Excl: Tom Watson’s driver recorded boasting of unreported ‘loan’ of £25,600 to prevent MP Shah ‘bankruptcy’

Bill Gavan describes raising large sum to pay off debt for Bradford West MP day after 2015 election, but no entry seems to have been made in register of interests

Tom Watson’s driver-cum-fixer has been recorded boasting of raising almost £26,000 to prevent Bradford West MP Naz Shah being taken to bankruptcy court on the day she was first elected in 2015.

Bill Gavan, a Sandwell councillor and close ally of former Labour deputy leader Tom Watson, was recorded by a local whistleblower and can be heard explaining the move to rescue ‘that woman elected up in… Bradford’ – as well as boasting of arranging for payment of a hotel bill for a married political figure whose wallet had been stolen while meeting a woman in London when he was supposed to be abroad.

Gavan boasts that ‘we’ did it, but does not specify in the recording which people ‘we’ represents.

Gavan can also be heard swearing as he recalls that the MP then ‘got herself f***ing suspended‘ – and her appointment as a candidate by Labour’s NEC (National Executive Committee) – before saying to his listener that Shah faced bankruptcy court on the morning after the 2015 general election. Bankruptcy can in some circumstances render a candidate ineligible for election or an MP ineligible to remain in Parliament.

Gavan then explains that ‘we’ raised £25,600 to pay the outstanding debt – and that this was a ‘loan’ eventually repaid:

Register of interests

Parliamentary rules on MPs’ financial declarations state that members must declare:

any financial or non-financial benefit received by a MP or Member of the Lords which might reasonably be thought by others to influence their actions, speeches or votes in Parliament or influence their actions taken in their capacity as a Member.

However, Ms Shah does not appear to have declared the receipt of such a ‘loan’ in her “Register of Members’ Interests” for that year or the following year:

Naz Shah’s December 2015 Register of Interests entry

In fact, as of the time of writing the SKWAWKBOX has been unable to find an entry in Ms Shah’s register for anything resembling the loan mentioned by Bill Gavan.

Might she simply have repaid the loan before her first entry in the register in early June 2015? Ms Shah has not responded to requests for comment and Bill Gavan declined to say when the loan was repaid or to whom.

However, a loan being repaid does not remove the need for a declaration. Then-contender for the Labour leadership Jeremy Corbyn, for example, received a loan toward the cost of his campaign – and declared this in the first register entry after it was received.

But he also continued to declare it many months after it was repaid:

Corbyn’s entry in the Register of 14 December 2015 shows a loan repaid 5 months earlier

Tom Watson’s entry in the same December 2015 register similarly shows a loan he had repaid months before.

The purpose of the Register of Members’ Financial Interests is, as parliamentary rules make clear, to ensure transparency in anything that “might reasonably be thought by others to influence their actions, speeches or votes in Parliament or influence their actions taken in their capacity as a Member“.

Even a repaid loan provided in a crisis might ‘reasonably be thought’ to carry such influence long after the repayment. Bill Gavan said of the loan he claimed was provided to Naz Shah that:

They were taking her to bankruptcy court the following morning… so we paid the bill of £25,600.

Naz Shah was first contacted for comment over Gavan’s claims in October last year. She was asked:

  • whether Gavan’s claims were true
  • whether she had declared the loan
  • whether she had ever been asked for any favours or cooperation as a result

She did not respond. Ms Shah was contacted again by email, mobile call and text message last weekend and was notified that publication was imminent as well as being asked to comment, but has not responded.

Tom Watson was contacted by email and text to ask whether he wished to comment on the issues. He did not respond by the time of publication.

Bill Gavan was contacted in 2019 and again on Monday. He claimed that he had just been spinning the eventual whistleblower ‘a yarn’, but also said that he did not wish to comment on whether the loan had been made, whether it had been repaid and if so to whom.

He did not deny that he had been talking about Naz Shah or dispute the authenticity of the recording.

He then said:

I have no comment and nor has Tom.

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  1. I’m so f.ing glad that Skwawkbox has come up with this bit of tittle-tattle re. a victim of the Israel Lobby/JLM on the same day that Trump unveils the latest move to stuff the Palestinians.

    Talk about being up your own fundamental orifice!

    1. THIS – ie RH’s comment – is a perfect example of why the shills monitor this site 24/7! AND get their put-down in FIRST – ie right at the top of the comments section!

