Miliband is a Reader

Miliband probably had his best Commons outing yet this afternoon. When Guido asked his team what what they fed him today the reply was “Tories on toast.” There was a touch of a young William Hague in the balance of well-timed comedy and attack…

Ed (or his speechwriters) have clearly been reading the Daily Star Sunday – his Boris gag was lifted straight from it:

NOTICEABLY, the Prime Minister did not pop in to the party to congratulate the only Tory success of the elections. Just as well, since Boris, when he finally arrived, thanked supporters who, he joked, beat “the rain, the BBC, that Budget and the endorsement of David Cameron”.

If you missed that, and the rest of Guido’s Sunday column, then you can read it online here.

WATCH: Happy Europe Day From Nigel Farage

“We’re celebrating the wrong day…”

Good News and Bad News for May

With judges throwing this one out, Abu Qatada will be out of the UK soon. But the likes of Cooper and Bryant won’t be letting the day cock up go away now it is confirmed…

Exclusive: Blair McDougall Tapped for Pro-Union “No” Role

Former Purnell SpAd and David Miliband campaign organiser Blair McDougall has been approached to run the pro-Union “No” campaign against Scottish independence. Blair’s current job as director of David Miliband’s shadow activist base the “Movement for Change” was advertised in yesterday’s Guardian. A Number 10 spokesman did not deny that McDougall has been approached.

Guido understands that Jim Murphy and Alistair Darling recommended the ultra-Blairite to Downing Street through the cross-party “No” umbrella group. As one Labour insider put it: “Well, they certainly cleared the ‘get a bloke with a Scottish name’ hurdle”. An SNP insider told Guido “never heard of him…”

As we go to pixel McDougall has not returned Guido’s calls.

Labour Go Favourite to Be Largest Party First Time Since May 2010

Since the the 2010 general election the bookies and punters have consistently made the Tories favourites to be the largest party in parliament after the next election. Until now.

Since the budget fiasco punters have been pushing the odds closer. This week punters have shifted their bets and are now making Labour odds on favourites to be the biggest party in parliament after the general election. Punters have given up on the Tory prospects…

Dennis Skinner performed his constitutional role as parliamentary heckler…

“Jubilee year, double dip recession, what a start.”

Ed’s NHS Sickie

Miliband told the people of Harlow yesterday:

“We should be totally intolerant of people who are skiving off. I want a health service where if people aren’t doing their jobs properly, they aren’t doing their jobs any more. We should find a way to crack down on this and stop it happening. If people aren’t really sick then something should be done about it.”

Quite. A bit rich though from the man who pulled a sickie to avoid a “24 hours to save the NHS rally” and went to a football match with a millionaire donor instead…

The Queen Speaks

Given that it was Elliot and Hanning’s last tome on Dave that revealed how a mysterious call from Buckingham Palace had helped him get a foot in the door at Conservative Central Office, you don’t need much salt with their latest suggestion that Palace officials had warned the then Leader of the Opposition about employing Andy Coulson in Downing Street. Given he was the editor at the time William was hacked by Clive Goodman, it’s not hard to see why the were concerned…

With convenient timing their new book serialised in this morning’s Times also gives the first inkling as to how cringeworthy Dave’s texts to Brooks are going to be when they are revealed at Leveson. Allegedly texting her after the story had blown up last summer, “Charlie Brooks told friends” that Cameron said to “keep her head up and she’d get through her difficulties.” Hardly a killer blow, but red faces all round…

Oliver Letwin’s quote looks like the first attempt at a fightback: “If you are on the same side as her, you have to see her every week. This was how it worked.” Probably true, but unlike with Blair and Brown, Dave has a paper trail…



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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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