Happy Birthday To Me

by craig on October 17, 2012 12:28 pm in Uncategorized

I am 54 today! That sounds really old, but I can honestly say that I feel as young and hopeful, and my mind feels as open and agile, as when I was twenty. I undoubtedly know a lot more, but I don’t confuse that with wisdom.

I am in a hotel in Ghana and sad to be apart from family today. I have been taking stock a little this morning and my greatest disappointment is that I have not been able to change things in Uzbekistan, or in Western government’s attitude to Uzbekistan.

1.4 million Uzbek children are today working in regime forced labour in the Uzbek cotton fields. They work at physically very tough labour for twelve hours a day in conditions identical to those in which black slave workers suffered in the Southern United States 200 years ago – indeed several US slaveowners would have scrupled at the wholesale use of children as young as eight in the fields, as is done by the Uzbek government. They sleep in barracks on concrete floors, live on weak vegetable soup and drink dirty water from the irrigation ditches.

Of course it is not only children who are forced into the fields, and the system requires extreme compulsion. On October 6 in Kashkadarya 18 year old Navruz Islamov was beaten to death by police for attempting to leave a cotton field when suffering from sunstroke. There are scores more such instances we do not hear about.

I have never felt so outraged as I did two years ago, when a European Commission official told me that the EU would not act on child labour in Uzbekistan as there was “no official evidence” of the preactice, only “rumour”. This year – with the active connivance of EU nation state diplomats in Tashkent, particularly the German Ambassador -the Uzbek Government for the third successive year refused a request from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to visit Uzbekistan to monitor child labour in the cotton harvest. At the same time, the EU says it will not act without this report from the ILO.

This is also the position of the British Government, which has never made a single comment or statement on child labour in Uzbekistan (except by me while Ambassdaor). Indeed the coalition government has never made any statement on human rights in Uzbekistan at all, having no interest in the fate of its 8,000 political prisoners and ever-lengthening list of tortured and killed by the British “ally”, President Karimov.

Cuba has just announced the abolition of exit visas. Uzbekistan is now one of a tiny number of extreme regimes which still locks its people in, retaining the old Soviet exit visa system. The Cameron/Clegg government refuses to raise this with the Uzbek regime.

Britain and the EU are again selling weapons and providing military and secret service training to the Karimov regime, and the UK, US and other NATO countries are negotiating to “Gift” huge amounts of arms and military materiel to Karimov as they withdraw from Afghanistan. Nobody in the West, and particularly in the Western media, appears to have any interest at all in our collusion with the most repressive and corrupr regime in the world.

I won’t have a really happy birthday until Uzbekistan is free. The good news is that I am confident I will have a lot of happy birthdays in a free Uzbekistan in the future.

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  1. Happy Birthday!

  2. i wish you were prime minister. that would be a nice birthday present.

  3. “I am 54 today! That sounds really old”

    No, it doesn’t. Not when you’re my age.
    Happy birthday, Craig.

  4. Very many happy returns Craig.

    Yes you are younger than me too!

  5. Spotted in the Garudian.

    Fox is suing Boulter for defamation!

  6. ucythediclonius

    17 Oct, 2012 - 12:47 pm

    HAppy birthday Craig.Glad to see your on good form.You should learn how to recover that state at will.

  7. Happy birthday (simply)

  8. How embarrassing, It’s my birthday today as well [52].

    My older sister sent me a card with a tenner in it, I’m sure she does that to annoy me.


  9. Happy birthday Craig and Jimmy, young men…. may you reach a much older age than me, one day….

  10. Many happy returns.
    God, you’re young.

  11. Thank you for your great concern about my country ambassador, hopefully we’ll celebrate your birthday there in near future, i’ll keep my fingers crossed.

  12. Beeston Regis

    17 Oct, 2012 - 1:18 pm

    Happy Birthday from the old country (Norfolk)

  13. Many happy returns, auld yin! (says the man who hit 53 six days ago…)

  14. You’re a good man Craig Murray. One day Uzbekistan residents will be free to thank you for your efforts. Even when success is not forthcoming in the short term it is still important to keep trying. Your efforts are well-known. Perhaps this particular birthday present will come another day. Anyway, happy birthday.

  15. Every weekend i used to visit this web site, as i want enjoyment, as this this web site conations truly good funny stuff too.

