Tories Come After Labour Leaker

Last week Guido outed Labour’s mole in the Department of Education who was leaking to his old boss Ed Balls. Well the Tories are coming after Matt Gillespie, who now spins for John Denham the Shadow Business Secretary. Backbencher Chris Skidmore is flying a kite a little writing to Sir David Bell, the DofE Permanent Secretary, but it’s awkward none the less:

He’s also going after Denham’s office:

You never know what might fall out of the tree. A protege of Ed Balls and his Muttley like SpAd Alex Belardinelli, who knows what else Gillespie was up to…

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Sir Stuart Bell’s behaviour flagged up by Guido earlier has put the cat amongst the pigeons. Labour have put out a line:

 “Ed Miliband and the Labour Party expect the highest standards from Labour representatives.It is totally unacceptable if the public cannot reach their MP. A number of allegations have been raised and these will be discussed with Sir Stuart.”

Developing…

Alistair Darling writes in tomorrow’s Speccie diary…

“I display my knife skills, carving the meat. Who says Labour can’t cut?” 

The Honourable Member for Paris

Stories about Sir Stuart Bell always tickle Guido. The veteran Labour MP hasn’t held a surgery for 14 years. It seems his local paper in Teesside has finally lost their rag with him and gave him two barrels yesterday:

The Gazette made a total of 100 calls to Sir Stuart’s two published telephone numbers during weekday office hours between May and July, when Parliament broke up for the summer. We used a variety of different Middlesbrough landline numbers and mobile phones – to conceal the fact that the calls were coming from this newspaper – and a log was kept of exactly when each call was made .No one ever answered the phone. All calls rang out to an answering machine.

Yesterday afternoon the Gazette made calls to the published telephone numbers for Tom Blenkinsop, Alex Cunningham, James Wharton and Ian Swales – the four other Teesside MPs – and each was answered by a member of staff at the first attempt.

Surely he can get his calls forwarded to his place of residence. France…

Alistair Darling tells the Speccie

“I display my knife skills, carving the meat. Who says Labour can’t cut?”

Backbench Business Committee Bites Back

Guido broke the news yesterday that the government e-Petitions that have crossed the threshold of 100,000 signatures, so far, will not be debated until well after the conference season. Well it seems the Committee overseeing the project are trying to shift the blame for the delay:

  • The Government is responsible for giving time to the Backbench Business Committee, and the time available to us is very limited – less than one day a fortnight. The Government has not provided any additional time to debate e-petitions and our existing limited supply is already oversubscribed.
  • The Committee has no power to schedule debates unless some Members of Parliament come forward to tell us that they wish to take part in them. However the Government has not provided any way to link petitions to Members of Parliament who wish to sponsor them on the e-petitions site, or any advice to petitioners on what they might need to do. Unfortunately, this means that no Members of Parliament have yet come to ask us for a debate on an e-petition.

The same government denied these e-Petitions were cosmetic…

Dorries PMQs Moment

+ + + Guardian Journalist Questioned Under Caution + + +

Sky News is reporting that the Guardian reporter Amelia Hill has been questioned under caution after the arrest of police officer in regards of phone-hacking leaks to the paper.

If any of his journalists are charged, Rusbridger will have to walk.

Unless he’s less scrupulous than Coulson…

PMQs LIVE: Back to School Edition

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Tim Farron is a Twitter Fraud

At 11.15 LibDem Tim Farron tweeted one of his followers. Strangely though he was live on Sky News at the time, and though Guido couldn’t see his hands, he would be very surprised if Farron can type on a laptop […]

+ READ MORE +

MPs Take the Can Back

You wait for ages for a good letter in the FT and suddenly two come along at once. It’s not just the eminent economists telling it like it is about the 50p tax rate this morning, but also another healthy […]

+ READ MORE +

Larry Is In Love

Forget PMQs, forget NHS reform, forget the 5op tax rate, forget the abortion debate, Paul Waugh has today’s biggest breaking news – Larry the Downing Street cat is a bit of a lad:

“Maisy, the cat kept at the St

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Labour’s Austin Mitchell muses on the campaign:

“What’s the problem? No use pointing at the leader. Too late to change and unnecessary for Miliband is doing well at Question Time. His problem is connecting with the real world. He doesn`t speak people and his protective team of naive kids are playing West Wing rather than letting the leader relate to real people. We could point at the party, shrunk in numbers and enthusiasm because everything, from policy formulation to candidate selection, comes top down rather than bubbling up from below so campaigning becomes the opium of members deprived of any real role, though they`re not even sure what they’re campaigning about, with or for, but its role is marginal.”

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