and opposition parties - and most people here - have misinterpreted it). Conservative MPs (and Lab and LibDem and SNP) have been heavily censured by the Standards Committee in the past, without any similar type of intervention.

What was/is potentially different in the case of Paterson is that there are allegations that the process was, to some degree, unfair. That may or may not be true - but the important thing here is that there is currently no mechanism whatsoever for trying to find out whether such allegations have any merit or not. And on top of that, there's long been a level of disquiet that sanctions handed out by the Standards Committee are not open to any level of appeal.

Ironically, you point to academia LAs and the NHS as comparators..... yet all of these institutions allow for interrogation of any disciplinary process, plus the right of appeal.

But nobody should be under any illusions that today's amendment vote was any sort of attempt to dismiss the Standards Committee's findings and exonerate Paterson. It was not. Indeed, many Conservative Government ministers have already let it be known that while they feel the Paterson case has brought into sharp focus the need for reform of the procedures, they still believe Paterson to be guilty and they believe he'll be rightfully sanctioned accordingly in due course.

Of course, none of the above plays well on the shoutiverse that is social media, and of course opposition parties and certain sections of the media are going to see things another way.... but there we are.


(PS: I am not a supporter of, or advocate for, the current Conservative Government)

Quisling.

Captain_Swoop 3rd November 2021 05:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LondonJohn (Post 13647057)
You probably want to look back through recent history on this one.....

Why? they stink of ****.

LondonJohn 3rd November 2021 06:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13647064)
Why? they stink of ****.


I meant: you ought perhaps to look back through recent history wrt which politicians from which political parties were caught & punished for sleaze etc.


(Hint: they're not all Conservatives. By any means)

KDLarsen 3rd November 2021 08:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LondonJohn (Post 13647056)
Ummm I think it's perhaps important to point out what happened today (and, just as importantly, what didn't happen today).

This wasn't simply a case of Conservative MPs being whipped in order to "get Paterson off" or "to allow him to get away with corruption" (as some of the media and opposition parties - and most people here - have misinterpreted it). Conservative MPs (and Lab and LibDem and SNP) have been heavily censured by the Standards Committee in the past, without any similar type of intervention.

What was/is potentially different in the case of Paterson is that there are allegations that the process was, to some degree, unfair. That may or may not be true - but the important thing here is that there is currently no mechanism whatsoever for trying to find out whether such allegations have any merit or not. And on top of that, there's long been a level of disquiet that sanctions handed out by the Standards Committee are not open to any level of appeal.

Ironically, you point to academia LAs and the NHS as comparators..... yet all of these institutions allow for interrogation of any disciplinary process, plus the right of appeal.

But nobody should be under any illusions that today's amendment vote was any sort of attempt to dismiss the Standards Committee's findings and exonerate Paterson. It was not. Indeed, many Conservative Government ministers have already let it be known that while they feel the Paterson case has brought into sharp focus the need for reform of the procedures, they still believe Paterson to be guilty and they believe he'll be rightfully sanctioned accordingly in due course.

Of course, none of the above plays well on the shoutiverse that is social media, and of course opposition parties and certain sections of the media are going to see things another way.... but there we are.


(PS: I am not a supporter of, or advocate for, the current Conservative Government)

This however begs the question of why, if Tory MP's agree that Paterson was guilty as sin, they've chosen this particular hill to die on? The whole "The process wasn't fair" reeks of US republican voters not having faith in the electoral system after weeks and months of trump telling them lies about it.

Paterson claims he wasn't allowed to defend himself and have witnesses testify for his defense, yet his 14 witnesses a) were permitted to submit their evidence in writing, which was subsequently considered, and b) mostly irrelevant, as most of them were either of the "He did it for what he thought was a good reason" variety.

The standards committee report is freely available, including Paterson's defense, which largely boils down to "I thought I was permitted to do so".

Quote:

Mr Paterson argued that the majority of his approaches fell within the ‘serious wrong’ exemption in the lobbying rules, which permit an MP to approach a responsible Minister or public official with evidence of a “serious wrong or substantial injustice” which would otherwise breach the lobbying rules, as long as any benefit conferred is “incidental”. With the exception of his meeting on 15 November 2016 with the Food Standards Agency regarding milk testing, the Committee doesn’t accept that Mr Paterson's approaches fell within the ‘serious wrong’ exemption. Mr Paterson argued that the remaining approaches, namely his contact with the Food Standards Agency in 2018, were not in breach of the rules because the FSA had raised an issue with him. The Committee concluded that Mr Paterson had in fact raised the issue with the FSA and therefore breached the rules. Approaches under the 'serious wrong' exemption may only be made "exceptionally". The Committee report concluded that “it stretches credulity to suggest that fourteen approaches to Ministers and public officials were all attempts to avert a serious wrong rather than to favour Randox and Lynn’s, however much Mr Paterson may have persuaded himself he is in the right.”

