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

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

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

Speaker Bercow Defeated | BBC
Nigel Farage is Bigger Than Jesus | Speccie
Year of Sleaze | City AM
Top 10 UKIP Donors | London Loves Business
Tory Candidate Leaflet Blooper | Get West London
Why Aren’t Middle Class Voting Tory? | Sun
UKIP Do Not Have Monopoly on Fruitcakes | Danny Finkelstein
Ed Must Stop Dithering | Mary Riddel
Ed Cannot Rebuild Trust From Westminster | Rafael Behr
An Open Letter to Russell Brand | "Jo"
Merry Bin-Mas From the Greens | Speccie


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Labour insiders turn on Ed over Powell’s latest gaffe:

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