Eric Pickles MP, Tory local government shadow didn’t hold back, he laid into the Smith Institute today – “the public will be alarmed that Gordon Brown’s advisers and favoured think-tank are calling for a toxic cocktail of local income taxes and a new national property tax.”
The Charity Commission is still investigating the Smith Institute for engaging in illegal political activity. Obviously these new policies are just a tad politically contentious…
When Chris Huhne launched his Lib Dem leadership bid, our cameraman took the trouble to count the number of BBC people present.
There were TWELVE of them. Sky and ITN had three each.
Some are speculating that the 29 year-old Julia Goldsworthy might run as a marker for the future. So after arguing for 18 months that age (he was 66) and experience (of sprinting) trumped looks and charisma, they could switch to a photogenic reality TV show contestant as leader – Julia is 40/1 on Betfair. Excellent idea, it couldn’t be any worse…
UPDATE : A co-conspirator says she has told her local rag she definitely won’t be running. Boo.
UPDATE II : John Hemming, who has confirmed he wants to run, is a mere 180 /1 on Betfair. He tells Guido he expects to get 5 nominations already!
UPDATE III : Vince Cable has ruled himself out this morning. Telling Nick Robinson that given “the current irrational prejudice about age… an older candidate is not electable”. Rationally, the 64 year-old slaphead is almost indistinguishable from Ming to voters.
His pathological hatred of the Tories becomes totally unhinged when it comes to Margaret Thatcher. Time and time again he shares his death fantasies with readers. Today again, under the pretext of a theatre review, he reminds us that he will celebrate her death. He describes her as a harridan who should not be afforded a state funeral. His poisonous “death to class enemies” attitude reveals all you need to know about Kevin Maguire’s politics and nature. In another time and place you sense that as a commissar he would have happily dealt out revolutionary justice to class enemies – with a bullet.
Betfair have opened up a market on the LibDem Leadership -
Clegg is hot favourite at less than evens.
Huhne is 13/5
Steve Webb is 15/1
Ed Davey is 36/1
Charles Kennedy is 40/1
Julia Goldsworthy is 40/1
Vince Cable is 50/1
Incidentally, Guido covered all his “Tories to be the biggest party” bets at a profit last night. If Clegg wins he may enjoy a honeymoon at Cameron’s expense…
He has sent out a position statement which is basically steady as she goes, neither right nor left etc., concluding with -
I am one of the few Members of Parliament who have the practical experience of having successfully led a political group from opposition to a position of power (in Birmingham). On issues of diversity I have delivered. As far as extra parliamentary considerations are concerned I am almost certainly the only successful entrepreneur in the parliamentary party that is also a member of a Trades Union. I will be taking soundings following this position statement.
That should sew it up…
Lynne Featherstone isn’t running.
31st October: nominations close.
17th December: the new leader will be announced.
Nick Robinson has got the first Ming interview.
But remember, leading the LibDems isn’t just for Christmas….
Will he stay out of it and endorse another candidate? Decisions, decisions. At the rate the LibDems change leaders, he could perhaps get another chance next year by backing Vince…
Incidentally, despite some speculation Lynne Featherstone told Guido she is “running in the other direction”. Guido suspects she will probably endorse Huhne (again).
Who wielded the dagger? Damning with feint praise was the chosen weapon of choice. Two killer quotes from the leadership team might explain why Ming has not spoken to either Hughes or Cable, the GMTV “must do better” from Hughes and the treacherous “under discussion, not under threat” comment from Cable on The World at One made it death-by-media.
Old Vince Cable trying to look solemn last night on Newsnight was a bit of a laugh. If Vince were to succeed in making his current leadership position permanent, most voters would not even notice. They would probably think that whatshisname looked a little different.
Perhaps, they might think, he was now darkening his remaining hair…
Ed’s Constitutional Failure | ConHome
UKIP Poster Girl’s Naked Photos | Sun
Miliband’s Radical Old Labour Agenda | Fraser Nelson
Meet Team Miliband | Dan Hodges
Run Boris Run | Times
Tories Pledge to End Onshore Windfarm Subsidy | Telegraph
Labour’s Plan to Attack Part-Time Boris | Standard
Ex-Sun Hack Cleared After 582 Days on Bail | MediaGuido
11 Times Boris Denied He Would Stand for Parliament | Buzzfeed
Attacking UKIP’s Posters is Counter-Productive | Guardian
Sarkozy Tried it on With Hollande’s Ex | Times
A confused Nick Griffin says Nigel Farage is a shill for the City, forgetting that City banks want to stay in the EU:
“Farage is a snake oil salesman, but a very good one. His supposed anti-immigration stance is all smoke and mirrors, as is his carefully cultivated image as a ‘man of the people’. The truth is that UKIP is a pro-immigration party that exists to lobby for the interests of the City of London.”