Tag Archives: dawn butler

Dawn Butler apologises for calling Sarah Teather a “hypocrite” over MPs expenses

Labour Minister Dawn Butler has issued a legal apology to Sarah Teather for calling her a hypocrite over MPs’ expenses. Butler made the accusation while the running of Sarah Teather’s office was under investigation. The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner later dropped the investigation because there were no grounds to suspect any wrongdoing by Ms Teather.

From the letter (signed by Dawn Butler as well as councillors and senior officials from Brent Central Labour Party):

We accept that statements made in those falsely suggested that you are a hypocrite when you speak on the issue of MPs’ expenses because your own expense

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

Sarah Teather cleared, mystery of forged letters remains

The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner has cleared Sarah Teather of allegations that she broke Parliamentary expense rules. You may remember those claims being enthusiastically hawked around by Tory Bear and others as if they were copper-bottomed fact; actually their claims were more like a rusty colander.

As the local newspaper reports of the Commissioner:

He discontinued the inquiry because he had no grounds for believing that claims Ms Teather made from parliamentary funds for her office provided support to the cost of the Lib Dem party…

Brent Liberal Democrats said the party contributed over and above its usage of the office, as approved by

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 19 Comments

Will £66,000 expenses claim sink Dawn Butler?

So asks Ross Lydall over in the Evening Standard:

How many voters are ready to turn against their MP over the expenses scandal? A fascinating battle in a hotly-contested north London constituency looks set to provide some answers.

On one side is Labour whip Dawn Butler. On the other is Lib-Dem MP Sarah Teather. They have been thrown together in a new seat as a result of boundary changes, and there is now a fight to the death to see which one returns to Westminster after the election to represent Brent Central…

What Ms Teather, described as a “saint” by one newspaper

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 8 Comments

Labour MP in “Who does my job, again?” confusion

Every now and again, some opinion poll or other asks people to name their own MP and politocos tutt when, invariably, a good proportion fail the test.

But, if you were to speak to every MP and ask them who the MP for their own constituency is, you’d hope for a better result.

Sadly, news reaches us that at least one MP may be unsure.

Dawn Butler, Labour MP for Brent South, held a coffee morning on Friday with Rt Hon Paul Boateng MP.

Posted in Humour | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Labour’s Dawn Butler’s “strange” complaint: BBC should have invited me on before BNP’s Griffin

Poor Dawn Butler, the Labour MP for Brent South, whose plight – on expenses, her voting record and media outbursts – Lib Dem Voice has covered before. Now she is making the news for lambasting the BBC for inviting BNP leader Nick Griffin onto Question Time.

What’s wrong with that, you say, no more than Peter Hain did? Ah, but Dawn’s complaint is not so much that Mr Griffin appeared, as that she didn’t. Here’s an excerpt from the rather extraordinary letter, written by Dawn, I mean, by Brent’s Labour council group leader Ann John, and 19 of …

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Good news from Brent as Labour agree to stop Sarah Teather smears

Sarah Teather and the Liberal Democrats have been taking legal action against Brent Central Labour Party following the appearance of a leaflet that falsely accused Sarah of receiving funding from questionable sources. When asked about the leaflet by one of the local newspapers, Labour MP Dawn Butler stood by its contents.

But in the face of the legal action, Labour have now admitted their story was false and agreed to pay our legal costs. Result 🙂

Posted in News | Also tagged | 2 Comments

Dawn Butler does it again

Another one for the “how not to handle the media” file courtesy of Brent Labour MP Dawn Butler (she of the unhappy letter and the disappearing statement, not to mention the numerous expense issues):

AN ELEVENTH hour climb down saw one of the borough’s MPs back out of a face-to-face parliamentary briefing to explain expenses claims.

Dawn Butler MP for Brent South cancelled crisis talks with the Times at Portcullis House in Westminster by text message just as a reporter arrived at the Houses of Parliament for the scheduled meeting on May 21.

