Saturday, 17 July 2010

Zac Goldsmith In Trouble

The richest candidate at the last election is being accused of failing to properly account for his expenses. He had a rough time on channel 4 news, and failed to answer the questions. Instead he focused entirely on a red herring, was he asked to be part of the previos days programme.

Now despite him being a Tory, I defended Zac over the non dom affair; he did (eventually) get his affairs in order. But this time he has crossed the line.

Who believes that the thousands he spent on poster boards or jackets with his logo were only for the local eletion? No one. ConDem fail.

The interview with Jon Snow is here and the expenses return is here. Goldsmith refuses to answer Snow's questions and clearly has much to answer for.

Stuart Jeffrey
Goldsmith's claim that his garden boards were almost entirely used for local election campaigns is beyond bizarre and his defence that it is within the rules puts MPs right back where they were at the height of the expenses scandal last year.

Garden boards with large letters shouting 'Zac Goldsmith' and 'Vote Conservative' plus a picture of Zac are hardly backing a local election campaign. Spending £2800 on the boards and then putting a return in which says that just £262 relates to the general election campaign is simply wrong. Even if this is allowed within the rules somehow (and the suggestion from the Electoral Commission is that it is not), it is still cheating.

The spending limits are there for good reason - to stop millionairres buying themselves parliamentary seats. Zac Goldsmith is worth £200m.

Jim Jepps covers it here
in 13 minutes of interview he spends the almost entire time trying to skewer Jon Snow on some minor point of scheduling that no one cares about.

When he does get round to speaking about the issue in hand he utterly bungles it, and it's clear he knows he's on very dodgy ground. In my view he'd have been hard put to come across more like an aristocratic baddie even if he had a duelling scar and a henchman hovering just behind his right shoulder.

This is not the standard we expect from MPs. The elctoral comission site is here but it is hard to find any details.

I am still looking for information on local 'Common Sense' candidate who spent perhaps many tens of thousands on a van and a boat, both hand built to look like submarines. That he built them with his pals is no excuse, they need to be properly declared. As he did not win I expect most people will ignore this, but he got more votes than me and I want it clear that this is a result of him spending many times what I did on the campaign.

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