Happy Guy Fawkes Night!

Watson Poised to Criticise Hague’s Abuse Inquiry “Cover-Up”

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”.

MacShame Still in Parliament

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:

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:

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.

Labour Corby Candidate’s Balls-Up

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…

Osborne Haunts Our Dreams

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…

Caption Contest Winner

Nearly 650 entries to last week’s caption contest celebrating the demise of Denis MacShane. The winner was the ever-witty Steve Miliband with this well-informed effort:

“Celebrations are a trifle early.”

Get in touch for your bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape courtesy of Oddbins.

Labour’s Living Wage Living a Lie

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 CreasyChuka 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.

Quote of the Day

Guy Fawkes on the rack, 6 November 1605…

“A desperate disease requires a dangerous remedy.”

Rusbridger’s Roast



CCHQ Mole Hunt and Other Sunday Column Stories

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.



Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View



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Quote of the Day

Philip Hammond at Treasury questions:

“I’m sorry to be boring.”

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