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The Independent on Sunday and the website BuzzFeed have reported that the Tory MP for North East Somerset, Jacob Rees-Mogg, has been reported to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards for potentially breaking the rules on declaring financial interests in the House of Commons.

Todd Foreman, Labour's candidate for North East Somerset at the next general election, said:

 

“These apparent breaches of the rules regarding declarations of financial interests by Jacob Rees-Mogg are very serious, and residents in North East Somerset should be very concerned to learn how Jacob Rees-Mogg is using his position as an MP to promote his own business interests. 

 

“Since becoming an MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg has earned more than £500,000 from a second job at Somerset Capital Management, a hedge-fund that he co-founded.  Despite its name, Somerset Capital Management has nothing to do with Somerset, but it is in fact a London-based hedge fund that invests in overseas companies, including substantial interests in tobacco, oil and coal mining companies. 

 

“Jacob Rees-Mogg has previously indicated that he wouldn't dream of making ends meet on an MP's salary, and that his work for Somerset Capital Management makes him “much freer” than other politicians.  The revelations that he has failed to declare interests in various Parliamentary debates relating to his business interests in tobacco, oil and coal are very concerning and call into question Rees-Mogg's defence of his second job. 

 

“North East Somerset needs a full-time MP who will focus on the issues that matter to local people.  Since being elected to Parliament, the current Tory MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg, has been using his position as an MP to promote his own financial interests in companies that have nothing to do with North East Somerset, and he may have breached Parliamentary rules in doing so.  Rees-Mogg's record shows that he is more interested in working for his hedge fund, Somerset Capital Management, than for the people of North East Somerset that is supposed to be representing.”

 

Ends

 

Notes:

 

1.           Story in the Independent on Sundayhttp://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/tory-backbench-mp-jacob-reesmogg-failed-to-declare-interests-9923362.html

2.           Story in BuzzFeed:  http://www.buzzfeed.com/jimwaterson/take-you-nanny-on-the-campaign-trail

3.           The Bath Chronicle reported in July 2013 on Jacob Rees-Mogg's defence of his work at Somerset Capital Management.  http://www.bathchronicle.co.uk/MP-Jacob-Rees-Mogg-hits-second-job-jibe/story-19521477-detail/story.html 

4.           As of 1pm on Sunday 14th December, the Somerset Capital Management website was ‘down for maintenance’

Jacob Rees-Mogg working for Somerset Capital Management, not North East Somerset

The Independent on Sunday and the website BuzzFeed have reported that the Tory MP for North East Somerset, Jacob Rees-Mogg, has been reported to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards for potentially breaking...

Only a Labour Government will balance the books in a fair way - Todd Foreman responds to the Autumn statement

Earlier this week, Tory Chancellor George Osborne made his annual Autumn Statement on upcoming budget priorities.  Todd Foreman, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for North East Somerset, gave his reaction to the Autumn Statement.

 

Todd said:

 

“While there are some welcome elements in the Autumn Statement such as reform of stamp duty on house sales, the impact of the decisions this Government has made are clear: stagnant wages, lower tax receipts and an increased deficit.  The Tories claim that they have a 'Long-Term Economic Plan, but what they really have is a plan to drastically cut public services and shrink the size of the state.

 

“Prices have risen faster than wages for 52 out of the 53 months that David Cameron has been Prime Minister, and working people are now £1,600 a year worse off than in 2010. Because of his failure to deliver rising living standards, George Osborne has borrowed £219 billion more than he planned in this Parliament. 

 

“It's also important to point out that the Tories used a financial crisis caused by under-regulation of banks to justify their cuts to public services, but they still aren't holding banks accountable for their actions and the risk remains that taxpayers will be asked again to bail our failing banks.

 

“The Office for Budget Responsibility has warned that Osborne's cuts will see UK public spending fall to the lowest level for 80 years.  This Government is happy to preside over an economy and tax system that are rigged for those at the top, while those who aren't well off are left in insecure, low paid jobs. 

 

“Given the way in which the Tories misled the country about their plans before 2010, people should be in no doubt about the radical nature of their plans if they win the general election in 2015. Only a Labour Government will balance the books in a fair way.”

Response to Autumn Statement

Only a Labour Government will balance the books in a fair way - Todd Foreman responds to the Autumn statement

Todd Foreman, Labour's parliamentary candidate for North East Somerset, welcomed the Labour Party's announcement that it will replace the unelected House of Lords with an elected Senate that properly represents the towns, cities and regions that make up the UK.
Speaking on the proposal, Todd Foreman said:
“I warmly welcome Labour's proposal to replace the unelected House of Lords with a fully elected upper chamber.  I am a strong believer in democracy and democratic accountability, and an unelected legislative body, including some members there by  hereditary privilege, has no place in a modern democracy.  I hope that as many people as possible in North East Somerset will take place in the upcoming conversation about how an elected Senate should work and how it can best represent us.
“Labour's plans for increased democracy and representation are in sharp contrast to the views of North East Somerset's current Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg.  Jacob supports putting more hereditary peers in the House of Lords, and has even argued that creating more hereditary peerages will be a tool to promote social mobility.  I consider Jacob's arguments regarding hereditary peers to be bizarre, undemocratic and out of touch with the views of the vast majority of people in North East Somerset.” 
 
 
(1)       Details of Labour’s proposals can be found in the attached email.  
(2)       In a debate in Parliament on 28 February 2014, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP said, “I think that a viscountcy is appropriate for a life peerage, because it is one step up in the peerage and it is also hereditary rather than for life. That would be a fine thing for families to have. It would also, importantly, continue the tradition of creating hereditary peerages, which I am in favour of, not because they can sit in the House of Lords, but because if we want to allow people throughout society to rise and advance themselves, the highest posts in the land should be open to everybody. By freezing the hereditary peerage we create a tighter class structure than when that peerage is open.  ...If social mobility is a good thing—I think most Members in this House think it is—people should be able to rise to the top. A viscount is not quite the top, but it is jolly near the top.”  Rees-Mogg's remarks are available in full here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm140228/debtext/140228-0001.htm#14022871000724

Todd welcomes proposal for elected Senate replacing unelected House of Lords

Todd Foreman, Labour's parliamentary candidate for North East Somerset, welcomed the Labour Party's announcement that it will replace the unelected House of Lords with an elected Senate that properly represents...

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