Judging by the comments below he let Jacqui Smith off the hook (surprise) over Damian Green. According to PoliticsHome’s transcript when “asked about claims Mr Green had been bugged she said she would have had to sign a warrant for that to happen and she had not”. More when it is up on iPlayer.
UPDATE 11.50 : According to comments below the PoliticsHome transcript is incorrect. Pretty crucial detail to get wrong if they have.
UPDATE 12.20 : Have now watched the interview. She gave the impression, but did not state that she had not authorised bugging. Marr actually seemed better than average.
Regular readers will know that this allgation was a central part of Guido’s campaign against the Sith. Essentially the Smith Institute was a slush fund for Gordon’s ambitions. The Tories are now convinced that Ed Balls continued working for Gordon Brown when he was on the charity’s payroll. They have been trying for six months to ascertain whether or not he continued to have access to the Treasury with a security pass. Guido has other evidence that Ed Balls continued to act as Gordon Brown’s political adviser during th 2004 / 5 period when he was being paid by the charity. Not only Balls but also Tony Pilch, a former SpAd close to Balls, and Bob Shrum during the same over-lapping period were working for the Smith Institute.
According to the Sunday Times “the Tories are submitting a complaint to the Electoral Commission and John Lyon, the parliamentary commissioner for standards. They want Brown to be challenged over whether Balls had a pass.”
Guido understands that the Electoral Commission is already making inquiries, including in the United States, following a complaint made last July (after the Charity Commission report condemned the Smith Institute for partisan activity) by the Sunlight Centre for Open Politics. That letter of complaint (here) focused on the activities of U.S. pollster Bob Shrum. Shrum was paid by the Smith Institute to advise Gordon Brown, these slush payments are a serious breach of electoral law.
Farage Denies Affair With Aide | Sun
Miliband: From Uncertainty to Confusion | Ben Brogan
Dave in Israel | Breitbart
Farage Accused of Employing ‘Former Mistress’ | Mail
Watch Andy Coulson Hit Himself on the Head | Scrapbook
Governments Should Give People a Say | LabourList
Bob Crow’s Successor Needs to Find a Better Way | Arpana Gandhi
Owen Jones’ First Class Hypocrisy | Mail
Licence Fee Should Not Be a Criminal Matter | Mail
Let’s Have a Tory-UKIP Pact | Norman Tebbit
Vote Labour and Don’t Have a Say | Sun
Nigel Farage says:
“This is somebody using Parliamentary privilege to say something that they would be very nervous about saying in public. This particular line is something that she and others have been pushing since 2006. The answer is exactly the same as it has always been — it isn’t true, it is malicious gossip. Nikki Sinclaire wanted to be the leader of UKIP and will say anything that can be seen to damage me. Nothing she says surprises me in any way at all, she is capable of almost anything.”