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Picture David Cameron’s bemusement, as he stares around the Cabinet at its next meeting, wondering why Labour has asked him to order an investigation into criminal allegations against Grant Shapps – when George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith are in the room.
Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Office minister Michael Dugher has written to Cameron, calling for Shapps to be suspended and an investigation launched under the ministerial code of conduct after the police said one of his companies may have committed “an offence of fraud”.
The official Conservative line is that the police have closed investigations into Shapps’s How To Corp, there is no case to answer, and any further allegations should be put to the Party (as Dugher has) or the police. The source added: “To suggest there are allegations left unchallenged is actionable”, implying a threat of legal action if Labour persists.
But this is to deny the result of the police inquiry. The Metropolitan Police stated in a letter that the company’s sales of TrafficPaymaster software, that ‘spins and scrapes’ content from other websites, “may constitute an offence of fraud, among others”, but that this would not be investigated further.
Why not? A crime is a crime and the police are specifically employed to prevent it.
It seems that Tory ministers really are above the law.
Look at how the Met brushed off Vox Political‘s attempt to have George Osborne investigated for fraud, after he paid mortgage interest on a paddock with taxpayers’ money, claiming it was an allowable expense on property he needed to perform his duties as an MP – and then sold it off in a package with other land and a neighbouring farmhouse for around £1 million and pocketed the cash.
Apparently it was already under investigation, according to the policewoman who called at the end of last year. Have you heard anything about it since?
And what about Iain Duncan Smith’s habitual offence of lying to Parliament? He has done this so many times that nobody can say it is unintentional, and he has never apologised for the factual inaccuracies. This is an offence of Contempt of Parliament and according to convention he should have been ejected from the House of Commons months ago and a by-election called for his seat.
If the Conservatives can’t keep their own house clean, why isn’t Labour demanding action on these matters?