Highlights of the Pizzagate row as it unfolded

It's the public row with all the toppings. Here's how Pizzagate unfolded today on Pete Morgan at Breakfast on BBC WM:

Row - Paul Uppal, Roger Lawrence and Pat McFadden
Row - Paul Uppal, Roger Lawrence and Pat McFadden

Wolverhampton South West MP Paul Uppal and Wolverhampton South East MP Pat McFadden are asked who is to blame for the city council’s financial problems.

Paul Uppal: “I’ve been actually looking at some of the figures for the last seven months, figures released by Wolverhampton City Council, which actually show they have lost control of public spending.

“Just bear with me mate, these are very important figures. Four figures which I just want to highlight. £70,000 was spent by Wolverhampton City Council at the Westin Pune Park in October 2013, £1,500 at a branch of a Pizza Hut abroad in October 2013 and this is a shocking figure, £4,280 in cash withdrawals taken out by Wolverhampton employees on payment cards and over £140,000 on alcoholic beverages. These are absolutely shocking figures.

“They are from Wolverhampton City Council’s own website. I’ve been doing a lot of research on how they spend public money.”

Pat McFadden: “He said they spent £70,000 on a hotel in India and £1,400 in a Pizza Hut. These are not actually pounds. They’re rupees. What they spent in the hotel was £700. What they spent in the Pizza Hut was £14. If Paul doesn’t know the difference between a rupee and a pound, how can we accept his analysis of council spending? This is hopelessly and wildly inaccurate.

Paul Uppal: “Pat, I’m sorry about this, you can go and have a look at the website yourself. They spent £70,000 on a luxury five star hotel in India, £100,000 at a Park Plaza, £1,500 at a Pizza Hut and nearly five grand in cash withdrawals, £140,000 on alcoholic beverages. People can check it on the website themselves. There needs to be someone from the council to prove this was legitimate.

“For 20 years I worked in business. It’s the attitude that matters. It’s about how you spend that money.”

Pat McFadden: “If the analysis is the council has been wasteful and that analysis is not out by one or two but a factor of 100, if you’re alleging expenditure of £70,000 in a hotel and it turns out to be £700, that is wildly and hopelessly inaccurate.

Paul Uppal: “Why am I the only politician looking to provide solutions? No one is holding the council to account.”

Council leader Roger Lawrence then calls the show: “Paul Uppal owes the city council a serious apology. He is so desperate to save his skin, he did some sloppy research.

“The council had a very short trade mission to promote Wolverhampton and did indeed spend £723 on a reception for people out there.

“Part of that cost was paid by the university so the council paid less than half of it.

“If Paul Uppal had a brain cell, he’d realise the council has a Civic Hall. It puts on acts. It buys alcohol and re-sells it at a profit. A simple phone call could have clarified this in no time.

“He’s so keen to kick the council. He’s made himself look a right Charlie by not checking his facts.”

Comments for: "Highlights of the Pizzagate row as it unfolded"

What's the worst that can happen !

These figures may not be as bad as they initially looked, but surely if the Council leaders had an ounce of sense, they would ensure that all figures that are made public were accurate.

Mr Uppal will be criticized but it is the council hierarchy that once again are exposed as the incompetents that they are.

Phil

Looks like Mr Uppal just added 2 plus 2 and made 500.

His only concern is to try to invent red herrings to try and shift the blame for the consequences of these huge cuts in government funding to the Council. What I don't see any evidence of is of him fighting Wolverhampton's corner to try and get a better financial deal for the people he represents in parliament.

Lakeside

How right you are. I posted a series of statements and questions yesterday regarding Uppal's duties as an MP and it appears to have been removed by moderators.

Paul Uppal is like many MP's of all parties in that his Parliamentary presence is negligible and his effectiveness in representing the wider interest of his constituents is questionable.

With the council struggling as it is ( regardless of who is to blame for the mess ) Uppal's duty is to work hard to bring worthwhile investment, jobs and business to the town. He has yet to convince me he is capable of doing the job he was supposedly elected for. Yes, he represents a narrow interest group and fairly wealthy constituency but he should represent Wolverhampton positively. Making cheap political points is easy and is perhaps an indicator of his real ability. The tough stuff is beyond him.