Laws Has “Lost the Hunger”

A noticeable absence in Liverpool was David Laws. Speculation is rife that he will be back in Cabinet soon but according to Pink News Laws has made it be known that “he’s lost the hunger”. In the mean time it seems he is writing “22 Days in May” about his brief moment in the limelight. No War and Peace then.

The Treasury needs a successful businessmen at its heart, not a former National Park spinner and depending on the outcome of the parliamentary standards inquiry the pressure for Laws to step up to the mark might just outweigh any loss of appetite. The punters are still confident it will be happen.

No Takers for Staggers Diane Abbott Victory Party

The word is that the New Statesman are having a little bit of trouble drumming up the numbers for their party at Labour conference this Sunday. Guido is surprised the finest and shrewdest political journalists of the left aren’t more popular. Their circulation may have plummeted, but there is free booze after all. Who wouldn’t want to go along to what will be the Diane Abbott victory party:

Well there goes Guido’s spot on the guest-list…

Gilligan’s Sexed Up / Non-Existent CV

The was one little gem from the minutes of Labour’s incredibly dull, but hilariously messy NEC meeting on Tuesday to try sort out their candidate for Mayor of Tower Hamlets. Previous Labour runner Lutfur Rahman was removed after an investigation was launched into him breaking the Representation of the Peoples Act. Andrew Gilligan has been stirring the pot and Keith Vaz regaled an old tale about slandered him to the assembled grandees:

“I gave Andrew Gilligan a job as an intern 20 years ago. He was dismissed because he had forged references for his CV.”

Guido hadn’t heard that one before and was very surprised it didn’t appear during Gilligan’s slightly more high-profile battle with Labour. Given this claim is made by Vaz, Guido has emailed the seeker of truth that is Andrew Gilligan, but he hasn’t so far had a reply…

UPDATE : Andrew Gilligan emails back (within 45 minutes) : “It’s completely untrue and actionable. I was never employed by Vaz – I did a few weeks’ work experience with him in 1987 – and I never submitted either a CV or references, forged or otherwise. Running it would be outrageous. Nor are these NEC minutes. They are an account of the meeting written by one member of the NEC from her own far-left perspective.” Looks like Gilligan should sue Vaz for slander…

Robinson’s 10 O’Clock Hiccup

To Liverpool’s Gusto restaurant on Tuesday night where the great and good of the BBC political team were loudly dining. Guido’s scouser eyes and ears spotted the full house of  Nick Robinson, Laura Kuenssberg, Jon Sopel and James Landsdale.

Having told  the waiter that he couldn’t drink anymore because he had to go to work, Robinson darted out at 9.50 to do his piece for the 10 o’clock news, but not before speaking with Laura, furiously scribbling down what she said. 10 minutes later her phone rings and she leapt up and went outside. Apparently it was Nick on the phone asking what he should say, hic, again…

Counting Begins

The campaigning is over, the counting has begun. For political punters like Guido there is a fascinating divergence between the punters and the pollsters, YouGov is calling it narrowly for Red Ed, the punters reckon it will be David Miliband. Why?

Guido has heard various theories:

  • YouGov got the weighting wrong for the union affiliates – being peddled by some Mili-D supporters.
  • YouGov / LeftFootForward have analysed the distribution of second preferences incorrectly – something Guido has questioned.
  • Someone is deliberately manipulating the betting markets on behalf of Mili-D to influence the MP/MEPs’ votes – they want to back a winner for careerist reasons – they can be influenced by the publicly available odds.

We’ll find out in two days…

Paddy Power and William Hill are no longer taking bets fearing something might leak. The latest prices from Political Smarkets* are:

David

Ed

Next Labour Leader :

64%

34%

MP/MEPs’ Favourite :

89%

35%

Member’s Favourite :

67%

36%

Union affiliate’s Favourite :

11%

93%

In the humiliation stakes punters still reckon that despite Guido’s never-ending support, Ed Balls is still the favourite to to be eliminated in the first round. Guido thinks he might not come last and is a seller at 41%.

*These are implied probabilities, when they add up to over 100% it is called the “over-round”, the bigger the over-round the less efficient the market is, for an explanation see here.



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Quote of the Day

Liz Kendall is asked by Tom Newton Dunn if she would ever ban the Sun from one of her press conferences:

“If you stripped naked and ran in front of me, Tom, I might have second thoughts about it, but apart from that, no.”

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