EXCL: Gilligan to use TPA against Ken


6:33 pm - March 17th 2012

by Sunny Hundal    


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Andrew Gilligan will use the Taxpayers Alliance to try and attack Ken Livingstone’s campaign tomorrow in the Telegraph, I can reveal.

Gilligan will try and advance the claim that Ken Livingstone used ‘disallowable expenses’ – the staff working on his campaign – against tax.

That will form the basis of a complaint by the TPA, and deliberately regurgitated by Gilligan.

but the complaint is spurious.

How can you have a have a serious investigation into something that has not yet happened – i.e. tax returns that by their nature have not been filed yet.

His accounts for the year in question have not yet been filed and aren’t due to be for many months.

The Telegraph and the Taxpayers Alliance are merely trying to sling mud in the hope the story continues.

Meanwhile, Gilligan hasn’t explained how he arrived to the figure of £755,778 and declared Ken Livingstone to be “comfortably in the top 1 per cent of all earners.”

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Gilligan is nothing but a spiteful, nasty little man with a huge chip on his shoulder.
Hope Ken kicks his arse.

He’s also taking his cue from the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and the flannelled fool Henry Cole, last seen knocking over a camerawoman outside Waterloo station.

Staines + Cole last used the complaint ploy against Chris Huhne and failed – twice. No surprise that the TPA are involved, they use each other’s propaganda as reliable citations. Same with Gilligan.

I’ve never been impressed with Gilligan’s grasp of fact where it touched on areas I’ve been involved with professionally – he seems to be a prime example of agenda-driven journalism. This current example just seems to be a bit more obvious about whose axe he’s holding to the grindstone.

4. Bean Counter

Well the last set of accounts were filed on Mar 7, 2012.

The accounts signed off by Ken explicitly state there have been no related party transactions. Well the last set of accounts were filed on Mar 7, 2012.

The accounts signed off by Ken explicitly state there have been no related party transactions, something Ken himself now contradicts saying he paid for his campaign staff out of company funds.

I am very uneasy that there have been no corresponding declarations to the Electoral Commission.

I don’t know his exact tax filing date, but he was made the candidate in Sep 2010,so he will have made at least one, possibly two filings since that date.

You may not like the messengers but that does not excuse Ken. Richard Murphy is right, Ken should publish his full accounts. Something Ken himself now contradicts saying he paid for his campaign staff out of company funds.

I am very uneasy that there have been no corresponding declarations to the Electoral Commission.

I don’t know his exact tax filing date, but he was made the official candidate in September 2010, so he will have made at least one, possibly two tax filings since that date.

You may not like the messengers but that does not excuse Ken. Richard Murphy is right, Ken should publish his full accounts.

5. Robin Levett

@Bean Counter #4:

I don’t know his exact tax filing date, but he was made the candidate in Sep 2010,so he will have made at least one, possibly two filings since that date.

Silveta’s accounting reference date is 30 June.

http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk/6d6c1a0396e899d8446b832058a98c36/compdetails

That means that financial transactions between September 2010 and 30 June 2011 will have been reported in his accounts to y/e 30 June 2011; and its corporation tax return is due up to 12 months after that date, namely by 30 June 2012.

So he need not have made any tax filings since his adoption as candidate; and only one set of company accounts, which would cover transactions only until 30 June last year.

Something Ken himself now contradicts saying he paid for his campaign staff out of company funds.

Campaign expenditure is defined by the Electoral Commission (“TEC””):

The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA) regulates campaign expenditure, which is defined as any expenditure incurred by a party for electoral purposes; that is, for the purpose of enhancing the standing of or promoting electoral success for a party at a forthcoming or future election. This includes issuing disparaging material relating to another party or its candidates.

Campaign expenditure includes any expenditure incurred by a party in connection with the following items:

party political broadcasts
advertising
unsolicited material to electors
manifesto or other policy documents
market research and canvassing
media/publicity
transport
rallies or other events

The PPERA specifies that ‘notional expenditure’ must also be treated as campaign expenditure. Notional expenditure is incurred when a party receives benefits in kind, i.e. when someone else bears the costs that a party would otherwise have been liable for; for example, a party supporter might pay half the costs towards a party’s advertising campaign. The amount paid by the supporter would be treated as notional expenditure and would be counted as campaign expenditure incurred by the party.

http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/elections/election-spending/party-campaign-expenditure

Spending on the media person might fit the definition of campaign expenditure – making that person “campaign staff”; I can’t see that the economist does – it looks too remote.

Campaign expenditure must be reported to the Electoral Commission following the end of the campaign – so in any event the date for reporting this expenditure to them hasn’t arrived.

