Keith Vaz's Curry House Calendar

Taking its place proudly on Guido’s desk this afternoon is the latest must-have stationery accessory for any Westminster type: the Keith Vaz calendar. Spotted in curry houses across Leicester, now fans of everyone’s favourite ambulance-chasing MP can swiftly find telephone numbers for the job centre, border agency and police. Demand is such that they’re giving them away…

Nick Clegg Slams "Dishonest" and "Hypocritical" EU Budget Win

As Guido reported in his Sun column on Sunday and Chris Heaton Harris just pointed out in the House, it was Nick Clegg who had the harshest words for EU Budget negotiations, which he called “dishonest” and “hypocritical”. In a speech last November, the Deputy Prime Minister scaremongered against “pushing a completely unrealistic position on the EU budget. One that is miles away from any other country’s position”. Twisting the knife further, Clegg claimed “there was no hope of getting a budget deal agreed”. With even Ed giving lukewarm praise, it looks like Clegg is the only isolated one now.

Quote of the Day

Balls chides Miliband on Europe:

“As long as we don’t allow ourselves to be caricatured as an anti-referendum party, which we’re not – we’ve absolutely not ruled out a referendum – I personally think that for now this is quite a comfortable position for us. If we allow ourselves either to be the ‘status quo party’ on Europe, or the ‘anti-referendum party’ on Europe, then we’ve got a problem. But I think we would be pretty stupid to allow ourselves to get into either of those positions.”

Today In Court: Huhne 'Badgered' Pryce to Take Points

All the evidence has now been heard in Vicky Pryce’s trial, closing speeches will be presented to the jury tomorrow. Today Pryce’s eldest daughter Georgia Beesley took to the stand, alleging that Chris Huhne coerced his ex-wife into taking his points:

“I remember speaking to my mother and she told me that Chris had been caught speeding and was asking her to take speeding points. If he had taken the points he would have lost his licence. He was very insistent that she take the points for him. He would say to her that if she didn’t take them he would not be able to drive, that he would lose his licence, and that it would be her fault if he didn’t get elected. I did not appreciate at that time what it would be like to be living with someone constantly badgering you to do something that you know was wrong and feeling like you don’t have a choice.”

Pryce’s lawyer went on to read out a character reference from none other than ex-MI6 boss Sir John Scarlett, he of dodgy dossier fame. The case will conclude tomorrow…

Caption Contest Roses Winner

This week’s winner, for once the best of a fairly witty bunch, is Bill Quango MP:

“lies to the right, neighs to the left”

Get in touch for your Valentine’s Day roses courtesy of Arena Flowers

Eastleigh Tory's Local Knowledge

By-election rule no.1: when fighting a strong local candidate, don’t copy the section about the constituency on your website from Wikipedia.

H/T @BillyKenber

One Hour Left to Win Caption Contest Roses

Last week’s Friday caption contest is open for another hour, with a bunch of Valentine’s Day roses from Arena Flowers delivered on Thursday for the winner.

One liners in the comments please.

Make them good…

MEDIA GUIDO POLL: Save Page 3

With Murdoch hinting that Page 3 is “so last century”, po-faced critics of boobs are campaigning with new vigour today. So much so that Guido is launching #SavePage3.

They do not speak for everyone…

UKIP Choose Speedwatch Candidate for Eastleigh

UKIP have chosen Diane James as their candidate in Eastleigh, a Surrey councillor and healthcare campaigner. After last night’s hustings she won almost 70% of the vote. Party sources are stressing to Guido that the fact she is currently a member of Community Speedwatch in rural Ewhurst is mere coincidence.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Sally's Boozy Night With Tory Boys

Slumped in an alleyway outside a bar: this was Sally Bercow in the early hours of Friday morning. The Speaker’s wife had spent a boozy evening with young male Tory researchers, kicking off at the Sports and Social in Parliament before heading to Players’, a regular piano dive for twenty-something staffers.[…]

+ READ MORE +

NUJ Calls BBC Strike

Developing…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Boris Out-Foxed on Baby Biting

Boris has reacted to the Bromley baby attack by a fox quickly and without bluster:

“They may appear cuddly and romantic, but foxes are also a pest and a menace, particularly in our cities. This must serve as a wake-up call to London’s borough leaders, who are responsible for pest control.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Full Statement from Resigning Pope

Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.[…]

+ READ MORE +

FLASHBACK: When Gordon Met the Pope

The Pope is resigning, the first to do so since Gregory XII in 1415.

It was all so predictable…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Tory Death Tax RIP: "The Most Basic Human Instinct of All"

Here is what the then Shadow Chancellor told the Tory party conference autumn 2007; George Osborne’s views on inheritance tax in his own words:

“Thanks to Gordon Brown, this unfair tax falls increasingly on the aspirations of ordinary people. These are people who have worked all their lives.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Rich's Monday Morning View

20130211-075217.jpg[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

David Cowling, the BBC’s head of political research, in an internal memo…

“It seems to me that the London bubble has to burst if there is to be any prospect of addressing the issues that have brought us to our current situation. There are many millions of people in the UK who do not enthuse about diversity and do not embrace metropolitan values yet do not consider themselves lesser human beings for all that. Until their values and opinions are acknowledged and respected, rather than ignored and despised, our present discord will persist. Because these discontents run very wide and very deep and the metropolitan political class, confronted by them, seems completely bewildered and at a loss about how to respond (“who are these ghastly people and where do they come from?” doesn’t really hack it). The 2016 EU referendum has witnessed the cashing in of some very bitter bankable grudges but I believe that, throughout this 2016 campaign, Europe has been the shadow not the substance.”

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