ANNA MIKHAILOVA: £18,000 and the Cabinet Minister is all yours…

Roll up, roll up. Get your Cabinet Minister here. It’s that time of year when politicians are put out to market.

For the princely sum of £18,000, a big beast can be lured to attend an event at the Tory party conference in October. And there’s no need to be part of the chumocracy that has sold PPE to the NHS.

Lobbyists and businesses have been sent the ‘price list’ ahead of the Manchester shindig, which will be a ‘hybrid’ gathering – combining actual stalls and virtual tours.

Anyone feeling more generous can spend £24,000 to go to a special breakfast with party co-chairmen Amanda Milling

The £18,000 allows firms to host a ‘themed event on a specific of their choice’, make a speech and host a discussion all in the presence of a Cabinet Minister.

Tory chiefs even offer to work with the business to ‘generate awareness’ of the topic they are most ‘passionate’ about.

Anyone feeling more generous can spend £24,000 to go to a special breakfast with party co-chairmen Amanda Milling and Ben Elliot.

All exhibitors are entitled not only to visits from ‘senior members of the Cabinet’ and access to something called a ‘business card fishbowl’. Another Tory money-raising wheeze is for people to pay £19,800 to have their business logo printed on a conference bag. My mole says: ‘For that, I assume they are woven by Boris himself from Welsh gold.’

Either that or he is already recycling his wife’s £840-a-roll gold wallpaper…

Ironic considering the rumours of sexual harassment and bullying that swirled about Downing Street while Dom was chief of staff

Funny to see Dominic Cummings use the #MeToo hashtag last week, referencing the movement sparked by revelations about Hollywood sexual predator Harvey Weinstein. The tweet, made in support of Britney Spears’ court battle against her father, completes Cummings’ makeover as man of the people, and now feminist. Ironic considering the rumours of sexual harassment and bullying that swirled about Downing Street while Dom was chief of staff. 

Why Matt was always on a sticky wicket!

I’m surprised that with such good 20/20 vision, Hancock never spotted the camera that caught him making quick singles with Gina Coladangelo

As well as deploying some right-arm-over action with his married aide, cricket lover Matt Hancock displayed some nifty footwork with the bat in his spacious Department of Health office.

One DoH spy tells me that when not saving lives, Hancock was ‘rather partial to wielding his willow in the office’. My source said Matt, left, used a tennis ball and didn’t wear pads or an abdominal protector – ‘which was unwise, as even a soft ball can cause mischief’. I’m surprised that with such good 20/20 vision, Hancock never spotted the camera that caught him making quick singles with Gina Coladangelo.  

Transparency, it seems, is not for Parliament’s standards watchdog.

Except there seems to be a different rule when it comes to Labour MP Chris Bryant, chairman of the Standards Committee

In April, MPs overturned a decision made three years ago to stop identifying colleagues involved in sleaze inquiries.

Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Stone welcomed the move, saying the naming and shaming of MPs would ‘encourage greater confidence in the Parliamentary standards system’.

Except there seems to be a different rule when it comes to Labour MP Chris Bryant, chairman of the Standards Committee. For he failed to declare a paid-for trip to Poland two years ago.

Stone did not add him to her list of MPs on the naughty step – and a report into his breach was released quietly. Asked why, Stone refused to comment. Had she given him special treatment? Stony silence. Was her own body above scrutiny? More stone-walling. Is she playing politics by listing Tories but not Lab-our MPs? Another response that was as quiet as a stone.

Source: Read Full Article