Monday, May 16, 2011

Leader Slams Huhne

Not his bosses yet, but a damning leader in tomorrow’s Telegraph:

“Did he, as his wife apparently alleges, ask her to accept a speeding penalty on her driving licence on his behalf? Mr Huhne, who left Vicky Pryce for another woman, says this version of events is “simply incorrect”.”

Why did he say “incorrect” instead of “not true”? Did his lawyers advise him to give that wriggle room?

“He is, in other words, calling his estranged wife a liar. Yet to admit she is telling the truth is to confess to a criminal act. It could be argued that if Mr Huhne is in the right then he is entitled to save his own political skin by accusing the woman he abandoned of lying. But it still looks pretty caddish. It is worse if he is in the wrong and knows it – but thinks it can’t be proved. Either way, a thorough police investigation is required.”

One angle missed out is what if Huhne filled in the form without his wife’s knowledge, and she was in London as today’s digging proved that she was? Newsnight, hot on Guido’s tail, will be touching on this issue tonight. Either way a Secretary of State has been “the story” for near on 8 days. And it’s not going to go away tomorrow…

UPDATE : It looks like it will be a head-on car crash.

Guido imagines Huhne’s bill with Mishcon de Reya just soared…

Let Out Your Daughters – Andy Porter Gets Hitched

Guido is late to this one, but he wanted to pass on his warmest congratulations to man about town and Daily Telegraph Political Editor Andy “lock up your daughter” Porter, who finally tied the knot on Saturday. Many a maiden will be crestfallen at this news…

Guido’s wedding invitation must have got lost in the post, but he’s looking forward to the upcoming christening.

Very soon.

Crick is On the Case…

Guido goes to pixel breaking it at 13.52 and 7 minutes later Michael Crick reveals:

You snooze, you lose…

Exclusive: Proof Vicky Pryce Was Not In Essex That Day

Vicky Pryce claims that she was at work in central London on the 12th March 2003 and “attended a high profile conference” so she could not have taken the points in Essex. And it looks like she is telling the truth. She wouldn’t have got out of this event at the LSE until late that night:

Wednesday 12 March 2003 City Alumni event: 

“The New Economy was a fraud perpetrated by a slick public-relations machine” 
Panel: Diane Coyle, Stephen King, Vicky Pryce. Old Theatre, LSE. 6:30pm. 

Guido is FoIing the latest reincarnation of the DTI to get her diary for the rest of the day. Ever keen to help the police investigation, now all the Police need to do is look to see if Vicky took any points that day and at what time. Simples…

Footage: Huhne’s Crisis Meeting

Huhne has met with the DPM again this morning, but Guido has got hold of the footage of another crisis meeting:

Great spot from a commenter. You couldn’t make it up…

Calamity Chris Breaks Cover

Huhne’s silence has been laughably broken:

All I want to say is simply that these allegations are simply incorrect. They have been made before and they have been shown to be untrue. And I very much welcome the referral to the police as it will draw a line under the matter. I don’t want to say any more than that. I think the police can get to the bottom of this.”

Straight out of the Labour spin book… Huhne’s phone-call to his wife proves how unwelcome this new, not old, story is.  A shifty, quiet, low key, yet ultimately calm denial with no reference to the wife. Huhne ran away from further questions, but has finally broken cover. His frown didn’t look very welcoming.

Quote of the Day

Juliet Samuel tweets

“Think Huhne’s 30 minutes to kill the latest story are up.”

Dave Does Not Defend Huhne

The Prime Ministers Spokesman said Huhne “denies the allegations” eight times at this morning’s briefing. He also said that the Prime Minister has full confidence in the Secretary of State. Set the stopwatch.

Fast forward to Cameron’s NHS speech moments later, well more importantly the questions afterwards, and Cameron explicitly did not take the  opportunity to express his full confidence in Huhne. Lucy Manning of ITV asked “Do you have full confidence in Chris Huhne?” Dave merely said “he denies the allegations”. Read “if he’s lying, he’s out”

Tim Farron was optimistically spinning on the Daily Politics that Huhne wouldn’t have to go even if he was under police investigation, Guido isn’t so sure. Detective Superintendent Tom Wills of Essex Police is investigating whether to investigate “This is the work that my team and I will be carrying out this week.” It really shouldn’t take that long to interview two people and pull up a couple of forms…

Conservatives Miss Open Chinese Goal

For true blues worried that climate-deal-Cameron was a little wet for their normal tastes, there isn’t much hope for some of those coming up the greasy-pole it seems. Wet Conservative Future chairman Ben Howlett has raised eyebrows by making the most of the “EU-China Year of Youth.” Not quite as bad as the time he praised Gerry Adams, but part of an emerging pattern.

Invited to the Chinese Embassy on Friday, did this wannabee MP ask awkward questions about China’s record on human rights? Or criticise how they deal with dissent? Or more topically, did he raise the issue of the artist Ai Wei Wei being detained? Even the Tory-boys’ hero Boris writes this morning “just because China is a superpower doesn’t mean we should be afraid of criticising it.” Was that not Party line enough?

No, none of that was raised. Instead they had a “topical debate on resolving climate change.” When questioned about his priorities by Guido, Ben said the Prime Minister talks to China about trade. Hate to break it to you Ben, but you’re not the PM.  At least Cameron has the balls to speak out on China’s appalling human right’s record as part of a twin-track approach to dealing with that nation.

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View


Seen Elsewhere

Why Pollsters Could Be Wrong | John McDermott
Cameron Faces Vote of No Confidence or Rebellion | FT
Cameron Faces Revolt Over ‘Vow’ | Sun
It’s Time to Speak for England | John Redwood
It Was Me Who Taped Howard Flight | John Woodcock
Indy Editor: We Will Stay Afloat | Press Gazette
English Don’t Want Scotland to Stay at Any Price | Dan Hodges
England Must Have Self-Government Too | Mark Wallace
Next Year’s Election Will Be the Dirtiest Ever | Speccie
Chicken Salmond Runs Away From Sun Cabbie | Sun
Scary No Messages Don’t Add Up | Sun


VOTER-RECALL
Find out more about PLMR


Gyles Brandreth writes in his memoirs:

“Sunday, May 10, 1998

Early start: appearing on Breakfast With Frost, to be broadcast from 11 Downing Street. The Chancellor [Gordon Brown] is grouchily amiable, but so earnest — and still biting his fingernails to the quick.

After the show, he took us upstairs to his flat. He lives above No 10, while Blair and family are in the No 11 duplex, which is bigger and more like a proper house.

I was intrigued that, when he took us into his bedroom, the Chancellor rather ostentatiously opened the built-in wardrobes, as if he wanted us to see the women’s frocks that were hanging in there.

They looked quite large, but I don’t think they belong to Gordon. I assume they belong to his girlfriend [Sarah Macaulay, who he later married].

I presume he was keen for us to know that he has one — and that she’s not a ‘beard’. I don’t think he does anything without calculation.”



The British media are Hunts says:

Now the SNP know how UKIP voters feel all the time.


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