It appears that Michael Gove, the housing secretary, is under investigation by the parliament’s standards watchdog regarding his register of financial interests. The specific cause of the investigation has not been disclosed, but it is reported that it may be related to his failure to register VIP hospitality at a football match with a Tory donor, David Meller, whose company was awarded significant PPE contracts following Gove’s recommendation.

According to the Guardian, Gove did not declare receiving free tickets for a Queens Park Rangers match in 2021 from Meller, whose company, Meller Designs, subsequently secured six PPE contracts worth £164 million. Gove’s spokesperson explained the omission as an “oversight,” and Gove reportedly informed parliamentary authorities about it.

Under the MPs’ code of conduct, members are required to register gifts, benefits, and hospitality over a value of £300. The investigation into Gove brings the total number of Conservative MPs being investigated by the standards commissioner, Daniel Greenberg, to six. Other MPs under investigation include deputy speaker Dame Eleanor Laing, Sir Bernard Jenkin, Virginia Crosbie, Bob Stewart, and Miriam Cates. The investigation into the latter includes claims of causing “significant damage to the reputation of the House as a whole, or of its members generally.”

Former Tory MP Scott Benton was recently suspended from the Commons for 35 days over his role in a lobbying sting, leading to the possibility of another by-election in Blackpool South. A recall petition is open in the seat, and if 10% of constituents sign it, a by-election will be triggered.

Lee Anderson

Police are also currently assessing a report of hate speech against Lee Anderson after he claimed “Islamists” had taken control of London and Mayor Sadiq Khan. The Ashfield MP was suspended from the Conservative Party for refusing to apologise, with his remarks being labelled as racist. While ministers, including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, deemed the comments “wrong,” they have not classified them as Islamophobic. The Metropolitan Police confirmed receiving a report regarding an allegation of hate speech from an MP but did not disclose the individual’s name. Questions persist about Anderson’s future in the Commons, with some allies demanding reinstatement and others calling for tougher action. Anderson has not ruled out joining the Reform Party.

Despite describing his words as “clumsy,” he has refused to apologise. Downing Street stated that Sunak does not believe Anderson to be racist (probably because they would have to suspend most of their party if they did, including themselves), but acknowledged the language used was unacceptable in conflating all Muslims with Islamist extremism. The spokesperson also clarified that ministers were not instructed to avoid using the term “Islamophobia,” emphasising “anti-Muslim hatred” as a more precise term in line with UK hate crime legislation.

The Tories are a racist swamp who are using race hate and division to minimise the electoral apocalypse many are predicting they will experience later this year. Just think about that. A government is drumming up hate to protect themselves from an electoral disaster.

Penny Lane

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