Ms Butler claims a

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Dawn Butler’s whirlpool bath

When blogging earlier today about how Labour MP Dawn Butler was one of those who blocked reforms to MPs’ expenses last year it crosseed my mind to make a satirical comment. Good thing I didn’t try really, as it would have been topped straight away by the latest Daily Telegraph revelation – that she claimed for a Jacuzi-style bath on expenses.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 10 Comments

Dawn Butler’s voting record #MPexpenses

Brent South Labour MP Dawn Butler has been under fire over her expense claims, as previously covered on this site (including a link to the fun BBC report timing the travel distance from her two homes). Her local newspaper recently reported:

MPs in Brent are facing heavy criticism over alleged expense claims.

and went on to cover Dawn Butler’s claims. It included this, er…, interesting defence from Dawn Butler:

At the first opportunity I voted for reform.

One problem with that defence. For she was an MP at the time of the 3rd July 2008 votes on reforming …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 4 Comments

Dawn Butler under fire for not turning up to Parliamentary committee meetings

The Times today carries an interesting piece about the very low attendance rate at select committee meetings from some MPs. Select committees, and their reports, can be very influential, and particularly for those MPs who are not ministers or in the top media starts of other parties, select committee work is often the most effective way to exercise influence on matters outside their constituency.

There’s missing a few for good reason, and then there’s missing a lot:

Dawn Butler, another Labour MP who was promoted from the back benches last October, attended only 15 of the 64 meetings of the Children,

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Is Dawn Butler panicking?

Following the news about Dawn Butler’s controversial expense claims, including a rather daming BBC report, a statement briefly appeared on her website which has now been pulled. Doubtless due to the poor quality writing. But it does all rather have the whiff of panic about it don’t you think?

Dawn Butler expenses statement

Posted in News | 5 Comments

The curious comparison of the seven North London MPs

In exposing the actions Tony McNulty the Mail on Sunday produced an interesting table of the claims of Additional Cost Allowances made by MPs in outer London and the South East.

It makes interesting comparision when you compare the claims of MPs in neighbouring seats. The following MPs all represent seats that are a broadly comparable distance from Westminster. Yet the amounts they claim are vastly different.

MP Constituency ACA claim in the last 5  years+ Claims London Supplement?
Sarah Teather* (LD) Brent East £0 Yes
Dawn Butler** (LAB) Brent South £37,245
Rudi Vis (LAB) Finchley and Golders Green £32,211

Posted in Op-eds and Parliament | Also tagged , , , , , and | 2 Comments

Dawn Butler MP under fire over her expense claims

Dawn Butler, Labour MP for Brent South, is in the news today for her second home expense claims. The logic of the second homes allowances is that if you are an MP who has a constituency a long way from London then you need to have two homes, one for Parliament and one for the constituency.

That raises some questions about how far away from London your constituency should be before you can claim this money. But Dawn Butler has opened up a different front to the rolling expenses scandal. Because she has a home in her Brent South constituency and …

Posted in News | 8 Comments

Progressive London: a front to elect Ken Livingstone?

Yesterday Progressive London held a day-long conference in, appropriately enough, London. The organisation was created by Ken Livingstone following his defeat in the last London Mayor election with the stated aim of building a broad coalition of people who share progressive views and oppose Boris Johnson and his policies. (Alix wrote an excellent post earlier today on the thorny question of quite what progressive means.)

Why did Ken Livingstone found Progressive London?

Ken Livingstone himself has been keen to present the organisation as being neither a Labour front nor a front for a future bid from himself to become Mayor once again, as for example in his interview with The Guardian, timed to coincide with the conference:

The “once and future mayor,” as Livingstone has been known to describe himself, rebuts the suggestion that Progressive London is a five-syllable synonym for the Re-elect Ken campaign and his planned journey back to his natural habitat of City Hall.

Posted in London | Also tagged , , and | 12 Comments

Yes, but is it progressive?

“Progressive” is a word with many suitors.

Labour activists use it wherever possible, apparently as a synonym for “things we like and approve of” (interestingly, they use “liberal” in precisely the same way). Friday’s Progressive London conference, for all that it was supposedly a cross-party effort, may be a case in point. Dr Pack of this parish attended, and could be heard to tweet:

Dawn Butler starts session at supposed cross-party event: “I want to talk about how we get Labour re-elected”. Hmm

And the Tories would love to get in on the act,

Posted in Op-eds | 37 Comments

Lessons in media management

I think this letter from Brent Labour MP Dawn Butler should be filed in the “Things not to do” category.

Posted in News | 4 Comments
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