UK News Expenses scandal peer to quit top job
Ferrari says Formula 1 quit threat still serious despite Alfa deal
Ferrari's threat to pull out of Formula 1 after 2020 remains serious, says its president Sergio Marchionne, regardless of the decision to bring sister brand Alfa Romeo back with Sauber .Marchionne gave the green light last week for Alfa Romeo to become title sponsor of the Sauber team, in a commercial deal that includes technical cooperation between the two parties.That apparent show of faith in the F1 brand by Marchionne has raised some eyebrows because it came just a few weeks after he had threatened to leave the championship if engine rules are dumbed down too much.
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Labour's Chief Whip in the Lords is to quit - after admitting claiming expenses for overnight accommodation in London and for commuting by train from Brighton.
Lord Steve Bassam claimed £260,000 over seven years - £36,366 a year - in an allowance for senior members of the House of Lords if their main home is not in the capital.
But at the same time he claimed £41,000 - £6,400 a year - in travel expenses for rail tickets and cab fares as he made the one-hour, 55-mile train journey daily from Brighton to London.
Sky News has learnt the 64-year-old peer announced his plans to resign at the weekly meeting of Labour peers.
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"Steve has told fellow members of the Labour Lords group that he plans to step down from his role as Opposition Chief Whip early in 2018 once a replacement has been elected by our peers," a Labour source in the Lords told Sky News.
"That will happen by the end of January or early February, depending on the election timetable."
The Lords Office Holders Allowance claimed by Lord Bassam is essentially a second home allowance for senior peers whose duties require them to be in the Palace of Westminster for long hours.
Lord Bassam was a Labour minister under Tony Blair and has been the party's Chief Whip in the Lords since 2008.
He is also a former leader of Brighton Council who was awarded a peerage by Mr Blair in 1997 and appointed as a junior Home Office minister.
Marchionne insists Ferrari quit threat is 'serious'
Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne has insisted Ferrari’s threat to quit Formula 1 amid the proposed 2021 engine regulations and reduction in revenue is “serious”, despite increasing his ties in the sport with Alfa Romeo. Earlier this year, the FIA held a meeting in Paris with various engine manufacturers to discuss the direction F1 would take with engines from 2021. The current 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged power units have been under scrutiny due to its lack on noise and complexity. The decision taken was the engine would remain in 2021 but with higher revs and the removal of the MGU-H. The aim of the regulations is to close the performance gap at the front of the field, Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull hold a considerable advantage with their larger budgets – another issue the sports owners Liberty Media is looking to resolve. While Marchionne partly orchestrated the recent Alfa Romeo-Sauber partnership, the Ferrari boss claimed the deal would have no influence on the Scuderia’s stance in F1 post-2020. “The dialogue has started and will continue to evolve,” Marchionne said at the Alfa Romeo-Sauber launch. ‘We have time until 2020 to find a solution which benefits Ferrari. “The threat of Ferrari leaving Formula 1 is serious. The agreement with Sauber expires in 2020-2021, right when Ferrari could leave. “We have to find a solution which is good for the sport but we also have to be clear on the things we can’t back down on.
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Former Tory peer Lord Hanningfield cleared of false accounting charges. Labour MP claimed for ‘crisis management’ expenses after scandal . Ipsa report says £925,000 was paid between 125 people before general election, but each had a job for a different MP within 10 weeks.
As Chief Whip, the second most senior position in his party in the Lords, he is responsible for discipline among Labour peers. He is also a member of Jeremy Corbyn's shadow cabinet.
He cannot be sacked because his post is an elected one. So rather than await the outcome a party disciplinary inquiry, he has quit at the earliest opportunity.
Lord Bassam is nicknamed 'Lord Swampy' because he set up the Brighton and Hove Squatters Union in the 1970s and campaigned to bring empty properties into use.
When his double expenses claims were revealed in the Mail on Sunday, he agreed to pay back the £41,000 he claimed in travel expenses, a much smaller sum than his claims for accommodation.
"With my home outside London, I have been in receipt of the relevant office holders allowance for the Opposition Chief Whip in the Lords," he said.
"At the same time, in accordance with rules laid down by the House, I have claimed costs for my regular travel to and from Parliament.
"While I have not been advised that any breach of the rules has taken place, waiving the right to such travel claims would perhaps have been a more appropriate response on my part.
"I will not be submitting any further claims in this way and instead use the office holders' allowance to cover those additional costs.
"I will also discuss with House officials the steps necessary to repay previous travel claims."
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