      Anyone with an inquiring mind would be asking themselves what on earth is the connection between Naz Shah and Watson’s driver – and FIXER – and no doubt Watson himself AND why HE/Watson would do such a thing. And the very fact that it wasn’t declared implies VERY strongly that they all had something to hide. It all sounds VERY dodgy and corrupt to ME, but RH would have you think and believe it’s all just tittle-tattle!

      And what about the ‘married political figure’?! One can’t help thinking that criminal elements are involved in all this, and it seems HIGHLY unlikely that there haven’t been OTHER such episodes involving Watson and his driver-cum-fixer, as it seems highly improbable that there were only the TWO which happened to be taped/recorded.

      And the fact that none of them are willing to respond to skwawkbox and willing to elaborate about it FURTHER implies that they have something to hide. I mean if it was all above board, then why wouldn’t you, if for no other reason than to end the speculation

      1. “why the shills monitor this site 24/7! AND get their put-down in FIRST”

        Once again the *actual* ‘full-time monitor’ gets on his tall pony. The actuality (always foreign body to Allan) is, as always, that I was astounded to see this gossip when I briefly looked at the site late last night after listening to the latest episode in the screwing over of the Palestinians – on the car radio.

        The item is just an illustration of an unhealthy obsession with the gone Watson to the exclusion of real politics.

        If there’s any substance – let the appropriate course of action be taken. Chuck a stone in any direction in parliament and you’ll come up with worse.

      2. The very fact that a paid shill who monitors and posts on this site all day long every day and in practically every thread/article that skwawkbox posts – and HAS been for about eighteen months – is down-playing and being dismissive of this story AND was the first to comment, just reinforces the suspicion that something very untoward took place. And being the good little propagandist shill that he is, I see that he has now posted THREE more comments further down the page of a similar dismissive nature. Repetition is what propagandists do!

        The reason I came on this thread late last night was to specifically post a link to an article and a video clip regarding false and phony claims/smears that the president of the BoD made about Jeremy, but on seeing RH’s dismissive comment in relation to this story about Naz Shah, I felt compelled to ‘reply’ to it, and so I did. And then posted the comment about Van der Zyl.

        PS Oh, right, and I wonder how many MORE times in the coming weeks before a new leader is elected and Jeremy stands down that RH will – either directly or indirectly – be calling him a coward! Repetition, repetition, repetition, it’s a subtle form of brain-washing you see, and THAT’s why black propagandists do it. Needless to say, if I was monitoring the site all the time RH I would have responded to your 9.40am ‘reply’ seven or eight hours ago!

      3. “[repetition] it’s a subtle form of brain-washing you see,”

        Does that include your rather silly repetition of baseless accusation and why on earth do you feel the need to give us a detailed justification for why you are posting a comment. WGAF

      4. Oh I see SteveH has jumped in AGAIN, as per usual! Yep, another one of the all-day every-day im-posters (and THAT’s assuming they’re not one and the same!)!

        And how very sweet that HE – SteveH – should post a comment at 3.02pm (in respect of the skwawkbox article) saying ‘Is there really anything to see here….’, in effect backing up what RH said, and then RH should just happen to ‘Reply’ to his comment at 3.16pm, just fourteen minutes later!

        So where’s ‘timfrom’? Giving him a break today are we!

    2. RH don’t throw the rattle out of the pram.You should be aware that there will be genuine interest where Watson’s name comes up.and his handy wheelman.No judgments here and being pro Palestinian,or a socialist working class or anything else does not absolve any of us from genuine questions….and why bancrupcys should be held as a stick to beat someone I cannot imagine ,or used to measure the morality of a person or character…IN the world of credit card debt,payday loans and crushing interest rates for joe public no one should have to suffer because of crippling debt and that includes Naz shah…….The intervention of Watson must be accounted.for though.

      1. It’s simply about a sense of proportion, Joseph.

        The constant ranting about Watson isn’t going to win any battles. That’s the major continuing episode of ‘rattle chucking’.

  2. There may well be records of a Bankruptcy case if service was involved. As any time you are served notice of a court case it has to be registered.

    1. Normally a Creditor would have served a statutory demand if they were looking to make someone bankrupt

  3. I have a feeling that the following article may have been posted on here at the time it was posted on JVLs website, but whatever the case, please check it out if you haven’t done so already AND be sure to watch and listen to the video clip, which has Van der Zyl – the president of the BoD – lying through her teeth about Jeremy and claiming that he “is spending more and more time with terrorists and extremists”, and repeats it THREE times (in the space of less than four minutes) like the good little black propagandist she is. JVL posted the article on their website on Jan 21st, and the video clip is from August 2018:


    1. THAT should have read that a LINK to the article on JVLs website may have been posted on here at the time!

  4. I do not know about Naz shah,but if we ha proper rules of conduct for mps we wouldn’t be in such a mess with our own PLP.We know parliament has rules but they are not as strict as those for councillors.And when it comes to the PLP they are a un democratic shambles who are a law to themselves. Naturally we can’t make rules for a job that attracts some of the most devios criminal mind s but we can at least try..I do not make any judgment on Shah although the article flags a lot of questions especially when his lordship is mentioned Twatson.?

