Wednesday, July 23, 2014

EHRC: All Women Shortlists Are Unlawful

The Equalities and Human Right’s Commission has ruled that All Women Shortlists are illegal. To very little attention, the EHRC today published guidance on the equalities legislation around which appointments to boards must be made. It says very clearly on page 10:

“We do not believe that it is lawful to address under-representation by longlisting or shortlisting only female candidates to the detriment of male candidates” 

Though the context was the private sector, it could not be clearer about the legality of the issue.

One rule for us, another for…

UPDATE: People who seem to know what they are talking about say there are special provisions for political parties (until 2030) which permit the use of all-women shortlists by registered political parties in relation to elections to government (see sections 104 and 105 of the Equality Act 2010).

LibDem and David Ward Statements in Full

A statement from David Ward:

“I utterly condemn the violence on both sides in Israel and Gaza.

“I condemn the actions of Hamas, and my comments were not in support of firing rockets into Israel. If they gave the opposite impression, I apologise.

“However, while I defend the right of Israel to exist and defend itself, I will continue to speak out for the rights of the Palestinian people who are facing untold suffering. More must be done by the world community to end this humanitarian crisis and protect the families living in Gaza. I can understand their plight and desperation.

“A cease fire in this conflict is essential. If we are to end the suffering, and establish a safer society for people in Gaza, the first step must be an end to violence on both sides.”

A spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats said:

“This is a categorical apology from David Ward. In light of this apology, the party and the whips will decide in due course if further disciplinary action should be taken.”

Disciplinary process

The rules of the Parliamentary Party require a formal meeting between the Chief Whip and David Ward. This will take place in due course.

Desmond Wields Axe: 200 Out at Express and Star

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Bosses as the Daily Express and Daily Star have this morning sent a letter to employees informing them that 200 jobs are to go, offering redundancies to contracted staff. This means the workforce across both papers will be reduced from 650 to 450. A source in the newsroom tells MediaGuido“How nice of Desmond to use his papers to promote his sh*t Channel 5 programmes, then get rid of the staff who helped him sell it for £450 million.” A union meeting is planned this afternoon at head office…

AUDIO:  Ward Refuses to Apologise Over Rocket Row

David Ward has told BBC Radio Leeds that he will not apologise for last night’s comments, insisting he is only sorry “it people misinterpreted” his admission that were he a Palestinian he would fire rockets at Israel. Ward confirmed he had spoken with the LibDem chief whip this morning, and that a statement from the party can be expected this afternoon. A mealy mouthed apology for ‘causing offence’, like last time, is unlikely to be enough…

Incidentally, Guido is too hungover to do a proper BBC rant, however, the soft line of questioning and the fawning thanks from the presenter in that interview was pathetic. Get Ward in front of Kay Burley, pronto.

Coalition Rift: Tories Ratchet Up Ward Rocket Row

This one is a kite, but the story is not going away. The Tories have grassed Ward to the old bill for “encouragement of terrorism as defined by Section 1 (2) of the Terrorism Act 2006.” In a letter to Bernard Hogan Howe, Nadhim Zahawi writes:

“I am writing in respect of a number of statements made by Mr David Ward, the Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Bradford East, on Twitter on the evening of the 22 July 2014. Mr Ward made a number of comments about the ongoing conflict in Gaza. Tragically the most recent flare up has caused deaths on both sides. However, Mr Ward went on to suggest that if he lived in the region he would wish to contribute to the violence saying he would ‘probably’ ‘fire a rocket’. I attach copies of the Tweets in question (Annex 1).

Freedom of speech is an important right, but it is not an unqualified one. This is especially true for public figures who have the capacity to influence the actions of others. Mr Ward’s tweets would appear to be prima facie evidence that he has committed the offence of encouragement of terrorism as defined by Section 1 (2) of the Terrorism Act 2006. Mr Ward may or may not have intended this statement to encourage others to fire rockets from Gaza into Israel, but regrettably he would appear to at least have been reckless as to whether others would be encouraged to commit such acts.

Of course Mr Ward must apologise for these statements, but this alone may not be enough. Mr Ward has encouraged the use of violence and may have put further lives at risk. I hope that you will begin investigating Mr Ward’s actions as a matter of urgency.”

While the letter is unlikely to come to anything, it’s interesting to see the coalition partners finally putting the boot into each other.

Another LibDem Scandal, Another Warning Letter Ignored

Last time David Ward hit the headlines for his comments about “the Jews”, the Fink wrote this letter to Nick Clegg warning him “Mr Ward will make another offensive remark, probably worse than this one. It’s just a matter of time”.

