“I would speak out against cuts, but I don’t believe we have anything to fear from a Liberal and Conservative government,” Evening Gazette May 19 2010
NOTE: All of these entries are in the public domain, there is no big revelations here. Just it’s all in one handy blogpost………
Firstly, this is a long post, but to the constituents of Stockton South, I would say this is important reading.
James Wharton (pictured above) is the MP for Stockton South. Elected in 2010, and then unfathomably again in 2015, his constituency takes in the west and southern end of Stockton-On-Tees itself (but not the High Street…and that’s quite important), Thornaby, Ingleby Barwick, Yarm, Kirklevington, Hilton, Maltby and Eaglescliffe.
Wharton was made Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Dept for Communities and Local Government (Northern Powerhouse) in the 2015 reshuffle. It will be interesting to see how hard he works…..or not….in this role!
But the point of this post is to illustrate James Whartons’ approach to his job as a constituency MP, and his well known trick of trying to pass off other’s efforts as his own.
JAMES GETS THE PUSH!
Wharton becomes Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Development. 17th July 2016
A punishment for saying Boris was only PM who could unite the North?
BORIS “ONLY PM WHO CAN UNITE THE NORTH”
Reading the article below it seems now that Boris is no longer running for PM, that James has gaffed again by backing a candidate who hadn’t even declared he was running at the time. Worse still it now seems nobody else can “unite the North”…….
Boris Johnson is the only politician who can unite the north, a close ally of George Osborne has said as he declared his support for the Brexit champion to replace David Cameron as Prime Minister.
James Wharton, who the Chancellor appointed as Northern Powerhouse minister in charge of driving economic growth in the north, writes in an article for MailOnline that Mr Johnson manages to engage with ‘huge swathes of our country’ who feel alienated from Westminster politics.
Only Mr Johnson can can ‘bridge that gap and deliver for all our country [and] save our system of democracy,’ he writes.
29th June 2016
NORTHERN POWERHOUSE VIDEO GAFFS
The Department for Communities & Local Government produced a promo video selling the benefits of doing business in the Northern Powerhouse.
At the end of the video we are told where the Northern Powerhouse is. The list comprises Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Humberside, Lancashire, Merseyside, North Wales, Northumberland and Yorkshire.
Teesside/Tees Valley is missed out, though it’s very much part of the so called Northern Powerhouse. Industrially and commercially it still employ’s thousands, and features companies in Wharton’s own constituency like Nifco and Tetley.
The minister responsible is James Wharton, and upon being contacted by the local paper he has these comments to make……
“County Durham and Yorkshire cover the area geographically, I think most people recognise that, so I don’t think it is an issue,”
BUT…..Durham and Yorkshire do not in any way cover the area geographically. That’s why it’s called Teesside or Tees Valley. His own office is in a building called Durham Tees Valley Business Centre!
“Leeds isn’t included and neither is Hull, but I don’t think anybody from these places will be complaining.”
BUT…..Leeds and Hull ARE included, because they are within their counties, Yorkshire and Humberside.
Neighbouring MP Tom Blenkinsop had said the video showed the much-heralded powerhouse was “completely failing Teesside.” Mr Wharton told the Gazette he had not read Mr Blenkinsop’s comments on the matter, but said he suspected they would be “appropriately childish and negative” No, they were accurate!
My question is: As the Northern Powerhouse minister, didn’t Wharton check the video before it went out? This is a video that’s had a lot of money spent on it. You would assume someone would pull him into a room, press a button on a remote, and let him have his say on it? No?…oh just me then…….
Evening Gazette article here
Some examples of the area’s that WERE included…….
