Newsnight’s Duncan Weldon Eats His Shoes

Last year Newsnight’s then economics correspondent Duncan Weldon said if the Bank of England cut rates before it raised them he would eat his shoes and put the video on YouTube. He is a man of his word…

Shadow Cabinet Minister Slams “Scabs”: “They Should Expect to Be Called What They Are”

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Gobby Labour MP and Shadow Scotland Secretary Dave Anderson has written to his local paper to mouth off about “scabs” breaking the rail strike. The Newcastle Chronicle criticised Anderson for saying he wouldn’t use trains “operated by scab labour”. Anderson has now doubled down, writing:

“As long as people choose to take part in this despicable behaviour, then they should expect to be called exactly what they are and not seek any dignity by declaring themselves to be replacement or substitute workers. Scab is a hard word and it is meant to be so in order to prey on the consciences of those who would seek to prevent working people from being treated as respected partners in the workplace and not as serfs.”

Kinder, gentler politics, part 294…

Leaked Messages Reveal Conflicts of Interest in UKIP NEC

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Five members of the UKIP NEC which voted to block Steven Woolfe from the ballot had potential conflicts of interest, leaked messages reveal. Woolfe was barred from standing by an NEC majority of 9-3. Among those who voted were Rob McWhirter, who Guido can reveal previously endorsed Lisa Duffy on a private UKIP discussion forum. On 13 July, McWhiter wrote:

“I have just posted my form assenting to her candidacy”

Another NEC voter, John Bickley, also previously posted on the UKIP forum that he is backing Duffy. He wrote on 10 July:

“She will be a very good candidate.”

The vote to stop Woolfe, Duffy’s main rival, took place three weeks later…

A third NEC voter was Alan Bown, who Lisa Duffy has publicly confirmed is her main financial backer. A fourth, Adrianne Smythe, later admitted in an email to UKIP’s lawyers that she was conflicted because “I have assented for one of the candidates”. Douglas Carswell says he doesn’t have a dog in the fight though obviously he’s not a fan of Farage, who wanted Woolfe to win. Allies of Steven Woolfe say this is evidence the NEC vote was a sham and are considering a legal challenge…

SpAd List: New Appointments

SPADS

Downing Street sources indicate the final SpAd List will not be released for some weeks, so Guido’s spreadsheet is the only place to stay up to date. Since our last update Osborne’s widely-respected former SpAd Neil O’Brien has been kept on to do industrial strategy in Number 10. Damian Green has retained Flora Rose at DWP and signed up Matt Hancock’s old SpAd Lottie Dexter. Vote Leave spinner Rob Oxley teams up once again with Priti Patel at DfID. Another Vote Leave alumnus, their broadcast chief Lee Cain, is expected to join Leadsom at Defra. Rachel Wolf is reportedly leaving No.10 despite initially being kept on.

The Times says May will be purging SpAds to cut costs after the numbers rocketed under Dave, apparently a limit of two per Cabinet minister. That will go down like a cup of cold sick with the likes of Boris, Davis and Fox. Appointments are being vetted by May’s chiefs of staff Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill. Good luck – they are going to be ruthless… 

New Corbynistas Can Vote in Leadership Election

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A judge has ruled that 130,000 new supporters who registered since January WILL be allowed to vote in the Labour leadership contest. The majority of those are believed to be Corbynistas. Team Jez will think he’s home and dry…

UPDATE: The Labour Party is apparently going to appeal the judgement. LOLabour…

UPDATE II: Owen Smith says he welcomes the judgement but now wants the leadership timetable extended.

UPDATE III: Labour say they will appeal anyway, wasting more of their members’ money in the courts.

FT Editor Awarded Légion d’Honneur For Pro-EU PR

An outstanding private message fail from FT editor Lionel Barber, who is embarrassed to admit he has been awarded the Légion d’Honneur for his pro-EU PR. Barber meant to send this photo of his gong to a friend but accidentally tweeted it publicly. He tried to do it “confidentially because bad publicity in UK right now”. Ooooops!

