Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Another disgusting twist in the sleaze

28th November 2012
Former Green Parliamentary opponent to Helen Grant said that the latest news about her employees' sick pay is "another disgusting twist in the sleaze" surrounding her. The BBC has reported [1] that her husband has resigned after it emerged that he was entitled to 6 months sick pay rather than the 2 weeks that she had changed her constituency assistant Tony Williams's contract to. Stuart has renewed calls for her to resign and is collecting signatures on an online petition[2].


Stuart Jeffery, former parliamentary opponent to Helen Grant: "Yet another disgusting twist in the sleaze now surrounding Helen Grant.


"There is one rule for family, one for unwanted Maidstone employees.

"This MP embodies the worst of the behaviours seen during the expense scandal. She is not fit to be an MP and must resign now."

Notes:
1. www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-20531202
2. http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/helen-grant-should-resign.html

Sunday, 25 November 2012

MP expenses claim for local paper

25th November 2012
Local Greens have been shocked at news that Helen Grant MP claimed the cost of a copy of the Kent Messenger [1]. The weekly paper, which cost just 90p back in January, is one of the main local papers for her constituency and local Greens think that she should want to read for her interest in the local area not as a necessary part of her job. They have stated that she is not fit to be an MP and have repeated calls for her to resign [2].

Stuart Jeffery: "Each week I buy the Kent Messenger. I like to know what is going on in Maidstone and it is a good local paper. As an active member of my community I want to know what is in the paper each week because I want to know what is going on locally.

"I buy the paper with my own money as does almost every other reader of it, except one.

"The idea of claiming for the cost of the local paper as a business expense underlines Mrs Grant's attitude towards both her expenses and her constituency.

"What she did was wrong. It symbolises the worst of everything from the expenses scandal three years ago. It is yet another example of why she is not fit to be an MP. She should resign."

Notes:

1. On 20th Jan 2012, a claim was submitted for expenses (and was paid) which included 90p for "Local Newspaper costs" / "cost of newspaper which contains column written by MP" - which appears to be for a copy of the Kent Messenger. The claim was from Helen Grant MP for Maidstone and the Weald. There was no claim before this date or since.
2. http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/helen-grant-should-resign.html

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Helen Grant should resign as Maidstone's MP

18th November 2012
Stuart Jeffery, the Green Party's opponent against Helen Grant in the 2010 General Election for the Maidstone and the Weald constituency, has called for her resignation after it was revealed that she is breaking the spirit of the expenses rules while receiving three incomes and claiming for a second home while living in a £1.8m house 37 miles from the constituency but only 19 miles from Westminster. Channel 4's Dispatches are featuring Helen Grant in their programme, "MPs: Are they still at it?" on Monday 19th November[1].

Stuart Jeffery: "Helen Grant the Equalities Minister, lives is a £1.8m house in Reigate 37 miles from her Maidstone constituency but just 19 miles from Westminster. Reigate to Westminster is a journey that takes around 45 min to get to London and perhaps 10 mins more on the tube - yet she is allowed to claim for rent on a second home in London costing £20,000 per year[2].

"It seems that she is allowed to claim for a second home despite having her first home close to London. It might not be against the letter of the rules but it is clearly against the spirit of them.

"She is apparently earning £97k from her job as an MP and minister, a further £26k from her legal company and has made no secret of having a job outside Parliament. I make that three jobs, three more than her former assistant Tony Williams whose contract was changed without his knowledge and who then was made redundant by her.

"In a government that is destroying the lives of those most in need, the Equalities Minister is busy making her life very comfortable.

"Three jobs, doesn't live in the constituency or anywhere near it, soon won't have an office here, doesn't understand equalities and feels happy to claim what I consider unreasonable expenses for a second home. She clearly has no time for Maidstone's constituents and seems to complete disregard for the spirit of expenses.

"Helen Grant should resign as MP for Maidstone and the Weald."

Notes:
1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2234499/Minister-lives-1-8m-home-19-miles-Commons--claims-20k-London-flat.html
2. Channel 4's Dispatches
3. Helen Grant is Stuart's MP. He lives in the centre of Maidstone and stood against her for parliament in 2010.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Helen Grant should resign as Equalities Minister

11th November 2012
A former opponent to Helen Grant MP has called on her to resign from her post as Equalities Minister. The Green Party's Stuart Jeffery who stood against Ms Grant in the 2010 parliamentary election for Maidstone and the Weald, has claimed that her ministerial work is severely detracting from her presence in the constituency after she admitted that she no longer has time to run a constituency office in the town and appears to no longer have a constituency home there.

He also criticised her for not following employment law. Ms Grant tried to change sick pay entitlement without letting her employee know and then went on to make him redundant simply because the work moved from Maidstone to Westminster.

Stuart Jeffery: "Helen Grant has closed her constituency office in the town because she no longer has time for her constituents. She seems to have stopped living in the constituency, I assume for the same reason.  She also seems to think it quite reasonable to flout employment law by both changing sick pay terms without consultation and then making her assistant redundant simply because she is moving the constituency work to Westminster.

"Maidstone's MP clearly doesn't have time for the people she is supposed to represent and doesn't have the skills needed to be the Equalities Minister. Helen Grant should resign from her ministerial job, and her second job as a solicitor if she still has it, to concentrate on representing the people of Maidstone."

Notes:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-20210134