CRITICIZED BY TORY COUNCILLOR
James is told to “man up” by a local Tory councillor on bringing money and jobs to Teesside. Andrew Stephenson obviously realising finally what a damp rag Wharton is! 17/11/15
SSI STEEL PLANT CLOSURE
Wharton makes a series of awful comments showing his total disrespect for Redcar’s Steelworkers and their respected MP……
1 – “Not his responsibility” – when asked about the job losses – which is technically true, but he is the Northern PowerHouse minister and 356 of SSI’s workers live in the Stockton Borough. http://politicalscrapbook.net/2015/09/minister-for-northern-powerhouse-northern-job-losses-not-my-responsibility/
UPDATE 20/05/16: Apparently it is….partly…… http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/tory-northern-powerhouse-minister-sent-8013440
2 – Workers holding a vigil on Redcar’s beach to show the depth of feeling and to highlight the closure were “Just stood on a beach” – as if the event didn’t have any meaning. https://audioboom.com/boos/3628535-wharton-saveoursteel-rally-was-just-people-stood-on-a-beach
3 – “A distraction” – How James described the death of the steelworks. http://politicalscrapbook.net/2015/10/thatcherite-minister-calls-death-of-teesside-steel-industry-a-distraction/
4 – Millionaire football club chairman calls Wharton “a clown” – http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/business/news/13878271._Teesside_doing_well__says_MP_James_Wharton_after_Middlesbrough_FC_owner_labels_him_a__clown__and_says_town_should__bury_him__at_election/
5 – Says Redcar MP Anna Turley was “showboating” – http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/2000-jobs-stake-mp-warns-6464968
James was missing from the steel debate led by Anna Turley on 17th September 2015. Teesside area MPs present were Anna, Tom Blenkinsop, Helen Goodman, Alex Cunningham, Iain Wright and Andy Mcdonald. All probably have people working at the plant in Redcar. As no doubt does James.
Where was he? Having a good nosh up at a chamber of commerce do up north.
He also has the nerve to say Anna Turley (the town’s MP) is not serving Teesside well!
Also….Minister for the Northern Powerhouse says Northern Job Losses “are not his responsibility” Click Here
James tries to convince voters that Labour would be raising taxes, but seems to forget the 24 Tory tax rises since 2010, and the Tory VAT rises of 1979, 1991 and 2011. Also remember the Insurance Premium Tax and new Car Tax rises of the July 2015 budget.
You could say: It’s official, the Tories HAVE raised your taxes!
THE GREAT U-TURN MAN
WHARTON NAMED IN HIGH COURT CHALLENGE
CONSERVATIVE candidate James Wharton has been named in a High Court challenge over plans to build 550 homes.
Mr Pickles rejected the new home proposals, overruling the planning inspector’s findings, but in his official decision he did not mention that he had received any submissions from Mr Wharton.
WHARTON CRITICISED RE: CHILDREN’S HOME
AN MP has been criticised for appealing to the public to contact him directly with information about any problems linked with a newly opened children’s home. James Wharton, MP for Stockton South, distributed letters around the Hartburn area saying he had been “made aware of a number of incidents at the home” and asked for neighbours to get in touch with him. http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/11885222.MP_criticised_for_asking_neighbours_of_children_home_to_report_to_him/ 27th March 2015
NO, JAMES WHARTON MP…YOU’RE WRONG!….
James Feb 2015 newsletter and the slurs and factual inaccuracies – http://wp.me/p2P3VT-PO
GRABBING THE GLORY
James tweets the graphics above, which seems to infer he has had a part to play in all the listed improvements in Thornaby,Yarm/Eaglescliffe, Stockton* and Ingleby Barwick.
My post here – http://wp.me/p2P3VT-EP searches for evidence he ever did, through local news media.
(*He mentions the Portas pilot in the Stockton graphic, which took place in Stockton High Street. Unfortunately, after 5 yrs he doesn’t seem to know that the High Street is in Alex Cunningham’s constituency of Stockton North! – 7th August 2014)
UPDATE 3: 23rd March 2015 – Wharton’s latest newsletter appears to confirm he can time travel! “James has saved North Tees Hospital”…except, as we know, he HASN’T. The Wynyard hospital plan is on hold until after the election!
UPDATE 2: 19th March 2015 – James facebook page has the following graphic ‘My Record’, which misleads again on his true involvement in some schemes, and slurs the Labour Party. Read on to understand why….
1. “Saved” North Tees Hospital? – Well no…it’s not saved yet. Plans to replace it with a new hospital at Wynyard are on hold, due to government backing away from a £161m spend close to the election.
2. Secured millions for local transport infrastructure? – No, not entirely. Read my first update below, regarding the money obtained by Stockton Borough Council for additional works in Ingleby Barwick, and how James tried to grab the glory on that one too!
3. Worked with residents to stop Labour’s gypsy sites? They are NOT Labour’s sites. EVERY council in the country is required to submit proposals for sites, based around a strict government framework. A government requirement. In this case a Tory led government! https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/6078/2113371.pdf
4. Campaigned on local housing? – He never went to any of the planning meetings (unlike his Labour opponent who truly led by example here http://www.louise-baldock4stocktonsouth.org.uk/inglebyhousing), and has only stepped up his doorstep appearances closer to the election.
