The Letter That Sealed Wendy’s Fate

click to enlarge
Back in November Guido had the exclusive scoop and was the first to publish this letter,* saying it would mean Wendy Alexander was toast. This personal note to Paul Green (dated October 5) showed that her telling the media that the first time she knew about his personal donation was 1 pm the previous day was simply untrue.

Paul Green also admitted that he gave two personal cheques of £950 which would have put him over the £1000 barrier and shown he was an impermissible offshoredonor.

Guido predicted that “there is no wriggle room. She is on the hook completely”. So it turned out, eventually.


*N.B. Incidentally, Guido was accused by Labour supporters of forging the letter.

Gordon Brown’s Unhappy Anniversary


Via Eyebrow Magazine

Friday Caption Contest

Prize of John Laughland’s A History of Political Trials: From Charles I to Saddam Hussein to the wittiest comment – which is not going to be the most obvious comment.

Downing Street Rat Dashes for Cash

As Guido pointed out yesterday, the captain is taking down the Labour ship with him and as this email from Fiona Gordon (his Downing Street political secretary) shows, the rats are doing the proverbial:
Dear Colleague,

Tomorrow will be my last day as Gordon Brown’s Political Secretary. It has been a privilege to work for Gordon and the wider team here at No 10 and I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity. It has been a fascinating and hectic year.

I have also been lucky to work closely with you, not only in my current post but as the first women PLP Secretary. I will be taking away very many happy memories, particularly of the evening we gathered in the Chamber for the photograph to mark the Centenary of the PLP.

My next venture is to start my own communications business which I am very excited about.

My mobile number will remain the same xxxxxxx, my new email address is xxx@xxx.com Joe Irvin has been appointed to replace me. Joe has for the past year worked as a special adviser to the Prime Minister on trade union, employment and housing issues.

He is a lifelong Labour Party member and previously worked as special adviser to Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott 1996-2001, and was for many years a trade union official. I know you will give him all your support.

With my best wishes
Fiona

She is obviously going to try in cash in over the next year before her contacts become worthless…

Labour Lose Deposit, Lib Dems Make No Progress

The Lib Dem’s once fearsome by-election machine stalled in the face of the blue tide sweeping the South East of England. They will be horrified at their inability to make real progress in this kind of constituency with, objectively, a better campaigner as their candidate. The truth is that the detoxification of Cameron’s “Liberal” Conservatives means that the anti-Brown swing vote is as likely, or even more likely, to go to the Tories than the Lib Dems. That is a terrifying prospect for Lib Dem MPs. The Tory vote went up despite the loss of the charismatic Boris. Currently Tories could pin a blue rosette on a donkey and win.

There are by-election losses and there are by-election losses, Labour coming fifth behind the BNP and Greens made losing their deposit that much worse. Backbench MPs will be studying Charles Clarke’s doomsday list (download here) a little more intensely. They will be looking at the crumbling Gordon and wondering to themselves how the party might fare without the millstone of a voter repelling weirdo up front.

UPDATE : A co-conspirator points out that Chris Rennard’s post match spin is ambiguous:

“We increased our vote…”

  • LibDem Henley vote 2005 General Election – 12,101
  • LibDem Henley vote 2008 By Election – 9,680

An increase of minus 2421 votes!

Spelman "Only Stopped Paying Nanny When Secretary Reported Her"

Michael Crick on Newsnight is going to reveal more details tonight that really will cap it for Spelman – essentially she only stopped fiddling payments to her nanny when her real secretary grassed her. It really does mean the end now. She fiddled and stopped only when she was reported and she lied about the whole thing when exposed. That is not a tenable position.

There is a ridiculous whispering campaign to make this a mother versus misogynists issue. It is actually an anti-corruption issue. The Spelmans are a wealthy couple, they could easily afford a nanny – they chose to fiddle the cost from the taxpayer. Plenty of low income mothers on benefits have gone to jail for fiddling the sums we are talking about here…

UPDATE : Two-thirds of grassroots Conservatives polled by ConservativeHome say Spelman should quit.

Henley News

Was this one of the most unexciting by-elections going?

Guido gave a former senior LibDem apparatchik 9/1 on the LibDems winning. So they are still optimistic…

Brown’s Speech Writer Quits

Decade long Brownie Beth Russell is reportedly quitting Team Brown next month to return to the Treasury. She will be the third member of the mobile phone target team to quit Number 10. She was the official speechwriter, though it is understood that Gordon is the one who inserts the lists of statistics that make his speeches so special.

Downing Street’s Jeremy Heywood has written to Whitehall’s mandarins euphemistically seeking someone for ‘a high profile and demanding post involving daily contact with the Prime Minister… I would be grateful if you could each put forward the names of one or two individuals who would particularly excel in this role.’ An ability to duck under fire would be useful.

Fiona Gordon has already given her notice, Spencer Livermore went in March. The captain will be alone when the ship goes down…

Ironic Speech

Dave’s former speechwriter, Danny Kruger is a bit of a have-a-go-hero crime fighter according to his article in the Speccie this morning:

My wife and I were coming out of a house in Camden where we had been viewing a

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Inflated Expenses

In 1997 the total maximum expenses claimable by an MP was £50,213. Yet during this prolonged period of low inflation (for which Gordon likes to claim credit) the maximum amount claimable has risen to £159,720.*

A rise of 218% in

[…]

+ READ MORE +

The Worst Blog Prediction Ever

Sion Simon MP, Labour Party Conference 2007, Blog for the New Statesman:

Perhaps the magnitude of the moment we face is too great for us collectively to bear. Shortly there will be an election, in which Labour will increase

[…]

+ READ MORE +

+++ Ed Balls & Yvette Cooper Expense Fiddle Investigation +++

More to follow…

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Boris tells the Sun:

“I think it’s a measure of his desperation, isn’t it, that yesterday we had one of the most absurd political spectacles that this country has ever seen. Not since the Tsar and Tsarina prostrated themselves and asked for economic guidance from Grigori Rasputin, has there been such a ridiculous political pilgrimages as the mission of Ed Miliband – the heir of Keir Hardie for heavens sake – to seek economic guidance from Russell Brand.”

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