Today’s Conservative troubles round-up (UPDATED)

In brief: read the Daily Mail. It has stories on Jacqui Lait (claiming £100,000 in second home expenses although her constituency is only 35 minutes drive from Westminster), the Wintertons (claiming costs for expensive alarm system that security experts say they don’t need) and Peter Oborne has more on Alan Duncan and whether he has properly declared his business links.

For a bit of variety, there’s also another Conservative (Philip Lardner) praising Rhodesia’s Ian Smith. Yup, that’s the Ian Smith who presided over whites-only rule, banning people from voting based on their skin colour. (The previous Conservative candidate to praise Ian Smith was Richard Willis.)

UPDATE: News of the World also has a splash on four Conservative front bench MPs – “Tory’s £3m stash: Four high-flying Shadow Cabinet members in new money-grabbing scandal”. It includes more on the question of Alan Duncan’s links:

Also under fire is Shadow Energy Secretary ALAN DUNCAN. He made his millions as an international oil trader but now draws up the Tories’ policies on energy.

Duncan faces demands to explain why he did not declare a £160,000 donation from oil tycoon Ian Taylor. It was registered as a gift to the Tory party, but Mr Taylor’s spokesman said it was given to Duncan’s private office.

However, we can reveal Mr Duncan has also failed to tell the Register of Interests that he has now been made a director of Arawak Oil, part-owned by Vitol which is controlled by Mr Taylor.

Alan Duncan was quizzed about this on the Andrew Marr show this morning, though it wasn’t exactly the most searching set of questions… (see transcript).

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  • As opposed to that charismatic standardbearer of Democracy in charge of Zimbabwe who not only prevents people from voting on the basis of skin-colour but also of tribal origin, and tortures, rapes and kills them to makes sure they don’t vote. Nice one, guys.

  • Atropos, you don’t have to support Ian Smith in order to oppose Robert Mugabe.

  • Given that the latest national opinion poll is

    Cons 49%
    Lab 26%
    Lib Dems 14%

    Perhaps Lib Dem voice ought to be looking for Lib Dem positives rather than Tory negatives? While some of the Lib Dems (Norman Baker) seeem to realise how awful these MPs gravy trains are – others seem to have been just as willing as Labour and Toires to stay “within the rules” but in an unsavoury way.

  • And Liam Fox?

  • >BPIX are controversial because, unlike >the other polling firms, they aren’t a >member of the British Polling Council >and they don’t do things like make their >methodology public or publish the full >data tables from their polls.

    Rather misses the point though that the Tories are way ahead in whichever poll you look at and the Lib Dems are stuck with modest ratings which really aren’t good enough. If one more senior Lib Dem harks back to the days when party used to be on 3% and haven’t we come far, I think I will chuck it in 🙂

  • 3% would have been luxury on eve on 1951 election ! We were on one and a half % ! Today’s Poll ? wait until tomorrow !

  • BPIX consistently under pay lib dem support, ignore it.

  • Surprised not to see any mention of the most important finding of that poll – most people now view Nick Clegg as a chihuahua. And apparently he’s very happy with that.

    I suppose it could have been worse. Though I can’t immediately think how.

  • Ye Gods!

    Here’s a video of Nick Clegg pretending he’s happy to be a chihuahua in the eyes of the electorate!

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