Karen Danczuk’s St George’s Day Message

An exclusive St George’s Day treat for Guido readers, courtesy of the dragon-slaying Mrs D:

More like St Phwoarrr-ge’s Day!

Lutfur Rahman Roll Call of Shame

As Lutfur Rahman is found guilty of a string of election offences, here is a piece the Guardian published on him last year:

Apparently “there had been a concerted effort by the media and political establishment to smear Rahman” and “the story of Lutfur Rahman is a democratic success story”. Today he has been found guilty of bribery and corruption.

Dave Hill also wrote a long defence of Rahman in the Guardian, including how Rahman was victim to “pernicious, glory-seekers’ back catalogue of Tower Hamlets Islamist conspiracy theories”. He concluded:

“the point is, though, that if Rahman has sinned how many others are doing so all day, every day in ways that, in the end, differ if at all only in the means and detail?”

That renowned democrat George Galloway defended his ideological ally:

“Labour should be beating a path to mayor Lutfur’s door and asking him to sprinkle some of his stardust over them instead of expelling him, witch-hunting him and trying to drive him from office.”

While Ken Livingstone spoke up for his old friend:

“He is the subject of an Islamophobic campaign of lies. I have always stood up for people who are victimised.”

Another one of those days when Labour have to say “thank goodness David didn’t win”…

Boris: “The Cloud Has Been Lifted From Tower Hamlets”

Boris Johnson has responded to the news that Lufter Rahman is a goner:

“I’m very glad that justice has taken its course and the cloud has been lifted from Tower Hamlets.

It’s vital we move on with new elections.”

No word from Ken Livingstone…

UPDATE: Ken speaks:

“I’d take Eric Pickles to court. This is like something out of East Germany under the communists”

Lutfur Rahman Election Voided: Guilty of Bribery and Corruption

The election of Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman has been voided by a judge and he has been banned from standing again.

He is found guilty of making false statements smearing his Labour opponent John Biggs as a racist.

He is also guilty of using taxpayer-funded grants to induce votes.

And guilty of bribery and corruption.

Also guilty of corrupt practice of undue spiritual influence.

Guilty of “general corruption” too.

Rahman a wrong ‘un? Who’d have thought it…

UPDATE: Statement from Eric Pickles:

“I sent in Commissioners into the dysfunctional mayoral administration following the mismanagement of public money and the breakdown of democratic accountability. An independent Election Court has now found the Mayor and his agents guilty of corrupt practices, including bribery and the abuse of public money.

This judgment vindicates our action to intervene. The immediate priority of the Commissioners must be to ensure a free and fair election takes place on 7 May.

I will now ask the Commissioners whether further resources or powers are necessary to help them stamp out this culture of corruption in Tower Hamlets. The Commissioners’ powers may need to be extended in the interim before any by-election.

The police also need to take steps to stop further corrupt practices following this damning judgement. We must also challenge those who seek to spread further division in light of the ruling. There can be no place for rotten boroughs in 21st Century Britain.”

UPDATE II: Rahman ordered to pay £250,000 costs.

NUS Conference Censor UKIP, Spin “All Parties Invited”

It’s NUS conference time and the parties have apparently been invited to send a video message to the hard left students. NUS President Toni Pearce could not be clearer:

“In the interest of fairness, all parties were invited to contribute.”

Except that’s not quite true.

The NUS press release states:

“Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg, Labour’s Ed Miliband, SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon, Plaid Cymru Leanne Woods, Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, Greg Clark, put forward by the Conservatives, relayed their parties youth message . UKIP’s Nigel Farage was not asked to participate as last year NUS conference passed clear policy influencing this, and the Greens failed to submit a video.”

So how exactly were “all parties were invited to contribute”?

An NUS spinner tells Guido that when Pearce says “all parties were invited to contribute” that meant “all parties except UKIP”.

So in fact the complete opposite of what was said.

The Borrowers

IFS verdict…

Here are the top lines:

  • Tories: debt as a share of national income reduced from 80% in 2014–15 to 72% by 2019–20
  • Labour, Liberal Democrat and SNP plans, debt in 2019–20 could be more like 77%, 75% and 78% respectively
  • Labour have been much less clear about exactly what level of deficit reduction they want to achieve than the Tories
  • The Tories need to spell out substantially more detail of how they will deliver the overall fiscal targets they have set themselves
  • The SNP’s fiscal numbers imply the same reduction in borrowing over the next parliament as Labour
  • Under the SNP, the period of austerity would be longer than under the other three parties

Ultimately, the IFS is scathing of all parties:

“the electorate is at best armed with only an incomplete picture of what they can expect from any of these four parties”

Even under the most ‘austere’ plans, those of the Tories, debt as a share of national income will still be 72%…

Labour’s General Secretary Shut Out of Campaign

After a near mutiny in Labour HQ back in 2012, Guido revealed that unpopular General Secretary Iain McNicol would be “be sidelined out of the way. It may even be made to sound like a promotion.”His job was once one of the  most powerful positions in the Labour Party, especially during an election campaign. So what is McNicol up to these days? 

“He has been effectively sacked from the campaign” says a source. “Kicked out of HQ, sent out on the road every day touring marginal seats alone.”

On the road, out of the loop and out of the way…

Tories Down 7 Points in UKIP Target Seats

ComRes have polled ten Conservative-held UKIP target seats, finding the Tories are 7.3% down on their vote share since 2010:

UKIP’s vote share is up 15.4% since 2010, but they are still well behind in third place. Voters in these marginals prefer Cameron to Miliband as PM by 54% to 32%. Breaking: poll shows Tories to hold safe seats…

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PM: “the Selfie Will Come, the Selfie Will Go”

David “too many tweets make a twat” Cameron has made another bold prediction in an interview with the Spectator:

“The selfie will come, the selfie will go.”

As Guido reported in the Sun last month, the selfie has been […]

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Conservative manifesto shows their true colours

Sponsored post.

Dale Vince, Ecotricity founder, said:

“Over the last few years we’ve watched as David Cameron’s pre-election pledge to run ‘the greenest government ever’ has slowly but surely unraveled.

“Mr. Cameron has morphed from hugging huskies to claiming we

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Boris: “It Would Be a Wonderful Thing” to Be Tory Leader

Boris almost managed to get through this textbook Kay Burley grilling without saying he wanted to be PM. Almost:

“In the dim, distant future obviously it would be a wonderful thing to be thought to be in a position to

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Quote of the Day

Sky News ask a “Labour representative” where the local St George’s Day events are. He replies:

“You’re better off asking the UKIP candidate” 

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