Thursday, September 6, 2012

How Much Do Labour Love the NHS?

Well not very much if this afternoon’s debate on community hospitals is anything to go by…

Guidogram Going Out Shortly

The Guidogram round-up of the week is going out shortly.

Thousands of Westminster insiders read the Guidogram, everyone from Downing Street insiders to Fleet Street never miss it. Politics is back with a bang as Dave shuffles his pack. Don’t miss out on all the latest comings and goings.

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…

No. 10: Dave Just Axing Not Chillaxing

Guido just put the Cameron drinking wine while sacking Gillan story to No. 10. Joe Watts of the Eastern Daily Press writes:

“Gillan’s sacking interview also appears to have irked. When she went in Cameron wielded the proverbial axe while drinking a glass of wine, I’m told; chillaxing perhaps. He didn’t offer her any though.”

As fun as some of the puns have been, it’s an official denial:

“Not true. He wasn’t drinking wine when he saw Cheryl and didn’t tell Caroline Spelman she was too old. Her replacement is two years older so that doesn’t even make sense.”

But then Dave also said no one cried, contrary to reports.

It’s been hinted this afternoon that Gillan and Spelman might be offered peerages, they might want to think about going on the record to deny tears and wine if they want that to happen…

Steve Field Scoop Confirmed
Prime Minister’s Spokesman Quitting for IMF

Guido was savaged when he wrote this piece back in May. No.10 denied the story on the basis that he hadn’t walked that day. Today the Prime Minister’s Spokesman Steve Field has announced he’s departing to join the IMF. A possible job Guido tweeted as follow up back in May. You’re either in front of Guido or…

UPDATE: Lest we forget what they said at the time:

Smirk.

Wandsworth Tories Worried About Whitewash

The news from Wandsworth Conservatives yesterday that a semi-independent inquiry into serious fraud covered up in the group has been greeted with scepticism by members involved in the exposing of the story. Two sources familiar with previous investigations are particularly unhappy. One emailed Guido saying:

“Every internal inquiry has produced a confidential damning report accompanied by a public “move along, nothing to see here” approach. They even made people sign gagging agreements in order to cover the discrepancies between the public smile and the internal stench. To reassure members and voters that Wandsworth Conservatives have not been complicit in fraud and electoral malpractice the Conservative Party need to commit to publishing the previous internal reports, this report in full and to rescind the previous gagging agreements. That those who know the facts and have been raising concerns have been ignored in this process points towards yet another attempted whitewash and yet another step closer to a full police and electoral commission investigation.”

Another added:

“Finally there is recognition of the huge black hole in the books. However, there is considerable concern amongst members that this inquiry is essentially just a way of killing a story before it gains any more traction. At the end of the day, the guy was sacked for charging thousands of pounds of personal taxi fares to party members and then falsifying accounts to cover it up. You don’t need to be a forensic accountant to work out that the law was broken, repeatedly.”

At the moment it would appear that the investigation’s findings will not be made public…

See also:

Labour’s Absent Earners’ Expenses Bills

David Miliband is earning £500,000 a year and rarely takes part in the cut and thrust of Westminster any more, but that hasn’t stopped him from being one of the highest expenses claimants in the figures released by IPSA today. Miliband is the 20th greediest MP, trousering £170,500 in expenses over the last year. He needs it, they only pay him £116 a minute for his speeches…

Meanwhile the former Prime Mentalist claimed £127,197 despite the fact that he’s only spoken in one debate during the last twelve months.

Why are we paying so much for his travel when he never turns up?

Top 5 Piggy MPs

IPSA have released this year’s expenses figures. Here are the top five troughers:

  • Greg Mulholland, LibDem, £188,783
  • Stephen Gilbert, LibDem, £185,811
  • Alistair Carmichael*, LibDem, £185,389
  • Brian Donohoe, Labour, £182,003
  • Willie Bain, Labour, £180,923

Once again Tory MP Philip Hollobone was the lowest claimant at just seven grand.

More to come this afternoon…

*Carmichael has to fly to Orkney and Shetland so has an excuse for high travel expenses.

UPDATE: Greg Mulholland’s office has sent Guido this statement explaining his high costs:

Mr Mulholland’s staffing costs were higher in 2011-12 than in previous years as a result of the ongoing health problems of two members of staff in his constituency office, both of whom were unable to work for more than six months.    To ensure that he could continue to fulfil his parliamentary duties and work on behalf of his constituents he had no option but to apply to IPSA’s contingency budget, which provides additional funding to employ temporary staff to cover for sickness absence.   The additional costs were closely scrutinised and approved by IPSA.   Mr Mulholland is pleased that these problems of ill health have now passed and anticipates that his staffing costs will return to normal in the current year.

Video: Thick of It Episode One Teaser

Vince and Ed’s Text Love In

Ed admitted after his speech today that he is in text contact with Vince Cable.

Balls was making overtures to Vince in the Indy today as well.

It’s as if there is a theme developing here…

Sour Grapes For Corby Tories
Potential Candidate Not Posh Enough

Talking of Corby, Guido is picking up growing disquiet among local Tories – and not just because they are expecting a kicking in November. Corby Conservative council leader David Sims went rogue last week, slamming both Louise Mensch and the Tory campaign in his constituency:

“I will give her my full support but it’s going to be difficult. We can expect a protest against Louise, as we have to admit that she wasn’t seen as a great MP. There will also be a protest against the Government and, while the other parties have been campaigning, we have been twiddling our thumbs.”

It turns out Sims has more than enough reason to be angry. Guido hears that he was specifically asked to put himself forward for the prospective candidate shortlist by CCHQ as someone who was in-touch, well-respected and local, only for party bigwigs to tell him in no uncertain terms that he was no longer welcome. A source on the ground whispers to Guido that Sims was told that the Tory hierarchy wanted someone who could ‘identify with the Tory faithful from East Northamptonshire’. In other words the former bin-man was not posh enough…


Seen Elsewhere

Chicken Salmond Runs Away From Sun Cabbie | Sun
Scary No Messages Don’t Add Up | Sun
Feminist War on Children | Laura Perrins
An English Parliament is Now Inevitable Whatever Happens | Alex Wickham
Union All But Over Even if Scots Vote No | Janan Ganesh
Unionists Outgunned | Times
Unionists Outgunned | Times
Labour Will Lose Commons if Scotland Votes Yes | Times
Miliband Blanked Gordon | Damian McBride
Cameron Surrenders Keys to Union | Rachel Sylvester
Boris Not Moving to Uxbridge | Scrapbook


VOTER-RECALL
Find out more about PLMR


Gyles Brandreth writes in his memoirs:

“Sunday, May 10, 1998

Early start: appearing on Breakfast With Frost, to be broadcast from 11 Downing Street. The Chancellor [Gordon Brown] is grouchily amiable, but so earnest — and still biting his fingernails to the quick.

After the show, he took us upstairs to his flat. He lives above No 10, while Blair and family are in the No 11 duplex, which is bigger and more like a proper house.

I was intrigued that, when he took us into his bedroom, the Chancellor rather ostentatiously opened the built-in wardrobes, as if he wanted us to see the women’s frocks that were hanging in there.

They looked quite large, but I don’t think they belong to Gordon. I assume they belong to his girlfriend [Sarah Macaulay, who he later married].

I presume he was keen for us to know that he has one — and that she’s not a ‘beard’. I don’t think he does anything without calculation.”



The British media are Hunts says:

Now the SNP know how UKIP voters feel all the time.


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