Sunday, March 18, 2007

Ladyman in Cash For Access Allegations

We have had the cash for honours scandal which still continues and could yet haul in the Prime Minister and today the Sunday Times has yet another sleaze story, which this time involves Transport Minister and Thanet South MP, Dr Steven Ladyman, who, with Gerry Sutcliffe, the prisons minister, were named during a two-month investigation into “cash for access” by newspaper.

Lobbyists claimed Sutcliffe was prepared to hand over his private Whitehall diary to them, while Ladyman was claimed to have divulged information on policies such as road-charging.

Last night both ministers confirmed they had discussed government business with the lobbyists and that they were “friends” with the firm’s employees. However, both strenuously denied any wrongdoing.

Read the full account and decide for yourselves, here.


Chris Wells said...

I find it hard to blame Steve Ladyman in some ways, he is simply following the example of running government that has become the norm for this labour administration. Presumably, if you want to get on, you have to play the game expected of you by your peers. Steve has got on, getting a MInisterial position, well done him. Sadly, the corollary almost certainly means he has been playing the new labour spin game in order to do so.
Very sad. He has my sympathy. I have always found him to be a generally decent fellow. There you go.

sue said...

My God! I had no idea there were companies that are employed to lobby for other companies!! That gravy train sure is a-rollin'.

Chris Wells said...

Sorry, Sue, you have led a sheltered life! The arrival of the Blair government in 1997 was surrounded by such groups; and, to be fair, there is a proliferation of think tanks and lobbyists surrounding the arrival of a Cameron government, exposed recently in national press articles.

The politicisation of the civil service, originally seen during the Thatcher years has become the norm under Tony Blair, and the role of lobbyists and political advisers occupy a dubious and murky middle ground.

The overlap of this scene with donors and loaners to parties forms a final link in the chain that may end in court over cash for honours - and certainly should end in court over interesting government contract awarding procedures - assorted vaccines come to mind.

We will see how this develops, but the rich irony of the promised whiter than white government and its murky and tatty coat tails will be in all our minds.

Anonymous said...

Don't confuse those cowboys called lobbyists and political advisers with civil servants who are there to impartially serve unlike the former who are businesses, ie there to make a profit from what they do.

Anonymous said...

think you lost the irony in sue's comment chris!!

tony flaig bignews said...

Hardly worth the 2 month under cover activity of Her Majestys Press

Anonymous said...

More news of snouts in the trough or just approaching it? I don't really care anymore as long as I get my chance in due course to cast my vote.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing, Councillor Wells, how you feel sufficiently well-informed to comment on this issue, yet when it comes to talking about sleaze, incompetence, or cock-up in the Thanet Tory Party and Council you either "weren't at the meeting" or "don't know all the facts", or "can say no more for reasons of confidentiality".

I think we (now) get the measure of you.