  16. Happy birthday Craig.

  17. Happy Birthday! For such injustices to be dealt with the now rigged system of bought politics and well vetted sociopaths being the only ones getting anywhere near power has to change. We need a million more voices like yours actually making it into mainstream media. We need new respected media sources through the internet and we need new political parties instead of going through another generational change to retake the two main ones we’re stuck with. Good luck and enjoy a good whiskey later.

  18. Happy Birthday Craig and many of them.
    Many thanks for your wonderful gift to us. Your Blog is the greatest.

  19. you are – don’t kid yourself. But its still good to read your blog

  20. Enjoy the sunshine and the spirit of Africa. Many happy returns of the day!!

  21. Here’s an animated song ‘wot I wrote’ to cheer you up Mr Murray.


  22. … enjoy the sunshine …
    (It does not last for ever …) …

  23. Happy birthday, Craig, and many happy returns! I’m exactly 10 years older than you; it’s funny how many of your readers make you look like a teenager. Don’t give up on Uzbekistan: you never know when the water will finally eat through the stone wall. Today a drop or two of damp; next week, maybe a trickle; in a year or so, a steady gush; and one day the whole thing will come down.

    You wrote ‘I have never felt so outraged as I did two years ago, when a European Commission official told me that the EU would not act on child labour in Uzbekistan as there was “no official evidence” of the practice, only “rumour”’.

    That is of course always the way with officials. All they need do is make sure they never see any “official evidence”, which can easily be acocmplished by not collecting any. Just as they can exempt anyone they wish from the workings of the criminal justice system, simply by determining (by some mysterious process) that “a prosecution would not be in the public interest”. Everything is fair, honest, and transparent, except when it’s not.

  24. Happy Birthday, Craig, and remember that a man is only as old as the woman he feels. On that basis…

  25. Candles.. wishes.. cake.
    Happy Birthday Craig!

  26. Happy birthday mate…now away down to the Lambadi Beach Hotel and settle in for a round of the true nectar of the gods !!

  27. Many happy returns, Craig!

    You are a shining light!

  28. I look forward to Fox suing Boulter. They’re a pair of bloody rogues and they deserve each other. But I bet Boulter knows where the bodies are buried. And the police are still investigating Werritty. Wonder what’s taking them so long. Maybe they haven’t found him yet?

    City of London police have confirmed they are still investigating allegations of fraud surrounding Werritty, Fox’s best man and former flatmate, who handed out business cards falsely describing him as one of Fox’s official advisers.

    A lawyer who represents Werritty failed to respond to requests for comment.

    You can look back with pride on your coverage of that episode, Craig.

  29. Happy Birthday Craig.I am 20 years older and I never expected to hear anyone who had been in public office speak the truth.Karimov makes Saddam look like a teddy bear but of course the Bliar goes toadying up to him,how much longer will we allow sociopaths to govern? There will be no Chilcot report or not in any form that might make any difference, meanwhile the children of Fallujah go on being born with hideous deformities and to the end of time. Sorry, the horror of this country’s sadism is difficult to absorb but please do have a v h b !

  30. Happy Birthday Craig Murray. this is one of the best political websites.

  31. Happy birthday mate. Shocking story about child labour, I didn’t realise it was that bad. Maybe I haven’t been paying enough attention.

  32. It’s too bad that someone (such as yourself, Craig) willing to fight for human rights, rather than just pay lip service to them, is automatically excluded, by that very virtue, from the corridors of power.

  33. Craig, you are as young as the beautiful woman you feel. Happy Birthday.

    Jimmy, life begins at 52. Unfortunately it ends at 53. Happy Biirthdy.

  34. Happy Birthday, Mr Murray!*
    As to child labour in Uzbekistan, it reminds me a little of Milan Kundera’s oft repeated quote: THE STRUGGLE OF MAN AGAINST POWER IS THE STRUGGLE OF MEMORY AGAINST FORGETTING.
    HOPEFULLY, we will remember to not forget this struggle.
    Best wishes to ALL

    NB. The lifespan of Justice and Truth is not limited.

  35. Nearly 1000 people were killed on the orders of the Uzbek dictator, Islam Karimov, one of the most brutal dictators in the world.

    Today, agent Cameron has long since forgiven and forgotten the Massacre in Andijan.