  5. Aww, and Gavan thought he had a fwend…

    Watson’s trusted a blabbermouth with a secret capable of bringing him and Shah down.
    Shah seems to have kept a damaging issue secret, presumably through the selection process and beyond.
    Gavan, trusted with a confidence, has repeated it to who knows how many people.

    All three have brought the party into disrepute on a matter of financial probity. Not trivial.
    The other two would defer to Watson whatever he decided, therefore he bears most responsibility. I’d imagine Shah must have been desperate to ask him for help. Maybe she was blameless, maybe not.
    Gavan appears to be a sycophant type who’d have done anything to serve Watson – I wouldn’t be surprised to learn he drove him around without pay. Maybe he feels abandoned and betrayed now that Watson’s moved up in the world and maybe he deliberately spilled the beans. Or not.

    1. Tom lordy Watson and his wheelman are beginning to sound like Bugsy malone and his gang…..I suppose he is a member of the Lords very soon and the wheelman will be employed to drive. I wonder what they get up to on their drivearound ?..especially when your wheelman has a smartmouth!….WE must be told?

  6. ”I have no comment and nor has Tom.”

    I’m Brian, and so’s my wife!

    …Interesting to see rh putting up more of a protest for watson over this than he did for watson’s shithousery when a *ahem* ‘serving’ MP.

    You can quit the pretence, dicky. Everyone knew/knows your game anyway.

    1. Being a twat isn’t a compulsory lifestyle, Toffee.

      If you had a tad more intelligence, you’d see that my remarks weren’t about Watson – just the total ineffectuality of continually bleating about him rather than getting to grips with current politics.

      The tendency to think that endlessly bullshitting to the converted about Watson and his ilk is a test of ‘left wing’ virility is sad rather than perceptive character trait.

      Meanwhile the caravan moves on. And the spivs are in charge of it.

  7. “Naz Shah was first contacted for comment over Gavan’s claims in October last year. “

    If there really is anything to see here I am somewhat surprised that those ‘in the know’ didn’t see fit to immediately report their suspicions and evidence to both the Labour Party and the parliamentary authorities.

    It is worth noting that Naz Shah is obviously very popular in her constituency. Unlike many other Labour MPs she has substantially and consistently increased her share of the vote from 49.5% (when she defeated George Galloway) to 64.7% in 2017 (when Salma Yaqoob contested the seat) and to 76.2% in 2019 (a record for the constituency).

    1. Good to see that Corbyn has his eye on the ball (PMQs) and the real news about the fake Trump proposals for annexation of Palestine.

      … and also that Burgon is unambiguous about the real news rather than piddling about with this non-story of chatter.

      Of course – neither will cut through the media blackout, but at least they weren’t diverted by trivia.

      1. Is that the same Jeremy Corbyn you have repeatedly called a coward?

  8. The shills on here who monitor the site and post comments ALL day long EVERY single day have posted dozens and dozens of comments during the past year or so – probably hundreds – berating those who have been falsely accused of A/S for apologising, and yet THAT is precisely what Naz Shah did, but RH – in his quest to down-play the ‘loan’ – criticises skwawkbox for running this story and, by way of doing so, says in his initial post that she is ‘a victim of the Israel Lobby/JLM’. Yep, THAT’s what shills/propagandists DO – ie cite them as the victim when it serves their purpose AND condemn them for apologising when it suits their purpose on OTHER occasions.

    Anyway, I thought I would put a link to an article re her apology AND, in the process, came across the following Spectator ‘article’, which is a complete and utter joke. The article – based on Buzzfeed ‘revelations’ – alleges that the LP ‘diluted’ Shah’s apology (prior to being published), but then we learn in an ‘update’ at the end of the article that THAT wasn’t the case at all, and the update begins by saying: ‘It appears that the edits were made by Shah’s office.’