Mr Paterson told the Commissioner, and the Committee, that he was fully aware of his obligations under the paid advocacy rules when he acted, but was relying, having neither consulted the rules nor sought advice, on a recollection that the rules made provision for "exceptional circumstances". The Committee concluded that, at best, Mr Paterson was relying on an exemption he thought probably existed but of whose terms he was unsure and at worst, Mr Paterson was knowingly in breach of the lobbying rules.
https://committees.parliament.uk/com...n-paterson-mp/

It's worth noting that the commitee - which has a tory majority as far as MP's are concerned - agreed unanimously that Paterson had broken the rules and should be suspended.

gypsyjackson 3rd November 2021 11:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LondonJohn (Post 13647071)
I meant: you ought perhaps to look back through recent history wrt which politicians from which political parties were caught & punished for sleaze etc.


(Hint: they're not all Conservatives. By any means)

How about in the last ten years, say, after the shake up on expenses? I suspect there might be a tilt in the balance.

Captain_Swoop 4th November 2021 04:04 AM

The government will rethink its plans to overhaul the policing of MPs' conduct after a furious backlash.

On Wednesday, No 10 backed a shake-up of the standards watchdog and blocked the suspension of one of its own former ministers, Owen Paterson.
But it led to accusations of sleaze, with Labour saying the Tories just wanted to "let off one of their own".

Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg has now confirmed the changes will not go ahead without cross-party support.
He told the Commons there was a "strong feeling" that any change to the standards process "should not be based on a single case", and Wednesday's vote had "conflated" the two.

"This link needs to be broken" added Mr Rees-Mogg. "Therefore I and others will be looking at working on a cross party basis to achieve improvements in our system for future cases."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-59163961

Captain_Swoop 4th November 2021 04:09 AM

Owen Patterson is the MP that wanted to put pensioners work for their 'benefit' replacing immigrant workers picking fruit.

Captain_Swoop 4th November 2021 05:57 AM

Maybe this is why Boris was keen to change the rules

Goldsmith family funded Boris Johnson’s Marbella holiday

Update to register of ministerial interests does not specify how much PM’s break last month was worth

Boris Johnson has admitted receiving a free holiday at a luxurious Spanish villa linked to Zac Goldsmith, the former MP who was given a peerage and job by the prime minister.
The latest update to the register of ministerial interests revealed that Johnson’s near week-long stay in the Marbella property in October was funded by the Goldsmith family.
It did not specify how much the holiday was worth but this is likely to be declared separately in the register of MPs’ interests. The property is marketed online for rentals, reportedly for as much as £25,000 a week

No 10 has previously declined to answer questions about whether there could be a perceived conflict of interest, given that Johnson awarded Goldsmith a peerage after the latter lost his Richmond seat in 2019, and allowed him to keep his job as an environment minister.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics...rbella-holiday

Captain_Swoop 4th November 2021 06:05 AM

Kwasi Kwarteng on BBC Radio 4 this morning “I think it’s difficult to see what the future of the commissioner [Kathryn Stone] is. "and "She should consider her position"

No 10 on Radio 4 at lunchtime: "He wasn't talking about whether or not she should stay in position."

If they send out Kwarteng you know there will be a reversal within hours.

"Go and tell everyone we have nothing to be ashamed of and the commissioner is toast."
"Actually no, wait - the opposite of that."

The Don 4th November 2021 06:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13647321)
The government will rethink its plans to overhaul the policing of MPs' conduct after a furious backlash.

On Wednesday, No 10 backed a shake-up of the standards watchdog and blocked the suspension of one of its own former ministers, Owen Paterson.
But it led to accusations of sleaze, with Labour saying the Tories just wanted to "let off one of their own".

Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg has now confirmed the changes will not go ahead without cross-party support.
He told the Commons there was a "strong feeling" that any change to the standards process "should not be based on a single case", and Wednesday's vote had "conflated" the two.

"This link needs to be broken" added Mr Rees-Mogg. "Therefore I and others will be looking at working on a cross party basis to achieve improvements in our system for future cases."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-59163961

Translation:

We were going to do it, but the press which is usually so friendly was unexpectedly hostile. We'll give it a few weeks until there's something very distracting in the headlines and we'll sneak it through then.

Darat 4th November 2021 07:28 AM

Remember Johnson having to use a private jet to fly from Cop 26 to London, because of "time constraints".

Which important government meeting did he have to get back for? Was it a COBRA meeting about the rising cases of Covid, or a meeting to deal with the issue with France and the fishing argument?

Nah - he had to get back to London to go to a piss-up at the Garrick club with his old muckers from the Daily Telegraph.

https://www.independent.co.uk/climat...-b1951323.html
.....The Tuesday night dinner at The Garrick Club in the West End was for a reunion of Daily Telegraph journalists. The PM, a former Telegraph columnist, was pictured leaving the club at around 10pm, escorted to the door by Lord Charles Moore, his former editor at the paper......
As ever not even one rule for us one rule for them, it's one rule for us, no rules for them.

