"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Brown Refuses to Publish Report into Malik's Finances

Gordon Brown has stoked fresh anger over the expenses row by refusing to publish a report which allegedly clears Shahid Malik MP of any wrongdoing over his expenses claims.

Malik, who resigned as Justice Minister over the scandal, has been promoted back to the frontbench as a junior minister for the Department of Communities and Local Government - a role created specially for him.

Malik, you may recall, is not only the lying, cheating scumbag who claimed a fine for paying his council tax late from the public purse, he is also the man who called for a Muslim Prime Minister, inshallah.

Here is more information from the Telegraph:

The Daily Telegraph reported last month that Mr Malik's landord said he was paying well below the market rate for his constituency home in West Yorkshire.

Downing Street said he was reappointed because Sir Philip Mawer, Mr Brown's adviser on ministerial behaviour, had investigated and found nothing wrong with Mr Malik's arrangements.

A spokesman said that Sir Philip had reached his judgment on “on the basis of an independent valuation of the properties".

Asked when the report would be published, spokesman for the Prime Minister said: "It is not our intention to publish the report. It goes into quite a lot of detail about Mr Malik's personal affairs."

Asked whether Downing Street would publish a redacted version of the report, removing personal details, the spokesman said: “No."

But he admitted that Mr Malik had agreed to put his tenancy arrangements on a more formal footing.

The Prime Minister ordered Sir Philip's inquiry after The Daily Telegraph reported that Mr Malik's landlord had claimed he was benefiting from a secret cut-price rental deal on his constituency home, which he has designated as his “main home”.

He claimed tens of thousands of pounds in parliamentary expenses to cover his designated second home in London while allegedly renting his constituency home for less than £100 a week.

Mr Malik's landlord, local businessman Tahir Zaman, had claimed that Mr Malik was paying well below the market rent for his designated main home in Dewsbury.

Meanwhile, he had claimed more than £66,000 in expenses – the maximum allowable amount – on his designated “second home” in London since he became an MP in 2005.

Mr Malik had to step down after the Prime Minister ordered Sir Philip's inquiry into the rental agreement on the home in Dewsbury, where his landlord claimed he paid well below the market rate.

The ministerial code of conduct states that members of the Government must not accept any “gift or hospitality” which risks putting them under an “obligation”. The arrangement had not been formally declared to officials at the Justice Ministry.

Mr Malik claimed that Sir Philip had found no breach of the ministerial code.

Sir Philip was not required to investigate Mr Malik’s expenses claims.

"I always welcomed Sir Philip's inquiry as an opportunity to clear my name and I am delighted that this has now been achieved," he said.

The MP, who was Britain's first Muslim minister, claimed the inquiry concluded that he was "paying the market rate" after receiving evidence from The Daily Telegraph, the MP and commissioning independent valuations.

He said he would now focus on serving his constituents.

The No 10 spokesman said the Prime Minister "would support whatever Mr Malik believed was the right thing to do" in relation to repaying the expenses money.

Mr Malik was the first Government minister to step down in the wake of The Telegraph’s investigation into MPs’ expenses.

Yep, first to step down, first to be re-appointed. You can argue that this government is so devoid of talent that it needs anyone who will serve, but I think they've cut a deal - Brown needs all the support he can muster.

The fact that this thief and liar is untouchable does say an awful lot about our current situation, however.

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