Tatler’s Intriguing Top Tory Totty

It is seemingly slim pickings for a single girl in Westminster. Tatler’s annual list of London’s most Eligible Bachelors 2010 is out. In the top ten we have one Christopher Myers, presumably going for the lifetime achievement award, and our miniature Member from Penrith, Rory “definitely not a spook” Stewart.

While the the girls might find it tough to win over Mr Myers, Guido is pretty sure both he and Chris are better dancers than Rory:

Form an orderly queue…

(Video courtesy: Sam England, Penrith)

How Liam Byrne Could Help the “Squeezed Middle”

Liam Byrne says that the “squeezed middle” are those on between £16,000 to £50,000 and Labour’s task in reviewing policy is to help them. Guido is glad to hear it. Presumably he would therefore support those struggling on middle incomes being taken out of the higher-rate tax bracket, which kicks in at a ridiculously low £37,401? That is smack bang in the middle of the range he defines, surely it should kick in at £50,001, above the income levels of those hard squeezed middle classes. C’mon Liam, review that policy…

Quote of the Day

A Labour hack tweets

“Phoned Lib Dem Head Office and asked for copy of manifesto. They said they’d sold out. I said “I know, but can I have a manifesto?””

Boris Faces Mistress Scandal Probe

The ongoing mystery surrounding Boris’s mistress, her then boyfriend’s £80,000 donation and her subsequent landing of a job as an Olympic fundraiser just got a little more serious for the wayward Mayor.

Boris is now facing an official investigation regarding Helen Macintyre, the mother of his love child and the latest “love of his life”, and why exactly she got her job. The Standard neatly summarises some awkward questions that need answering:

What are the claims Boris faces?

That he has breached several sections of the GLA code of conduct. This states he should never “improperly confer an advantage on any person”, “place yourself in situations where honesty and integrity may be questioned” or make any decision which affects the “financial position of… any person with whom you have a close association”. It also states that he must “make decisions on merit, including making appointments” and “indicate that you have a personal interest” when one arises.

Labour have triggered the investigation and smell blood after Boris’s election promise to end cronyism at City Hall, something that so damaged the last months of Ken’s regime, though it should be borne in mind that the post was unpaid. Still, not sure this one can be dismissed as an “inverted pyramid of piffle”…

UPDATE : Whilst we’re on the subject, Guido has been meaning to mention for some time that Helen Macintyre’s nickname at Edinburgh University – given to her by a boyfriend – was “mini-cheddars”.

Quote of the Day

John Kampfner says

“Newspapers that have no compunction about invasions of privacy or about shrill comment devote precious little time or energy to challenging authority through rigorous investigative journalism. Most political “scoops” are merely stories planted by politicians on pliant lobby hacks. … They love being invited to the “D-notice” committee to discuss how they can all behave “responsibly”. It makes them feel important. Many suspend their critical faculties as a result. Far from being “feral beasts”, to use Tony Blair’s phrase, the British media are overly respectful of authority. Newspapers and broadcasters tend to be suspicious of those who do not play the game, people like Mr Assange who are awkward outsiders.”

It Was Ivan

Further to Guido’s speculation as to who is the “hound-dog” minister that the American diplomats referred to, an authoritative source gets in touch. Apparently it wasn’t Prezza who the American’s found handy, but none other than Ivan Sex Text Pest Lewis.

It was McBride that briefed the story to the News of the World, was he also gossiping with American diplomats? Guido wanted to ask Ivan how he felt about being described in such explicit ways, but it seems he isn’t so keen on phones anymore. No reply from his office yet…

UPDATE : Guido put it to someone in Ivan’s office that this was about to break. They said they were “aware”…

Monday Morning Cartoon

Hound Dog Minister

According to the Guardian one cable reveals how the US embassy in London passed on intelligence about a British Labour minister, picked up from civil servant contacts, saying he “reportedly remains a bit of a hound dog where women are concerned” he was “forced to apologize … to a female … who accused him of sexual harassment … and has had marital troubles in the last few years … Contacts who know him well report he has manic depressive tendencies – ‘he’s very up one minute, very down the next’, and at least one … colleague has described xxx as a ‘bully’.”

Guido’s money is on Prescott, this rumour went around some years ago and concerned not Tracey Temple but another civil servant. The Guardian’s quest for transparency has limits – they are holding back the name – your media betters keeping you in the dark…

UPDATE : Some suggestion that it is Ivan Lewis. To be fair, it could be any one of many randy Labour ministers…



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Quote of the Day

Former Labour MP Dame Anne Begg:

“[Iain Duncan Smith] took to standing behind me during Prime Minister’s Questions. He stood at what’s called the Bar of the House and occasionally he would lean on my wheelchair. Our working relationship was slightly fraught anyway because I’d been critical of him a lot. I wanted to keep that criticism a professional criticism, not a criticism of him as a person so I never quite built up the courage to actually say: ‘Please don’t do that.'”

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