David “The Jews” Ward Exchange of Letters With Whips

The LibDems have “formally censured” David Ward over his “the Jews” comments last week. Here is the exchange of letters between Ward and LibDem chief whip Alistair Carmichael:

Dear David,

Thank you for coming to see me this evening in order to discuss the press release that you issued last week in relation to your signing of the Holocaust Book of Commitment.

I note the terms of your statement of apology issued on Saturday.

I am strongly of the view that your use of the phrase “the Jews” in this context was unacceptable and I formally censure you for that.

In line with our conversation, and notwithstanding the strength with which you hold your views on the situation in the Middle East, I would be grateful if you would confirm the undertaking that you gave to me in our meeting that you will not again use the phrase “the Jews” in this context.

I look forward to your response as soon as possible and no later than midday tomorrow.

Yours ever,

Alistair

Liberal Democrat Chief Whip

And Ward’s two line reply:

Dear Alistair,

Thank you for your letter dated 28th January.

I confirm that I am prepared to give you the undertaking that you asked for in our meeting.

David,

David Ward MP

No real apology, no real remorse, no real punishment. According to the BBC a LibDem spokesman says this is a “yellow card”.  At least they didn’t promote him to the Lords like they did with Jihad Jenny…

Private Eye: News Two Weeks Past Its Sell-By-Date

Shome mishtake, shurely? Over the last few weeks Guido has become increasingly irritated by Private Eye’s shameless pilfering of stories that had previously appeared on this blog. Every two weeks Guido picks up his copy of the Eye, every two weeks we see more and more of our stories recycled on their pages. So, from now on Guido will be taking out his red pen and revealing just how far behind the news Lord Gnome’s rag is. A two-week news-cycle just doesn’t cut it in the age of news streams.

Last Friday’s Eye, issue 1332, ran an interesting story about a member of the Guardian’s staff being gagged for anonymously posting comments about Alan Rusbridger. Four days earlier Guido had exclusively run the same comment in full. And what of that little nugget about new Trinity Mirror boss Simon Fox being the former chief executive of doomed HMV? MediaGuido and the Sun’s business editor were all over it ten days before…

Even more outrageous was the Eye’s claim to have “revealed” the news that Evgeny Lebedev had bought iPads for the entire Standard staff but nothing for those at the Indy. It was reported on MediaGuido in mid-December, and they even used our “downstairs” line. Meanwhile Alan Rusbridger forgetting he is editor-in-chief of both the Guardian and the Observer was reported by Guido eleven days before it appeared in the Eye.

They were once the cutting edge of political gossip, nowadays their news is two weeks past their sell-by date…

Train Travel Takes Toll on Sleepy Simon

It seems all those early starts are taking their toll on Simon Burns. Since he’s been forced to get the train instead of his taxpayer funded chauffeur, the Transport Minister has been looking rather sleepy. Zzzzz…

WATCH: David Cameron V Adam Afriyie, Taiwanese Style

Exclusive: Mark Thompson’s Letter to CMS Select Committee
Questions the New York Times Boss Still Cannot Answer

Ex-BBC chief, turned boss of the New York Times, Mark Thompson, has written to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee once again claiming that during his last nine months at the Beeb he “never heard any allegations” about Jimmy Savile.

Really?

In his letter Thompson essentially says he expects the committee to believe a series of increasingly absurd notions:

1. That when he asked BBC head of news Helen Boaden in December 2011 what Newsnight’s investigation of Jimmy Savile was about she didn’t tell him.

2. That he never read or heard about any of the half dozen national newspaper and magazine stories alleging Savile’s sexual misdemeanour’s which were published in January and February 2012 and which made it clear this is what Newsnight had investigated. During his time at the BBC, Mark was a known Guido reader, who must have missed this one.

3. That when a Telegraph journalist emailed him in February 2012 asking if it was true that he knew about Newsnight’s Savile investigation he never got the message.

4. That when freelance journalist Miles Goslett rang Thompson’s office in May 2012 and told his chief of staff Jessica Cecil that Savile had apparently abused under-age girls on BBC premises in the 1970s Cecil did not tell him.

5. That when ITV wrote to him on 7 September 2012 informing him of their forthcoming documentary on Savile and repeating the allegations raised by Goslett he was not told.

6. Crucially, Thompson also asks the committee to believe that although he authorised law firm Mills & Reeve to send a letter to the Sunday Times on 6 September 2012 on his behalf threatening to sue the paper if it ran Goslett’s story, he was not fully aware what the story was and did not read the letter which the law firm sent.

