+ + + Eastleigh LibDems Holding Emergency Meeting + + +

Guido has just heard they are holding an unscheduled meeting right now as we go to pixel. There is so much for Huhne’s local party to talk about this evening.  Their MP interviewed by the police over allegations that he perverted the course of justice. Accusations from former members of expenses fraud, new evidence provided to Electoral Commission about false declarations. Not long now methinks…

Ken Clarke Having a Classic Nap

Well at least he didn’t open his mouth.

Photo via Anushka Asthana

+ + + Brown Spotted In Westminster + + +

Isn’t it funny how Brown won’t turn up to Parliament to represent the people of Kirkcaldy and earn the £65,738, plus expenses and the pension, we pay him? Instead he goes around the world as he bids to restore his reputation, banking thousands for speeches while he does so. Yet Obama turns up, and he’s up there like a greyhound. Perhaps it was to complain that those DVDs didn’t work…

Second Complaint to Electoral Commission for Huhne

The Sunlight Centre has put in the following formal complaint to the Electoral Commission regarding Chris Huhne’s expenses. This comes on the back of the two LibDem councillors who blew the whistle on the murky affairs.

The Sunlight Centre for Open Politics has been looking into Huhne’s election returns for nearly a year. There are missing invoices, national irregularities, undeclared website costs and staffing holes.

Having been stonewalled on various occasions, Guido thinks they might be onto something with this one…

Delusional Debs Can't Stop Spinning

The B-team of Miliband, Harman, Alexander and Stewart Wood got their photo op with Obama at the palace yesterday. Only Nick Clegg managed to look more like an excited child meeting Santa. But that hasn’t stopped Gordon’s old pollster bigging things up:

Presumably Obama will be copying the vacant stare thing, the nasel tone and the lisp next?

Rumours that Ed had been allowed to come and serve up at the Downing Street BBQ turned out to be wide at the mark.

Apparently Sam and Michelle did the salad and the boys did the burgers and ribs…

Somewhat cringeworthily…

Quote of the Day

PM and the POTUS left alone in limo. An official says:

‘God knows what Cameron promised Obama.’

Schillings Backlash: Injunction Industry Under FireParliament Should Define Privacy Limitations

The Schillings backlash has commenced in full, the tabloids are splashing on front page stories about Schillings’ losing clients with gusto. Schillings lost a case about Gordon Ramsey’s father-in-law yesterday to The Sun, over a case originally taken out by Schillings against Guido’s virtual mother, Popbitch, rubbing more salt into Schillings’ wounds.

The make-up of the recent Lord Neuberger Committee on super-injunctions – set up to investigate the supposed “need for a privacy law” – included lawyers involved in making their millions from the injunction industry; Rod Christie-Miller, CEO of Schillings, and Alasdair Pepper, a Carter-Ruck partner, argued their case successfully.

Privacy law is based on the European Convention on Human Rights which was formulated in the 1950s,  Article 8 enshrined an individual’s right to a private and family life at a time when totalitarianism stalked Europe. Millions were oppressed, the rights of shagging celebrities were not foremost in the drafter’s minds. It was envisaged to protect individuals from the state.

Lord Wakeham, a former chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, argues this morning that the the Human Rights Act could be amended, rather than just repealed:-

“..possibly by limiting the role of the Courts to dealing with issues that impact only on public authorities and the State (as the drafters of the Convention envisaged). That would leave the media outside the direct supervision of the Courts on privacy issues and enable the PCC – which can react much more swiftly to changes in newspaper technology than the law will ever be able to do so – to reassert its primacy in this area, as Parliament always intended.”

In Ireland the ECHR was incorporated into the constitution only in 2006, Irish judges so far have taken the Wakeham view, correctly in Guido’s opinion, that Article 8 is to protect individuals from unlawful privacy violations by the state and agencies of the state. It protects individuals only from journalists who use illegal means; hacking, stealing photos, sneaking onto private property and similar. It has not so far been used to hide the embarrassment of adulterous politicians and footballers. That is how Article 8 should be properly interpreted and parliament should make the law explicitly clear.

A few years ago an Irish High Court judge gave Carter-Ruck’s representatives short shrift and a bollocking over an application they made for a gagging-injunction against a certain charming, cheeky Irish blogger on behalf of a rich British politician and his socialite freedom of speech campaigner sister. For legal reasons Guido can’t say any more…

Essex Police Tight Lipped

It strikes Guido as a little odd that Essex Police will still not confirm whether either of the interviews they conducted yesterday, one with Huhne and the other with his estranged and soon to be ex-wife Vicky Pryce, were conducted under caution. Surely if neither was, they would just say that.

With Obama-mania reaching boiling point today, it’s a good day to bury bad news, but should it emerge that Huhne’s was under caution, effectively treating him as a suspect, then the pressure on him to step aside would be unstoppable. The coppers have said they are seeking a quick resolution. With the original crime paperwork, the flight list, Pryce’s licence and her diary, there can’t be that much more to look at…



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Quote of the Day

An email circulated among Trotskyists demanding to know who’s leaking to Guido has been leaked:

“Heavens knows who has forwarded emails from this list.”

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