Friday, April 25, 2008

Leech Printing Mystery: The Ink Blot Thickens

Mr Leech's office read my missive at 11:44 am this morning and kindly sent me a receipt to prove it. Still no reply however.

Other developments include several local parties in wards and constituencies outside the eight in Manchester and Salford getting in touch as a result of the post and commenting that they too are seeing their Lib Dem leaflets apparently printed in the Withington MP's back room.

Whether these are Riso'd or full-on professional printing this does raise a few issues about where Leech draws, or rather prints the line.

Has the man taken his Manchester City Council councillor expenses and started a printing business that will see him through his, hopefully very early, retirement? And what has happened to "LPC" of Vernon Mill, Stockport that used to be the home of the fibulent smudge?

Any sighting of material allegedly printed by the John Leech Memorial Printing Company "We're Very Cheap but Never Cheerful" aka WPS at 8 Gawsworth M20 can be reported in comments or by email.

[ASIDE: Not to mention Leech's using of either parliamentary or local government expenses to employ various candidates. Who have proceeded of course to campaign rather than serve with the proceeds.]


Anonymous said...

Perhaps Leech has bought some huge machine with our money? And employed a load of print machine minders with our money? And paid wages to candidates ... with our money?

What's your point?

Chris Paul said...

What's my point? you say. Well let me spit it out:

Either Leech has set himself up with a load of printing gear, printing staff and tax payer funded politicos.

Or, Leech is using WPS to broker print and keeping the real printers' names off things. (And tax payer funding politicos).

They will be issues of course about how his office rent and overheads are apportioned and I'd not be surprised if there is some interest for the tax men too ... particularly if any cash in hand payments were discovered.

I'm not sure why the EC didn't audit the bank accounts for 2005 for one thing. Clearly at least £23,000 went in to his campaign.

No one has yet published his detailed 2005 expenses return - shockingly partial though it was - or published thumbnails of all his leaflets but the return more or less says that 4 or 5 printers were each involved and quotes their various bills.

I'm not sure the bills and the actual P and Ps will tally if checked forensically but let's give him the benefit of the doubt until someone does check that.

Using WPS as a front could allow an unscrupulous candidate to obscure the true costs and volumes of print now couldn't it?

Again let's give him the benefit of the doubt for the time being. Though he is clearly unscrupulous in his Christie Cancer Hoax and other matters.

It seems plain to me that paying candidates with our money is not acceptable, their using emails for campaigning is not acceptable, ditto 'phones and so on.

And that his promise to gift all the MCC expenses to his party machine has been either broken or not documented properly.

I have put the main questions to him and if he replies then we'll get some answers.

I will be referring this to the CRO and the EC on Monday ... unless someone official in the party decides they should do it instead.

And I'm looking forward very much to the open book on MPs expenses.