Dozens of peers and MPs received millions in EU subsidies for their estates, according to a new survey by Friends of the Earth, which estimates that almost 50 politicians have cashed in.
Why wouldn’t they if the handouts are on offer? But look closer at those names and surprise, surprise, some are leading the campaign to block Brexit.
They include the Duke of Wellington who last year received £91,000 for his 7,000-acre Hampshire estate.
The 73-year-old unelected peer spearheaded a House of Lords move to delete the exit date, March 29, 2019, from the EU (Withdrawal) Bill.
Lord Haskins, 81, who has voted for a second referendum, received £82,000 last year for his farmland in Yorkshire.
Tory MP, Antoinette Sandbach, a persistent Brexit rebel received £23,000 last year from the EU for her family farming business in North Wales
In the Commons, another beneficiary is the Tory MP Antoinette Sandbach, a persistent Brexit rebel.
She received £23,000 last year from the EU for the family farming business in North Wales.
No doubt these individuals all declared a financial interest when speaking in EU debates.
Finally, let’s not forget Lord Heseltine, 85, worth around £300 million, who for decades has shown a slavish devotion to all matters Brussels.
He’s not in this survey, but he’s certainly been a beneficiary of EU largesse previously.
In the past, he has pocketed up to £90,000 for his estate in Oxfordshire which includes a lake, fish ponds, tennis courts, swimming pool, and an award-winning arboretum with 3,500 different species of trees and plants.
When challenged about the cash, he countered: ‘This is the whole basis of the European agricultural system.
Lord Heseltine, 85, worth around £300 million, he in the past pocketed up to £90,000 for his estate in Oxfordshire which includes a lake, fish ponds, swimming pool, and an award-winning arboretum
Without the agricultural support system, you would drive farming out of existence. The fact that I am a wealthy man is quite irrelevant.’
If you say so, your Lordship.
Lack of a cash Ber-cow
Pompous pipsqueak John Bercow often loses control of the chamber, but has the Speaker also lost control of Commons finances? The House magazine reports £268,000 in unpaid banqueting and catering invoices and a £440 tab from MPs’ eating and drinking. Call the debt collectors! The Commons, facing a £4bn renovations bill, needs every penny.
John Bercow often loses control of the chamber, but has the Speaker also lost control of Commons finances?
Labour’s newly svelte deputy leader Tom Watson (he’s shed 7st) is a man on a mission to cut sugar in the national diet. So he is unrepentant over his controversial call to ban cutesy cartoon characters such as Tony the Tiger from cereal boxes because they are aimed at kids.
He knows the power of marketing, he says. ‘I started out my career as a young advertising account exec . . . and the UK industry is one of our great global creative industries. If the ad industry won’t ban Tony itself, Labour will have to do it for them. But I really hope we don’t get to that point.’
Hasn’t Watson got more important things to worry about?
Twit of the week 1: Sir Oliver Letwin, the veteran Tory MP who said in last week’s Brexit debate: ‘I am past caring what deal we have.’ Just as well Theresa May takes a more constructive view than the intellectually pompous, self-indulgent Letwin.
Twit of the week 2: Labour MP for Blaydon, Liz Twist, who wrote on her website in praise of ‘Ernie Bevan’, founder of the NHS. But the architect of the NHS was Aneurin ‘Nye’ Bevan.
She’s confused him with Ernest Bevin (not Bevan), an MP and trade union leader. Facts tend not to matter to Labour.
Look how Diane ‘The Abacus’ Abbott has risen despite her gaffes.
Sir Oliver Letwin, the veteran Tory MP, said in last week’s Brexit debate: ‘I am past caring what deal we have’
There’s little love between Labour MPs Mike Gapes and Richard Burgon over Venezuela.
As Burgon, Shadow Justice Secretary minister, was on BBC1’s Question Time, Gapes tweeted: ‘What an appalling performance by Burgon on @bbcquestiontime Disgraceful apologist for the corrupt Maduro regime. Is this what the Labour Party has come to?’
United Labour at its best!
Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable says a dance class and reading help him stay sane in Westminster: ‘I switch off by escaping into a good novel, preferably a well-written thriller.’ His own thriller, Open Arms, hit 198,365 on Amazon’s bestseller list . . .