Much of this beggars belief. Over to John Whittingdale…

Adam Afriyie Speech: “If I Were Prime Minister…”

Cereal choker Adam Afriyie might be insisting “there is nothing to see here”, but the man who would be king wasn’t always so keen on Dave. Last year he opened the Conservative Renewal Conference in Windsor, seen at the time very much as a “rebel Tory party conference”. Afriyie had some interesting things to say in his speech:

“If I were Europe Minister, I’d want to know how to regain control of our borders and secure our criminal justice system. If I were Chancellor, I’d be concerned about removing the age-old obstacles to growth. I’d want to release our risk-takers and wealth creators to generate the jobs and economic growth the country so desperately needs. If I were Party Chairman, I’d be concerned about the support base of my Party. I’d want to ensure that the policies adopted had been endorsed by the Party. And I’d want my Party to be motivated and ready to campaign, wholeheartedly, at the next election. And if I were Prime Minister, I’d want to be in tune with my Party and I’d want the right ideas for the country on Europe, taxation and the economy.

Invites have gone out for this year’s even more ambitious conference. Organisers insist “this conference is not about attacking the leadership unnecessarily; it is about providing Conservative solutions to the problems this country and the world faces and being a constructive and friendly critic of the leadership”. Of course it is Adam…

Former Colleague Reaction to Huhne Trial

Judging by this now deleted tweet by DECC minister Greg Barker, news of Chris Huhne’s trial has spread quickly around his old colleagues:

Huhne could have told Barker a thing or two about accidentally tweeting direct messages…

David “the Jews” Ward Faces the Music This Afternoon
MP Faces “Retract or Sacked” Ultimatum 

The LibDems have confirmed to Guido that the disciplinary meeting between David Ward and the party whips will go ahead later today, possibly in the early evening.  In a climb down following his car crash Sky News interview on Friday night, Ward weasel worded an apology for any “unintended offence”, but that’s unlikely to make the matter go away. The Nobel Laureate holocaust survivor that Ward hid behind on Friday is furious about being used. The LibDems say they are shocked and appalled by Ward’s “the Jews” rants, so how exactly is he planning to take the whip without a full retraction?  It would be leadership at it’s weakest if Clegg just lets this one pass…

In the meantime someone might want to have a quiet word in the ear of liberal Lord Alton of Liverpool who bizarrely asked last week in the Lords if the Government had “any plans to mark the 80th anniversary of the coming to power of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime in Germany on 30 January?” Unsurprisingly, Lord Gardiner replied that “the Government have no such plans.” Funny that.

UPDATE: Sources says Ward is facing “retract or sacked” ultimatum.

Media Guido to Make Huhne Reporting Restrictions Application

The ball is rolling…[…]

+ READ MORE +

UPDATE: Huhne in Court – Trial Will Go Ahead

Chris Huhne was back in court this morning.

His trial will go ahead.

The former Energy Secretary has pleaded not guilty to one count of doing an act tending or intending to pervert the course of justice.

Roll on Monday.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Sadiq’s Dodgy Donor Kebab and the Curse Of David Morris
Guido’s Sunday Column is Now Online

Quite a mix in Guido’s column yesterday; from Stringfellow and Clegg, Balls throwing his weight around and even Bryan Ferry pops up. Guido’s favourites included the curse of David Morris and Sadiq dodgy donor kebab:

TALKING of 80s chart-toppers,

[…]

+ READ MORE +

High Speed Derail
Adam Afriyie Didn’t Choke on His Cornflakes

Guido smelt a rat when Adam Afriyie told Sky News that he had ‘choked on his cereal’ when he read the news yesterday morning of his apparent leadership challenge. Team Afriyie had known long enough in advance that the Mail […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Former Miliband guru Arnie Graf reveals Labour’s disconnect with the working class:

“On one of my trips to the U.K. in the autumn of 2013, I bumped into one of Ed’s strategists in Portcullis House. He asked me if I was assisting the staff on Ed’s trip that was to take place in a few days to one of the regions. I told him that I did not have knowledge of his planned trip.

He told me that Ed was going to give a talk at the region’s annual fund raising dinner and that prior to the dinner he had invited the media to join him at a local coffee shop to listen to a conversation he planned to have with a minimum wage worker. The point of the conversation was to show how difficult it was for a minimum wage worker to get on in life.

There was only one problem. No one had been able to locate a minimum wage worker for Ed to talk with.”

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