Worm 4th November 2021 07:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LondonJohn (Post 13647056)
This wasn't simply a case of Conservative MPs being whipped in order to "get Paterson off" or "to allow him to get away with corruption.

It may not have only been about Paterson - but it was certainly partly about him - he was specifically named in the amendment.

There may well be legitimate concerns about the appeals process, the system may well require review and update, or total rebuild, but there has been plenty of time to do that in the past. The timing now may be complete coincidence, but it seems unlikely.

If it's not about Paterson, then don't make it about Paterson. Leave him out of the whole thing, review the process, and get on with it. If he'd have accepted the censure and got on with things, this wouldn't have made it past a single news cycle - as it is we have a Government reversal after a vote that required a three line whip to pass, within 24 hours.

Nobody comes out of this looking good, except perhaps Chris Bryant, the Chair of the Standards Committee, who made a rather calm and measured but powerful speech in opposition of the amendment in Parliament yesterday.

Worm 4th November 2021 08:02 AM

and now Paterson has resigned.

still insisting that he did nothing wrong.

Darat 4th November 2021 08:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Worm (Post 13647434)
and now Paterson has resigned.

still insisting that he did nothing wrong.

At least now he will be able to earn a decent salary!

The Don 4th November 2021 08:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Worm (Post 13647434)
and now Paterson has resigned.

still insisting that he did nothing wrong.

What about the government who backed him 100%....


....and then didn't when the Mail and Express objected.

What pathetic, spineless, individuals they are.:mad:

Captain_Swoop 4th November 2021 10:31 AM

He said his integrity had been "repeatedly and publicly questioned", and claimed he was "totally innocent" of breaking lobbying rules and he was resigning to protect the memory and reputation of his dead wife.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid tribute to his "friend and colleague", saying he had had a "distinguished career" and was a "voice for freedom".

Captain_Swoop 4th November 2021 10:32 AM

Fabricant on Radio 4 this evening saying the govt didn't 'u-turn' It's all Labour's fault for opposing the ammendment.

Carrot Flower King 4th November 2021 10:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LondonJohn (Post 13647056)
Ummm I think it's perhaps important to point out what happened today (and, just as importantly, what didn't happen today).

This wasn't simply a case of Conservative MPs being whipped in order to "get Paterson off" or "to allow him to get away with corruption" (as some of the media and opposition parties - and most people here - have misinterpreted it). Conservative MPs (and Lab and LibDem and SNP) have been heavily censured by the Standards Committee in the past, without any similar type of intervention.

What was/is potentially different in the case of Paterson is that there are allegations that the process was, to some degree, unfair. That may or may not be true - but the important thing here is that there is currently no mechanism whatsoever for trying to find out whether such allegations have any merit or not. And on top of that, there's long been a level of disquiet that sanctions handed out by the Standards Committee are not open to any level of appeal.

Ironically, you point to academia LAs and the NHS as comparators..... yet all of these institutions allow for interrogation of any disciplinary process, plus the right of appeal.

But nobody should be under any illusions that today's amendment vote was any sort of attempt to dismiss the Standards Committee's findings and exonerate Paterson. It was not. Indeed, many Conservative Government ministers have already let it be known that while they feel the Paterson case has brought into sharp focus the need for reform of the procedures, they still believe Paterson to be guilty and they believe he'll be rightfully sanctioned accordingly in due course.

Of course, none of the above plays well on the shoutiverse that is social media, and of course opposition parties and certain sections of the media are going to see things another way.... but there we are.


(PS: I am not a supporter of, or advocate for, the current Conservative Government)

Couple of things here:

Rules covering MPs behaviour and those rules for other public sector have (at least) one big difference, in that MPs wrote their own rules and no-one else got to do that. That MPs were so daft/lazy/indifferent/whatever not to include any appeals is not any sort of defence. They could all read those rules and do things like introduce private members bills, contact party whips, Leader of the House or whoever, but seemed to foget they could do that.

This bunch have been in power for over a decade, which has allowed them plenty of time to sort out rules they don't like, but they didn't get round to it.

Changing rules with retrospective effects is not something open to anyone else.

What allegations about the process regarding Paterson have been made by any neutral party? He's made loads, but he clearly had his own "special" interpretation of the rules.

If this wasn't about Paterson why was that linkage made in the way the amendment was brought in at the time it was and in the way it was and in some of the discussion? It's not just something which others thought up.

Captain_Swoop 4th November 2021 10:37 AM

It is also a three stage process, Fabricant was on Radio 4 this evening saying it's one man that is acting as judge, jury and executioner.

junkshop 4th November 2021 10:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13647547)
It is also a three stage process, Fabricant was on Radio 4 this evening saying it's one man that is acting as judge, jury and executioner.

A fabrication, from Fabricant the noted fabulist? Well I never! :D


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