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'Partygate' and an unfit PM


Time seems to be running out on Boris Johnson when he received a police fine after admitting breaking his own covid laws, with his attendance at several other parties still under police investigation. He now faces yet another probe, this time into whether he deliberately misled Parliament with his repeated claims that no parties ever took place at Number 10. It’s impossible to overstate how serious this is. He’s the only prime minister ever to have been found to have committed a crime during his term of office. It would be unthinkable for him to stay if he’s also found to have lied in Parliament. But the problem goes much further than Boris Johnson. The Conservative Party knew exactly what type of person he was when they made him prime minster (it’s a matter of public record that he was sacked from two previous jobs for lying). Even now, most Tory MPs are more bothered about the damage he’s doing to their job security than about the fact that he’s clearly unfit to hold any public office.

I’m pressing the Government for action on yet another financial services company that has gone bust and taken millions of pounds of other people’s money with it. This time it’s a funeral plan company called Safe Hands (ironically) who have gone into administration. Around 46,000 people trusted them with thousands of pounds each to cover funeral costs. Administrators appointed by the courts are now going through all their records to find out where all the money went. The one thing they’re already quite sure about is that it’s not in the separate Trust Fund it was supposed to go into, and their customers will get little or none of their money back.

I had a very useful video call with representatives of the Association of British Insurers where I raised the question of increased flood risk affecting parts of Kinglassie and Cardenden. A new scheme called Flood Re was set up a few years ago to make it easier for householders to get insurance for properties that would previously have been prohibitively expensive. The idea is that Flood Re will support other insurers to keep their premiums down and usually the householder won’t even realise they’re involved. One very useful tip they gave me is that anyone who was refused insurance several years ago because of flood risk should try again and they should find it easier to get cover.

Following the revelation that the Chancellor’s wife had been using a loophole to avoid (legally) millions of pounds in tax, every minister in the cabinet was asked to confirm that they were not using “offshore” identities to avoid tax. Seventeen of them refused to answer. It’s scandalous that the people who make the laws seem to be able to avoid paying their dues, at the same time as they’re hitting hard working Fifers with the highest taxes for decades.

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