Bradford Labour Chaos As Galloway Deal Rumour Blows Up

It’s all kicking off in Bradford West with local Labour Party internal ructions going very public. Newly appointed candidate Amina Ali tweeted that she had resigned, only to mysteriously delete the comment. Ever since Ali – who is of Somalian origin – was selected at the weekend, the local Labour Party on the ground have been in uproar. Having beaten off strong local choice Naveeda Ikram, many are questioning why, in a seat where ‘personal politics’ is so vital, a London Labour ally of Oona King has been forced upon them. The former BBC journalist is popular with the Shadow Cabinet, but the local party are baffled. “She not even Kashmiri, let alone Pakistani” says one source.

The local theory goes like this: George Galloway has softened his stance toward Labour of late, particularly on Question Time recently where he made a lot of conciliatory noises towards his old party. Having very loudly declared in 2013 that he was to run for Mayor of London, Galloway has gone very quiet on the subject. A local consensus has formed that some sort of deal has been done between Labour and the firebrand: if Galloway does not run against Labour in London and split the vote there, the party would give him an easy ride in Bradford. Unfortunately it seems the passions of the local Labour Party were not factored in, and the cunning plan has exploded. 

UPDATE: Another Labour source adds further intrigue:

“Imran Hussein, deputy leader of the Labour group, still hasn’t got over being beaten by Galloway. He doesn’t want a female candidate or indeed any Labour candidate that can beat Galloway as then they will be in for life and block him from potentially trying again in next election. Therefore, his supporters backed the outsider on the basis that she would lose.”

Cable in Code of Conduct Row

Vince Cable is in trouble after two West London business leaders referred him to the Prime Minister and Cabinet Secretary over an apparent breach of the Ministerial Code of Conduct. The chief executives of West London Business and the Hounslow Chamber of Commerce have written to the PM and Jeremy Heywood after Cable was listed as a speaker at an anti-Heathrow expansion rally in his capacity as Business Secretary:

We are very concerned that the Secretary of State appears to be attending the rally in an official capacity, on behalf of the Government, rather than as constituency Member. This appears to be in direct contravention of Section 1.2 (h) of the Ministerial Code, which states:

“Ministers in the House of Commons must keep separate their roles as Minister and constituency Member”

This activity may also breach other parts of the code, including section 6.5 which urges Ministers to “make clear that they are acting as their constituents’ representative and not as a Minister”.

It is a little naughty of Cable to speak out on Heathrow expansion not as a local MP, but supposedly representing the government. Not like he has form either: this is the same Vince Cable who“declared war” on Murdoch when in charge of media policy. That time he humiliatingly had the brief stripped from him… 

Full Obornian disclosure: You may have noticed some small Heathrow and Gatwick adverts on the site recently. Readers can rest assured they are irrelevant to this story. Guido just doesn’t like Vince Cable.

UPDATE: Sources close to Vince Cable get in touch to say the mistake was the fault of the organisers of the event. As soon as it came to his attention it was corrected.

Axelrod Speaks: Guru Lukewarm About Miliband on CNN

David Axelrod was caught off guard by Christiane Amanpour on CNN and asked about Ed Miliband. Watch his face fall:

The most positive thing Axe says is that that polls say Ed could win and that no one likes the Tories. A minute later he says to ignore the polls.

Unsurprisingly, Axelrod refuses to compare Ed to Obama. He doesn’t sound very enthusiastic about things though.

You would have thought for £300,000 Labour could have given their star guru at least one or two talking points about what their leader is up to?

SHAMELESS: Labour Candidate Withdraws After Benefit Overclaiming Exposed

They don’t call it the party of benefits for nowt. Hanna Toms, the Labour candidate for Truro, has withdrawn from the race after it emerged she had ‘inadvertently’ over-claimed her benefits:

“In the last few months, I was contacted concerning an issue with Housing Benefit I had been receiving. After co-operating fully to clarify my entitlement, I was advised that I had been overpaid Housing and related benefits. This came as a great shock. The problem arose because I was under the impression that as I had advised HMRC of my changes in income, that information would then be passed on to the council. I was wrong. I fully accept that it was my responsibility to have advised the council of any change in circumstances and I failed to do this.”

She says she’s paid it all back, but is quitting to spend more time down the jobby…

Kirstie For Kensington

Malcolm Rifkind has won the sympathy of at least one of his constituents: TV Tory Kirstie Allsopp:

Before the last election Kirstie advised the Tories on housing policy. Would she stand to lead the fight against the mansion tax?

A Tory’s what got them into trouble last time, so surely it is time for a rocking rebel. It would be a top location, location, location for her to stand…

Natalie Bennett Apologises to Green Party Members

 

Fair play to Natalie Bennett, who has refreshingly held her hands up and admitted she had a ‘mare on LBC earlier. It was the car crash to end all car crashes, but good for her for being honest.

Tory Runners and Riders For Kensington

Boris - No. He already has a seat with a larger majority.

James Cracknell – Early favourite with the bookies, though Guido is sceptical given recent appearances.

Tim Montgomerie - Quick to distance himself, but not ruling it out:

Donal Blaney – Lifelong Conservative supporter, former local councillor in the area. Would continue the Lady’s legacy in the House.

Joanne Cash - Tatler Tory who did so well in neighbouring Westminster North last time round, but was just pipped at the post, only 2,126 votes out.

Toby Young - For services to local(ish) education.

Ruth Porter – Surely time for a woman in this male-dominated seat?

David Skelton – Top Tories are determined to see this man in the Commons.

Andrew Strauss – Decided against running in Corby, is it time for the former England cricket captain and Tory donor to put his name forward?

Hugo Rifkind - Surely he’s entitled to go for it…

Sol Campbell – Current CCHQ darling. Local, well, he lives in Chelsea.

Greg Smith - Guido’s outside tip, currently leader of the Tory group in Hammersmith and Fulham council.

Who will be the MP for the 1%?

UPDATE:

IPCC Chair Quits Over Sex Harassment Scandal

klima_pachauri420

Read the full story as revealed by Gaia Fawkes last week…

Malcolm Rifkind Steps Down as ISC Chair and MP

The Chairman of the ISC, the Rt. Hon. Sir Malcolm Rifkind has this morning issued the following statement:

None of the current controversy with which I am associated is relevant to my work as Chairman of the Intelligence and Security

[…]

Natalie Bennett’s Fuel-Efficient Car Crash on LBC

As interviews go, it doesn’t get much worse than this from the Green leader with Nick Ferrari this morning. Not the ideal thing to happen on the day you’re launching your election campaign…[…]

POLL: Should Rifkind Resign From Intelligence Select Committee?

Should Sir Malcolm Rifkind stand down to spend more time with the lifestyle to which he aspires?[…]

And the Oscar for winding up Glenn Greenwald goes to…

 

Congratulations to Laura Poitras on a well deserved Best Documentary Feature Academy Award for her film Citizenfour. Though this quip from Oscar host Neil Patrick Harris must have hurt a little.

“The subject of Citizenfour, Edward Snowden, could

[…]



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Quote of the Day

Adam Spiegel, producer of Nazi themed “The Producers” musical says…

“Margate seemed a perfect place to start the promotion. I’m disappointed but not entirely surprised to see that UKIP are trying to hitch a publicity ride on the back of the show.”

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