Come to Guido’s “Ed Balls for Leader” Rally

The Labour Leadership campaign is looking a bit boring and to be honest a lot of you are pretty disappointed that Ed Balls is struggling so badly in his quest to lead the Labour Party.

So to liven things up a bit Guido is organising an “Ed Balls for Leader” rally in Westminster this afternoon.

The venue is 11 Tufton Street, Westminster at 3.45 pm this afternoon.

We’ll have posters ready for you to hold, and, errm, some bananas.

By strange coincidence David Miliband is also holding his third launch event at 11 Tufton Street at 4 pm.

We’ll be heading off to the Westminster Arms shortly after 4 pm…

Quote of the Day

Andrew Neil told Total Politics magazine about that picture…

“It’s not Miss Bordes. It never has been Miss Bordes. That was a picture of a woman from New York that I was going out with in 1995. She worked at Fox and she is an Afro-American. She’s not Asian, she’s not Indian, she’s not British. The picture was taken as we came off the beach in Barbados, by Terry O’Neill. It’s been presented now as if (a) it’s Miss Bordes and (b) that we were in some kind of nightclub and I’m there in this stupid shirt in a nightclub. It was a beach we’d come off, hence the baseball cap and beachwear.”

Newsnight’s Olly Grendlestein Problem

Newsnight’s regular political panel, made up of Cameroon Danny Finkelstein, the LibDem’s Olly Grender and Blairite insider Peter Hyman, has a bit of a problem. Ever since the coalition emerged Grender and the Fink have moved closer and closer to each other, not only on the sofa but in terms of argument. They seem to agree on almost everything now with only some nuanced differences.

It’s essentially two pro-government mouthpieces against one for Hyman who has to fight them both – Labour is bound to start really moaning about this sort of thing…

The Brady Bunch

Eurosceptic grammar school-loving Graham Brady looks set to be the spanner in Cameron’s attempts to rein in his backbenchers and suppress any future rebellions. Brady has got the Tory right excited with gushing endorsements for Chairmanship of the 1922 Committee from many in Parliament, as well as ConservativeHome’s Tim Montgomerie and the Telegraph’s Janet Daley.

Had Dave not been forced to back down on his desired reforms of the influentiall backbench grouping and enabled those on the government payroll to vote, then the wetter Richard Ottaway might have had a chance, but the right of the party are keen to give Cameron a gentle smack on the nose. If the punters are anything to go by it looks like Brady has got it sewn up. With a tendency not to take things lying down, Guido has to say things will be a lot more fun with Brady causing no end of headaches…

More LibDems Added to the SpAd List


The list includes a few more LibDem names, forinstance Giles Wilkes is tipped to move from the Centre Forum think tank to Vince Cable’s office.

Guido has had a few complaints that people on the list are not strictly speaking Special Advisers. Guido is using the term loosely, basically the people on this list are political appointments of various kinds doing the bag carrying for Ministers, some are not your usual wonky, spinning, greasy pole-climbing SpAds – clearly Sir Peter Ricketts heading up the National Security Council for Hague is not a teenage bag carrier.  Nic Boles for example is an MP but glides in out of the Cabinet Office helping the Implentation Unit in some unspecified and presumably unpaid way.  One way or another they’re on Guido’s list…

The Post-Robinson Age

At the noticeably well attended Policy Exchange party last night, Guido was chatting amiably to James Landale the BBC’s Deputy Political Editor when, just for sport, he asked, “Do you think you are going to get Nick’s job?” “There isn’t a vacancy” he said in the manner of a politician’s answer. Sensing opportunity, “Laura’s prettier, she wants the job” Guido teased.

“There is that” and then his body tensed and his face reddened, “the deputy never gets the job”. It was Heseltinian, it was a non-denial of ambition. There is a lot to be said for Landale, although his explanatory style sometimes seems to be too derivative of Robbo, he has his merits, and he is of course the same generation as the new governing generation. Perhaps more importantly, he is an Old Etonian…

See also: Taxi for Nick Robinson

Who Got the Jobs…

Guido’s latest list of government SpAds, wonks, “chief of staff” and assorted bag carriers is here. Compiled so Guido knows who to go to when shit happens…

You’ll no doubt see this republished in the papers and by scummy lobbyists public affairs firms as original research later this week.

Rumours of a battle over job titles between Rohan Silva (backed by Osborne and Hilton) and James O’Shaughnessy are denied by all. Ex-CCHQ / Policy Exchange über-wonk O’Shaughnessy reckons he was promised and is in line for the Downing Street policy chief role. Informed sources say he will have a long-term policy role and Rohan a more political / tactical role.

The list is a work in progress, but one Downing Street staffer told Guido it is the only one he’d seen…

Harman’s Secret Weapon

There was much surprise that Harman came out of the blocks quick, littering her first despatch box attack on the coalition with jokes that Gordon could only dream of delivering. Particularly good was her quip about the Lib Dems wanting to cling on to the trappings of opposition. It bodes well for some entertaining PMQs.

Before conclusions are jumped to that she is a natural, could Harman’s new-found sense of humour have something to do with the promotion of Ayesha Hazarika, a stand up comedian, to Director of Communications of the Labour Party and Deputy Chief of Staff to the Leader of the Opposition? For all the jokes, Labour are still not finding the need to mention that deficit.

Vadera’s Debt Addiction

Long term bunker dweller Shriti Vadera clearly didn’t get enough of dealing with massive spending, spiralling figures and drowning in debt while an advisor to Gordon Brown. She has taken up a consultancy role with the government of Dubai. It’s […]

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+ + + Gerald Howarth Shifted from Defence Procurement + + +

In news that will disappoint all his friends lobbying on behalf of defence contractors, the Telegraph is reporting that Gerald Howarth MP will remain in the MOD but is being shifted so that he will have no responsibility for Defence […]

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John McDonnell Writes Rivals Demanding All on the Ballot

This email just leaked to Guido…

At the moment Miliband senior has lots of nominations in the bag, Miliband minor’s campaign are bad-mouthing Ed Balls and Andy Burnham to MPs and saying it’s a two horse race and nominating either […]

+ READ MORE +

Flashback : Cable’s Flip Flop Previous

Wounded Vince Cable’s performance on Newsnight last night was classic Cableism. He backtracked, flip-flopped and was forced to accept, live on television, that his hated rival Osborne had been right all along. There was pain in those eyes, you would […]

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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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