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News and Comment November 2021

Index: 2019202020212022

9 November (Part 2) - See how they fall

It looks as though my good friend Michael Barnbrook has been persuaded to come out of his sleazebusting retirement by the MP for North Shropshire. Owen Patterson is the subject of his complaint to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner and by my count at least the 15th such complaint he has made about a politician several of whom have received jail terms as a result.

• Derek Conway MP for Old Bexley & Sidcup from whom the Conservative Whip was withdrawn after paying his family for a non-job.
• Ian Clement, deputy to Boris Johnson, Mayor of London. Suspended 12 week prison sentence for abuse of his GLA credit card.
• Ian Clement, leader of Bexley council. No action taken over his use of a Bexley council purchasing card and unjustified expense claims.
• Elliott Morley, former Labour MP for Scunthorpe. 16 months imprisonment for false accounting (mortgage fraud). †
• David Chaytor, former Labour MP for Bury North. 18 months imprisonment for false accounting.
• Jim Devine, former Labour MP for Livingston. 16 months imprisonment for false accounting.
• Eric Illsley, former Labour MP for Barnsley Central. 12 months imprisonment for false accounting.
• Denis MacShane, Labour MP for Rotherham. Asked to repay £1,573.03 of wrongly claimed expenses. Six months in Belmarsh.
• Harry Cohen, former Labour MP for Leyton and Wanstead. Resigned, forfeiting £65,000 from his resettlement grant for “serious breaches” of parliamentary rules. †
• Nicholas Winterton, former Conservative MP for Macclesfield. Claimed rent on a flat he owned outright. Retired from politics. †
• Anne Winterton, former Conservative MP for Congleton. As above. †
• Brian Binley, Conservative MP for Northampton South. Wrongly claimed £57,000 for accommodation.
• David Tredinnick, former Conservative MP for Bosworth. Resigned over various expense irregularities. †
• Janet Anderson, former Labour MP for Rossendale and Darwen. Allowed to secretly repay £5,750 in over-claimed petty cash. †

† Voted in favour of keeping MPs’ expenses secret.

Surprisingly the Independent Parliamentary Commissioner does not address criminality and an investigation requires a specific complaint to the police. Michael failed with his complaints only once and that was here in Bexley after its Leader abused his purchasing card. The present Leader did not report him to the police and Michael’s complaint was rejected on the grounds that only the Council (the victim) could make such a complaint.

Clearly ridiculous because such logic would preclude all investigations into a murder but indicative of the way Bexley Council and Police would work together until fairly recent times for both good and ill. The Lewisham based BCU appears to have done away with the practice altogether.
Letter of complaint

An extract from Mr. Barnbrook’s letter to Cressida Dick.


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