“Brazen” Huhne Losing Friends Fast

LibDem sources are starting to twist the knife:

‘The conventional wisdom is that Huhne will end up having to go. He is being highly reckless in taking it to the wire like this. Chris clearly doesn’t think they will find the evidence. He wants to brazen it out. He is brazen. That’s what he does.”

The Mail is reporting this afternoon that Carina Trimingham was not the first mistress Huhne had. That should keep Vicky Pryce on the warpath…

UPDATE 17.38: Essex Police have just confirmed they are launching a formal investigation. Essex Police statement:

“An investigation is ongoing in relation to the circumstances surrounding the issue of a Fixed Penalty Notice in 2003. It would be inappropriate for the police to discuss this matter any further in order to avoid prejudicing the investigation. Essex Police request that the press are mindful of this in their reporting.”

Game over.

Miliband’s Made Up Coffey Morning

Yesterday, Labour’s claims about government health advisors came unstuck at PMQs, but that’s not the only stunt they have pulled this week to backfire. Guido thought he recognised a familiar face the other day when Ed Miliband visited the Brocklebank Health Centre in Wandsworth on Monday:

Dr Tom Coffey is the head GP there and he hosted Ed Miliband for a chat about how bad and evil the NHS reforms are:

Miliband got some good footage out of the event, suggesting that he had been talking with concerned staff etcetera, and Labour’s bashing of the plans continued. But should he have declared an interest here?

Another staffer at the clinic refused to meet with Ed on the visit and tells Guido he wasn’t alone. In fact he’s become a bit sick of Tom Coffey and his visitors, because this was no ordinary PR stunt where the politician finds a concerned individual to champion. It all seems rather familiar, and that’s not surprising when you look who visited in 2009:

Look how Coffey appeared in Labour Party election literature:

He even shared a platform with Blair and Brendan Barber:

You could say he was one of Labour’s own.

Guido understands that there isn’t much love for Coffey amongst other local GPs, who are envious of the huge sums he is making. A council question went in a couple of months ago asking how many GPs in Wandsworth made more that £100,000 and how many made more than £200,000.  Only one made more than £200,000 –  and Guido’s source confirms it is our boy.

Funnily enough Dr Coffey has popped up supporting health reforms in the past, yet as soon as the government changed he started slamming them. Guido’s sources tell him that Coffey is always willing to open his doors to allow the Labour Party to campaign on taxpayer funded time and property. And what has his reward been?

He had dinner with Blair at Downing Street in November 2004, which must have been nice. But even more was to be bestowed upon this loyal apparatchik. Coffey received an OBE just two months before the end of the last government. 

So here we have a doctor with his mouth stuffed full of taxpayers’ gold, doing his utmost to campaign for the Labour Party, on taxpayer funded property and time. He’s then gonged up and wined and dined for his services. In shock news, he doesn’t like Tories. It makes Miliband’s pained expression look a little fake…

A Goodwin All Round

Lord Oakeshott, through a proxy, said in the House of Lords earlier:

“Would [the speaker] accept that every taxpayer has a direct public interest in the events leading up to the collapse of the Royal Bank of Scotland? So how can it be right for a superinjunction to hide the alleged relationship between Sir Fred Goodwin and a senior colleague? If true it would be a serious breach of corporate governance and not even the Financial Services Authority would know about it.”

In March Guido told you about it, but had to adhere slightly to the courts. Sorry if you couldn’t quite work it out:

“So there was this ****** bloke who worked closely with another ****** colleague, they apparently began an adulterous affair not long after the ****ing crisis of 2008. He went to Court to stop it getting out that he had been banging her. Because he is the most notorious ****** of his generation he also banned references to his profession lest he be identified.”

Well that went well for Fred didn’t it? Worth every penny…

The “Yellow B**tards” Ruin Cameron’s Week

While Downing Street tries to mop up two yellow messes in the shape of Clarke and Huhne, yet more signs emerged last night that Cameron needs to watch his back and tend his own flock. Backbenchers screaming “we’re sick of the yellow b**tards” should be a pretty big wake up call for the PM. He’s in a coalition with three parties, and when is he going to realise the one to his right is not happy?

For all the talk of Lansley’s neck being on the line, he was apparently given a thunderous applause at the meeting of the 1922 committee last night. For all the mud being slung at him, Lansley has kept schtum. A minister who knows how to keep his mouth shut seems strangely refreshing. 

As for the “yellow b**tards”, the entire Downing Street grid this week has been blown off course by LibDems and wannabe ones. Though it’s not all bad news for Dave, even the Labour cheerleaders are conceding that Miliband tactically blundered in calling for Clarke’s head.  He still has a job due to the amateur leader’s hysterical reaction to a whiff of blood. There was no way Cameron would push, specifically because Ed had said he must. The Indy’s Andy McSmith went into bat for his old friend on Radio 4 this morning, saying  it was only nasty right-wingers that are happy at the demise of Clarke. Try telling that to left, right and centrists who exploded yesterday. What is remotely nasty about wanting to lock up rapists for the longest time possible?

Steady Hammond was deployed this morning to try clear up the mess Ken left yesterday, but it was Vince that was given the harder job:

 “It would be a loss if he went but he’s not talking about going… It would be a loss because he’s a very effective colleague.”

If Huhne’s not talking about going, why was Vince sent out to spin for him?

Quote of the Day

Times leader thunders…

“The British public are entitled to reassurance that a Cabinet minister is not a lawbreaker…”

Day Eleven

Last night Chris Huhne contacted Essex Police offering to help in their investigation in anyway he can. According to Alastair Campbell’s old rule, Chris is trying to take the initiative and a get a grip on this story ten days too late. This is going to drag on until the weekend…

The DVLA have confirmed that records are only kept as far back as 2006, though Guido understands the coppers are still confident they can ascertain what happened back in 2003 from their end. He suspects Huhne is betting otherwise…

UPDATE : There is a rumour going round that Vicky Pryce has already spoken with the Essex Police. Nigel Farage has definitely spoken to Essex Police. They will be speaking to Huhne next week. Presumably under caution…



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Quote of the Day

Janan Ganesh on Labour’s soft left

“Ms Cooper does not believe the previous Labour government was wrong to run a fiscal deficit after 15 years of economic growth. Both she and Mr Burnham think families should be entitled to tax credits for a third child. These views are not mad. They are just a bit too left-wing for Britain. For any serious party, that amounts to the same thing. The soft left is more electable than the hard left but then Mars is more habitable than Neptune: neither planet will host human life anytime soon.”

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