So What Happens at PMQs?

So it falls to Harman to try land the first blow on Cameron at PMQs a week today. If her erratic performances standing in for Gordon are anything to go by, it shouldn’t be too much for him to worry about.

However Guido was wondering what happened to Clegg?

No longer will he get his two questions as leader of the  third-party as he is now very much in the government. He will probably be standing in as Deputy Prime Minister when the PM is away, but something tells Guido that Dave won’t be giving him too many of these star-turns. So on a week by week basis that leaves the DUP as the third largest party…

They better choose a new leader pretty quick.

Johnson Falls in Behind David Miliband

Alan Johnson has ruled himself out of the leadership race this morning and backed David Miliband.  Guido is fascinated by the prospect of a David versus Ed fight between the Miliband brothers.  What will their mother say?

Harman says she is out of the race, which many find hard to believe, maybe she really is comfortable as deputy. Balls is weakened by being the proprietor of an ultra-marginal constituency. David Miliband’s people have wasted no time drawing that to people’s attention.

Some money is going on a few outside hopes, including Jon Cruddas Andy Burnham and even Baldemort, Liam Byrne. David Miliband is the far and away favourite with a 59% chance, think that might be worth a sell

CCHQ Recriminations Starting

Yesterday mid-level staffers at CCHQ yesterday were waiting to find out if their contracts were being renewed with the prospect of a second election ahead. They were playing the blame game, or as one told Guido, “Who was shitter? Hilton or Coulson?”

Hilton’s hissy fits are legend – he has even been nicked for calling a copper a “w****r” – he disappeared for a while after the ‘Big Society’ was derided as unsellable in the same way that “social responsibility” was unsellable on the doorsteps. Treating underlings badly is a dangerous habit, he can expect a less than glowing press when the history of the campaign is written up. His great enemy, Andy Coulson, is blamed by some for being a booster for the TV debates, which the Tory sponsor Lord Ashcroft blames for the LibDems being put into contention – though given they lost seats, did it really put them into contention?

Tim Montgomerie’s review of the campaign is an opus, it is critical of the money and poll lead squandered as well as attack Steve Hilton’s “unforgivable” errors.  Lord Ashcroft must wonder what went wrong and where his money went.  Give it a weekend or so and the Sunday newspapers will be doing their inside-the-campaign stories…

+ + + LibDem Federal Exec Endorses Change Coalition + + +

Yes, Prime Minister

Finished

“Thank you and goodbye.”

Could the Weirdie Beardies Yet Scupper the Deal?

So the deal is a whipped vote for a referendum which most Tory MPs including Cameron will campaign against and a fair number of cabinet seats. It is rumoured that six cabinet seats are on offer.

Will this cut any mustard with the weirdie beardies? They know this is their best chance for electoral reform ever, they haven’t got a firm offer.  If nine lefties on the Federal Executive say “no” it will have to go to the members.  Cowley Street insiders say it is the only deal in town now, but LibDems are often awkward types, hence the bookies making it a 96.5% probability tonight, 3.5% short of a done deal.  That 3.5% shortfall is the random weirdie beardie risk.

+ + + Evening Standard : Gordon Quits as PM + + +

UPDATE : The rumour mill is in overdrive. Full coalition seems to be certain. Reports of Nick Clegg as Deputy Prime Minister with six cabinet positions. Brown could be about to quit his seat Blair style – embarrassing less than a week after an election. Brown to the Palace in the morning at the latest. Cheers.

Lib Dem MPs and Fed Ex to Meet at 19.30

Looks like there is real movement – Gus O’Donnell has joined the Cabinet Office negotiations. A meeting has just been called for the Liberal Democrat MPs and crucially their Federal Executive tonight at 19.30.

It seems that a Tory/Liberal deal […]

+ READ MORE +

Bad Al Campbell Doesn’t Look Happy

This just sent in by a co-conspirator.  Looks like something has got up right up Campbell’s nose…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Burnham Breaks Cover

In a clear bit of positioning, Andy Burnham has just gone public with his criticism of a Liberal Democrat and Labour deal: “I think we have got to respect the results of the general election and we can’t get […]

+ READ MORE +

+ + + Morgan Stanley Advises Investors to Short Pound + + +

+ + + Predicts Sterling to Drop 10% + + +

UPDATE : French investment bank BNP Paribas Capital Markets advised clients this morning

‘A Lab/Lib government is the least liked option by markets and would almost guarantee a downgrade of the UK sovereign. Moody’s suggested yesterday, when announcing that Greece

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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