+ + + David Laws Resigns + + +

And Guido will be crying into his beer. Lidl own-brand beer at that…

Saturday Seven Up

7up59,376 visitors viewed 344,448 pages over the last seven days, here are the seven most popular stories (in order of popularity) that you missed:

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

Who is James Lundie?

Now revealed publicly as David Laws boyfriend, James Lundie is a director at spin-merchants Edelman, he is a former adviser to both Charles Kennedy and Paddy Ashdown when they were respectively leaders of the Liberal Democrats. Laws says that “James and I are intensely private people … We made the decision to keep our relationship private and believed that was our right. Clearly that cannot now remain the case.”

It was widely known in Westminster that David Laws was gay, some years ago he dared a tabloid paper to justify threatening to out him, he didn’t make an issue of his sexuality. Laws should have known better than to rip the taxpayer off for rent paid to his boyfriend, it doesn’t just look bad, it is bad. In the coming tough times on public spending it will not play well that he milked the expenses system. Using the “we wanted our privacy” line doesn’t really wash when it comes to public money.

UPDATE : Punters have raised the probability of Laws being the first Cabinet member to resign from 6% to 15% this morning. Guido thinks he will probably survive because he is too important to the coalition…

UPDATE : The probability of Laws exiting the cabinet has been rising steadily all morning, punters are now giving him a 30% chance of going. Declaration of interest – Guido just put £500 on him surviving.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Balls is Officially Nominated

As the convenor of the grassroots internet-based #Balls4Leader campaign it is Guido’s pleasure to inform co-conspirators that Balls has now been officially nominated by 33 MPs.

Onwards to victory comrades…

UPDATE : Could a co-conspirator come up with a suitable logo for the campaign?

Ed Balls Campaign Diary

Told Nicola that it is important to stress that over half the parliamentary party do not want Jaffa Miliband to be Leader. His little brother has almost as many backers, and that little girl Burnham has a small chunk.  Tom Watson has finally came through and I am now just one short of being on the official ballot paper. Getting a bit worried I am going to have ask Gordon for his vote.

Bit of a shock in Thirsk and Malton, the whole of the Labour Party was expecting we would squeeze the LibDem vote. Instead this Great Party of Ours dropped from second to third. Hope no one notices that I was the only leadership candidate to visit the constituency.

The Right Honourable Edward Balls, leader of the Labour Party. Has a nice ring to it. I will have that on my business card soon.

Susie Squire Slips in to Spinning at the DWP for IDS

Guido is particularly pleased to add Susie Squire (pictured here briefing a senior political journalist) to the list of SpAds, bag carriers and wonks going over to government. She joins Philippa Stroud working at the DWP for Iain Duncan-Smith.  Formerly at the Taxpayers’ Alliance she will now be part of the team exorcising / reforming the welfare system.

Additions to the list include Richard Parr who follows Andrew Mitchell to DfID, Poppy Mitchell-Rose who goes with Osborne to the Treasury.  Honor Fishburn, daughter of Dudley Fishburn the former Tory MP for Kensington and Chelsea, goes to Downing Street to do Andy Coulson’s bidding and Cameron’s speech writing team of Ameet Gill and Claire Foges follow him from CCHQ to become the PM’s speech writing team.

There are still a few more names left to be confirmed…

Sly Si and His Left-Wing Cabal

Simon Hughes shouldn’t be underestimated as an operator. He cut his teeth getting rid of more than his fair share of Liberal Democrat leaders, and in cahoots with Vince Cable he is rocking the boat again. Deprived of a Cabinet seat, Sly Si’s near coronation as Deputy LibDem leader is more than a little contrived…

Cable has looked close to tears for the last week and his unexpected resignation as Clegg’s deputy, and now his very public endorsement of Hughes as his replacement, shows just how worried he is about the coalition. This way the beardy-weirdies have a voice.

Perhaps as punishment for refusing to bloody his hands in the Treasury, Cable has been landed with the most cuts to his department. He has had to eat humble pie on television and his reputation as an economic guru is all but shattered. Bound by collective cabinet responsibility he is neutered.

Though Vince may have been exposed as bit of sham and the bookies make him favourite to be the first cabinet minister to resign, don’t think he isn’t going to go down without a fight, and never forget how vicious LibDem infighting can be. So who does he turn to start causing trouble? His old mucker Hughes of course – the whole swap looks like a well executed plan – interestingly his only challenger for the leadership thus far is Tim Farron – who has been a Hughes protege and ally for many years (and was a senior figure in both Simon’s leadership campaigns).

See also Cable’s Positioning

Friday Caption Contest (Wacky Wonk Edition)

Quote of the Day

Green MP Zac Goldsmith used his maiden speech to say:

“How many people in this country genuinely believe that when they cast their vote in a European election it will have any impact on how Europe is structured, on what […]

+ READ MORE +

How Much Did You Make Today?

The Taxpayers’ Alliance have released this depressing little video highlighting the fact that from 9am to 1.21pm you are working for the taxman and from 1.21pm to 5pm you finally get to earn some money. Seems the plush new TPA […]

+ READ MORE +

What Were they Thinking?

Bad Al Campbell is cock-a-hoop this morning, Downing Street refused to put up a minister against him on Question Time. Admittedly this is not a strategic error of the order of Suez, but it does provide comfort to a demoralised […]

+ READ MORE +

The Final Special Advisers List*

Guido’s list of the assorted SpAds, bag carriers and spinners is pretty much complete. He has yet to sub-categorise it into naughty and nice though. Thank you to all those who helped out with the tip-offs. One newspaper editor told […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

The Donald asks what America wants from a President…

“I spent less, I won the most. Isn’t that what you want from your President for a little time?”

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