MPs’ Expenses – Whitewash Alert!!! 22

I have just realised that the man appointed to head the formal investigation of MPs’ expenses is Sir Thomas Legg. That removes any possible doubt that this will be a total whitewash. I suppose it was impossible to expect that a genuinely independent minded figure of authority would be appointed.

I have come across the odious Legg before, and been interviewed by him in a previous inquiry, as detailed in The Catholic Orangemen of Togo and Other Conflicts I Have Known.

“Robin Cook had announced an independent inquiry into what lessons could be learned, to be conducted by Sir Thomas Legg and Sir Robin Ibbs. Cook had now lost control, and with No 10 driving, the “Independent” inquiry was a complere stitch-up – the first in a long line of Blair whitewashes that were to include the Butler and Hutton inquiries.” Catholic Orangemen p63.

Sir Thomas Legg, quintessential insider, the Establishment Man’s Establishment Man: as unctuous a piece of slime as ever slithered around the corridors of Whitehall. In his “Independent” Arms to Africa inquiry he exonerated mercenary Tim Spicer and Executive Outcomes against the evidence and after taking direct instruction from No 10 on the kind of whitewash to produce. I have no doubt he has done so again now.

He will find that the vast majority of MPs acted “Within the rules” and that any mistakes by Ministers were “In good faith”. You read it here – now you don’t need to read the report.

Legg’s line in corrupt smoothing over does not come cheap. In this new era of openness and accountability it would be interesting to know how much Legg is being paid.

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22 thoughts on “MPs’ Expenses – Whitewash Alert!!!

  • john gibson

    a brave post craig, lets see if they take you to court, somehow I doubt it.

    all the best


  • subrosa

    I knew the name rang a bell Craig but now you’ve reminded me the bell didn’t have a pleasant ‘ding’, more of a tuneless ‘dung’.

  • Ruth

    “The last Clerk to the Crown in Chancery was Sir Thomas Legg, KCB QC who had strong links to the intelligence and security establishment and who was responsible for allocating Judges to controversial trials of a political nature where the “national interest” and “national security” (those much abused phrases) were involved, ie the Ponting Case.” Gerald James.

  • mary

    Does this crawler hope to excape the long arm of the Leggover?

    ‘May I say that Sir Thomas Legg is an excellent choice to undertake an audit of all claims from the last four years as he is a man of unimpeachable integrity? The reports of the Committee on Standards and Privilege enjoy an official status in this House and, although not strictly speaking judicial, their verdict is always taken as authoritative.’ Alan Duncan MP Con June 2009.

  • Roderick Russell

    Craig, A couple of months ago, Ruth brought to our attention a speech that Mr. Gerard James made under the title ?” “My experience, the Scott Enquiry, the British Legal System.” It is published as a comment to an April 4, 2009 article under the spyblog web site. It is Mr. James’s own story and is a very clever analysis of systemic corruption in the intelligence services, certain arms of government, and the judiciary (at least where the establishment is concerned). It even includes murder. I recommend it as a must read for anyone who is interested in democracy and truth. Perhaps Ruth should put it up on a site like scripd or wikispaces, as I do, for greater public viewing.

    You may wonder why I do what I am doing? One of the reasons is that I have to. But another reason is that they also have my dander up that these very evil over privileged a***holes can play around in a truly Nazi fashion with innocent peoples lives. That our politicians (in 2 countries) and the judiciary operate to cover-it-up is just appalling.

    My own view on all these issues, that are a consequence of systemic corruption, is this ?” Continuously bring them to the public’s attention, and campaign for a free press and ultimately you will also get a free parliament. Remember corrupt politicians, corrupted intelligence services, and their high placed masters hate publicity and are scared of being exposed with the truth. Roderick Russell

  • antony

    Craig, I recall, ( I believe) your interview, “On the Ropes” with Humphreys over your Tashkent experiences…..(hope Ive got that right)…so glad to see you are still fighting on. This bunch of crypto nazis have destroyed Britain in 12 short years to the point where I have begun to hate my country and all that it stands for.

    God save us all!

  • Ruth

    I agree with Roderick. Everything involving the corruption of the judiciary and illegal acts of the Establishment/’deep’ government should be exposed.

