Don’t Miss the Guidogram for the Round-Up of the Week

It was a busy news week, if you missed a few stories get our news round-up and we may have an exclusive bonus surprise for this weekend. Subscribing to the Guidogram makes sure that you get emailed Guido’s weekly round up of the week. Thousands of Westminster insiders read it, Downing Street never misses it. Join the conspiracy and become a subscriber to the Guidogram, free, to keep in the loop.

You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

Lorna Fitzsimmons Spins Her Way out of BICOM

Rumours that former Labour MP Lorna Fitzsimmons was about to “resign” as head of the pro-Israel lobby group BICOM have been swirling all week. Guido nearly “punted” the story on Tuesday, but couldn’t get anyone to go on the record. While the official statement is full of praise, in reality Fitzsimmons was told to walk or be pushed. Major donor Poju Zabludowicz, and his rumoured million pound donation every year, were worth far more to the organisation…

Friday Caption Contest (Strangers in the Night Edition)

Tom Watson Ate My Column

Guido has spoken to people in a position to know and it is clear that the Maurice Glasman writing a column for the Sun on Sunday story going round needs comprehensive debunking. Glasman was originally supposed to write a piece for The Sun, the article had been in the offing for a couple of weeks. Stewart Wood, the Shadow Minister without Portfolio who serves as consigliere to Ed Miliband, was aware that it was in the offing and merely asked Maurice to not be negative about Ed.

After this blog reported that Toby Young was going to be the Sun on Sunday’s political columnist the Sunday Mirror’s Vincent Moss tweeted

http://twitter.com/#!/vincentmoss/status/172382036215083008

This led to Tom Watson sending a menacing tweet

Which as Dan Hodges pointed out, meant

Lo and behold Stewart Wood then called Glasman and told him it would not go down well if the article appeared. Glasman then called The Sun and spiked his own article which by now was due to appear in the Sun on Sunday rather than the daily. Guido sources say the article was mildly critical of Ed’s direction but not that disloyal, certainly nowhere near as cutting as his infamous New Statesman article. Guido’s source says money was never discussed, it was always a one off article and not a regular column offer. Something tells Guido that the Sun on Sunday will cope without the author of “Managing Market Utopia” and the “Politics of Paradox”.  It seems bizarrely self-defeating for Labour to block themselves from connecting with 7 million key swing voters.

Polly Toynbee’s latest diatribe actually includes the words:

“But before getting overly sanctimonious…”

In The Thick of It Loop

In February last year Thick of It creator Armando Iannucci coughed some insight about the new season to the Guardian. The much loved Tory MP character Peter Mannion “becomes minister but there will be someone from the other party in the coalition in his office, so a lot of the comedy will come from that tension between duplicated ministers.” Though the man behind the show is a LibDem voter, he’s clearly not going to hold his punches in season four. Guido is hearing whispers of what to expect when filming begins in April…

Apparently there will be a judge led inquiry overshadowing the series. The central LibDem character  is currently called Ferguson, a junior minister at the mythical Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship, struggling as he makes it into government. Apparently he’s highly ethical, but blighted by terrible anger management. Full of ideas after years of being ignored, Ferguson is very friendly on the surface, but prone to shouty, childish abuse when things go wrong.

It sounds like an horrendous amalgamation of Chris Huhne and Sarah Teather…

Eric Joyce Charged

Eric Joyce has been charged with three counts of assault.

He will appear in court on 7 March.

The second MP to face charges this year.



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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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