From Shorts to Trousers

Anticipation is brewing for the Clegg PMQs special at midday. And to think we all laughed when he said “I want to be Prime Minister” at the last LibDem conference.

The Cowley Street press office is furiously spinning the joyous news that this is the first Liberal at PMQs since 1922.

Which is odd given that PMQs was established in 1961…

Dolly Delves Deeper

In what is becoming an increasingly common sight, Guido hears Derek Draper was again out last night on the Westminster scene. Co-conspirators report he was mingling at the ComRes and Apex Communications party, though the pollsters were quick to put the word around that it was the spinmeisters who had invited him. Jack Straw made a concerted effort not to bump in to him as he was working the room. Vincent Moss [pictured] of the Sunday Mirror was less discerning. Disappointingly Derek promises he is not planning a comeback, but did mention he still avidly swings by here for a read “as one does.”

He apparently won’t be publicly backing a leadership candidate “for their sake”.

Photo Credit – Kit Friend

Drinky with Blinky?

Summer party season is in full swing, but you would think there would be some coordination with diaries. Although there are a limited number of days before the MPs jet off for the holidays, crowds will be dissipated tonight. Village dwellers have the choice between 18.00 and 20.00 of the ComRes and Apex Communications gig, Total Politics and Weber Shandwick’s new Members reception, The Adam Smith Institute book launch, a Big Brother Watch party and Conservative Way Forward’s summer party with Maggie. There will be some sore heads tomorrow…

Rather than dash around Westminster trying to get to all of these, Guido thinks he will just save himself for a slightly more exclusive party later. He is hoping lots of other Ed Balls fans join him at Blinky’s little party that is going on tonight. Apparently there will be a chat about how the campaign is going, which hopefully won’t dampen the mood too much. Drinks will be served from 20.30 in Norman Shaw South, Rm 102. Hope there are nibbles…

+++ James Purnell to Head ippr Think Tank +++

Friends in Nye Places

So Gordon made it along to Westminster to watch old Sue become Baroness Nye of Lambeth. Gordon’s newly domiciled dodgy donor Lord Paul even managed to put in a rare appearance in the Lords. As gatekeeper Sue would have had a lot of responsibility dealing with the hundreds of thousands of pounds Paul took from the pension funds of his steel conglomerate and threw Gordon’s way. Guido imagines he will be buying the drinks later, although his other close friend, Sarah Brown, won’t be joining the party… When Gordon comes down to London from Scotland, She’s goes from London to Scotland on a mystery “mini-break”.

UPDATE: Jon Craig had a view of Gordon:

…there he was, standing bolt upright and staring straight ahead at Sue, no smile, the sort of serious expression he used to display at the Cenotaph on Rembembrance Sunday. Once Sue had signed in, I ran downstairs to the Peers’ Lobby to see if I might bump into him and grab a word. But I failed. He had left the Lords chamber by a side door and I was thwarted. So, now I know he’s on the premises, will he turn up – and perhaps even speak – in the third reading debate on the Finance Bill?

Guido isn’t holding his breath…

Disgraced LibDem Peer Eyes Another Job

Chris Huhne proved just how close a relationship the Liberal Democrats share with the Electoral Reform Society and now Guido hears that another Chris, Lord Rennard, is in the running to become its £65,000pa Chief Exec.

They claim the post is still in the interview process, but other sources suggest that he is already lined up for the role. Given his by-election strategy success of the previous decade and the upcoming AV referendum, the appointment would make sense. They better get some extra expenses forms in. Oh and someone warn the female interns…

Tip via the Alex Folkes

53% Don’t Care About Labour Leader

A YouGov poll seen by Paul Waugh has the “I don’t care” block dominating the Labour leadership vote. Over half of people polled do not have a preferred candidate. David Miliband is in second with 22%, with Diane Abbott behind him on 11%, followed by the Younger Miliband on 9%. Ed Balls, for all the fluster, media appearances and rehabilitation has scraped the support of just 3% of voters. Andy Burnham is bringing up the rear with just 2%. While this is the wider public, they will be the ones deciding at real elections, rather than internal battles.Things change when the poll is broken down to just Labour voters with David up to 29%, Balls 13% and Ed Miliband on 12%. The same order as the donation rankings, funnily enough.

Ring-fenced Democracy

And then they were gone:

Given the excuse was that the protesters were prohibiting the wider public enjoying the Square, Guido doesn’t quite get the fence…

Via Kevin Brennan MP’s office window, via Twitter.

A Peer Named Sue

Another day, and another swathe of new peers are being sworn into office and £300-a-day expenses. Still waiting for Lord Howard of Transylvania, but the big question today is whether Gordon will actually bother to show up to watch his […]

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Dessy v Balls

Last Thursday Ed Balls obfuscated on This Week with Brillo about this email:

Click to enlarge

Balls prevaricated to Brillo somewhat, to be fair it seems Dessy didn’t have dinner with Blinky, but he did convey his intent to him […]

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The Tories are FAB

No sign of Brains though…

Via Tristram Shepard[…]

+ READ MORE +

Freedom is Too Messy

It seems that your freedom really does have a limit with this government. For all the talk, the majority have once again been silenced by the minority. Along with the “crowd-slicing” spending cuts consultancy project, the government web-watchers have shut […]

+ READ MORE +



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