Change of Direction at Conservative Way Forward

Guido hears movements are afoot at right-wing Tory group Conservative Way Forward. The once influential Thatcherite organising faction has been a bit down in the dumps of late, with moribund campaign events and a rubbish party at Tory conference. It needs a kick up the backside and it sounds like they may have found the person to do that. A new team has taken over led by Donal Blaney; Guido’s learned friend at the other end of the red phone and Chief Executive of the right-wing madrassa, aka the Young Britons’ Foundation. This should upset a few dour types…

Ashcroft Eastleigh Poll Says Game On

Source: Guardian.

AUDIO: Listen to the Chris Huhne-Vicky Pryce Tapes

You can see why Huhne didn’t fancy listening to them in the dock…

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. Don’t miss out on the Vicky Pryce tapes, Chris Huhne’s demise and more.

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Labour Cannot Find a Candidate for Eastleigh
Selection Process Open to All Members

John Denham has emailed all Labour Party members asking them if they would like to be the party’s no-hope candidate in Eastleigh:

“As I’m sure you’ve already heard, following Chris Huhne’s resigation we’ll be fighting a by-election in Eastleigh. There are only three weeks until polling day on 28 February. There’s a lot to do in the meantime but Labour Party members like you have achieved great results in by-elections over the last couple of years – and I know you’ll do it again. But before all that, we need a Labour candidate and I wanted to give you the opportunity to put your name forward. Apply to be Labour’s candidate in Eastleigh by emailing your CV.”

Hopefuls have until Saturday to get their name in. Apparently “If you’ve never been out campaigning before, don’t worry – there’ll be training available.” Looks like they are all but sitting this one out then…

Labour Policy Wars

jon

When Ed fell into Dave’s trap and refused to back the PM’s EU referendum pledge, one senior party bigwig will have been particularly disheartened. Judging by his speech at the Resolution Foundation last night it isn’t just Europe that has policy guru Jon Cruddas at odds with the Labour leadership:

“So, here’s the nuts of this. Simply opposing the cuts without an alternative is no good.”

Who could he possibly be referring to?

Coincidentally, over the last few days Labour have put up adverts for three new wonk positions, all with fixed-term contracts.

A love of colouring in blank pages is a must…

Clegg SpAd Apologises for Cabinet Office Electioneering

The Special Adviser code states:

“19. Special advisers must not take part in national political activities, which are: holding, in a party political organisation, office which impinges wholly or mainly on party politics in the field of Parliament, the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, the Northern Ireland Assembly or the European Parliament…

20(ii) …if they wish to take part in a General, European or by-election campaign, or to help in a party headquarters or research unit during such a campaign, they must first resign their appointment.”

Despite this, Nick Clegg’s SpAd James McGrory launched the LibDem Eastleigh by-election campaign last night from the Cabinet Office. The Tories reported him to the powers that be and now the Cabinet Office say:

“James has already apologised for sending the email.  He has been reminded of the rules.” 

He’s sorry, he’s sorry, he’s so so sorry. Who he has apologised to was not mentioned, but an interesting precedent has been set; abuse taxpayer funded position to politic and you are fine as long as you are “reminded of the rules”. Guido imagines that some people over at the Department for Education will note the wrist-slapping with interest.

UPDATE: McGrory apologised to the Cabinet Secretary.

Lambeth Tell Scroungers “You May Have to Find Work”

If you thought Lambeth Council’s posters warning of coming cuts were bad enough, wait until you see the warning on their website:

“If you claim benefits, it is likely you will receive less and may have to find work”.

“By George, I think they’ve got it…”

Lambeth Council Stir Up Scroungers

When it comes to councils using taxpayers’ money to fund party political interests, you would be hard pressed to find a worse culprit than the rotten Labour borough of Lambeth. If you thought the public dime PR stunts would end […]

+ READ MORE +

Don’t Menshn the Ongoing Police Investigation

At last the inevitable has happened: Menshn is finally shutting down. After Louise revealed her intentions to close the business, “jailbait action”-loving Luke Bozier has admitted: “Louise and I no longer have anything resembling a working relationship”. Today’s […]

+ READ MORE +

David “The Jews” Ward’s Second Yellow Card

Nick Clegg was too weak to sack David Ward for his “the Jews” rant last month, instead giving Bradford East’s answer to Mel Gibson a final warning. Has Ward learned his lesson and quietly moved to the shadows? Of course […]

+ READ MORE +

Civil Service Turkeys Say No to Christmas

Civil Service World is reporting that Sir Bob Kerslake, head of the Civil Service, has blocked attempts by Francis Maude to allow Secretaries of State to have a greater say in hiring and firing Permanent Secretaries:

“There’s a shared view

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Charles Clarke says Cameron is the most successful PM for over a century…

“Under Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives gained 99 seats. They lost 211 under John Major, gained one under William Hague, quickly and wisely got rid of Ian Duncan-Smith, gained 32 under Michael Howard and have so far gained 133 under David Cameron who, to the great surprise of many (including senior Conservatives), has turned out to be the most electorally successful Tory leader since 1900.”

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