UKIP NEC Member Compares Faragists to Nazis

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UKIP’s civil war has kicked off again this morning with a leading member of the party’s NEC comparing Team Farage to Nazi propagandists. John Bickley, part of the NEC which blocked Steven Woolfe from standing, says claims by Faragists that Woolfe was stitched up are “pure Goebbels”. He offers some further calming rhetoric, including that Farage’s allies are “insane” and come from “the conspiracy theorist wing of the party”. It must have been a coincidence that Woolfe’s 14 year-old driving offence was briefed to the press at the height of the leadership contest. UKIP are being very UKIPpy at the moment…

Brexit Boom! Post-Referendum Consumer Spending Surge

SPENDING

Despite claims from Remainers that a Brexit vote would see consumer confidence plummet, new figures out today show spending has surged since the referendum. Just a few weeks ago Remain doom-mongers were writing about a “dent in confidence”, how people were “gloomy” about their finances and wanted to “rein in spending” because of the Leave vote. Yet analysis from Visa and Markit shows a “sharp” rise in expenditure of 1.6% year-on-year in July, up from 0.9 percent in June. There’s been an 8.9% rise in spending at restaurants, a 5.2% rise in recreational spending and a 3.9% rise in spending on clothing. In the first week after the referendum consumer spending rose 2.14%. Rather than rein in spending, Brexit Britain is booming…

Sunday Selection

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This recess week 210,419 visitors visited 584,358 times viewing 912,780 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:

You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

UN Deletes Article Calling Hamas Operative “Hero”

MOHAMMED KHALIL TEXT

The United Nations has deleted a webpage calling charity worker Mohammed El-Halabi a “humanitarian hero” after he was arrested for funnelling millions of pounds of aid to Hamas’ military wing. An archived version of the page quotes El-Halabi claiming to have “fully dedicated my life to helping people and children”, he said the best part of his job was “managing to restore the smiles of children”. Instead he allegedly stole the money meant for those children and funnelled it to Hamas fighters, sending the terror group £5.5 million a year. You can still view El-Halabi’s glowing UN profile here

Dave’s New Landlord Blasted Brussels and Talked Up Brexit

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David Cameron’s new landlord reckons Britain will be “richer” and “more plentiful” outside the EU. Dave and the family have moved into a three-storey end-of-terrace house in Chelsea, which would usually rent for £11,000-a-month. Its owner Dominic Johnson is an old friend and is letting the Camerons stay there for free. Johnson runs an asset management firm and used to be a full-blown Europhile, that was until last year when he said he had “fallen out of love” with the EU:

“I was pretty clear that I would vote to stay in – regardless of the outcome of any negotiation. But then I started to look more closely at the facts… If the UK left the EU (assuming trade treaties and other issues can still be negotiated), I do not believe that it would make any difference at all to the ease – or difficulty – of trade for our industry in the EU. Indeed, the fact that London has to suffer under the weight of such EU regulation is currently a deterrent for international boutiques locating here. If we leave, we may even get richer and our human capital more plentiful.”

Johnson then set Cameron four tough targets for reform and said if they were not achieved he would not be able to “stay committed” to the EU. Is Dave’s new landlord a Brexiteer? He can’t escape them these days…

Friday Caption Contest (Blame Game Edition)

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Entries in the comments please…

Fathers 4 Justice Scale Corbyn’s Roof

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A New Fathers 4 Justice activist has scaled the roof of Jeremy Corbyn’s Islington home and is telling LBC he will be up there “for as long as it takes”. These stunts aren’t as glamorous as they used to be.

Pic via James Caven

You Won’t Believe the Telegraph’s Most-Read Story This Week

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The Telegraph’s obsession with clickbait and viral content is revealed in the “trending” team’s weekly bulletin to staff. What was the most-read story on the site this week? Their coverage of Cameron’s crony honours perhaps? Or maybe their excellent investigation into bribes paid to Iraqis to sue British troops? Alas not.

Most viewed story

This week’s top story – ‘End of the world? Doomsday believers predict the apocalypse’ – received 605,280 global page views.

Most read on the Telegraph this week was a liveblog about a crank YouTube video predicting the end of the world. From 7:42am until 9:19pm the website’s poor “social media content editor” was forced to blog updates about internet loonies discussing Armageddon. The paper doesn’t have a Home Affairs editor, but they have someone spending their whole day working on this. Still, the trending team and their “digital media” guru Malcolm Coles were delighted with the clicks. The irony of the paper’s most-read story being about doomsday has not gone unnoticed among staff…

Corbyn Arsonist Threatened to Blow Up Bank

CORBYN THREAT

A man who set fire to Jeremy Corbyn’s office is facing jail after threatening to blow up his local bank. Islington resident Peter Martin, who three years ago had a run in with Jezza and ended up trashing his constituency office then setting it alight, was nicked after telling two Barclays cashiers he was going to kill them and their families over a dispute about £62 missing from his account.[…]

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Quote of the Day

Heather Wheeler talks to Burton Mail about her tweet…

“It was a tongue in cheek pop after the European Parliament tweet – it was purely that. I also wanted to congratulate Team GB on a brilliant result and thirdly congratulate the Commonwealth countries who also did very well. Fourth, I am also looking forwarded to establishing new trade agreements. That was it – nothing more. Let’s just enjoy the summer!”

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