EU Labour: Dissolve Companies That Don't Meet Gender Quotas

Loony Labour in Europe strike again. PES Women, the wimmins’ section of the Party of European Socialists – the Labour Party’s grouping in the European Parliament – have this week called for companies that do not have more than 40% female board members to be dissolved. PES Woman president Zita Gurmai extolled:

“Aspirations are not enough. We need concrete targets to be met (40% of women on boards) and concrete consequences if those targets are missed. The crisis must not be an excuse for not including more women in decision-making positions.”

Apparently EU law should be changed to allow governments to file dispositions to dissolve companies that fail to comply with the crazy diktat from Brussels.

Nothing beats a good old-fashioned purge…

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. Read all about Tim Yeo quitting one of his many green jobs following a series of Guido revelations, and get all the latest on the Thatcher death taunt t-shirt storm.

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…

Speaker Keeping Platinum Mega-Pension

With the Treasury taking an axe to pensions today, the archaic “Great Offices of State pension” is for the chop. This throwback sees the Prime Minister, the Lord Chancellor and the Speaker receive half of their salary for life immediately after leaving said post. This is on top of their MPs pension and are eligible for the extra even if they have only served for one day. It’s going thankfully, but those already in place will qualify.

Cameron, Ken Clarke and Chris Grayling have all said they will not be drawing the money. Gordon Brown is, unsurprisingly. Pressure has been growing over the last few days for Bercow to make a similar pledge. Sensing negativity, the Speaker’s Office released a statement today – he won’t be taking his £39,000 per annum on top of his MPs’ pension until he’s 65. Which is nice of him. Thanks John. 

Amnesty Unions Go On Strike

About half of Amnesty International UK’s workforce went on strike yesterday. Militants from the Unite union object to a pay freeze and overseas expansion at the expense of the Islington HQ. Amnesty globally think the work can be done better and more cheaply in other countries…

Edwina on John Major:

‘John Major was a sexy beast. I think his history shows that. He was 19 when he was living with a woman who was 33. Believe me, I did not have to teach that man anything. He was experienced and fun.’

14 Tory MPs Want Dave's Head

The Speccie reports that 14 Tory MPs have written to Graham Brady wanting to sack Dave.

46 are needed to trigger a leadership contest.

Guido knows at least one MP teetering on becoming lucky number 15…

Tom Watson Quits Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee

After rehabilitating himself from a Blair-stabbing, expenses-hoarding Brownite boot-boy to the scourge of the Murdochs, Tom Watson has quit the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee.

Leading the way on phone-hacking, and getting a nice book deal out the it too, Watson was promoted to deputy party chairman of the Labour Party in October 2011. Controversially Watson has spent a year breaking the convention that Select Committees are made up of backbenchers.

As Guido covered at the time Watson over-reached on more than one occasion on the job and there were sighs of relief from those around the committee that Guido has been talking with today. Though a Labour source says:

“I am tempted to say it’s not the same since Louise Mensch left, but in reality he said when he joined shadow cabinet he would leave at suitable point when hacking inquiries are finished and with Leveson evidence finished and report a few weeks away he thought it was suitable time.”

With Therese Coffey and Damien Collins being promoted, and Mrs Mensh departing these shores, it’s all change at CMS.

Deadlock Over News International Executives' Punishment Parliament Neutered by Tom Crone Arrest

A senior parliamentary source tells Guido that the arrest of News of the World lawyer Tom Crone has thrown a mighty spanner in the works of the Standards and Privileges Committee. After the Culture Select Committee concluded that the three News International executives had misled the Parliament, the Standard’s Committee were deciding on a suitable punishment for Crone along with Colin Myler and Les Hinton. Having declared back in July that they would not be locking them up, the punishment most expected was admonishment from the Speaker at the bar of the House, though this has not happened since the fifties. However the minutes of the July meeting state:

“The Committee will suspend its inquiry if requested to do so by the Director of Public Prosecutions on the grounds that to continue might prejudice any pending legal proceedings or criminal investigations.”

As Guido understands it, there has not been a formal request, but the arrest of Crone means that no punishment passed, without risking prejudicing any future trial. As this issue is likely to take years rather than months to resolve, there is growing anger around the committees that the three executives are going to get away with their deception scot-free. Parliament has been neutered. 

Lobby Demand Revamped No.10 Press Briefings

With Steve Field leaving his post as the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman now is as good a time as any to shake things up at No.10. Guido has long campaigned for reform of the Lobby, and there was some intriguing movement today as political hacks called for Downing Street press briefings to be revamped.[…]


Brendan Barber to Pocket £1.5 Million Pension Packet

£100,000-a-year union baron Brendan Barber’s hypocrisy knows no bounds. Earlier this week the TUC fat cat lectured us on Britain’s “stratospheric inequality”, and it seems he would know. According to reports Barber will pocket a six-figure golden goodbye when he quits his post later this year.[…]


Winston Hancock

Former Osborne bagcarrier turned BIS Junior Minister Matt Hancock is well known for his own sense of self-importance, but just in case you were not aware, he has confirmed his status as a great Tory statesman on the record. Speaking about other young ministers, Hancock has told this week’s Speccie:

“Well, I remind people that Winston Churchill is widely regarded as one of the finest statesmen our country has ever seen . 



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Quote of the Day

Philip Hammond at Treasury questions:

“I’m sorry to be boring.”

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