Lebedev Links Lost Bryant Shad Cab Role
Labour Unease at Billionaire Buddies

When Chris Bryant took his column at the Indy back in September, we wrote:

“Coincidentally Chris is a friend of Lebedev’s son Evgeny and was at a recent dinner party with the oligarch’s offspring. Evgeny “speaks regularly” to Chris Blackhurst, no doubt about the weather…”

When we pointed out yesterday that Bryant was not declaring an interest when speaking on Russian matters, despite the £14,000 he has got so far in this deal, we seem to have struck a nerve. Hardly a surprise when Labour insiders have already expressed concern. One described it to Guido as “an extraordinarily close relationship to a newspaper proprietor, if you look at anything he says about anyone else.” The loss making Indy is entirely subsidised financially by the Russian oligarch.

One theory in Labour circles is that the reason Bryant missed out on a Shadow Cabinet position was because of the Lebedev-Moscow connection. Those that work with him point out he is articulate and capable, and anyone who has had the pleasure of being attacked by Bryant would not question his campaigning skills. He was widely tipped for the top team in the October 2011 Shadow Cabinet reshuffle, yet mysteriously – a month after signing up for the Indy’s Moscow gold – he remains out in the cold.

Tom Watson’s influence has grown under Ed Miliband’s weak leadership, for instance Watson keeps a tight grip on vital areas such as candidate selection. It is no secret that there is no love lost between him and Bryant and it’s said “they never really got on”, despite their work on the phone hacking scandal. Bryant refused to answer our questions when we put it directly to him earlier that Watson has expressed concern about the Lebedev connection directly to him. Curiouser and curiouser…

UPDATE:  Bryant has got in touch to deny any pressure from Watson. Guido has sent follow up questions…



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

GuidoFawkes Quote of the Day

Liz Kendall is asked by Tom Newton Dunn if she would ever ban the Sun from one of her press conferences:

“If you stripped naked and ran in front of me, Tom, I might have second thoughts about it, but apart from that, no.”

Top Posts This Week

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

Labour Candidate: Repatriating Tunisia Victims is ‘Imperialist Militarisation’ Labour Candidate: Repatriating Tunisia Victims is ‘Imperialist Militarisation’
Tory MP’s House Husband on Public Payroll Tory MP’s House Husband on Public Payroll
Corbyn Blames Tunisia Terror on “Austerity” Corbyn Blames Tunisia Terror on “Austerity”
Norwich MP’s Brilliant Accidental Partridge Norwich MP’s Brilliant Accidental Partridge
FRIDAY PROCRASTINATION: BING PONG FRIDAY PROCRASTINATION: BING PONG
Uber Suspend Services in France Uber Suspend Services in France

Gerald Kaufman: English Votes For English Laws is “Racist” Gerald Kaufman: English Votes For English Laws is “Racist”
Environment Minister Totty Watch Environment Minister Totty Watch
MEGA INTERCONTINENTAL ROBOT WARS MEGA INTERCONTINENTAL ROBOT WARS
Dave Meets UKIP Dave Meets UKIP
Secret Fracking Report Doesn’t Reveal Much Secret Fracking Report Doesn’t Reveal Much
Environmental Advantages of Airport Expansion Environmental Advantages of Airport Expansion
PMQS SKETCH PMQS SKETCH
“Dodgy” Dave v “Jurassic” Skinner “Dodgy” Dave v “Jurassic” Skinner
Missed PMQs? Catch Up in Full Here Missed PMQs? Catch Up in Full Here
Do you have what it takes to join a GCHQ hacking SCHOOL? Do you have what it takes to join a GCHQ hacking SCHOOL?
IDS Expenses Row: Was Credit Card Suspended Or Not? IDS Expenses Row: Was Credit Card Suspended Or Not?
Questions Channel 4 News Don’t Want to Ask Questions Channel 4 News Don’t Want to Ask
Zac and Boris Warn Dave Zac and Boris Warn Dave