    We have not…


  36. Many happy returns of the day, Mr. Murray. Don’t ever feel sorry for what you say were not able to do, you have already done much for raising the awareness on a place where happiness seems not to exist. In time, hopefully, things will change. And you have a consistent contribution to that. All the best,

  37. Happy Birthday Craig

    Uzbekistan has been in the news in Sweden for a couple of weeks, since TeliaSonera is accused of paying bribes to get its mobile license. There has even been rumors that the CEO may be fired because of the scandal, since the board started looking for a replacement.

    So perhaps someone will actually be slightly inconvenienced by doing business with Uzbekistan.

  38. I’m sure you’ll be able to find enough ice for your malt tonight.
    You deserve it! The Uzbek cause would be the poorer without you.
    Hope you have a really happy birthday in the not too distant future.
    The US has just decided to stay in Afghanistan, surprise surprise.
    Maybe they will liberate Uzebekistan ?
    slainte bha !
    All the best ! I’m 54 in 9 days.

  39. Happy birthday, Craig.
    Well – 54, no doubt, that IS old (several years older than myself), but who cares. As Woody Allen says – growing older…. well, it beats the alternative.
    Craig, the UK, US and EU may NOT care about the oppression in Uzbekistan. But many many people in Uzbekistan DO care. We have now had more than 51.000 views on our trailers for our film ‘Massacre in Uzbekistan’ (which includes interviews with you). And we have received hundreds of supportive emails (and only a few form the KGB out there). We are still in the process of ‘hunting’ funding for TRANSLATING the film into Uzbek and Russian, and we are making some progress….. You will be happy to know that some of your readers have contributed. But there is still a long way to go…. so anybody…..?

  40. Happy birthday, Craig.

    May Uzbekistan one day be free.

    On a related note, have any of you read Nancy Rosenberger’s 2012 book, Seeking Food Rights: Nation, Inequality, and Repression in Uzbekistan?

    She’s an anthropologist and it’s packed with the details of everyday life in contemporary Uzbekistan.

  41. Lastbluebell

    17 Oct, 2012 - 5:36 pm

    I would just like to add my best wishes, and hope you will not have to wait to long for your wishes to come true!

    But as my grandma always also used to say, never ever miss a chance to celebrate…

  42. Ben Franklin (Anti-intellectual Colonial American Savage version)

    17 Oct, 2012 - 5:38 pm

    Best wishes to you, young man. I say that with all the humble envy I can muster.

  43. Ben Franklin (Anti-intellectual Colonial American Savage version)

    17 Oct, 2012 - 5:50 pm

    Craig; Not knowing more your history apart from your stint in Uzbekistan, I wonder…

    Any inkling of running for elected office?

  44. Jemand wrote:

    “Jimmy, life begins at 52. Unfortunately it ends at 53. Happy Biirthdy.”

    I’ve just set my alarm clock. At 364 days hence, it will announce that Harriet Harman is the new Prime Minister.

  45. … Which gives me about 363 days to work out how to wire up the detonator.


  46. @JimmyJiro…I can give you detailed instructions if you like mate..lol..

  47. Geoff Cowlyn

    17 Oct, 2012 - 6:24 pm

    I come to this blog everyday, because it is informative and inspirational. I’ve never posted previously, but seeing as it is my 54th birthday today as well, I couldn’t resist wishing you happy birthday. Happy birthday Craig!

  48. By now Craig will be sitting in some Hotel bar for the first few bevies. Bottoms up.

  49. “I can honestly say that I feel as young and hopeful, and my mind feels as open and agile, as when I was twenty”

    Can you get these drugs on the NHS?

  50. Where are the party hats and the balloons?! Roll out the blow-snakes! Hearty congratulations, Craig! Have a glass of porter on me! Or better still, have a glass of whatever the arak of excellence in Ghana might be. Slainte mhath!

  51. On a more serious note (and in tune with Craig’s post), I see that Gulnara Karimova is now a perfumier. She’s called it ‘Googoosha’ – is this a blatant rip-off of Iran’s No.1 excellent pop diva of many decades, Googoosh? Would you buy a bottle of scent from this woman? Does it mask the stench of slavery, torture and death? Some day, it will be ‘Last Tango in Saigon’.


  52. Here’s the REAL Googoosh – a genuine talent and wow, what a star! Enjoy.


  53. LOL One of those silly astrology sites.

    The Scales
    September 24 to October 23
    Traditional Libra Traits

    Diplomatic and urbane
    Romantic and charming
    Easygoing and sociable
    Idealistic and peaceable

    On the dark side….

