ANDREW PIERCE: Shamed Lord Truscott hunts down Covid spivs
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Truscott (pictured) resigned from the Labour Party after he was secretly taped offering to assist in getting amendments on legislation before the Upper House tabled in return for money
Shamed lord hunts down Covid spivs…
Most politicians need a brass neck to survive in the Westminster jungle. But former Labour energy minister Lord Truscott is in a league of his own.
Truscott fears unscrupulous types may try to cash in on the pandemic, so in a written question to ministers, he asked: ‘What steps are they taking to prevent the emergence of a black market in food, medicines, pharmaceuticals and other essential supplies as a result of any shortage in such supplies due to Covid-19.’
Truscott knows all about financial exploitation. In 2009, he and a fellow Labour peer became the first members of the Upper House in almost 400 years to be suspended, after breaking the rule that states ‘Lords must always act on their personal honour’. (Viscount Savile was banned in 1642 for siding against Parliament with Charles I, who later lost his head.)
Truscott resigned from the Labour Party after he was secretly taped offering to assist in getting amendments on legislation before the Upper House tabled in return for money.
In 2017, Truscott trousered £57,000 in tax-free attendance allowances in the Lords, after speaking just three times in a year. Just the man to raise concerns about people cashing in…
Never knowingly modest, ITV political editor Robert Peston has been boasting at the expense of his colleagues again
Peston: the ego has landed…
Never knowingly modest, ITV political editor Robert Peston has been boasting at the expense of his colleagues again.
At the weekend he tweeted: ‘The threat of Covid-19 to wreck our way of life was already clear to senior health experts on January 22 (this day is etched on my brain because I argued that day with my colleagues that we had to discuss it on [my] Peston show).’
I’m told his colleagues are distinctly unimpressed by his disloyalty but not the least bit surprised at the egotism.
They fell out so badly over Brexit that Sir Nicholas Soames, an MP for 37 years, was briefly booted out of the Tories by Boris Johnson. But Soames, who is now firmly back in the Tory fold, is a forgiving soul. He says of Boris: ‘He’s moved up a notch from being a party political leader to being a real national leader. I salute him for it.’ And Soames should know, of course. He’s the grandson of Sir Winston Churchill.
They fell out so badly over Brexit that Sir Nicholas Soames (pictured), an MP for 37 years, was briefly booted out of the Tories by Boris Johnson
Would David Cameron’s government have been better prepared for coronavirus? George Osborne seems to think so.
‘The government I was part of had a risk register which we’d regularly interrogate. Pandemic flu was very high up on the register,’ the former chancellor reveals in an analysis for corporate clients. But he goes on to state: ‘It’s self-evident not enough thinking had gone into this.’
You are so right, George. But who exactly didn’t do enough thinking — and when?
Rory Stewart (pictured) went to Eton and Oxford, and had his 21st birthday party at the members-only Athenaeum Club in Pall Mall. I’d call him posh
Former Tory Cabinet minister Rory Stewart, who briefly ran for the Tory leadership, was asked by GQ magazine if he regards himself as posh. Oh what a tortured response followed thereon.
‘Lower upper middle class. Not as funny to say lower middle class — the joke is important there,’ opined Stewart.
What’s funny? Stewart went to Eton and Oxford, and had his 21st birthday party at the members-only Athenaeum Club in Pall Mall. I’d call him posh.
Health minister Nadine Dorries (pictured) — now thankfully recovered from Covid-19 — hails one advantage of lockdown
Return of the cavaliers
Sussex Tory MP Tim Loughton is concerned about the imminent return to Westminister after the Easter recess and the impact of lockdown. ‘Whether we return virtually or in person, it is certainly going to be the first “Cavalier Parliament” for some time, given the impact of hairdressers not being designated as key workers!’
Meanwhile, health minister Nadine Dorries — now thankfully recovered from Covid-19 — hails one advantage of lockdown.
‘So, the neighbours didn’t even frown at me in my PJs clapping for carers at 8pm. That’s how I roll now. Dress for Zoom calls, mowing the lawn, walking the dog and then straight back to nightwear. You can take the girl out of Liverpool, but …’
Well, she said it.
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