5 minutes of the best lines…
Tories feared home affairs job would give Chuka “a springboard into a possible future Labour leadership challenge,” source says.
— George Eaton (@georgeeaton) October 19, 2016
Allies of Chuka say he was victim of Tories who feared Home Affairs job would give him springboard in any future Labour leadership contest
— Jason Beattie (@JBeattieMirror) October 19, 2016
Labour folk friendly to Chuka saying Tories caucused against him because he is more of a threat as a future leader than Yvette. Perhaps…
— Tim Shipman (@ShippersUnbound) October 19, 2016
“Allies of Chuka” texted friendly members of the Lobby last night with the same tenuous line: that the Tories had blocked him from the Home Affairs committee chairmanship because they fear him as a potential future Labour leader. You’ll rarely get a more transparent and less believable briefing. Guido recalls a senior Labour figure a few years back explaining to hacks at Ed Miliband’s Christmas drinks party that Chuka would never be leader because everyone in Labour despises him. Whatever he’s spinning, the truth is Chuka is so unpopular with his own colleagues in the PLP he never stood a chance of winning the Home Affairs gig…
The last Labour government advocated the same migrant dental checks that have caused so much outrage among the Twitterati today. Back in 2007 the then immigration minister Liam Byrne said that dental checks had to be considered to prevent abuse of the system:
“If it is true that a dental x-ray is able to establish within a more precise range an individuals’ age than any other form of determination then I think we have really got to look very hard at that evidence. We cannot have adults in the children’s system. Adults in the children’s system, I believe, pose a serious threat to our obligation to protect children effectively.”
A great find by Miles Goslett. As you can see above, this was covered by the BBC at the time. The David Davies proposal that is causing so much outcry was originally proposed by Labour nine years ago…
With Steven Woolfe out and more candidates throwing their hats into the ring, Guido brings you an update on the UKIP leadership race:
Suzanne Evans: Quietly gathering signatures for her nomination. Her suspension has lapsed, she should be a member in good standing for 28 days (we think) and thus eligible. Bookies’ favourite. Will her closeness to the Farage-hating Carswell faction cost her with the grassroots?
Paul Nuttall: Other candidates fear Nuttall will win if he stands. This Telegraph article sounds like he wants it. Though there is no noticeable effort to gather signatures, he didn’t want to run last time and will be asking himself if it’s really worth it. Dithering or not bothering at all?
Raheem Kassam: Loudly gathering the necessary signatures. Has been campaigning hard online and thinks he has enough signatures to submit the paperwork on Sunday. If Nuttall doesn’t run there is a possibility Raheem could actually do it. His price to win is tighter than Trump’s!
Peter Whittle: UKIP’s London mayoral candidate is popular in the capital. While campaigning in Witney he appeared on one of Kassam’s campaign videos and even said his rival’s slogan: “Make UKIP Great Again”, though he tells Guido he is not on Team Raheem. Also quietly gathering signatures.
Bill Etheridge: Said he’d stand unless there was somebody he could back 100%. Accused of cheating by his fiancee. Has been round the rubber chicken circuit.
David Kurten: Lower profile, tried to be nominated as UKIP’s mayoral candidate with a false London address. When Breitbart asked him how he responded to allegations of racism in UKIP he replied: “UKIP isn’t racist, I love white people!”
Suzanne, Nuttall and Raheem are the frontrunners…
Brexit – Hilary Benn
Home Affairs – Yvette Cooper
Culture, Media and Sport – Damian Collins
Science – Stephen Metcalfe
Trade – Angus Macneil
The Foreign Secretary quickly cottoned on to the fact that this was not going to be the most riveting of PMQs bust-ups. That of course meant there was only one thing for it: time to get in a bit of light chin-wagging (read: serious ministerial business). Attempting to avoid detection or accusations of rudeness while his leader held court, Boris decided the best strategy would be “The Cagney”. Popularised by the black and white film star, this technique involves leaning in to one’s co-conspirator with head bowed and quickly yapping out the opposite side of the mouth: a useful tactic when stuck in the can. Unfortunately for Boris while the Cagney works a charm for Noo-Yawk lags on lockdown, it is rather less effective when attempted by a booming old Etonian with a penchant for peppering his sentences with Latin. He never was any good at “oratio sub rosa” (that’s “Boris” for “talking in secret”).
Proceedings had begun with all paying unreserved tribute to those lost in Aberfan Disaster, including the Labour leader. Naturally there will be those concerned that this indicates a breach of Corbyn’s Law, they need not worry – had Jeremy known of any other mass landslide casualties they would undoubtedly have been duly referenced. The leader of the opposition then decided to question his opposite number on mental health and the NHS. It’s a subject quite literally close to his heart as he has spent every Wednesday afternoon for the past year sitting a foot away from a man slowly losing his mind. Although fortunately Tom Watson did opt for the first time in PMQs to unclasp his hands, meaning that the small mouse he would usually crush over the course of your average session happily managed to survive this Wednesday.