November 29, 2013

Dear Deputy Prime Minister,

As I hope you know by now, I have great respect for you. I believe it took substantial courage and imagination to agree to the coalition deal and to see it through in the way that you have. So I write now in full confidence of your goodwill and your willingness and ability to do what is right. It’s about David Ward, your MP for Bradford East. You’ve got to do something and you need to get on with it.

At the beginning of the year, Mr Ward told Holocaust survivors like my mother that they had failed to learn the lesson of experience. They should treat people better and they don’t. He kept pressing this opinion, and talking about Jews, until you felt that you needed to withdraw the party whip. However, as a compromise, the whip was taken away from him only while the House wasn’t sitting. I was a bit disappointed by this, but I saw the problem. You didn’t want a huge party row with him about Israel and you didn’t want to lose an MP. You thought perhaps that a warning would do.

Mr Ward will make another, probably worse, remark. It’s just a matter of time. Fair enough, I suppose. Not heroic, but fair enough. The point of my letter is to urge upon you the thought that this approach, however reasonable you thought it was, hasn’t worked. Mr Ward has now given himself of the opinion that the Board of Deputies is powerful and well financed. Your party has dismissed this as a flattering observation but I think we both know better than this. It is a classic and freighted description of a Jewish lobby that reflects Mr Ward’s view that, for financial reasons, Jews have acquired great power.

By themselves it would be easy to dismiss the comments, but the comments are not made by themselves. They form part of a pattern of remarks deeply offensive to Jews. I am sure you would never conclude that Jews don’t matter because there aren’t many of us and we don’t live where you need us. Or that Mr Ward’s constituents will support him, and Jewish feelings are collateral damage in his election campaign. But perhaps you think this a niche problem that will go away. This is an error.

Mr Ward will make another offensive remark, probably worse than this one. It’s just a matter of time. He will do it closer to an election, in a more highly charged atmosphere, and you will be put in a very difficult position. He may also tie his remarks closely to his view of Israel, making action just as necessary but more awkward. Your problem will be less the comments themselves than that you will be made to look weak. You will get stuck between the media on the one side and your local party organisation on the other. It will be very uncomfortable indeed.

I am not suggesting that acting even now is easy. The Board decided not to complain and you may feel it is difficult to act unilaterally. So I am sympathetic. Yet it is far better to make a choice now, while you are in control, while the decision to escalate is yours, than to leave it until later when it is likely to be more difficult. It is a mistake to contract this out to the Board, because your problem is not this incident. It is Mr Ward’s pattern of behaviour.

If these strategic thoughts don’t convince you, let me try something a bit more direct. Mr Ward’s comments are simply not acceptable. You didn’t go into politics, surely, to stand by someone saying that Jewish money makes them powerful. Or to compare Jews to Nazis. You can’t allow yourself to be responsible for that. And you don’t have to. Because, guess what, you are the leader.

Daniel Finkelstein

Once again, Clegg received a letter warning him that a prominent member of his party was behaving inappropriately, and was likely to re-offend. Once again, Clegg ignored the warnings…

Gove Dragged Into Ruffley Assault Rap
Dean Tells Chief Whip Violent MP Must Resign

Michael Gove faces his first major test as Chief Whip after the Dean of St Edmundsbury Cathedral appealed to him over the David Ruffley debacle. The Very Reverend Dr Frances Ward has written to Ruffley, telling him “your position is untenable”, copying the letter to a number of senior local Tory figures, the Chief Whip and Lord Tebbit. Dr Ward recounts a damning conversation she had with Ruffley over the phone last week, revealing Ruffley tried to blame the victim for his violent assault:

“You tried to convince me that in the ‘incident’ back in March there was blame on both sides. When I visited ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ in March a day or so after the event and went to hug her as my usual greeting, she winced in obvious pain. She told me as a friend and her priest of the events of the evening that had led to your arrest, and how frightened she had been of your rage and violent behaviour.”

Click below to read the letter in full:

The Dean is one of the most influential figures in Bury St Edmunds, so her intervention will concern the local and central party. Greg Hands wouldn’t put up with this…

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

ROCKET MAN: Cross-Party Condemnation For David Ward

A LibDem spokesperson said:

“We utterly condemn David Ward’s comments, they are not representative of the Liberal Democrats. The party takes this matter very seriously and will treat it as a disciplinary issue.”

