How John Bercow keeps Keith Vaz’s secrets

Gallery

This gallery contains 1 photo.

In the 17th century, England had a problem with laws on sedition. MPs could not speak freely about the king’s policies for fear of judges. To solve that problem, we adopted a special guard against tyranny: “parliamentary privilege”. Now, John … Continue reading

House of Commons abuse cases ‘tolerated and concealed’

Gallery

This gallery contains 1 photo.

“Disturbing” cases of bullying and sexual harassment have “long been tolerated and concealed” in the House of Commons, according to a report. The report, by Dame Laura Cox QC, said there was a culture of “deference, subservience, acquiescence and silence”. … Continue reading

Just another unreliable newspaper

As the House of Commons debates the phone hacking scandal and the conduct of newspapers, July’s issue of MaltbyNews is in circulation. (I hesitate to say “delivered to every house in Maltby as it proclaims, as it’s rather a hit and miss affair).

Amidst the national discussion on the reliability of the press and the infringement of liberties of the public, Maltby News’ editor Kevin Hall has chosen again to disregard his so called policy of giving the”right to reply’. Rather than respond in his ‘newspaper’ to the libellous comments and untruths that he has previously published he has produced an issue with neither “Letters to the Editor”, an  editorial comment nor the name(s) of the journalists’ who have written the copy.

The ‘Events Calendar’ notes the Local Development Framework  Public Consultation dates for Bramley and Wickersley but omits Maltby. Two Maltby Town Council News Pages (at a cost of £300) have a competition entry form with last year’s date on. If it wasn’t for the advertising by local businesses (at whatever the charge) and the ‘wrap around’ by Maltby Academy (ditto the charge) then a more cynical person than myself might conclude that Kevin Hall prints in www.maltbynews.co.uk what is in HIS interest and not that of the Maltby community.

Disgraced Parliamentarians, Elliot Morley, David Chaytor, Jim Devine and Lord Hanningfield, to face Trial! – case not privileged! Appeal Court gives judgement.

In a landmark ruling today, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, sitting together with Lord Neuberger and Sir Anthony May, have rejected their appeals against Mr Justice Saunders previous ruling at Southwark Crown Court in June, that the parliamentary expenses system was not covered by parliamentary privilege.

Elliot Morley, David Chaytor, Jim Devine and Lord Hanningfield argued at the Court of Appeal that Parliament should hear their case.

When handing down the Appeal Court’s judgement,  Lord Judge said:

“The stark reality is that the defendants are alleged to have taken advantage of the allowances scheme designed to enable them to perform their important public duties as Members of Parliament to commit crimes of dishonesty to which parliamentary immunity or privilege does not, has never, and, we believe, never would attach.”

Pretty conclusive from the Appeal Court Judges then, they are however likely to appeal this to the Supreme Court supported as they are by legal aid, they will not bear the cost, we will! Outrageous!

Elliot Morley, the former MP for Scunthorpe, David Chaytor, formerly MP for Bury North and ex-Livingston MP Jim Devine were barred from standing at the general election by the Labour Party after the allegations surfaced and Lord Hanningfield, has been suspended by the Tory Party.

All four face separate trials once this charade of an appeals process is over, perhaps they should be charged for deliberately wasting public money on further appeals?

All four deny charges of false accounting over their expenses which carry a maximum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment.

Rik