By Tory Aardvark
The story continues with news that the passport found at the cleaner’s flat had expired some time before she went to work for the Attorney General, so either the Baroness was shown a second passport, or she never peformed the checks required by the law she piloted on to the statute books.
So far no evidence has been uncovered that supports the Attorney General’s story, which potentially leads to some interesting questions that the UK border agency will want answered.
“Consider the implications: if, as Lolo claims, she did not have a second passport it would mean that for the Baroness to be telling the truth, Lolo would have had to presented her with a false forged passport. Forged passports do not come cheap, demand from drug traffickers, terrorists and other criminals ensures that the black market in passports commands high prices. How would a cleaner applying for a £6 per hour job afford to obtain a forged passport? If Lolo is telling the truth than the Baroness has possibly lied to investigators from the UK Border Agency.” more from Guido
Last week saw the rules on expenses changed to get Patricia Scotland off the hook, can Brown change the law to save her, or will she indeed be toast tomorrow?
By Tory Aardvark
Once again with an outstanding display of underhand dealing Gordon Brown’s Labour goverment executed one of it’s now infamous U turns to prevent the Attorney General from breaking the rules on expenses. Not only is the Attorney General above her own laws, there is now a dedicated troughers charter for her.
“BARONESS SCOTLAND was saved from facing questions about her expenses last week by a swift government U-turn that at a stroke changed its policy on allowances.”
“the Cabinet Office could not have been more clear that Scotland should have received the allowance only if her main home was outside the capital.”
“However, less than 24 hours after the article was published, Baroness Royall, the leader of the Lords, sanctioned a statement by the Cabinet Office which overturned all its previous advice. It said the allowance was available to all lords who serve as ministers, regardless of where they live.”
More from Jonathan Calvert and Claire Newell in the Times Online
There is more to come on the Baroness story later on today…….
By Tory Aardvark
Storm clouds are gathering on the event horizon for former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.
Smith while Home Secretary caused deep public anger about her living arrangements and the rented room at her sisters house that was her “main home”, and then iced the cake by claiming for two porno movies watched by her husband. The Smiths and the Harmans are friends, one can only wonder if Mr Smith was welcome in Ms Harman’s home after the porn movies scandal.
With the quiet of the summer recess many of the MP’s must have thought that the expenses scandal would go away, but despite the promotion of the former Standards and Privileges Committee’s chairman Sir George Young to the Conservative Front Bench, the committee is still functioning and last Wednesday met to discuss Smith’s fate.
The rumours circulating in Westminster are that it’s unlikely to be anything but bad news, as the only thing members of the committee will say regarding Smith is “No Comment”
Interesting enough the pro Labour team of Adam Boulton at Sky News are campainging to have former Labour Minister Chris Mullen parachuted in, but the story goes the next Chairman will be a Conservative MP. Probably explains the pro Labour censorship on the Sky News discussion site.
By Tory Aardvark
Looks like Max Clifford has found the smoking gun and The Mail online has it on public display.
We still believe the Baroness will be toast on Monday when the Labour Conference starts for real.
Tomorrow will be much hand wringing and further denials and acts of good faith will be described, but the writing must surely be on the wall now.
Cleaner got job in ten-minute interview with ‘no questions about whether she was eligible to work in the UK’
The Attorney General’s housekeeper ‘didn’t have ANY of the 6 documents that entitled her to work in Britain’
She had already been working here illegally for four years
She was paid just £6 an hour – 33 per cent below the going rate in London and just 27p above the national minimum wage
Full and very detailed story by Simon Walters, Elizabeth Sanderson and Daniel Boffey in The Mail Online
Downing Street are still insisting that the Baroness was vindicated in UK Border Agency Investigation.
By Tory Aardvark
The legs are definitely picking up speed with the arrival of publicist Max Clifford on the scene, which is likely to be the portent of more very bad news for the Attorney General, Gordon Brown and his devalued and intellectually bankrupt government.