    Indecisive and changeable
    Gullible and easily infuenced
    Flirtatious and self-indulgent


  54. Happy birthday Craig. And Jimmy. And Geoff!

  55. William Flack

    17 Oct, 2012 - 8:10 pm

    Happy Birthday. I have not commented here before but this seems like a good time to wish you well and thank you for the blog and the work you do.

  56. Happy Birthday, Craig! Great to hear you so optimistic, I wish you all the best!

  57. Dick the Prick

    17 Oct, 2012 - 8:21 pm

    Happy Birthday dude, kudos from my family to yours. Big hugs

  58. Ben Franklin (Anti-intellectual Colonial American Savage version)

    17 Oct, 2012 - 8:37 pm

    Greenwald on the gamesmanship of democratic debates…http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/16/presidential-debate-issues

    “Citing a just-leaked 21-page “memorandum of understanding” secretly negotiated by the two campaigns to govern the rules of the debates, Farah recounted:

    “We have a private corporation that was created by the Republican and Democratic parties called the Commission on Presidential Debates. It seized control of the presidential debates precisely because the League was independent, precisely because this women’s organization had the guts to stand up to the candidates that the major-party candidates had nominated. And instead of making public these contracts and resisting the major-party candidates’ manipulations, the commission allows the candidates to negotiate these 21-page contracts that dictate all the fundamental terms of the debates.”

    The candidates should be able to negotiate terms which do not allow one party to dominate, such as timers. But the degree to which they hamper an authentic ‘debate’ should also have a timer.

    Plus, when a violation of the timer occurs, the mic should be cut off.

  59. Happy birthday, Craig. You’re out of the woods now – the first fifty years are the worst.

  60. Vronsky, you sound like a double-centenarian:

    “Let me tell you, lad
    123 is the age to be!”


  61. Well done for this post Craig. Personally this is where you are at you finest as what you tried to do there was very brave. I totally share your feelings. It is heart breaking that the Western world turns a blind eye for strategic reasons. If you want cheering up even more, check out Gulnara’s song and video round run. It is quite simply hilarious. Best wishes.m

  62. @ Craig,

    A very good month to be born in as well – consIdering that mine was the 4th October.


  63. I agree, Courtenay, October is the month!

    Mary, O Seeress of the Boards, prithee gaze into thy (radiological) crystal ball and tell me what the outlook is for someone born on the Libra/Scorpio cusp! Confusion, rather than Confucius, one suspects.

  64. Happy Birthday Mr Murray.
    Stay with it, better days are ahead.

  65. Simon Dempsey

    17 Oct, 2012 - 10:18 pm

    May God richly bless you Craig especially today. I hope and Prayer that in your lifetime you will see the liberation of Uzbekistan.(Luke2:25-30)

  66. Hippo Berth Day Two Ewes.

    Karimov may be a bastard, but he is apparently ‘our bastard’, at least currently. No doubt, sometime in the near future, he will cease to be ‘our bastard’ and the Uzbeks will have ‘democracy’ imposed on them (may the FSM help the Uzbeks either way). Which leads me to:

    I am surprised there has been no comment on Applegategate – Applegate being an ex-MOD head of procurement who has moved on to Big Things (h/t Richard Silverstein).


    “He [Applegate] confided that he used Westminster Connection, a discreet lobbying firm with Israeli links as a “firebreak” to ensure “that my fingerprints weren’t over any of it.” It could gain access to anyone “from the prime minister down.” He said the firm, based in Victoria and co-owned by Scott Hamilton, a former Conservative staffer, had used links with Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) to persuade MPs in the Commons to assist in his campaign.”

    So now, even (some of)the military now trough away Blair-style.

    Were Werritty and/or Fox in on the deal? Where is Werritty?

  67. Suhayl ROTFLMAO literally. Cannot tell you the answer unless my palm is crossed with silver.

    Earlier I was looking at Craig’s post when he announced Cameron’s birth. He is nearly 3 and a half now. Some of us who commented then are still around!

  68. amazing how many Librans come here eh…its my birthday too..the big 50…
    We are force-fed lies about Afghanistan…Mega lies about Irag…And Lybya..Ans now Syria…and yet they Know that the Massacre in Andijan…did happen…and what do we hear from politicians anywhere about this ?

