Third Time Unlucky For Hancock

Weirdy-beardy LibDem MP and coalition critic Mike Hancock has never been far from controversy involving his sex life, and this weekend was no different. Hancock has done well in recent months to keep certain stories about him out of the media.  Carmen the busty señorita he wined, dined and even gave a personal tour of the House of Commons never surfaced and Hancock’s re-election campaign in Portsmouth was blighted with much darker allegations that were injuncted. However this time there was nothing Hancock could do to stop being splashed across the Sunday papers again – mainly because he admitted the allegations put to him.

Hancock has not denied he pestered a mentally ill constituent who came to him for help. He dined with her in the House, bought her a teddy bear and other gifts and pestered her with “sexy” text messages. He claims her was just trying to “cheer her up” but the woman’s carers have reported him to the police, who are now investigating. Given his track record it’s unlikely Hancock’s long suffering wife will buy that line…

On the back of the scandal that he had employed a researcher who has links to the KGB, the knives are sharpening around Hancock. Guido spoke to a senior council source down in Porstmouth who is fuming about the lastest embarrassment Hancock has caused:

“The pressure is mounting on Hancock. There have been many rumours about him swirling around Portsmouth and Westminster for years, but this latest news is particularly worrying. It is not acceptable for him to remain in a Cabinet role on Portsmouth City Council – where he has influence over policy regarding care for the vulnerable – at a time when the police are investigating him for allegedly abusing a vulnerable constituent. Whether he should remain an MP is a matter for the Liberal Democrats, and his conscience.”

Looks like Hancock might be waiting a little longer for his long-coveted title Lord Hancock of Fratton…

How the Unions Won it for Red Ed

This morning’s papers could not have been comfortable reading for the majority of the Labour Party who did not vote for Ed Miliband. Despite attempts to say “so what” to the fact that Unite and the other unions have the leader of their party by the balls, Red Ed is being defined by his opponents (and supporters) before the voting public have any idea who he really is. Not without good reason, imagine the outcry from Labour if the Tories biggest donor had been given the deciding say in who the party leader is, against the wishes of the membership and MPs. Try as Ed may to claim he is his own man, the results speak for themselves and how they were achieved is very telling.

Not only was there the £135,000 given to Ed’s campaign directly, but money was spent elsewhere pushing his face and name. Take this ballot paper envelope from the GMB for example:

Unite the Union broke not only the spirit but the letter of the leadership election laws by sending a mailshot endorsing Ed when they sent the ballot papers to their 950,000 members.  Unite even set up a website backing Red Ed which linked to the Electoral Reform Society’s online voting page. If David Miliband had a little less dignity he would have pretty solid grounds for an investigation.

The unions gave help-in-kind worth millions. There is no way the unions will not want a return for their investment and in the campaign Ed promised to support strikes and even show his face at the TUC’s coordinated action day. Guido is fairly confident this won’t happen and Ed will have to attempt to distance himself from his puppet-masters. Expect tame words calling for political solutions and the like…

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Winners & Losers

Besides Red Ed and Derek Simpson there are a few others who won big. On the blogosphere LeftFootForward did well, Mike Smithson bravely called it for Ed, enhancing his reputation for sagacity, YouGov rang the bell with polling granularity that was impressively predictive and punters did extraordinarily well. Yesterday morning punters’ favourites for first round elimination, to win overall, to win the membership, MPs, union sections and overall all came true. The predictive wisdom of crowds…

The losers were the Blairites. Mandelson should have stayed out of it, his intervention was counter-productive and irritated many. Mandy’s analysis was correct in that Ed was running against his own manifesto and was crowd pleasing the Guardianistas. Blairite pundits Rentoul and Aaronovitch are already mourning the electability of Labour. Labour friendly media did particularly badly, both the Mirror and the Guardian backed David Miliband to no avail. Clients of lobbyists Roland Rudd and Tony Bailey wasted their money, as did David Sainsbury, not that he’d notice.


The polling of Labour members shows that they thought David was the more effective leader, more likely to lead them to victory and would make a better PM, still they chose Ed. Tony himself of course dropped hints that David was really his heir and a disappointed Bad Al Campbell hit the nail on the Ed, saying he’ll make ‘the party feel OK about losing’. The Labour Party has chosen to lose the next general election and seems happy about it…

Charlie Whelan Wins by a Whisker

Unite’s massive effort to persuade disinterested union members to vote for Ed Miliband paid off. Ed won 50.65% of the vote. He lost in the MP and membership sections of the electoral college but took so much of the union vote it didn’t matter. The unions bought the election, endorsements and incredibly heavy promotion of their chose candidate paid off. Charlie Whelan and Derek Simpson can justifiably claim it is their victory, they got Red Ed the job…

It Ain’t Over till the Electoral Reform Society Sings


Guido has basically got his betting book flat on the Labour leadership, after backing David originally, flipping around onto Ed last Friday and adding to his position substantially during the week. Guido took the book to basically neutral last night, after selling Ed at ridiculously high prices going into the result.

Why? Because it is just too close to call with confidence.

Unless the Electoral Reform Society has leaked – something Guido doubts – the Thursday night flip happened because punters put money on Ed, it snowballed taking him beyond evens and making him favourite. There was no new poll or information on Thursday, the price moved simply and only because there were more buyers than sellers.

At the time of writing the specialist political bookies Smarkets* have Ed with an 80% probability of winning, it should be nearer 50/50 based on the polling and closeness of the count. Guido is tempted, on a valuation basis, to sell Ed at that price…

*As far as Guido can see they are the only bookies still making prices.

Saturday Seven Up

7up70,168 readers viewed 313,650 pages on the blog over the last seven days. Here are the seven most popular stories (in order of popularity) that you might have missed:

You’re either in front of Guido, or you are behind…

Labour Party Union Funding Scam Scrapped

Great news that the backhanded theft of millions of pounds of taxpayers money by the Labour Party, also known as the Union Modernisation Fund, has been scrapped. But it’s fine, no doubt Prezza will be elected Treasurer at Labour conference and with his track record he’s guaranteed to sort out the hole in Labour’s dire finances.

The Battle of the Brothers

The BBC have produced a round up of the campaign so far:

It is an accurate insight into the Miliband brothers’ relationship with a revelation that Hague likes Balls. The Guidoisation of politics continues…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Friday Caption Contest (“It IS a Real Job” Edition)

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Little Bro Has Big Mo (Too Late To Vote Though)

You can bet your bottom dollar that David Miliband is rueing the day he didn’t stab Gordon this morning. Suddenly the race to be the next Labour leader got interesting. The late-in-the-game switch to Ed as favourite has been aided […]

+ READ MORE +

Shock (Not) : Ken Beats Oona

In about five minutes it will be announced Ken has beaten Oona King for the Labour London Mayoral Nomination.

Boris Vs. Ken Round II – risky strategy from the reds.

UPDATE: 10.05 – Confirmed.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Preston Council leader Peter Rankin explains rising anti-Semitism…

“You need to think why this anti-semitism is getting worse. It’s because of the actions of the IDF shelling schools and hospitals and killing and maiming thousands of men, women and children.”

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