    It’s appalling that in a country that was renowned for the integrity of its judicial systems, an innocent man framed by the US/UK governments, has had to prove his innocence on the internet. Even worse, was his bizarre conviction by three judges, two of whom were made privy councillors just before the trial, the third becoming one just after.

  • Mrs D

    Thank you for the information Craig. Would it be possible to find out how much he’s being paid via the Freedom of Information Act? By the way I’m reading your book Murder in Samarkand and it is fascinating. Next I’ll get your other book.

    I wish you could be elected as an MP. From your book I think you would be very well suited to the job. Have you ever considered joining the Greens or the Liberal Democrats? To get elected as an independent is too hard, I think, under our existing system. Better perhaps to join a reasonable party and get help from them.

  • stephen

    Why cheapen your argument with abuse? Didn’t Margaret Thatcher say that she didn’t mind being abused because she then knew she was winning the argument – she may hav ebeen wrong on most things but on this she may have had a point.

    Were you really a diplomat?

  • Ruth

    Sir Thomas Legg, quintessential insider, the Establishment Man’s Establishment Man: as unctuous a piece of slime as ever slithered around the corridors of Whitehall. In his “Independent” Arms to Africa inquiry he exonerated mercenary Tim Spicer and Executive Outcomes against the evidence and after taking direct instruction from No 10 on the kind of whitewash to produce. I have no doubt he has done so again now.

  • John D. Monkey


    Looks like you called this one wrong for once (though that doesn’t affect what he may have done in the past).

    Legg seems to have shown some backbone and not just done a Whitehall-wash. MPs are squealing all over the front pages this morning, and seem to be saying that as the fees office paid up without question they should be in the clear. Even Brown is voicing his displeasure that Legg has gone beyond his brief.

    However, it looks like Jaquiboots may have got away with it.

    I look forward with some interest to the presentation by Legg of his findings.

    This one will run and run, as they used to say…

  • Mark

    John D Monkey-

    Legg has indeed not been as spineless as his previous would suggest.

    His report also suggests that our ‘Deep State’ has concluded that Brown is a busted flush, and that his ministers can now take flak over their part in the expenses scandal.

  • Jaded.

    Legg probably just did what he was told. I’m still waiting to see if any prosecutions start. There needs to be a couple at least, especially for the phantom mortgage chancers. We will see.

    I hope Craig hooks up with UKIP, at least temporarily.

  • Ruth

    Do you remember the Cash for Honours saga with Yates strutting around raiding a home at 7 am and then nothing happened. The strategy is to appear as if the hardline is being taken and after that when the public’s eye is off the ball nothing happens.

  • Ruth

    There is another saga where in spite of concrete evidence that Customs’ officers and a solicitor lied, some of them on oath, no prosecutions are to follow. There were also allegations of perverting the course of justice and misconduct in public office.

    Customs lost 1.25 pounds of public money in allowing a scam hoping that by covertly monitoring the operation and using inside information, they could catch a gang of master smugglers.

    Well that’s what the papers say but the truth of the matter is far more likely that the gang of masters smugglers were intelligence officers taking public money out of the country for ‘official business.’

    Anyhow the investigation, Operation Gestalt, into the saga took over six years to investigate, so by the time the CPS decided not to prosecute there wasn’t a whimper from the public. The CPS stated that there was enough evidence to prosecute two of the Customs officials but it wasn’t in the public interest. The investigation cost 10 million pounds, the trials of suspects cost 30 million. I don’t how much the suspects who had been imprisoned got in compensation.

  • mike cobley

    Legg In Spine-Possession Shock! Hmmm…if I were more suspicious that I am even now, I might be tempted to look at this as a bit of media-manipulation. Sure, Labour doesn’t look any better but at least some new mud is being thrown at the Tories. In other words, Leggy’s enquiry changes the conversation.

  • Anthony

    Well it’s interesting that your prediction of a whitewash was wrong, isn’t it? But he is still the insider’s insider, you were on solid ground there, it’s just that they weren’t as simple-minded as you expected. He did as he was told, but why was he told to do what he did? Why has Harriet Harman stirred up further rebellion? Why does the leadership want there to be a furore, with MPs fatuously claiming that they’ll refuse to pay?

    Surely the answer is that it’s a smokescreen and the only significant question is what are they distracting attention away from? What would be the big issue if the furore wasn’t happening? Who has the biggest repayment to make? Who double-claimed a substantial item? What is the difference between that and fraud?

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