    I once watched an undercover documentary about child labour in the uzbek cotton fields…the footage is out there..So the lying bastards DO have evidence…i cant track the documentary down…I wonder if the more resourceful Mary could have a try at finding it…it was on tv a few years ago..

    Anyway…Happy Birthday Craig….

  69. Happy Birthday Craig!
    These days I feel that time is a refinery that purifies our soul as we go through the pain of perishing of what’s perishable.

  70. @Suhayl,

    ” someone born on the Libra/Scorpio cusp! Confusion, rather than Confucius”

    Not taking myself too seriously. Not really into astrology.

    Who knows what the stars direct when same shine down on our birthday.

    The stars seems to have done good by Murray – made him a fighter for justice.

    Two death threats and an indication of arson later, I guess there must be a little bit of truth in the Libran “scales of justice” symbol.

    Mr. Murray deserves all the support we can muster – and so too does Julian Assange just now.

    Aluta continua!

  71. ” stars seems ”

    stars seem… I guess. Just felt my English teacher had turned in the grave.


  72. John Robertson

    18 Oct, 2012 - 12:38 am

    Happy Birthday young fella (from down under). Admire your work greatly.

    JR (hatched 1937)

  73. Happy Birthday Craig! (from yet another Libran!)

    Keep up the good work.

  74. Jeez… makes me feel like a kid reading this blog!

    Happy birthday, Craig. Hope you enjoyed your visit here – you never did give me your verdict on the Penderyn :)

  75. Happy Birthday Craig!!!

    (Damn. I’m late…)

    Gulnara Karimova is now a perfumier? Does she lack a scent of her own?


  76. Craig, you are a good man. I am also a daily visitor to this site, and greatly value your perspective. Your comments, and those of your regular posters have given me a rapid and sorely needed education over the last year or so. Happy Birthday, and thanks again from the land of the Harperite barbarians.

  77. I may be very wrong,i may be naive BUT>

    I feel a major change is occurring.Perhaps its written astrologically or ethically-i can’t say.Perhaps it’s just human decency,after all?

    Last coupla days…May gives McKinnona break,The Savile story coming to the fore and established rocks are being overturned.Mitchell and his “plebs” being called…

    It seems to me like something better is in the air?The battle between Good and Evil is perennial but i sense a shift.

    I can’t really explaint it.Perhaps its simply a change of the guard but it feels like some better souls within the Establishment are speaking out,pushing the riff…for a better world.It feels like some kinda exorcism/pureification is occurring.

    I do hope so..

  78. As predicted the IMI iron fist of interception and control is closing in on the lives of us folk:

    In a duo act of people power control, ‘web snooping’ filters at GCHQ are enhanced by the shadow of the myopic drone…

    Remember Conservative MP Damien Green? Winding back to 2008, we recall his counter-terrorist style arrest, the invasion of his constituency office, the march of heavy boots into his Parliamentary office by the authoritarian bullheads of Special Branch officers.

    He is now the Home Office Minister of State for Police and Criminal Justice and the ‘Emporer of Drones’ protégé.

    He proposes a web of police drone airports throughout England to launch their Machiavellian sentient spies into the sky like ‘sentinel machines.

    Will you take the red or the blue pill?


  79. Belated best wishes.

  80. “amazing how many Librans come here ”

    I don’t believe in astrology. We Pisceans never do.

  81. am sure some ghanian friends know how to celebrate a birthday. twould be nice to be there. hope u had a good one.

  82. Ref the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to ‘Europe’. I like the suggestion for a new symbol.


  83. This might be of interest to Craig and others.

    17 October 2012.

    In a report published today – FCO’s Human Rights Work in 2011 – the Foreign Affairs Committee argues that Ministers should be bolder in acknowledging contradictions between the UK’s interests overseas and its human rights values.

    Report: FCO’s Human Rights Work in 2011
    Inquiry: Human Rights
    Foreign Affairs Committee


  84. Note that St Theresa has kicked the subject of the Olympics G4S contract and how much they contributed for the extra police and military costs into the long grass. Unless we have access to LOGOC’s accounts, how will we ever know the facts?

    Questions to the Home Secretary 15 October 2012

    Mr Gerry Sutcliffe (Bradford South) (Lab): Has there been full cost recovery from G4S for its Olympic failure, including costs in respect of the other forces involved—the armed forces and the police? What penalties has G4S paid?

