Friday, February 4, 2011

Labour MPs Tom Watson and Steve McCabe deny advising Jim Devine over expenses, no, no, no, no, I know nothing mein herren!

Dear All

Another low blow for Ex Labour MP Jim Devine which inches him closer to a prison cell!

Two Labour MPs have denied advising him over his expenses that he could make claims from one allowance to cover staffing costs.

Tom Watson and Steve McCabe told Southwark Crown Court they had not had such a discussion with Jim Devine in a House of Commons' bar in 2008.

They are saying the old classic line:

‘I know nothing’!

Labour MP Tom Watson went further when he told the court he hardly knew Mr Devine.

And was "taken aback" by the defence's suggestion!

Suits you sir!

Mr Watson told the trial he was surprised to be called as a witness:

"I don't know what I'm doing here, if I'm honest, I hardly know Jim Devine."

Did he meet him during regular PLP meetings?

Asked if he had a conversation about expenses with Mr Devine in the Strangers Bar around Christmas 2008, he said:

"Jim was in there quite a lot, but I don't recall going with him to the Strangers Bar”.

How did he know he was a regular in Strangers bar if he didn’t know him?

Small question obviously worth asking!

Watson added:

“I have absolutely no recollection of any conversation that took place.”

Asked if he had told Mr Devine he could use money from his communications allowance to fund staffing costs, he replied:


Then McCabe, the MP for Birmingham Selly Oak, said he knew Mr Devine from when he was a member of a team sent by Labour to help win the 2005 Livingston by-election which followed the death of Robin Cook.

Then he also denied having the conversation in Strangers Bar and said he would have advised any colleague to ask the Commons Fees Office about expenses matters.

So, the Labour Party isn’t coming over the hill to save Devine.

And the way things are going neither is a jury.

The trial continues like a wounded animal soon to be put out of its misery.

And Jim Devine will need a hanky when the verdict is announced.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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