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Lord Moonie - Classic champagne socialist - asking questions on behalf of Northrop Grumman Corporation.

The Sunday Herald runs a tale of sleaze and fine champagne socialist that hits to the heart of New Labour.

A LABOUR PEER AT THE centre of the "cash for laws" row is facing fresh controversy over his work for one of the world's biggest defence companies.

The Sunday Herald has established that around half the parliamentary questions tabled by Lord Moonie, a close friend of prime minister Gordon Brown, relate to areas of commercial interest to US-based Northrop Grumman Corporation.

Since July 2007, Moonie has been retained as a "non-parliamentary" consultant to one of the company's major American divisions, Northrop Grumman IT.

Last week, the former defence minister and Kirkcaldy MP was accused of being one of four Labour lords ready to accept money in return for helping amend legislation. Moonie, 61, said he would make introductions in return for £30,000 a year.

Now an investigation by this newspaper has found that 23 of the 46 written questions Moonie has had answered by the government in the Lords relate to defence work connected to Northrop Grumman Corp. These include the F35 joint strike fighter, the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Airbus A400M cargo plane, the Navy's Type 45 destroyer programme, and unmanned aerial drones for spying and bombing.

Moonie also asked a question about the Sentry Awacs early-warning aircraft. In 2005 Northrop Grumman won a £665 million contract to maintain and support the Royal Air Force's Awacs fleet over 20 years.

Moonie was ennobled in 2005 but did not ask any parliamentary questions in his first three years as a peer, according to Hansard. But since mid-2008 he has asked almost 50, all on defence issues.

Angus MacNeil, the Nationalist MP for the Western Isles, said "The coincidences do not look good. I would like to think there was no motivation when Lord Moonie asked these questions, and I am sure he will be able to tell us why he didn't ask any questions before he worked for this company."

Moonie also faces questions about his links to a rogue surveyor whose company pays him up to £40,000 a year for "parliamentary lobbying". George Henderson, 55, from Edinburgh, was expelled from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in January 2006. He was guilty of three charges, including failing to notify them when his indemnity insurance had expired.

Moonie is employed by Americium Developments (Edinburgh) Ltd, which Henderson runs with Glenrothes businessman Richard Nawrot. The company, which is overdue filing its accounts at Companies House, had only £1371 in the bank in January 2007. It claimed assets of £2,123,409, of which £2.1m was attributed to a "holistic concept for the delivery of complex public and private facilities", priced by the directors.

The Sunday Herald can also reveal the closeness of Moonie's links to Gordon Brown and Chancellor Alistair Darling. The peer, who entered the Lords after making way for Brown to be the Labour candidate in Kirkcaldy during boundary changes, bought Brown's flat in Kennington, south London. He allowed Darling to move into the property as his co-tenant between 2003 and 2006, according to the electoral roll.

Ken Beedle, director of international communications for Northrop Grumman, said: "Lord Moonie is retained as a consultant through Northrop Grumman IT Inc in the US. The role of the strategic advisory board, including Lord Moonie, is strictly limited to the provision of internal advice to Northrop Grumman IT in relation to its business in the UK.

"Members of the strategic advisory board are expressly prohibited from contacting, directly or indirectly, any public or government officials on our behalf and promoting or marketing any products or services of Northrop Grumman."

A friend of the fat bloated PM who no one has voted into his office, the one eyed Scottish idiot - ©Jeremy Clarkson - I can't see Gordon letting anyone investigate this one. 

A case of if the not so noble Lord faces jail time he will ensure others fall with him.

1 people have spoken:

Oldrightie said...

Labour sleaze, a very thick rooted trail of mint that goes way into the bunker's foundations!