Category Archives: Julie Kirkbride

Kirkbride’s whole family on the make

Julie Kirkbride and her family enjoy the rewards of public office

I was starting to think that these revelations had run out of steam, but then more come along from this despicable woman.

‘Public execution’ for MP Julie Kirkbride after it’s revealed she paid her sister £12,000 as ‘secretary’ | Mail Online

Julie Kirkbride faces a ‘public execution’ after she was told to meet voters to explain claims that her brother and sister exploited her expenses.

Not content with giving her brother a home rent free, and then claiming back refurbishment costs from the taxpayer, she also employed her sister!

Plenty to go around

No one can claim that Julie Kirkbride is not generous, shame it isn’t her money.

The Tory MP paid her sister Karen Leadley £12,000 a year from public funds to be an ‘executive secretary’. Mrs Leadley works from her own home in Dorset – 141 miles from her sister’s Bromsgrove constituency and 107 miles from Westminster.

In this case it appears that ‘executive’ is a euphemism for not involving any actual work. To me, this looks like fraud, Kirkbride is claiming money for her sister under false pretences. Whether or not her sister received the money is irrelevant, she clearly was not entitled to claim it.

Her explanation leaves a lot to be desired:

My sister does work for me on a part-time salary of around £12,000. She lives in Wimborne, Dorset, but she has a computer which is networked to my constituency office and London office.

What on earth does she mean ‘networked’? She cannot seriously be saying that her sister’s computer is somehow linked into her constituency computer? And if she is, is that legal? Would not that give her ‘part-time’ sister  access to privileged information?

Or does the dozy mare actually mean by network – the internet? And that her sister can check her email from where she is? Either way this just seems to be another MP employing another family member in a very well paid but frivolous position.

Keeping it in the family

She doesn’t just pay her immediate family though, she also sets them up in business.

Yesterday her leaked office expenses revealed that her brother bought a digital camera, five memory cards, four internet routers, three external hard drives, a printer, map software and a battery with £1,000.52 of public money.

Once again her explanation for this is, quite frankly, bizarre.

‘I record my work as an MP in pictures. I often ask my brother to source IT equipment for me. These items were bought by my brother, on my instructions.’

A pig with its snout in the trough

Now, I am no photography expert but routers? How do they fit into photography? And four? Surely just the one is enough? Not to mention five memory cards and three hard drives, that is one hell of a lot of storage space for a few pictures of her carrying out her duties as MP.

Which raises another point, if this equipment was to record her work in pictures, where are the pictures? There is a curious lack of them on her official website, despite the massive amount of storage space she could have saved them in. And if the pictures were not to be a publicly viewable record, why were we paying for them?

Besides does she really need some weird photographic record in order to do her job? I think not. If she wants to take happy snaps, she should do so on her own camera, on her own time and at her own expense. But I think it is clear that this equipment was for her brothers IT business, and not to record her work as an MP for posterity.

Fraud

She has lied, cheated and milked the system and although it would seem an appropriate place for such a person, she has no place in the House of Parliament. She should face a fraud investigation, saying that she is going to stand down at the next election is not enough. That means that she gets another year of her £64,000 salary, not to mention the nice pension she gets and a ‘re-settlement’ allowance of about £30,000.

More infuriating of course, is the fact that she can still claim expenses that we are unlikely to know anything about, for the next year!

This woman and her husband should be in court, explaining to a Judge and a Jury why they made the claims that they did, not enjoying their ‘retirement’ at our considerable expense.  

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Now we know why Kirkbride is so anti-transparency

Andrew MacKay - more Tory sleaze

Andrew MacKay – a combined household income of nearly half a million pounds a year, yet couldn’t spare enough to get his teeth fixed.

BBC NEWS | Politics | Tory MP quits post over expenses

He claimed full second home allowance on his London address, while his wife, Tory MP Julie Kirkbride, claimed the full allowance for another home.

Quite bizarre to hear this today, almost as if it were news! Two months ago I pointed out that the same MP and his wife Julie Kirkbride were both claiming second home allowance, despite them both presumably living together.

