Expenses Scandal......Again

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Baker_Rifle, Oct 17, 2010.

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  1. Three peers investigated over their expenses claims face suspension from the House of Lords and repayment of tens of thousands of pounds, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.

    Lord Paul, Baroness Uddin and Lord Bhatia. The trio – two Labour peers and a cross-bencher – are expected to be officially recommended for censure in a statement tomorrow by the House of Lords authorities.

    Baroness Uddin, a Labour peer and the first Muslim woman to be appointed to the upper house, is set to be suspended from the Lords for between a year and 18 months, and has agreed to pay back £125,000 in wrongly claimed expenses.

    Lord Bhatia, who sits as a cross-bencher but has also donated money to Labour, faces a ban of between six and 12 months and is to repay voluntarily £27,000.

    All three were investigated by the subcommittee on Lords' interests, a powerful body in the upper house chaired by Baroness Manningham-Buller, the former head of MI5. Lord Paul and Lady Uddin were referred to the committee after criminal investigations into their cases were dropped.

    Last night none of the trio was prepared to comment on the results of the investigation and its recommendations on punishments – which will now be passed to the House of Lords to vote on. However, a source close to the investigation said: "This looks extremely serious for them."

    The investigation followed a series of complaints and questions over alleged abuses of the expenses system in the House of Lords, which included at the time an "overnight" allowance of £174 to cover the cost of staying in London if a member's "main home" was outside the M25.

    Lady Uddin, who was born in Bangladesh and became a councillor in east London, told the House authorities that her main home was a property in Maidstone, Kent, despite having another house in London.

    Neighbours at the Kent property said they had rarely seen her there.

    In March, she was told she would not be prosecuted over the expenses claims, which totalled at least £100,000. She has previously "strongly denied" that she had never lived in the Maidstone flat.

    Lord Paul, an Indian-born steel tycoon who has donated, through his company, more than £400,000 to Labour and is close to Gordon Brown, is understood to have already repaid about £38,000. He admitted that he never spent a single night at an Oxfordshire flat that he registered as his main home while claiming money in overnight expenses for a London property.

    One of the richest men in Britain, with an estimated fortune of £500million, he has said in the past: “The question is, what are the rules? I know that I have followed the rules.” He was also told in March he would not face criminal charges.

    Lord Bhatia, who ran his own finance companies, has a £1.5million home in south-west London but in 2007 he “flipped” the designation of his main home to a two-bedroom flat in Reigate, Surrey, which used to be lived in by his brother. Reigate is just beyond the M25, the boundary used to define qualification for expenses.

    On one occasion he was said to have been unable to remember the address of the property he designated as his main home. He claims that he acted within the rules as he believed the flat had been his main home.

    A Conservative peer, Lord Hanningfield, who also faced expenses allegations, has been charged with offences under Section 17 of the Theft Act relating to false accounting for claims for overnight accommodation. He has proclaimed his innocence and vowed to fight the charges.

    Lord Taylor of Warwick, a former Tory peer who resigned his party’s whip, has pleaded not guilty at Southwark Crown Court to six counts of false accounting in relation to allegedly making dishonest claims for £24,300 in subsistence costs.

    Last year, two Labour peers – Lord Taylor of Blackburn and Lord Truscott – were suspended from the House of Lords for six months for misconduct, the first such action since the 17th century. They were found by a Lords committee to be willing to change laws in exchange for cash.

    A House spokesman said last night he could not comment on the latest revelations about Lady Uddin, Lord Paul and Lord Bhatia.

    The House of Lords expenses system was overhauled in June this year after the old one was discredited by a number of high-profile abuses.

    Under the old rules, peers could claim £86.50 for “day subsistence” and £75 for office costs for each day they worked. Peers living outside London could also claim £174 for staying in the capital on a work night.

    The new regime will allow all peers to claim a lump payment of £300 a day for “clocking in” at Parliament. Critics have claimed it could be open to abuse as it offers no safeguards against peers “signing in and sloping off”.

    Under the new scheme, which is based on proposals made by the Senior Salaries Review Body last November, no receipts, or proof of a second home or hotel stay, will be required to claim the payment. The scheme is backed by the Coalition and Labour. Lord Strathclyde, the Leader of the Lords, said it would introduce “clarity and simplicity”.

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    Expenses scandal: three face suspension from House of Lords - Telegraph
  2. WHy do ******* with so much money feel the need to dishonestly squeeze a bit more.

    Ah thats it

  3. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    A shower of lazy fecking money grabbing cnuts, If they ain't on the make, I bet they know the someone who is, If there was any honisty in Parliment they sould be grassing each other up on a daily basis
  4. The Lords and the Commons are out of control. We've allowed a nasty little private club to develop there, acting in their own interests not Britain's. The honest ones - there are some - are tarnished by the dross. It's an amazing situation in an advanced democracy.

