Zac Goldsmith’s expenses

See :  http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/politics/domestic_politics/expenses+zac+goldsmith+mounts+defence/3713082

I’m frankly astonished by the approach Zac Goldsmith, Tory MP for Richmond Park, took with Jon Snow of Channel 4 news – judge for yourself! I suspect Goldsmith thought that by bringing up irrelevant rubbish he’d talk out Jon Snow, but it comes across dreadfully badly. Awful really.

If he can justify and get away with not declaring the bulk of the cost of election boards to his campaign and off-loading some of the cost to local election candidates when the boards mentioned only one candidate’s name (Zac Goldsmith) and one candidate’s huge photograph (Zac Goldsmith), with absolutely no mention of the local election candidate and the bulk of cost totally undeclared, then electoral law requires review. The representative of the Electoral Commission seemed to think (judging by his interview on C4 news) that this should be part of the parliamentary candidate’s expenses – but don’t hold your breath – the Electoral Commission is, in my view, a thoroughly inadequate and useless quango.

The cost of the jackets? A non-issue in my view, but who on earth fails to deliver 60 000+ election leaflets he has paid for?

One cannot help but think that in Susan Kramer, Richmond previously had a rather better parliamentary representative.

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Disgraceful Tory Smears

Another day, another Nick Clegg triumph – and the LibDem surge in the polls is maintained, despite desperate Tory smears.

I heard Malcolm Rifkind from the Conservatives on Radio 4 yesterday maintain that the Conservative Party would not have influenced the Tory-supporting newspapers to run Nick Clegg & LibDem smear stories.

The truth is now out with the following information last night on the blog of Nick Robinson, the respected BBC journalist. It also shows up the smear story in the Daily Telegraph about Nick Clegg’s bank account for the total rubbish it is :

I now learn that political reporters from the Tory-backing papers were called in one by one to discuss how Team Cameron would deal with “Cleggmania” and to be
offered Tory HQ’s favourite titbits about the Lib Dems – much of which appears in today’s papers.

The key personal allegation about payments from donors into Nick Clegg’s personal
bank account came, however, from the Telegraph’s expenses files. Incidentally, the party has now published details of Nick Clegg’s bank statements and party accounts showing that Mr Clegg received payments totalling £19,690 from three businessmen (Neil Sherlock, Michael Young, Ian Wright) and then paid staff costs of £20,437.30 out of the same account. According to these figures, Mr Clegg actually paid £747.30 out of his own money towards staff costs.

The Tories should be ashamed of themselves and it is clear they are not fit to run the country.