Keep Addresses Secret

It is now clear why Julie Kirkbride was so intent on keeping her address secret, as it would, after all, have confirmed that both her and her husband were living at the same address and both claiming second home expenses. As I said at the time:

Kirkbride has been against any form of a transparent Parliament right from the off, and I am not surprised, she also claims the maximum housing entitlement, despite her husband being an MP and also making the same claim! They couldn’t stay together when in London? They need £50,000 a year for accommodation in London for the two of them? Between them they also rack up nearly £300,000 in expenses.

At the time I thought that they were making separate claims for housing in London, which in itself was bad enough but instead they were both claiming separately meaning the taxpayer not only furnished both their homes but also help pay both mortgages too!

Asked if his expenses claim felt wrong at the time, he said: “Looking back now, it does look strange. I have clearly made an error of judgement for which I profusely apologise.”

An error of judgement? An error of judgement is leaping a ditch and failing to properly take into account your age and the distance and then landing in it. You wouldn’t do that ten times in a row. He, and his scandal prone wife, have been making this error of judgement for nearly a decade. That is not an error, it is theft. The benefits office would not accept an ‘error of judgement’ as an excuse for claiming benefits for which a person is not entitled. Nor would the taxman accept it as an excuse for dodgy tax claims, yet for MPs it seems to be a get out of jail free card.

Mrs MacKay

Sleazy Kirkbride

Julie Kirkbride – Photo used entirely without permission, just like she used my taxes.

It is reassuring to see that not only was Julie Kirkbride there at the very beginning of the Tory sleaze scandal, even 18 years on, she is still as dirty as the best of them.

Senior Tories say they do not expect to take any action against his wife, Julie Kirkbride, with sources suggesting “for the time being she is in the clear”.

I find this shocking, but a typical Tory tactic. MacKay will fall on his sword, or at least get a nasty paper cut, but nothing else, and his wife will get away Scott free; despite them having to claim their expenses separately so neither can blame the other or claim they were unaware.

As I mentioned in the previous post, Julie Kirkbride was hell bent on stopping expenses and her address becoming public knowledge and this is clearly the reason why. To claim that it was merely an error of judgement, on the part of Mr MacKay, is a complete falsehood. They both knew precisely what they were doing, and were positively shitting themselves at the thought that they may be discovered. This is why they were voting against any form of transparency at every turn and worse still, voting for new laws to hide their information.

Now that they have been found out, they simply assume an apology and an offer to pay back the fraudulently claimed expenses is enough.

Bill Please

MacKay expenses fiddle

Andrew MacKay MP may be in for a shock when he discovers paying it back means out of his own paypacket.

In his interview, MacKay claimed that he didn’t know how much he needed to pay back, only that he would meet with officials and payback what they told him to. Together he and his wife have claimed nearly £250,000 in housing expenses since 2001. Is he going to pay all of that back? Unlikely.

Since this story broke we have seen MP after MP appear on television stating that they fully intend to pay back the money that they have claimed in ‘error’, and a lot of the time we are not talking paltry sums. This of course had me thinking, how on earth can they afford to just payback these £4,000, £10,000 and £20,000 claims, just like that? If they are that well off, then it begs two very important questions:

  1. Why on earth were they claiming what is, to all intents and purposes, a benefit they didn’t need?
  2. If they are that well off, why are they always claiming that they need a pay rise? 

Of course few, if any have actually mentioned paying what they owe right away. Indeed the MacKays have offered no time frame or even given a ball park figure for what they owe. Technically he could argue that he only need pay back half as the other half was ‘within the rules’, it is also unlikely that he’ll pay back the full 8-9 years, probably just the last 4-6, most likely four as he seemed to indicate in his interview.

Meaning he will probably at most pay back £85,000, but more than likely he will make a few token payments, at which point the Commons Committee will decide he has been suitably reprimanded and put through enough, and let him off. Let’s be honest, we have no way of knowing.

MPs have made it virtually impossible to discover what they are claiming, or indeed what they are getting up to, at our expense. These revelations have only come to light due to leaks to the press; leaks that the same MPs are now trying to plug and prevent by bringing in the police. Once this furore has blown over, and the leak(s) plugged, it will be swept under the carpet and simply be a case of, ‘as you were gentlemen.’