    Mrs May:G4S was absolutely clear that it would pay for the extra costs involved in the military and police services. As the hon. Gentleman suggests, the police moved in to take over part of the venue security at a number of sites across the country. Exactly how much G4S will pay as a result of its contract is a matter of commercial negotiation with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, with which G4S held the contract.

    PS May is good at picking up freebies including one from Michael Hintze, another from Bearwood (a Lord Ashcroft company) and several discount cards for her shoes and clothes.

  85. Courtenay, I thought I’d mention because you might not know, but when I click on your web link it does not work.

  86. Re drones (Mark Golding’s link, above):

    The Home Office minister said that remotely controlled drones in the UK’s skies should be treated like “any other piece of police kit.”


    Green was speaking at launch of a new National Police Air Service (NPAS). He said: “Where it’s appropriate or proportionate to use them then we will look at using them.

    “But they need to be treated the same as any other piece of police equipment or police activity.

    “They should only be used when it’s appropriate and proportionate to do so.”

    Appropriate and proportionate use of police equipment here:


    Lost count of the times I have assumed a blind guy with a white stick was a ninja warrior about to create kendo mayhem.

    Maybe I need my eyes tested.

  87. Hi Craig… my birthday is also Oct 17th. Happy birthday yesterday!

  88. And to Geoff, Tom and Jimmy!

  89. Gosh, Brian as well!

  90. Many happy returns sir.
    I would recommend learning about fibonacci sequencing in Your 55th year.
    Thank You for all You have done, and will do, well done.

  91. Just a curious sidetrack into the realm of probability. I don’t know how well known this is, but for those who are unaware,

    You only need to gather 23 people in a room, for it to be a 50% chance, that at least two people of those 23, will actually have the same birthday.

  92. “FBI foils FBI plot, says FBI”

    At least the comments on this story in the Guardian show that not everyone is a gullible idiot:

    “New York Federal Reserve ‘bomb’ plotter ensnared in FBI sting”

    I take the time to read comments (when I can) as they are often quite heartening. I suspect, though, that I’m referring to British ones, and not the American ones. The IDs don’t always make clear.

  93. …learning about fibonacci sequencing in Your 55th year

    You can leave it till you’re 89. Trust me.

  94. “You can leave it till you’re 89. Trust me.”

    But you probably shouldn’t leave it any longer…

  95. I had the foresight to learn about it when I was one. It was a very eventful year as I recall.

  96. ^ +1…

  97. Happy Birthday Craig!

    Question Time from Glasgow

    David Dimbleby (Unionist)

    Ruth Davidson (Tory, Unionist)
    Margaret Curran (Labour, Unionist)
    Alan Cochrane (Tory, Unionist)
    Mark Serwotka (Socialist,Unionist?)

    Nicola Sturgeon (SNP Nationalist)

    Media making shure everyone in Scotland hears how dreadfully bad
    Scotland is doing relative to England in employment figures.
    However it’s the usual scaremongeriong bollocks

    The Office of National Statistics – Labour Market Statistics for Oct 2012 (UK Gov’s own figures) have the following unemployment figures:
    North-East England 9.9%
    The Humber 9.3%
    London 8.9%
    West Midlands 8.6%
    North-West England 8.4%
    Wales 8.3%
    Scotland 8.2%

  98. Some of those on the green benches are now slow to work out how to rip us off.

    MPs’ expenses scandal: bid to block details of expenses scandal ‘doomed to failure’
    The Speaker of the House of Commons’ attempt to block details about MPs’ expenses is “doomed to failure,” according to the former Home Secretary.



    Dozens of MPs have moved into new rented accommodation in the past two years. According to official records, Liam Fox, the former defence secretary, rented out his home in south London in September last year, and is now claiming £1,900 a month to rent accommodation in London.

    Chris Bryant, a shadow minister for borders and immigration, has rented out his mansion flat in Bloomsbury and claimed £2,050 for a month’s rent in the last period for which data have been published.

    Recent figures showed that a quarter of Conservative MPs were renting out properties.

    MPs’ expenses are rising again after the 2009 scandal.

    The bill went up by a quarter to nearly £90 million last year, which means that it is only slightly lower than before the scandal.

  99. …..not slow….

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