UPDATE: James is at it again! His newsletter doing the rounds in the first week of March 2015 states that he has secured £300k for road improvement works in Ingleby Barwick. He didn’t, as Leader of Stockton Borough Council Bob Cook points out…….
A total of £164,250 from 2013 – Feb 2015 (plus whatever he rec’d 2010-2012) …….
HIS VOTING RECORD
For reducing housing benefit for social tenants deemed to have excess bedrooms (Bedroom Tax)
Against taxing Bankers Bonuses.
Against a financial penalty for tax avoiders
For increasing VAT to 20%
For changes to Firefighters pensions, which will lead to some working to 60.
For the increase in university tuition fees
JOBS BLACKSPOTS? NO COMMENT
James is quite happy to do the usual Tory flag waving exercise when some trumped up figures appear to show theres an increase in jobs, but strangely silent if unemployment in some parts of the region is on the increase…
ATTACK ON CLOTHES BANK
James Wharton has sparked controversy after suggesting there was “more than a hint of party politics” behind the launch of a clothes bank outside his constituency “six months before an election”
Have a look at my separate post, where James asks his constituents their views on a new hospital in a ‘Hospital Survey’, and only asks one relevant question!
The Poor Hospital Survey – http://wp.me/p2P3VT-KW
4 visits in 9 months!…..
January 2012 – a guest of the Sri Lankan government
March 2012 – with a non-governmental organisation, International Alert
July/August 2012 – a delegation of nine UK parliamentarians
September 2012 – as a member of a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association delegation
……but in November 2012, the good times came to an end after a newspaper raised the human rights issues.
Interestingly…”Mr Wharton, has no significant Sri Lankan community in his Teesside constituency of Stockton South”
When Mr Wharton first visited Sri Lanka at the start of 2012. he went with his researcher Christopher Duggan. The MP said that he had not been part of a parliamentary delegation and required some support. “The itinerary was packed and yes, to be frank, we did a lot of work whilst we were out there.”
John Mann, a Labour MP who has also travelled to Sri Lanka with the Royal Commonwealth Society, said the country still had “huge human rights problems” and that Mr Wharton had become too close to the government.
“There’s a reason why he has been invited so many times by the Sri Lankan government, paid for by the Sri Lankan government so many times and that they are wining and dining him so often at the Sri Lanka High Commission in London,” he said. “This is not a very effective use of parliamentary time and he’s going to have difficulty explaining it to his constituents.”
Asked about his apparent obsession with Sri Lankan affairs, Mr Wharton said his interests were partly business-related on behalf of his constituents. “I’ve got a number of companies on Teesside that do a lot of work out there.”
He declined to identify the companies.
“I will be honest with you the business connection is only something I realised after getting involved when I was out there and came across various British companies that were doing work. Marks & Spencer are manufacturing most of their garments in Sri Lanka, there are companies in my patch up here that do a lot of work out there, engineering and things.”
and things??? – very vague for an MP to say that, why didn’t he say construction or process industry for example?
Click Here for the full article (The Independent)
Other reading on this story:
From *The Daily Telegraph…..One Conservative MP has told The Daily Telegraph how he has been offered “whatever he wants” from the Sri Lankan government, including luxury holidays.
SAYS “POSITIVE THING” HOSPITAL ARE LOOKING AT BOOT SALES TO RAISE CASH
After months of criticising Louise Baldock Labour Candidate for Stockton South, for having been a Liverpool councillor, James’ party delivers not one, but two ‘egg in your face’ replies!
wp.me/p2P3VT-J9 – 25th Sept 2014
FREE SCHOOL WORRIES – 18th Sept 2014
James tweeted that Labour will end the Free Schools programme. This is correct. But then he went on to say “bad news for Ingleby Barwick”
Ingleby Barwick is the location in his constituency of Ingleby Manor Free School, and the Labour Party have already said existing and in progress builds will go ahead.
The above article was posted on Facebook by the ‘Ingleby Barwick’ group on 8th Oct 2014, and reads…..
“Ingleby Manor Free School To Close Down?
A tweet was recently posted by James Wharton MP implying that the future of Ingleby Manor Free School is under threat, and it resulted in a number of residents contacting us expressing concern that “James had said the school was going to close”.
