John O’Farrell explains the motivation for his Eastleigh campaign…
“I have to admit it was a massive ego trip from start to finish.”
Ken Clarke debating the Justice and Security Bill:
“Some of my best friends are human rights lawyers”
An interesting little snippet from Paul Waugh this afternoon: Lord Rennard took part in an emergency conference call with party bosses on the very day that Chris Huhne quit his seat. LibDem chief executive Tim Gordon’s PA invited randy Rennard to the strategy chat just minutes after Huhne made his announcement on the steps of Southwark Crown Court:
As an MP resigned and decisions needed to be made, to whom did they turn? Despite what they might want us to believe, Lord Rennard was at the heart of LibDem strategy right up until the sex pest story broke…
Anyone would have thought David Ward wanted to have the whip suspended. Here are his latest comments on his punishment from LibDem bosses last week:
“I’m very disappointed and angry about this, because what has been said does not reflect what I believe was decided. And, as someone who has run race awareness classes, I find the idea that I have been sent on some sort of correctionary course to be patronising and quite offensive.”
That’s at least his fourth yellow card…
Have you had an accident at work? Slipped, tripped or fell into an inappropriate position with a colleague? Sarah Teather has the answer. The silent LibDem has just pocketed a £2,000 donation from Simple Claims, an ambulance-chasing personal injury compensation firm. Apparently “everyone in the workplace, including visitors and members of the public, are at risk”, and Simple Claims are “experts in providing hassle free quick settlements”. Every little helps…
Team Osborne are kicking back at this morning’s Greenpeace fracking stunt. Occupying his constituency office seems to have backfired somewhat; a Treasury source tells Guido: “we are happy for Greenpeace to draw attention to the fact that George is fighting for cheaper energy bills for all”. Something of an own goal…
Tory backbencher David Ruffley has placed a new advert for a research assistant in his Westminster office. Again.
The W4MP wesbite, which advertises job openings in parliament, often carries an advert for the Office of David Ruffley MP. Almost every month, in fact.
A Guidorama investigation can reveal that Ruffley has had at the very least 16 staffers over the last two years – a phenomenally high turnover for a backbench office. Frances Carlisle, Matthew Jupp, Hannah Lloyd, Emma Finch, Ben Rowe, Virginia Tuck, Madeleine Smart, Martin Smith, Katy Turner, Rachel Mawby, Michael Webb, Florence Cheek, Michael Horwood, George Rees, Harry Thomson and Nina Rosen have all been lucky enough to take part in the the hit series Westminster’s Toughest Job.
Ruffley’s man-management skills are the stuff of parliamentary folklore, and Guido hears reports of his “obnoxious” behaviour leading to bright-eyed hopefuls leaving his office in floods of tears, some binned after only days. Apparently, “to have been fired by Ruffers at some point is a rite of passage”. While no doubt some members of staff left for good reason, things have become so “shouty” recently that Ruffley has been reported to party whips over his behaviour. The job is still up for grabs – the closing date for applications is March 20th.
When he’s not being questioned by the cops for being rude to gypsies, former DfE minister Tim Loughton is dreaming up new ways to embarrass his old boss Michael Gove. As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun column, Loughton has sent in 87 awkward written questions to the department since he was given the chop. He is right to have a go at the police for wasting taxpayer cash, but given that it costs on average £164 to answer each question, FoI data estimates DfE have spent £14,268 on Loughton’s retirement fishing trip. Revenge is a dish that does not come cheap.
As revealed in Guido’s Sun column yesterday, Lord Sugar has a new hire in Ed Miliband’s office. The pair have had their differences over the last twelve months, most amusingly when Sugar suggested Labour voters ignore Ed Miliband and ditch Ken at the London mayoral election. That hasn’t stopped the Apprentice host from forking out £51,000 towards the staffing costs of Ed’s office for the coming year. Guido makes that the biggest single donation directly to Ed.
What We Learned From the Referendum | FT
Scottish Crisis Moves South | Nick Wood
English Democrats Accidentally Celebrate Yes Victory | Pink News
Union In Its Current Form is Dead | Janan Ganesh
Labour Could Be Split in Two | Sun
Ashcroft Poll: Why Scotland Voted No | Buzzfeed
Boris: Change Barnett Formula | Sun
Cameron is Back | Dan Hodges
What Happens Now | James Kirkup
Cairo of the North | Quentin Letts
Labour are the Biggest Losers | Phil Collins
Diane Abbott on the Daily Politics:
“Labour MPs will unite behind Ed Miliband, once we find out what our policies are.”