The story goes that Tapui’s agent Max Clifford is negotiating to sell her story to a Sunday Newspaper and that his clients account of events are substantially different to the version of events recounted by the Attorney General.
“If Miss Tapui directly contradicts key elements of Lady Scotland’s version of events, it will make the minister’s position untenable.” from Jason Groves and Dan Newling in The Mail Online
This new scandal for Brown’s beleagured government is already overshadowing the Labour Party Conference, and that’s even before the Sunday Papers hit the streets, what will happen Sunday morning?
Gordon Brown has no one but himself to blame for yet another crisis of his own making. Had the Prime Mentalist acted decisively and shown leadership he would have sacked the Attorney General, but as usual he misjudged the whole situation. Even when the Attorney General’s PPS Stephen Hesford resigned, Brown did nothing but offer support for the Baroness.
Really the only question now is how long will the Attorney General survive?
My money is still on Monday, but Sunday must surely be a possibility
Read the LATEST here
It just wont go away, hardly a day passes and the story keeps running and running.
As Edmund Blackadder would say “More legs than a leggy thing”
“Attorney General’s Illegal Cleaner Arrested” on the Sky News Web Site
The real meat of the latest developments in the story are from Loloahi Tapui, the illegal immigrant and worker who is poised to reveal exactly what she told the Attorney General regarding her immigration status.
“Did Baroness tell the truth? Housekeeper ‘denies showing Attorney General her passport” in the Mail Online
Yesterday I predicted Patricia Scotland would be toast on Monday, today I’m going out to buy Lurpak and some nice thick cut marmelade.
Toasted Baroness anyone?
At the time of writing this news is 20 mintues old
Someone in the Labour Party with honour and integrity, never thought those words would appear in the same sentence.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Wirral West MP Stephen Hesford said: “My decision comes about because as an aide to the Law Officers, whilst I have great personal regard for the Attorney General, I cannot support the decision which allows her to remain in office.” reports Sky News
Mr Hesford’s resignation letter reads:
‘Whilst I have great personal regard for the Attorney General, I cannot support the decision which allows her to remain in office.
In my view the facts of the case do not matter. It is the principle which counts, particularly at a time when the publics’ trust of Whitehall is uncertain to say the least.’
It seems the first the Prime Mentalist heard of the resignation was live on Radio 5, nothing like keeping your boss in the loop.
Hesford hurls grenade at Gordon Live on Five says Guido
More shameful and arrogant behaviour from the Labour oligarchy. When was the last time anyone was fined £5000 for a parking ticket or falling to pay the congestion charge?
With his usual display of leadership Brown scuttled off to the United Nations to give our nuclear deterrent away, but not before giving the Baroness his support; followed by several ministers all singing from the same hymn sheet. One is left wondering if the farmer fined the other day under the same law can expect the same support for his mistake, probably not.
Then Baroness made the case for the law and steered it through Parliament, she patently does not understand her law fully, or was careless or neglient in her discharge of that duty.
If the Attorney General does not understand the law, then how can any penalties issued under that law be safe?
“Baroness Scotland provoked outrage last night after comparing her breach of immigration law with a minor motoring offence.”
writes James Chapman in The Mail
Meanwhile in The Telegraph Rosa Prince, John Bingham and Jon Swaine report “Baroness Scotland urged to quit by ministers”
Her aide Stephen Hesford has stood down saying
“My decision comes about because as an aide to the Law Officers, whilst I have great personal regard for the Attorney General, I cannot support the decision which allows her to remain in office.”..
MORE to follow!
“Bookies William Hill are offering odds of 9/4 that the Attorney General, Baroness Scotland, will resign or be sacked before the end of this year” writes Guido on his blog
Here is the whole story
Principled comment from Conservative Home
9/4 for phone bets with a maximum bet of £75, that she will have to go before the end of the year more at Political Betting