Theresa May’s Miliband-esque economics and ‘Kippy immigration rhetoric cleans up Labour and UKIP votes…
The geniuses at HuffPo are very angry with Brexit Secretary David Davis, accusing him of proposing dental age checks on refugees arriving in Britain and illustrating their story with a picture of him at the desptach box. Also boarding the outrage bus are the amateurs at the LibDem press office, though they are upset with Philip Davies over the dental checks idea. If these Remoaners had checked before rushing out their Brexiteer bashing stories and press releases, they’d have seen that it was actually proposed by backbencher David Davies. Guido has produced a handy graphic to help HuffPo and the LibDems:
There’s also Mims Davies, though less likely that mistake will be made. These Tory MPs all sound the same…
Graphic credit: @mrharrycole
Guido understands that Buzzfeed UK has booked a “middling six-figure profit”, is breaking even in Germany and making six-figure losses in Brazil, France and Spain. Congratulations…
— Sky News (@SkyNews) October 19, 2016
Theresa May has just said she hopes Peter Bone’s wife is going to treat his birthday “in the appropriate manner.” The Speaker can’t contain his excitement. Calm down man!
Oral Questions To The Prime Minister
Q1 Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough)
Q2 Lisa Nandy (Wigan)
Q3 Marcus Fysh (Yeovil)
Q4 Stephen Pound (Ealing North)
Q5 Nigel Adams (Selby and Ainsty)
Q6 Drew Hendry (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)
Q7 Maria Eagle (Garston and Halewood)
Q8 Mrs Cheryl Gillan (Chesham and Amersham)
Q9 Anne McLaughlin (Glasgow North East)
Q10 Alison Thewliss (Glasgow Central)
Q11 Richard Fuller (Bedford)
Q12 Mr Jamie Reed (Copeland)
Q13 Lucy Powell (Manchester Central)
Q14 Robert Flello (Stoke-on-Trent South)
A strange FT splash this morning claims that MPs getting a vote on the government’s eventual EU trade deal means a real Brexit is less likely. This is just wrong. MPs will be given a choice between the government’s deal or no deal which would mean trading with the EU under WTO rules. Either way, it will be a ‘hard Brexit’ by the FT/Remoaner definition, which is Brexit. As for the pound rising on the back of this? Almost as if traders don’t have any particular political insight, the rises and falls in the pound are just them trying to make money off the back of newsflow rather than fundamentals…
Employees that work for the same firm as George Galloway’s solicitors have been in court accused of falsely claiming almost £600,000 in interpreter’s legal fees. Bradford-based Chambers Solicitors are notorious for demanding up to £5,000 for allegedly libellous tweets against Galloway, now three of the solicitors who work for the firm are in hot water themselves. The Legal Aid Agency anti-fraud squad caught up with Mohammed Ayub, Mohammed Riaz and Neil Frew after they set up Legal Support Services, allegedly a fake company which paid thousands of pounds to an amusement arcade firm and paid private school fees. Guido notes that Chambers Solicitors Bradford hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing, just those that work for it. The trial is ongoing. First they come for his channel…
The Twitterati is getting very upset with newspapers and MPs for questioning the ages of the ‘child refugees’ arriving in the UK. Historical data however shows this is not an unreasonable question to be asked. Last year the Home Office queried the ages of nearly 600 asylum seekers who claimed to be children, finding that two thirds were in fact adults. Since 2006 nearly 5,000 adults have sought asylum claiming to be children. Whatever your views on the migrant crisis, the numbers don’t lie…
Days after the Home Affairs committee published its anti-Semitism report, Corbynistas have named an MP embroiled in multiple anti-Semitism rows as their choice for its next chairman. Paul Flynn has next to no chance of winning, but the decision by five Shadow Cabinet ministers and other top Corbynistas to sponsor his vanity bid has infuriated colleagues. In 2011 Flynn was condemned for suggesting the British Israeli ambassador Matthew Gould had “Jewish loyalty”. More recently Flynn said Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis was “wholly untrue”. Those backing him include Clive Lewis, Ronnie Campbell, Richard Burgon, Andy McDonald, Dennis Skinner, Nick Smith, Cat Smith, Kelvin Hopkins, Rachael Maskell, Carolyn Harris and Margaret Greenwood. If Paul Flynn had been in charge of the Home Affairs anti-Semitism report, fair to say its conclusions would have been somewhat different. MPs are very angry about this…