Snipe - The Scoop

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Iain Dale gets wheeled out over Boris's Expenses

You always know that Boris Johnson is in trouble when the hapless Iain Dale gets wheeled out:

"Boris has finally got Labour Members of the GLA to agree to all their expenses going online from Monday. This will be on a voluntary basis until it becomes mandatory on 15 July. For some reason Labour members have been very reluctant to agree to full transparency. Tories have, I understand been posting their totals, although not full details, since Boris was elected. Having gloated over the demise of Ian Clement, perhaps they have something to worry about. We are about to find out."

It's hard to know where to start with this, but I'll give it a go.

"Boris has finally got Labour Members of the GLA to agree to all their expenses going online from Monday"

Er, all Assembly Member's expense totals have been online since 2004 and taxi totals have been online since the Assembly was set up.

"For some reason Labour members have been very reluctant to agree to full transparency"

No source is given for this claim. However, I find it hard to trust the word of a man who doesn't even know what "GLA" stands for

"Tories have, I understand been posting their totals, although not full details, since Boris was elected."

Tory AMs have indeed been posting their totals. But then so has have every other Assembly Member. From all parties. For five years.

"Having gloated over the demise of Ian Clement, perhaps they have something to worry about. We are about to find out."

I'm sorry, but has something happened to Ian Clement? Has anybody heard anything?


-Update- The leader of the Labour group on the Assembly sent the following email to Iain Dale this morning:

Dear Iain,

I thought I should send you the attached letter and point out that the Assembly's Business Management and Administration Committee actually proposed (without any involvement from the Mayor's office) to publish itemised expense claims on 24 June. This was, you may be aware, the meeting at which the expense claims made by former deputy mayor Ian Clement were investigated and when it was revealed that the Mayor had been personally signing off Mr Clement's claims. I am therefore struggling to see how you can justify your blog post "Boris has finally got Labour members of the GLA to agree to all their expenses going online from Monday".

I'm afraid your statement that "Labour members have been very reluctant to agree to full transparency" is totally false and, unless you can back it up with some evidence, should be amended. Labour members actually pressed for full transparency at the BMAC meeting of 24 June. Also, your suggestion that "Tories have…been posting their totals…since Boris was elected" is wide of the mark and whoever gave you this information was being extremely disingenuous. As I am sure has since been pointed out, the GLA has actually published the total expenses of ALL Assembly members', as well as those of the Mayor and his senior staff, since its inception in 2000. So while it is true that "Tories have been posting their totals since Boris was elected", they - along with every other senior member of the organisation - also posted them for the eight years before he was elected.

In the interests of accurate and honest reporting, may I suggest you amend your blog accordingly and check the veracity of the information you were given.

Regards,

Len

The attached letter to Boris Johnson confirms this sequence of events.


7 comments:

prj45 said...

Forgive him for he knows not what propoganda he writes.

AdamB said...

Indeed. Never let a total lack of background knowledge, or basic research get in the way of a good story.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

The man proves once again he is a monstrous tit.

AdamB said...

The following comment apparently from Labour Assembly member John Biggs has appeared beneath Dale's post:

"Well, as a Labour Assembly member (and the Group Whip) I can merely concur with the majority of the comments above. Labour members have never hidden their expenses, which are published in reports and free for all to see, as are the declarations of interests and of hospitality. Of course the primary focus should be on those in power - Boris and his chums - and this posting and the spin behind it are, as I told Guto the other day, a mere smokescreen. If Boris screws up he should be big enough to stick his hands up. John Biggs AM.

Martin said...

Iain must be a bit cross with whoever fed him such nonsense.

Tom said...

"Iain must be a bit cross with whoever fed him such nonsense."

Why? He never normally is.

Tim said...

I've faced this problem with Iain Dale before. He ignores polite requests that he withdraw false claims until they become repeated/rude, and then accuses his pursuer(s) of 'harassment'.