    Anyway, even as I was reading the Spectator article (and PRIOR to seeing the update), I was thinking and wondering who it was that leaked this to Buzzfeed if it was indeed true, which I had my doubts about, but when I then read the update, I of course wondered who the source of the story was that alleged the LP had ‘diluted’ Shah’s apology, and so I found the Buzzfeed article (which had been amended and updated) to see if it mentioned who the source was, and THIS is what it says:

    On Wednesday, Shah released a statement apologising for Facebook posts she shared in 2014….. BuzzFeed News was shown what was referred to as a “final draft” of the statement that contained passages that did not appear in the published version. A source close to the discussions said that this was because it had been heavily edited by Labour officials.

    ‘A source close to the discussions…..’? Well given that the ONLY ‘discussions’ that had gone on were in Naz Shah’s office, how is it that the original draft of her apology was ‘shown’ to Buzzfeed and ‘referred to as the ‘final draft” AND the LP then accused of diluting her apology! Whoever did so KNEW that the only version the LP saw was the actual final draft, and I can’t help thinking that whoever advised her to edit certain phrases/passages was the person responsible for the leak AND advised her to edit the passages because they were planning to do what they then did. And THAT’s assuming Naz Shah herself wasn’t a party to the ruse-cum-smear. And needless to say, by the time the updates were added, many people would have already read the story and NOT be aware that the LP did no such thing:


    Yes, I know it’s convoluted, but it so often IS trying to unravel the machinations of the saboteurs!

    I just checked, and the Buzzfeed article was updated over five hours later AND the obvious just this minute occurred to me – ie that WHOEVER showed Buzzfeed the initial draft AND referred to it as a ‘final draft’ MUST have been a party to the ruse-cum-smear, and Buzzfeed MUST know that that’s the case, so why didn’t they expose the person concerned for doing so. It doesn’t make sense that they wouldn’t UNLESS of course they themselves were a party to the ruse-cum-smear! And so they MUST have been!! I mean Buzzfeed gives EVERY indication that there was ONE person who showed them what they referred to as the final draft, and then ANOTHER person who they describe as a ‘source close to the discussions’ who told them the ‘final draft’ had been ‘heavily edited by Labour officials’. Hmm…….

    1. As for the bits that were edited, well the Spectator headline is/was the following (just in case you didn’t notice what it says in the link I posted to the article):

      ‘Labour accused of editing Naz Shah’s apology to remove references to anti-Semitism’

      And in view of the Buzzfeed article saying that Naz Shah’s statement/apology was published on the Wednesday, I thought I would quickly check out the time-line just now – ie what date the Wednesday was in relation to their article published on April 27th (2016) – and the Wednesday was the ***27th***!!! Needless to say, it was all planned in advance of Naz Shah’s apology being published and Buzzfeed were in on it from the outset, or thereabouts! Or are we supposed to believe that shortly after her apology someone showed them what they referred to as the final draft, and then someone ELSE ‘close to the discussions’ told them LP officials had ‘heavily edited’ it, and then Buzzfeed wrote the article and posted it, and ALL in a matter of a few hours. What a joke!

      1. And there he is AGAIN, within just over 20 minutes of me posting my comment! As I keep saying, the im-posters monitor the site 24/7!

        Oh, and he pretends that there’s nothing much to it all – ie my assessment of what happened regarding Naz Shah’s apology. You’re a joker Steve, aren’t you!

        So have you nothing to actually say about the ruse-cum-smear then Steve? And since when does one have to be ‘passionate’ when they come across a story that doesn’t add up AND was obviously concocted and designed to lead people to believe that JC Labour Party officials were trying to minimise the A/S aspect of Shah’s statement/apology?

        First Steve makes an assumption (although in reality he invented it) and then says ‘the question is why?’, as if to say that I have to have some ulterior motive for doing so! If, by chance, you happen to come across a story that was obviously all concocted and constructed and designed to discredit the LP Steve, wouldn’t YOU then want to share the fact on here (and on other blogs possibly)?

        I await your answer with baited breath, but have little doubt that you will avoid answering it, and for obvious reasons, because to say No, that you WOULDN’T, would be more than farcical and expose you for the fraud that you are, and to answer Yes would of course completely undermine why you said what you said in your post.

        Steve’s main objective is of course to divert readers attention away from what I just revealed regards the ‘Naz Shah apology’ smear, IMMEDIATELY anyone’s just finished reading it (my two posts that is), and THAT tells you ALL you need to know about him! I mean why would he want to do THAT?

        And don’t forget to answer my question Steve, will you! Cheers mate.

      2. Allan – An interesting fact for you to ponder on. All the comments from all the contributions on this page add up to a little over 3,100 words, you wrote over 61% of them.

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