Readers will remember that, in 2000, whilst working as a Conservative MEP, Whitby and Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill sparked controversy when he was quoted as saying:

  • I fly from Leeds/Bradford to Brussels and we get a set fee of around £500, but if I buy a cheaper ticket, economy class for about £160 and £250, I can pocket the difference and, as a capitalist, also as a British Conservative, I see it as a challenge to buy cheap tickets and make some profit on the system.

Understandably, the Labour Party called this proof that “sleaze is alive and well” within the Conservative Party.

The Conservative Party responded by condemning Mr Goodwill’s actions saying:

  • The party does not endorse the fiddling of expenses or the impression given that the system should be made available for personal profit“.

One would have thought that this public rebuke would have been enough for Mr Goodwill and he might have learned his lesson. But in fact, it did not diminish his ardour for making personal profit at the taxpayer’s expense.

He has recently been criticised in the national and local press for abusing of his Parliamentary expenses again by a novel form of double-dipping, thereby disgracing his Party and his office of Assistant Whip with responsibility for Treasury and DEFRA business.  Full story here:

Further investigation by Real Whitby investigative-journalists has revealed that, in fact, there is much worse afoot than this. Fresh and deeply disturbing information about Mr Goodwill’s property transactions can now be revealed.

Mr Goodwill, who received a taxpayer funded mortgage subsidy for his flat in London so thet he could carry out his duties as an MP, also has a substantial property portfolio managed by his own organization, “R W Goodwill Property Division”.

According to his Parliamentary Register of Interests, Mr Goodwill has betrayed the taxpayers trust by transferring the flat in London away from use in the service of his constituents, and to his personal commercial property management organisation, for use as a commercial rental property, along with other properties in his empire, for his own commercial gain.

Not content with obtaining income from a public asset, he has then gone on to double-dip by claiming £1,450 per month in rent allowances through the Parliamentary Expenses Scheme. Obviously this is totally contrary to the values of the Conservative Party whom he represents and shows contempt for the Conservative Party Policy, as quoted above.  It also shows contempt for the taxpayer and his own constituents.

Whilst I would emphasize that Mr Goodwill has not broken any laws, it should be remembered that he is not an Independent MP; he was elected to Parliament by his constituents on the Conservative Party platform and manifesto. This means that his constituents have a right to expect him to uphold the policies of the Conservative Party, for which they voted.

Clearly, he does not. He has deceived his electors to operate on his own agenda and manifesto – for private gain.  In so doing, he has let down the other decent and responsible Conservatives, many of whom behave respectably and meet the standards of personal conduct that their Party and their voters expect – hardly good form for an Assistant Whip.

In his statement, Mr Goodwill claimed “as a capitalist, also as a British Conservative, I see it as a challenge to …. make some profit on the system” thereby equating the values of the Conservative Party with expenses fiddling.  Former Prime Minister Edward Heath famously invented a term to describe people like Mr Goodwill; it was this:

  • The unacceptable face of capitalism”. 

In my view, Mr Goodwill quite obviously does not uphold Conservative values and has no place in the Conservative Party.

On the evidence of his own record of private profiteering, he has no place in public service at all.