What we don’t know is when the media person was employed; so we don’t know whether s/he should have been declared in the company accounts. If the appointment was after 30 June 2011, it shouldn’t have been.

6. Bean Counter

Thanks Robin – I thought political donations above a certain amount had to be reported within 60 days? So paying the economist to flesh out Ken’s fares policies when he is the official Labour candidate would surely be a reportable benefit in kind?

It would also surely be as far as HMRC are concerned a related party transaction?

Hasn’t Ken himself said it probably saved £50,000?

It doesn’t smell right – Ken should publish his full accounts.

Why do you fail to mention ken’s previous companies being taken to court for non-payment of tax?

8. Robin Levett

@Bean Counter #6:

Thanks Robin – I thought political donations above a certain amount had to be reported within 60 days? So paying the economist to flesh out Ken’s fares policies when he is the official Labour candidate would surely be a reportable benefit in kind?

You’re confusing campaign spending with donations to parties.

For TEC’s purposes, Ken’s campaign spending starts 25 working days before the poll (20 March 2012) – before that he is simply a prospective candidate; so he hasn’t started campaign spending.

I am not an expert on political funding; but it seems to me that donations to an individual candidate (and this would definitely be a donation to an individual candidate) from that candidate’s own money before s/he has become a candidate within the TEC’s definition may not be reportable either as party funding or as campaign funding.

9. Shatterface

I’m not sure who Ken’s rich supporters are – but at least he’s ruled out the Jews:

http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/65425/ken-livingstone-jews-wont-vote-labour-because-they-are-rich

His friends can rest easy.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Chris Underwood

    Exclusive: Andrew Gilligan planning to use a spurious complaint by Taxpayers Alliance against Ken Livingstone tomorow http://t.co/3OYAuxI3

  2. Jason Brickley

    EXCL: Gilligan to use TPA against Ken tomorrow http://t.co/a23AGwwp

  3. Tim Fenton

    Exclusive: Andrew Gilligan planning to use a spurious complaint by Taxpayers Alliance against Ken Livingstone tomorow http://t.co/3OYAuxI3

  4. Patron Press - #P2

    #UK : EXCL: Gilligan to use TPA against Ken tomorrow http://t.co/sxolUQgb

  5. leftlinks

    Liberal Conspiracy – EXCL: Gilligan to use TPA against Ken tomorrow http://t.co/Zf0mwIKi

  6. BevR

    Exclusive: Andrew Gilligan planning to use a spurious complaint by Taxpayers Alliance against Ken Livingstone tomorow http://t.co/3OYAuxI3

  7. Collin Whittaker

    Exclusive: Andrew Gilligan planning to use a spurious complaint by Taxpayers Alliance against Ken Livingstone tomorow http://t.co/3OYAuxI3

  8. sunny hundal

    Has Andrew Gilligan's latest attack on Ken Livingstone hit the Telegraph yet? TPA didn't respond to my queries http://t.co/I29QmXRp

  9. sunny hundal

    @mrharrycole huge surprise, that http://t.co/3OYAuxI3

  10. Patron Press - #P2

    #UK : EXCL: Gilligan to use TPA against Ken http://t.co/sxolUQgb

  11. Shoddy hack Andrew Gilligan’s missing figures | Liberal Conspiracy

    […] missing figures by Sunny Hundal     March 18, 2012 at 9:10 am As predicted yesterday afternoon, Andrew Gilligan is in the Sunday Telegraph today with the story that the Taxpayers alliance are […]

  12. Edward Bearryman

    Has Andrew Gilligan's latest attack on Ken Livingstone hit the Telegraph yet? TPA didn't respond to my queries http://t.co/I29QmXRp

  13. Ken Livingstone will need a better defence against HMRC investigation than this – Telegraph Blogs

    […] story is causing in Camp Ken, their first action when I put it to them yesterday was to leak a “pre-buttal” to Sunny Hundal, the sole blogger still bravely left on the burning deck of Ken’s tax […]

  14. Life on Gilligan’s Island (Part 37) | Guy Debord's Cat

    […] story is causing in Camp Ken, their first action when I put it to them yesterday was to leak a “pre-buttal” to Sunny Hundal, the sole blogger still bravely left on the burning deck of Ken’s tax […]

  15. EXCL: Gilligan to use TPA against Ken « jerrywaggon1

    […] Source: http://liberalconspiracy.org/2012/03/17/excl-gilligan-to-use-tpa-against-ken-tomorrow/ […]

  16. Alex Braithwaite

    EXCL: Gilligan to use TPA against Ken | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/9Jy2t7BR via @libcon#Sack Boris#Ken4London

  17. Paul

    EXCL: Gilligan to use TPA against Ken | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/9Jy2t7BR via @libcon#Sack Boris#Ken4London





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