A Labour source whispers to Guido that Tom Watson is this week planning to attack William Hague over his handling of the North Wales child abuse scandal. Hague set up the Waterhouse Inquiry in 1996 when he was Welsh Secretary under John Major. The report eventually found no evidence of a paedophile ring in North Wales care homes, despite the testimony of hundreds of victims. Downing Street are this afternoon attempting to pre-empt the Watson strike by revisiting the Inquiry:
“Child abuse is a hateful crime. A senior figure will lead an independent investigation of claims of care home abuse in Wales, and will report urgently.”
No. 10 are said to be looking for a judge…
UPDATE: Watson has written to the Prime Minister alleging “a concerted establishment cover-up”.
Denis MacShane is yet to take the Chiltern Hundreds and resign officially as an MP. It seems he dragging his feet on his promise to quit and still loitering around the Commons- taking full advantage of the perks afforded to Members:
Shameless MacShane just left the Members' section of HoC Terrace with two guests. Just go.—
Eye Spy MP (@eyespymp) November 05, 2012
The Standards and Privileges committee need to get a move on and put MacShane’s suspension to a vote in the House. If he goes before then he is likely to be entitled to his absurd MPs resettlement grant. This one payment of month’s salary for every year an MP has has worked, up to a maximum of six months, works out at almost £33,000.
Which will pay for plenty of ‘translation services’…
UPDATE: And like that he was gone:
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has this day appointed Denis MacShane to be
Steward and Bailiff of the Three Hundreds of Chiltern.—
Tom Newton Dunn (@tnewtondunn) November 05, 2012
No word yet on whether he will take the grant. He remains a privy councillor too…
UPDATE II: Seems the suspension was coming tomorrow morning – MacShane has jumped before it to keep the money.
Smiles all round in Corby as Ed Balls stepped out into the sun to support Labour candidate Andy Sawford this morning. The slightly forced expression on the shadow chancellor’s face got Guido thinking: it turns out that back in 2009 Sawford wrote a damning article for the Guardian accusing the government of presiding over a shambolic response to the infamous Baby P case. The minister in question was then Education Secretary Ed Balls.
“Take the government’s botched response to the Baby P case, which has made matters worse and put more children at risk. While the government was throwing red meat to the tabloids, and contributing to the hounding of social workers, it has only served to undermine an incredibly important profession.”
All neatly forgotten today. They’ll make a politician out of him yet…
Up and down the country millions of people are waking up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night, petrified by the spectre that has haunted them throughout the early hours. And who is this terrifying figure? A poll for the Mail says that the celebrity most likely to appear in our nightmares is none other than George Osborne. Ouch.
The Chancellor, rather harshly, comes one place ahead of Gordon Brown, a man who no doubt still keeps those who worked with him in those dark days of 2010 up at night. The likes of Katie Price, Anne Robinson and Marilyn Manson also make the list, with shadow chancellor Ed Balls coming in at number ten. No Maggie era Tories strangely…
He needed to think of something to prove his One Nation credentials, and yesterday Ed Miliband revealed to Jane Merrick that Labour’s great predistribution hope would be a living wage of at least £7.20 an hour. To mark the beginning of ‘Living Wage Week’ Guido is looking into how Labour’s new flagship policy is implemented by themselves.
This morning Brent Labour Party, home to Barry Gardiner and Glenda Jackson, are advertising for a two day-a-week campaign intern “to assist with preparations for the 2014 local elections and the 2015 general election”. The lucky candidate’s responsibilities will include writing press releases, updating the website, drafting letters and other admin jobs. And how much will they be forking out for what certainly appears to be real job? A grand total of zero pounds an hour.
Brent Labour join the likes of Stella Creasy, Chuka Umunna and Tony Blair as past and present MPs guilty of unpaid intern hypocrisy. Guido would also like to know how much Labour HQ pays its young staffers. MPs receive over £130,000 to spend on staffing, so they can afford to pay those who work for them. Recruiting ambitious unpaid ‘volunteers’ and then pontificating about the lack of social mobility amongst those of low income households is simply rank hypocrisy.
Guy Fawkes on the rack, 6 November 1605…
“A desperate disease requires a dangerous remedy.”
As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Daily Star Sunday column, the hunt is on in CCHQ:
“MANY in Conservative Party HQ are increasingly convinced Labour has a mole working in the building. Beyond the usual media leaks, confidential private polling appears to have got directly into Labour’s hands. As the party moves on to an election footing, the Tories want to be sure their battle plans are secure. Background checks are quietly being made to establish the true-blue credentials of newer staff.”
Guido is watching this one…
Other fun includes Vicky Pryce’s terrible choice in men, MacShame, Tory grandees reactions to the EU vote rout and Luciana Berger backfiring attacks.
It’s online now here.
PM Tweets About Ant & Dec While Giving Mandela Tribute | Express
George Osborne: Action Chancellor | Speccie
DfE Taking Children for Poodles | Laura Perrins
Man Locked Up For Telling Mandela Joke | Star
Gordon Brown Debt Buster | Kebab Time
Five Arguments Against Paying MPs More | Left Foot Forward
BBC Must Be Held to Account Over Savile | Trevor Kavanagh
Guido’s Column | Sun
Safe Seat MPs Will Be Paid More Than Marginal MPs | Alex Wickham
Judging Blogs By Their Comment Threads | Dan Hannan
Labour Select Union Candidate in Falkirk | Guardian
The Belgravia Gallery reports:
“Having been asked by Nelson Mandela’s art publisher to represent his work,drawings mainly of Robben Island, we had the privilege of spending a morning with Mandela when he was signing the lithographs at his home in Johannesburg in December 2002. He delighted us with stories about a number of well known British personalities over the years when he was president. Perhaps the most surprising was his description of Margaret Thatcher as “Motherly” and he remembered how she had poured him tea and they had discussed various ailments and how after he returned home, she had sent him herbal remedies.”