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News and Comment November 2012

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3 November (Part 3) - Barnstorming

Mick Barnbrook and friendI got a little carried away yesterday reading forums about the Denis MacShane affair and in particular his claim that he was brought down by a British National Party plot. He was of course brought down by his own greed and dishonesty. One forum comment from someone who had read yesterday’s Bonkers blog asked who the seven MPs brought down by Mick Barnbrook were and I am happy to shed more light on the subject.

Mick carefully researched false expense claims highlighted by newspapers, the Daily Mail in MacShane’s case, and trawled through and analysed the records on Parliamentary websites before providing detailed lists of inconsistencies and apparently fraudulent claims to both the Metropolitan Police and the Committee on Standards and Privileges.

Many were not pursued or led only to the repayment of money falsely claimed. Others resulted in MPs standing down or being imprisoned. Those two categories included Derek Conway (Old Bexley and Sidcup), Elliot Morley (Glanford and Scunthorpe), David Chaytor (Bury North), Jim Devine (Livingstone), Eric Illsley (Barnsley Central), Harry Cohen (Leyton and Wanstead) and finally Denis MacShane (Rotherham).

Other prominent MPs reported by Mick Barnbrook were former Home Secretary Jacquie Smith, Nadine Dorries, David Tredinnick and both Anne and Nicholas Winterton. He does not however claim to be either the only or the first complainant in those cases.

Mick was a BNP member at the time of those complaints but most were made in a private capacity in which he declared membership. The BNP did not take credit for Mick’s activities (but some individual members did) and there is nothing on the BNP website which claims any such credit or gives any to Mr. Barnbrook. My suspicion is that Mick’s sleazebusting activities would have inevitably led him to the BNP’s leader Nick Griffin. Like many who tried to reform that organisation Mick is not now a member of any political party.


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