In a series tagged as the Scotland Files, Guido has been unveiling some of the recent financial excesses of this Peer of the Realm—and, now, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth. Highlights include:
- extraordinarily highly-paid contracts for spinners, Matthew Doyle and Joe Phelan;
- waiving standard procurement processes in order to hire her mate, Lord Patel, to produce a £90,000 review of her organisation (despite official complaints)—a review that is, by all accounts, not worth the paper that it's written on;
- billing the taxpayer £450,000 to upgrade her grace-and-favour home in Mayfair—including:
£5,000 for a new vanity unit in her bathroom. Her extravagant spending is reminiscent of the duck islands and moats of the expenses scandal. The cost plan shows how the taxpayer was provisionally billed £5,000 for Baroness Scotland’s vanity unit, £2,000 to tile her bathroom, £1,750 for new wallpaper in that room alone and £2,500 to fill in a window. Another £4,000 was spent on maintaining the decorative drapery over a window on the landing.
- with one of her cronies threatening to prosecute those who questioned this profligacy.
Scotland said it is “untrue” she demanded £4,000 for a mirror-lined cupboard. Here is the cost plan showing her demand for a £4,000 mirror-lined cupboard.Now, we have found out that Patricia Scotland claimed "an educational allowance" for her grown-up children too (an obvious way in which to slip her more cash without having to justify it to the taxpayers).
She said there is “no chandelier”. Read the emails where her staff complain about her demands over an “extremely expensive chandelier” here.
She said the total cost would be the original budget “plus the fees plus things that would come up”. Read her staff complaining about how expensive those “things that would come up” are here.
Scotland said she followed all procurement rules to hire her friend Lord Patel on £30,000-a-month. Here is a memo showing procurement practices were waived.
She said her team she denied this all to journalists “again and again and again” before publication. Guido was in regular conversation with her press office until we asked about her Mayfair home. As soon as we started asking about this, they stopped replying. Given multiple opportunities, they did not deny any of these stories…
Naturally, all of this has led to complaints from politicians in India and Antigua—countries in which £450,000 would be unimaginable wealth and whose taxpayers are, alongside you and I, paying for her posh paint and fancy chandeliers.
Whilst Guido is doing sterling work on this latest scandal, I thought that readers of The Kitchen might like to be reminded of the last time that we turned the spotlight onto Baroness Scotland—lest we forget...
- Baroness Scotland is no stranger to claiming huge expenses that she shouldn't: in 2009, it was revealed that she had claimed, allegedly, £170,000 that she simply was not entitled to.
- In the same year, it was also revealed that she had received a conviction for "careless driving"—when, as a Home Office lawyer, she had helped to draft laws to crack down on careless drivers.
- 2009 was not a good year for the Baroness. Most famously, of course, Patricia Scotland—may I call you "Patty"?—was one of the Home Office lawyers who drafted the laws concerned with cracking down on illegal immigrants: she then got caught employing an illegal immigrant—in contravention of the law that she helped to bring about.
- Patty maintained that she had seen all of the relevant documentation—although she had not, in contravention of her own law, taken any copies. This was rather embarrassing when the employee in question claimed that she had never been asked to show the relevant documents (because, being an illegal worker, she did not have any).
- Patty called it "a technical oversight" and was fined a mere £5,000 (half of the maximum).
- One of Baroness Scotland's defences was that she had paid the full PAYE taxes on her employee's salary—except that this wasn't true either.
- What a pity that "one of the few Black women in public life" is so obviously corrupt. Baroness Scotland's quite impressive record of lawlessness, hypocrisy, crime, fraud, troughing and sheer dishonesty would shame a Banana Republic dictator.