Scottish Tories Suspend Chief Spinner Ramsay Jones

On Sunday Guido shared the news that the Scottish Conservative Party’s spin-doctor Ramsay Jones had been busted attending a campaign meeting for Ruth Davidson, one of the candidates for  the Party’s leadership. A bit of a problem given party staff are meant to be staying neutral.

This afternoon the decision was taken to suspend him while the allegations are investigated. At the very least he will be out of action for the rest of the campaign. The announcement was timed just as conference closed. Davidson has become the establishment candidate and questions are now being asked about how “neutral” the rest of the party staff are…

No Reasonable Offer Refused

As predicted / gifted this morning:

I’m incredibly fortunate to have such strong support from our previous leaders. Michael Howard.  Iain Duncan Smith.  William Hague.  Sir John Major.  And of course, Lady Thatcher. You know what? We don’t boo our leaders.

Guido* suggested this morning:

Dave should praise IDS lavishly for the work he is doing on welfare reform, as the conference audience inevitably gives a clap and cheer he could throw out the line “unlike other parties, in this party we cheer rather than boo our former leaders”.

Given Ameet Gill, Cameron’s chief speech writer, is moving on, Guido will only say reasonable rates offered…

*Should say the line was crafted with Toby Young at a brainstorming session over a Chinese, he went on to pitch it  in the conference bars to various staffers. Toby had another line about not deporting Cameron because of the Downing Street cat, which strangely didn’t get taken up. It is of course possible that the half-dozen strong speech writing team came up with it themselves, but that would be a rather dull explanation.

Confirmed: Ameet Gill Replaces Tim Chatwin at No.10

UPDATE 16.14: Confirmed.

Dave's Divas

At the slightest sniff of self-promotion you don’t want to get in the way of the up and rising Tory boys and girls. The Standard have been working on a piece about Tories with interesting backgrounds and gathered a select few at the Radisson Hotel for a photo-shoot. The word quickly spread and soon the great and good of Young Conservatives wanted a piece of the action…

Despite not being in the piece, Conservative Future chairman Ben Howlett demanded to be in the shot in a less than charming manner. There were threats of access being revoked, despite having no such powers, and eventually the photographer walked out on the whole thing declaring he hadn’t had anyone be so rude to him in a very long time. He accurately pointed out that there were far more important people for him to photograph. He only returned once, and on the condition that, the esteemed chairman had been asked to leave. Guido hears complaints have been made…

Cat Jokes

Yesterday’s catflap has prompted speculation about whether or not Cameron is or was going to use the line “The Liberals used to shoot your dog…now they steal your cat!”

Guido first reported the wisecrack being overheard in the conference bar on Monday, learning only later that Dave had used the very same line in a private speech to party bigwigs very recently.

If Dave is short of a line from the speech as a result, Guido has a few he could chuck in. Dave should praise IDS lavishly for the work he is doing on welfare reform, as the conference audience inevitably gives a clap and cheer he could throw out the line “unlike other parties, in this party we cheer rather than boo our former leaders”. Maybe some light-hearted reference to Catflap should be worked in: “In cabinet Ken Clarke told me that a policy proposal we were discussing was incompatible with EU law, Theresa May said we had nothing to worry about so long as we kept the Downing Street cat…” We’re here all week, have a canape…

Boris tells Iain Dale that…

“The British people haven’t had a say on Europe since 1975. There hasn’t been a vote. It seems to me to be that if a reasonable question could be framed and put to the people of this country, I think it is not a bad idea.”



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Quote of the Day

George Osborne paraphrases Boris, telling the FT:

“If the ball came loose at the back of the scrum, I wouldn’t fumble it”

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