Tory MP Savages Cameron, Again

Not content with blogging about how rubbish Dave is, Brian Binley has decided to write to the PM directly; and leak the letter. No.10 won’t be too upset on the gay marriage issue as it will fit their change narrative, but the words on Europe should jar nicely. Highlights include:

Dear Prime Minister,

Having been an office holder in the Conservative party for fifty-three years, I find it difficult to remember a time when the party’s leader in government failed consistently to chime with the natural instincts of our supporters. There is a wide – and growing—gap on a number of issues. The media frenzy of the last week-end over gay marriage arising from your premature observations has resulted in the creation of organisational factions within the party squabbling in public over the issue. Countless activists are feeling driven to give up their much-needed support for the party, and, as any legislation progresses, this injury can only get worse.

I am perturbed that our chances of winning the next election are compromised by the pursuit of issues which serve to divide the party, and detach the leadership from its support base in the country. We cannot expect to win without the help and dedication of many of those who have already walked away – and countless others who are considering doing the same. A common sense, convincing and credible response to the major challenges which we face as a nation is the best way to re-invigorate their interest, and will resonate with the wider public as well.

The very instincts and core of our party are based on recognising the knowledge of those who went before us, and Conservatives should progress on that foundation. It pains me that the present leadership seems intent on disagreeing with those basic tenets on an all-too-frequent basis, and we only have a short time to turn the situation around. I implore you to recognise that our current course is one which imperils our prospects for victory in 2015, and to take the steps that, as a leader, will put it right and create a platform for the majority Conservative government that this country so desperately needs.

Perhaps Mr Binley will be writing to Mr Brady next, if he has not already.

Mili-Bling

God no” was Ed’s response when asked by Grazia whether he would be buying Justine some underwear this Christmas. Perfume is apparently out too, as is a coffee machine, he got her that last year. The family Christmas card shows that Mrs Miliband seems to have misplaced her wedding ring, visible since their May 2011 wedding and as recently as Ed’s speech at party conference. Guido would recommend some jewellery…

Quote of the Day

Sienna Miller’s quick-fire round in a Guardian interview was rather amusing:

Tell us a joke.
Piers Morgan got away with it.

Max Moments: Piers Says Clifford Has “Get Out of Jail Card”

MAX-MOMENTS

Guido has been having a read of Max Clifford’s 1996 bookRead All About It, in which he promises to reveal all about his love life, sex parties, and secrets of the stars. Clifford is the lucky recipient of some warm words from one Piers Morgan:

“He is trustworthy, always looks after his mates and no tabloid editor worth his or her salt would cross him. It would be self-defeating because he’s the one who has all the big stories…It has also meant Max has brilliantly bought himself a lifetime’s ‘get out of jail’ card. Newspapers won’t turn him over because why would they bite the hand that feeds them? Why kill your golden goose? Max is an honourable rogue.”

Piers would make a fine character witness…

Labour MP Reports Miller to Standards Commissioner

Labour rent-a-quote John Mann has this afternoon registered a complaint with John Lyon, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, over reports that Maria Miller breached expenses rules by claiming £90,000 for a second home lived in by her parents.

“Maria Millar’s (sic) circumstances are identical to those of Tony McNulty who allowed his parents to live in his second home rent free and the Committee on Standards and Privileges ruled that he had broken the rules.”

People close to Miller point out that her arrangements have been cleared twice as being wholly proper, as well as pointing out that it’s not her parents home, stressing that it’s her own property that her parents live in, with her, and have done for 20 years. Could it be a strange case of breaking the letter of the law but not the spirit? Mysterious…

Why Is Tim Yeo Backing Fracking?

If Tim Yeo is doing the rounds in television studios professing his support for an idea, it’s usually not unfair to assume there must be a vested interest in there somewhere. This morning the conflicted chairman of the Energy and Climate Change select committee decided he was backing fracking, so Guido crowd-sourced his possible financial interests. The results were hardly shocking.

yeof

ITI Energy supplies equipment for a variety of methods of producing energy from gases. Add that to his other interests in energy investment, energy efficient vehicles and fuel cell technology, and you get the picture. Whiffy once again…

Tom Watson’s Prank Call Nurse Press Smears Unravel

Over the last few days the Hacked Off brigade have been desperate for it to emerge that the prank call nurse had been contacted by hacks before she took her own life. Evan Harris salivated on Saturday:

Tom Watson even went as far as directly accusing journalists of “spooking” the woman, despite the fact they did not know her name:

Now the Press Complaints Commission have poured water on the press-haters’ wet dream. Lord Hunt told MPs earlier:

MP: “Was nurse hounded by press before she took her life?”
LH: “I don’t think so”

Yet another one in the eye for Watson. He’s not having a good run of it lately…

£90,000 Question For Maria Miller
Suspicious Timing and Suspicious Arrangement

A busy day for Maria Miller today, and not least because this morning’s Telegraph reports that the Culture Secretary has claimed £90,000 in expenses for the mortgage payments and other costs of a second home lived in by her parents. IPSA rules require second homes to be used exclusively by MPs.

Claiming for a property lived in by an MP’s parents is “specifically prohibited”. 

Guido can reveal that Miller has two properties in her name: a cottage in her Basingstoke constituency, and the property pictured above in Wimbledon.

miller2

The Wimbledon property was purchased by Miller and her husband in 1996 for £234,000, and will be worth at least three times that now. Although expenses rules clearly state that second homes must be lived in exclusively by MPs, Miller’s parents lived in the property while she spent most of her time in Basingstoke main home between 2005 and 2011. She stopped claiming in 2009, days before the expenses scandal broke.

The Telegraph story coming out on this day of all days is surely nothing more than coincidence…

Hodge the Dodge v The Shadow Cabinet

ed-balls-hodge

Last week Guido noted how question-dodging Margaret Hodge was at odds with Chuka Umunna over his use of a £20,000 analyst from PricewaterhouseCoopers. Despite Hodge having worked for the company herself in the past, she suggested that PwC should no […]

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Quote of the Day

Jean-Claude Juncker:

“We will never let the Greek people down. And we know the Greek people don’t want to let down the European Union.”

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