What was Lord Feldman running from?
Op-Ed: Last Wednesday the House of Commons was kept busy as Labour's Naz Shah was hauled over the coals for anti-Semitic tweets she made in 2014. She apologised profusely but Thursday Labour's Ken Livingstone went on air to defend Ms Shah and ended up in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
Cries of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party followed but how many were for real and how many were aimed at undermining Jeremy Corbyn's leadership; come to that how many were raised by the Tory party sitting in their glass-houses?
The Tories are under investigation for alleged election fraud in 2015 but unless you watch Channel 4 News, read Private Eye, dig deep into news reports and blogs you may be unaware of what is going on.
It is fair to say that every smear and attack on the Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn have acted as a distraction from allegations of financial corruption.
And Tuesday night, two days ahead of local and PCC elections there are fresh allegations this time against a Tory candidate standing for election as a Police and Crime Commissioner in Devon and Cornwall.
So here is a round up:
Keith Hunter Labour PCC candidate for Humberside
Last week Tory Chris Grayling used and abused his position in the House of Commons to hint at some vague allegation against Keith Hunter PCC candidate for Humberside. Grayling's office later failed to clarify or add any information. It was and remains an unsubstantiated smear against a worthy candidate in order for the Tory candidate to win; what other conclusion can you draw?
A spokesman for Mr Hunter said: “Keith has an exemplary record from 30 years’ service for Humberside Police with Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of the Constabulary stating he made ‘an outstanding contribution to performance in all his posts’.
Alison Hernandez Tory PCC candidate for Devon and Cornwall
Ms Hernandez is in the spotlight Tuesday; the spotlight does not of course reach as far as the BBC and its news services.
She has come under fire for allegedly failing to properly declare election expenses in 2015.
That of course could and would put her role of PCC if she were elected into question. How could she independently arrange and follow through on investigations into alleged Tory overspending in her region?
The answer has to be she could not?
She may or may not be elected to the £85,000 a year role but if she is her credibility must surely be shot?
Thanks to C4 News for the following:
Prior to being a candidate for PCC, Hernandez was election agent to Kevin Foster MP, who won his Torbay seat in 2015. She was legally responsible for filing Mr Foster’s spending return.That return seemingly failed to declare up to £2,460 spent bringing Conservative Party activists to Torbay to campaign specifically for Mr Foster.
Chairman of the Ledbury Hunt to run for PCC
In Gloucestershire Will Windsor-Clive, Tory and chairman of the Ledbury Hunt is the Tory candidate for PCC.
He says on Conservative Home:
At the moment, the cross party committee of councillors who scrutinise Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner can’t even get a straight answer as to the cost of running things today. We think our police might be as much as £1m over budget this year – but the Commissioner won’t share the figures.
That is a rather damning and sweeping statement.
His obsession with budgets not policing perhaps show why Windsor-Clive may not be the best man for the role of PCC.
Surely his role as Chairman of the Ledbury Hunt is inappropriate and hardly is a PCC CV winner?
Animal right's activists also rightly fear the election of this Tory man.
Thanks to the Tories there have already been experimental badger culls in Gloucester and how much will Mr Windsor-Clive care about policing the Hunting Act.
While most of us want a police force that is accountable few want to hand policing top jobs over to politicos who have no police experience.
As PCCs are a Tory baby it is not surprising they want to get a grip on the roles and policing.
Allegations of Tory election fraud, timescales, distractions and criminality
One Ward meeting memory that stands out for me was an experienced campaign manager explaining to a newbie that even going over budget by as much as the price of a postage stamp could get you in trouble with the law.
The UK has strict election budget spending rules to prevent a free-for-all and the winner always being the one with the most money.
It also gives parties and candidates the chance to operate on a level playing field.
But cheats rarely like a level playing field and if the allegations are correct that is what the Tories are; cheats.
Break the rules and it can be a criminal offence.
The Tory party has stood accused of such election spending fraud, dating back to the 2015 election, for months but the news is on a back burner for many in the MSM.
Wednesday is D Day or is should that be F for Fraud Day?
Allegations of election fraud have a limited window of opportunity for prosecution.
Currently 26 Tory MPs stand accused. The election fraud may not have been directly made by them but they may have benefitted from it.
That means the Tory's slim majority in the House of Commons may not really exist.
Latest from EC 28th Apr 2016 - Election expenses: Watchdog requests investigation extension
There is a one year time limit on prosecutions which could be one reason for smears and delay tactics.
NEWTEKWORLD was told Monday that a meeting is planned for Wednesday: the Electoral Commission will make the case that the Police and or the CPS should apply to a court to waive the time limit as apparently the EC cannot do it. If they agree, there can be a full criminal investigation but will there be?
I am told to watch out for massive dead cats on the table on Wednesday launched to act as a diversion and knock the story off the headlines.
Perhaps the BBC will oblige maybe even with a Blairite Labour MP and help pull a stunt.
The conveniently forgotten Panama Papers
Electoral Commission Tory party overspending update
The conveniently forgotten Panama Papers
Spotlight on Tory election fraud
Tory party sexism and racism
Tories lobbying to protect Google’s £30bn island tax haven
David Cameron admits trousering thousands from his Dad's offshore firm