A Labour spokesperson said:

“At a time when all sides should be working for a ceasefire and a peaceful settlement, it defies belief that a Liberal Democrat MP should tweet something so vile and irresponsible. Nick Clegg must act immediately to disassociate his party from this comment.”

Tory chairman Grant Shapps said:

“Appalling: No MP should tweet what’s essentially incitement to violence. Mr Ward must withdraw now. Completely irresponsible.”

Last time Ward timed his comments just as MPs were heading off on recess, guaranteeing him a recess-only suspension. He has done the same this time round, so will Nick Clegg step up and give him the punishment he deserves?

ROCKET MAN: LibDem MP Backs Hamas Terror Attacks

David Ward, the disgraced LibDem MP who was shamed for his rant against “the Jews”, has said that were he a Palestinian he would fire rockets at Israel:

“I think it’s gonna be a long, long time, before David Ward comes back again…”

UPDATE: A Labour spokesperson says “This is a vile tweet.”

UPDATE II: The LibDems have now condemned their MP. A party spokesperson tells Guido his comments are “vile and crass”.

UPDATE III: Tory chairman Grant Shapps: “Appalling: No MP should tweet what’s essentially incitement to violence. Mr Ward must withdraw now. Completely irresponsible.”

UPDATE IV: Tory source: “He is a determinedly appalling man who says deliberately awful things, over and over again. You know, a Lib Dem.”

UPDATE V: The Fink last year wrote to Nick Clegg that “Mr Ward will make another offensive remark, probably worse than this one. It’s just a matter of time.” The LibDem leader ignored him…

UPDATE: VI:

Full PPS Reshuffle List

David Cameron – GAVIN WILLIAMSON
William Hague – MARGOT JAMES
George Osborne – ROBERT HALFON
David Gauke – GARETH JOHNSON
Theresa May – GEORGE HOLLINGBERY
James Brokenshire – GUY OPPERMAN
Mike Penning – STEVE BRINE
Philip Hammond – DAMIAN COLLINS
Baroness Warsi – ERIC OLLERENSHAW
David Lidington – DAVID RUTLEY
Hugo Swire – ALEC SHELBROOKE
Lord Livingston – STEPHEN McPARTLAND
Chris Grayling – STEPHEN METCALFE
Michael Fallon – GRAHAM EVANS
Mark Francois – ANDREW BINGHAM
Anna Soubry – MARK PAWSEY
Greg Clark – DAVID MOWAT
Matthew Hancock – NICOLA BLACKWOOD
Nick Boles – MIKE FREER
Ed Vaizey – JUSTIN TOMLINSON
Iain Duncan Smith – CHARLIE ELPHICKE
Esther McVey – JAMES MORRIS
Mark Harper – CAROLINE NOKES
Baroness Stowell – MARK SPENCER
Jeremy Hunt – ANDREW JONES & SIMON KIRBY
Eric Pickles – JOHN GLEN
Brandon Lewis – JULIAN STURDY
Nicky Morgan – CAROLINE DINENAGE & BEN GUMMER
Nick Gibb – REHMAN CHISHTI
Justine Greening – JULIAN SMITH
Desmond Swayne – JACK LOPRESTI
Patrick McLoughlin – IAIN STEWART
John Hayes – NEIL PARISH
Theresa Villiers – MARY MACLEOD
Stephen Crabb – DAVID MORRIS
Sajid Javid – MARCUS JONES
Liz Truss – ROBIN WALKER
Francis Maude – STUART ANDREW
Oliver Letwin – PAUL MAYNARD
Jeremy Wright – HEATHER WHEELER
Grant Shapps – JAKE BERRY


Seen Elsewhere

David Ward’s Holocaust Denier Friends | Harry's Place
Grayling: Bercow Faces Questions | Sun
Paul Flynn Could Learn a Lot From a Trip to Israel | Breitbart
50 Shades of Grayling | Speccie
Bercow’s £12,000 of VIP Sporting Freebies | Sun
Aldous Huxley v George Orwell | FatPita
Blinkered BBC is Ripe for Reform | David Keighley
Calls for Bercow to Face Inquiry | Mail
Labour Mad to Fight Tories on Tax | Dan Hodges
Right to be Forgotten is a Disaster | Padraig Reidy
Dave Could Be Finished Before 50 | James Forsyth


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Knifed former civil service chief Bob Kerslake on his recent troubles:

“Many thks for kind wishes following back opn. Incision measured 16cm. A pretty big knife in the back! Photos on request.”



TJ says:

And i’ve noticed that 100% of Guido Fawkes staff are men. Looks like Guido has a woman problem. Or is it an hypocrisy problem?


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