We have now been made aware of a leaflet from James Wharton, delivered to homes in Ingleby Barwick suggesting again that the school is under threat.
Although we don’t want to get involved in political arguments, we would like to reassure (as we did when the tweet was first posted) residents that the future of the school is NOT under threat, whether we have a Conservative or a Labour government at the next election. Both political parties have expressed that they will continue to support all existing free schools, and those currently in the pipeline.”
July 9th – 3rd Sept 2014
(7 seperate occassions) – Take a look at the following screengrabs and tell me the common link….
Any ideas?……..well, they all say “canvassing FOR James” not “canvassing WITH James”
None mention him being there, and the ones with pictures don’t include him. Ok so he’s the sitting MP and obviously in London most of the time, but to not feature more strongly than this in trying to get re-elected?…….
This is the ONE pic I found of of him canvassing, though goodness knows if he faced many constituents personally!
Will he doorknock more closer to the election? Maybe, but it’s only part of a bigger picture with James. What has he actually done for Stockton South?
UPDATE Feb 2015: He has started appearing in group photos out canvassing, but whether he doorknocks much is still in question. Of course, it’s closer to the election as I write this, so he’s bound to up his game slightly…..
DATA PROTECTION ACT
19th August 2014 – Did James break the Data Protection Act? – “Concerns have been raised that Conservative MP for Stockton South James Wharton may have breached the Data Protection Act by sending a letter about the current conflict in Gaza, but only to Muslim voters”.
22nd August and the local paper have picked up the story – http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/mp-denies-picking-out-people-7639380
This link points out the sensitive data handling rules – http://www4.rgu.ac.uk/dp/general/page.cfm?pge=45486
HE DOESN’T SAY A LOT
http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/who-teessides-gobbiest-mps-comes-7602771 though to be fair, a lot of MP’s work, goes on in committees…..oh…he’s not on any according to Parliament’s own website – http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/commons/james-wharton/4123 – 13th August 2014
2011 – James threatens to sue a constituent over a cartoon!……http://politicalscrapbook.net/2011/07/james-wharton-sue-grann/
JAMES ATTEMPTS A TONGUE TWISTER
This Twitter exchange (his comment at the bottom of the screengrab) put me in mind of Donald Rumsfeld’s famous quote Mar 2015
THE REGISTER OF MEMBERS INTERESTS
(Summary of 2013 – to end of Jan 2015 shown above)
£39,750 in Jan 2015 alone, more than half his yearly salary!
Over £141,000 since 2013, and that’s excluding sponsorships of dinners.
His most Infamous donor…….
Mr Alexander Temerko
Temerko is a Russian billionaire with history himself…….
A RUSSIAN businessman donated £90,000 for a sculpture of David Cameron – months after his energy firm received £4.5million from taxpayers.
Wind farm company gets £4.5m contract just months after donations to the tories
“DROPPING HIM OFF”
My blog post gives you all the details I think Click Here, but it was also widely reported Click Here and Here This whole episode consisted of James digging a hole ever deeper for himself Firstly with the Deputy Speaker, then the following day The Speaker.
Above, James digging himself deeper, in fact a rare picture. Working.
Well no. His 2010 majority is 332…hardly in ‘safe’ territory, but read this from Conservative Home from 2010…..
Q. Tell us one interesting, unusual or surprising fact about your constituency.
A. It is the second safest Conservative seat in the North East of England
EXCEPT – It’s one of only 2 NE tory seats, therefore it had to be first or second safest NE seat! Duh……
REFERENDUM TALK/NO TALK
A You Tube clip Click Here, where James is interviewed one day saying the public don’t want MP’s to keep going on about the EU, and the next day says we need to talk about it!
£30,000 GRANT REQUEST FOR MATES COMPANY
Click Here – Stockton South MP James Wharton faced criticism after he wrote to jobs quango One North East asking them to speed up a grant to Trocabart, a company which once made giant concrete penises, and run by his former Conservative party pal Jason Hadlow. (Chronicle Live)
This article also fills in a little more detail – https://redfellow.wordpress.com/2013/05/19/
NOT HELPING PEOPLE IN STOCKTON SOUTH!
James uses models from Spain, to illustrate a leaflet on how he’s helping real people – http://politicalscrapbook.net/2013/10/123/# 11th Oct 2013