Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Commons Confidential

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Commons Confidential

Article excerpt

* Trying and failing not to gloat over the expenses bloodletting is a chuckling Neil Hamilton. The Tory lost his Tatton seat to that white knight, Martin Bell, the sleaze-buster who found "compelling" evidence that Hamilton received between [pounds sterling]18,000 and [pounds sterling]25,000 in the cash-for-questions scandal. Fast-forward 12 years, and the richest man in the cabinet, Shaun Woodward, has banked [pounds sterling]100,000 of public dosh and the Tory rich kid Greg Barker made [pounds sterling]325,000 on a flat purchased with the help of taxpayers' money. Sleaze has gone from Harrods to houses, brown envelopes to receipts. Bell will be spoiled for choice next year if he puts on his lucky white suit.

* A rare victory for Gordon Brown overDavid Cameron. The PM enjoyed three standing ovations against two for the Tory pretender at the Royal College of Nursing's annual bedpan rattle. My snout at the Harrogate conference heard both Big Gordie and Druggie Dave refer to their own dead children while praising the Florence Nightingales. Big Gordie enjoyed a fourth stander when, that evening, he returned to London and told the Parliamentary Labour Party its convictions would beat the Cons. With the scandal over cash-for-moats fizzing away, both parties risk convictions of the non-belief variety.

* Georgia Gould, that ambitious student with famous friends, may or may not be flat-hunting in Sarf London by the time you read this. Gould selflessly pledged to leave the Regent's Park pad of her pollster daddy, Lord Philip, if selected in gritty Erith and Thamesmead. …

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