Corruption and the Conservatives
“The chairman of a minicab company that wants access to London's restricted bus lanes was granted a private meeting with the transport secretary at which they discussed the matter after his firm donated £250,000 to the Conservative party.” Guardian 16/4/12
To this untrained eye this stinks. To the plod it should stink. To most rational voters in the country concerned for our democracy it will stink. Anyone still with doubts should read on.
“Minutes of the meeting with Hammond, released under the Freedom of Information Act, sparked opposition calls for the government to explain whether the donation and the meeting were linked.
"There are serious questions for ministers to answer about the level of access given to a major donor to the Tory party who at the same time was bidding for lucrative government contracts," said Maria Eagle, the shadow transport secretary. "The public have a right to know if ministers gave preferential treatment to John Griffin and other 'premier league' donors who sought to use access to ministers to advance their own interests."
A spokesman for the Department for Transport said neither Hammond nor his successor, Justine Greening, had met the bosses of any other private hire taxi firms but denied that the donation had helped secure the meeting. "It is entirely appropriate for the secretary of state for transport to meet large transport operators from different sectors in order to understand how their industries work," the spokesman said.
A spokesman for Hammond said: "Mr Hammond does not recall having any information about donations to the Conservative party at the time or when he subsequently met Mr Griffin in October 2011 to discuss issues in the private hire car sector." (ibid)
Note the ‘does not recall’ defence as used by Straw, Blair, Hoon, Fox, Werrity and all the other bent bastards.
A final thought. Hammond took over from Fox thereby maintaining the tradition of having the defence of the realm entrusted to people of dubious probity.