    The answer? Proportional representation for both chambers. None of this AV crap or fiddling with the size of constituencies. No "gradual reform" of the unelected House of Lords. A fair electoral system for all national law-makers. It's not much to ask.

    Britain's about to see huge cuts administered by these people: real pain will be felt by millions of working and middle class Brits. If, say, the Scots dug their heals in, refused to accept the cuts, questioned the legitimacy of the London government to legislate, who could blame them? They'd have a strong argument. They fought London in living memory over the Poll Tax. They could do it again.

    British legislators are that close to having no right to govern. Their political contract with the British people is on the brink of being null and void.
  5. It is about time that people who take the p1ss over these expenses face IMMEDIATE and PERMANENT exclusion from the Houses.

    In the case of an MP, it should force an immediate election, in which they are not permitted to enter. A Lord should be immediately ejected.

    The same for other 'dodgy' behaviour. There is far too much nudging and winking going on in there. Time for a clean out.

  6. It may have escaped your notice, but since the last mob were in power they took steps to demolish and reform (not for the better) the existing House of Lords, before they had worked out how they were to make the revised chamber function. Since then we have had problems with corruption on the floor, cash for amendments, and in the expense claims. Corruption on this scale did not occur until the past 10 years. These appointees (Uddin, Taylor, Hanningfield, etc) would probably not have qualified for membership of the House of Lords as it was established up to 2000.
  7. You are part of the problem. It's PC bleeding heart do gooders like yourself that have allowed this to happen.
  8. Didn't the Romans have some pretty cool punishments for such shenanigans? IIRC the punishment for bribing an official was to be thrown in t the river, in a sack with a chicken, dog and some other critter. Naughty officials were hurled from a nearby cliff. Vestal Virgins found to be partaking in dubious behaviour were buried alive....
  9. Fear not because now that we have Prescott and Kinnock in the Upper House I feel sure that such a fine upstanding team will surely rectify such financial irregularities .... Hi Hi . Perhaps they may consider the three stikes and your out option which may be introduced for Benefit Claimants ... far too lenient for the great and good in the Upper House ... suspension followed by criminal prosecution is the answer and after the first offence ... if nothing else such a regime would ensure accurate expenses were submitted .
  10. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    FFS its the culture of Westminster,they published the earnings of the senior civil service people the other day,some of them had five or six jobs,earning millions, for doing SFA. Nice work if you can get it
  11. Funny you refer to "Democracy" as "PC bleeding heart do gooding."
  12. To be honest all three of them are 'forriners'

    Swraj Paul, Baron Paul, (born 18 February 1931) is an Indian born, British based business magnate.

    Amirali Alibhai "Amir" Bhatia, Baron Bhatia, An Ismaili Muslim born in East Africa

    Manzila Pola Uddin, Baroness Uddin was born in a village in Bangladesh.

    Everyone knows that bribery and corruption are a way of life in certain areas of the world, why then, are people surprised when they carry on with their traditions. Are they supposed to become fine upstanding Britons as soon as they cross The Channel?

    As for the rest of the bent mp's, they really should know better. They've not just let themselves down, they've let their families down, and worst of all, they have let us all down.
    A plague on all their houses (including those houses bought by the Taxpayers)
  13. What really grabs my goat is that in most organisations theft/fraud label it how you will. Would lead to dismissal and very likely criminal prosecution. So what do members of the House of Lords get, bearing in mind they should be morally "whiter than white", suspended for a maximum of 18 months!

    Would this suspension from the upper house be one on full pay by any chance?!

  14. I am not sure that PR will necessarily solve the problem of "corruption" in parliament just because someone has been elected by PR rather than FPP does not mean that they will not be keen to line their own pockets at our expense. It is just as likely to add another layer of corruption in terms of who sits where on the party lists from which our MPs would be selected.

    Not sure of the relevance of your paragraph on "cuts" though to the title of the thread, looks more like you are just using the thread to try and peddle your own politics.
  15. It's the sign of an organisation in crisis. Rather than looking outwards and responding to public anger - the public that pays the bills - it looks inwards and looks after its own.

    The same happened with David Laws (Member for Yeovil). He'll be back in government before too long. If he'd been a single mother on benefits, caught doing some cash in hand work to pay for the kid's Christmas presents, he'd be in jail.

    There's lots of polling data about this, and it's one of the great things about being British. The British, again and again, show they're very keen on "fairness." These sorts of stories make a lot of people angry. Good for them.