Spink Claimed £1,053.98 For ‘General Media Advice’

General Media AdviceAMONG THE FIVE SEPARATE CLAIMS he made for legal expenses from his Incidental Expenses Provision (IEP), Bob Spink claimed £1,053.98 of taxpayers’ money to pay a bill from David Price, Solicitors and Advocates, which they raised on 9th February, 2005.

The services provided were for ‘General Media Advice.’

Readers will remember that Dr Spink declined to answer questions on the £23,076.45 of public funds he claimed in respect of legal fees in his published expenses; but the fact that this bill is raised so close on the heels of a Mail On Sunday article (alleging that Spink had had an affair with a former councillor, Gail Boland, which had led to the break-up of Spink’s marriage) strongly suggests that this, and another claim for a further £8,512.50, relate to his successful libel action against the Conservative Party and five newspapers concerning the story.

The Mail On Sunday article appeared on 30 January, 2005, and the David Price invoice was raised just ten days later (on the 9th February, that year).

In the case that was heard on 17th October, 2008, in London’s High Court, Spink was reportedly awarded ‘substantial damages’ — in addition to his legal costs. Gail Boland also received compensation from the Conservative Party.

The David Price invoice appears to be the marker between Spink’s libel action and another set of legal costs, claimed the previous year. These amount to £13,509.97, and research shows that this corresponds to the time of his continuing dispute with Castle Point Councillor Bill Sharp.

However, in speaking to this blog, Mr Sharp thought it unlikely that their dispute could be interpreted as having anything to do with Dr Spink’s position as an MP, and therefore refused to think that it could form part of the latter’s IEP expenses claim.

Mr Sharp told this blog: ‘At no time did I ever imply or state that I intended to prevent Spink from performing his duties as an elected MP.’

But Mr Sharp did confirm that David Price was the firm employed by Dr Spink throughout their dispute.

‘He [Bob Spink] used David Price himself for all the legal matters he pursued: starting from the day in August 2003, when I found my ex in his home, and they both ran away,’ recalled Mr Sharp.

‘That evening she arrived home late and issued me with a document from Price stating I was to say nothing about any possible relationship between Spink and her — on threat of legal action.’

‘I have all the papers of all the cases between Spink and myself,’ Mr Sharp continued. ‘Stupidly I thought the law and justice were the same animal, and attempted to act for myself in these cases.

‘I found myself in a small court in Southend facing David Price QC and his QC assistant.

‘I lost.’

Bob Spink, MPIt should be pointed-out that, throughout that sorry affair, Bob Spink made no mention of any use of public funds. Indeed, in his press release regarding the matter, Mr Spink makes clear his sensitivity on the subject of using taxpayers’ cash. He states: ‘I asked for a further final police warning to be administered, rather than the alternative that was offered to me of having Mr Sharp prosecuted in the criminal courts.

‘I did this to save public time and money.’

Mr Spink goes on to say: ‘I work hard for my constituents and I am totally straight.

‘Frankly, that is very much needed in politics, both locally and nationally.’

… (30/06/2009) – I Was ‘Off The Record,’ Sarah. You Were Not.

… (03/07/2009) – Lord Hanningfield Questioned Over Expenses Claims

… (12/02/2010) – ‘If we are to publish anything, it needs to be a balanced, legally-sound news story’

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  1. […] …(27/06/2009) – Spink Claimed £1,053.98 For General Media Advice […]

  2. […] published the Spink Claimed £1,053.98 For ‘General Media Advice’ piece as soon as I had it confirmed. A couple of hours later, Cllr Sharp got back to me and I […]

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