Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Speaker Greatly Weakened By Loss of ‘Key Enforcer’

Intriguingly, the now sacked Speaker’s spokesman Justine McGuinness was the only other person who was present at every meeting regarding the abortive appointment of a new Clerk of the Commons.

She’s described by parliamentary sources as “a key internal enforcer” for the Speaker.

He’s thrown his right-hand woman to the wolves.

UPDATE: The Tories have asked the Speaker to donate McGuinness’ payoff to charity:

VICTORY: Speaker’s Spokesman Resigns

Following Guido’s story yesterday about the Speaker’s spokesman abandoning her impartiality and attacking the Tories:

The spokesman needed a spokesman, and now she’s gone…

UPDATE: Here is the statement from the Commons:

“After a year in post Justine McGuinness has offered her resignation to the Speaker, which has been accepted. The Speaker thanks Ms McGuinness for her hard work and commitment over the last 12 months. She has contributed considerably to the running of the Speaker’s Office but now wishes to pursue other interests.”

Leaders’ Wives: Cos-t of Living Lib Dem Edition

Miriam complimented a business-like white shirt by showing her true LibDem colours with a yellow below-the-knee wool mohair skirt with folded front pleat, designed to sit on the waist, available from Cos for £89. Stylishly accompanied by a taste of home: gold heels from Spanish brand Uterqüe.

Nick wore a navy Hackett suit, with a white shirt and red tie from M&S…

WATCH: Tim Farron Jokes About LibDem Sex Scandals

One line jarred in particular in LibDem President Tim Farron’s speech today:

“Of course there are some parts of the job I am happy to pass on. The next time any of you get caught with your pants around your ankles, the media can call someone else to make a comment.”

The victims of Mike Hancock, Chris Rennard and Cyril Smith won’t be laughing…

Poor BBC Social Media Execution

Speculation that Nick Clegg is going to use his speech this afternoon to announce his resignation has been replaced by a much graver threat:

bbctweet

He’ll do anything to get people interested. Seven months to wait until he actually gets the bullet…

Exclusive:
Douglas Alexander Orders Gagging of Internal Miliband Critics

Labour’s weekly conference call between election coordinator Douglas Alexander and the party’s regional organisers has been blighted with negative feedback about Ed Miliband for months. The local party hands report back on issues coming up on the doorstep during canvassing, and Alexander feeds that back to the top. Ed has apparently been the constant complaint, and the regional staff did not mince their words…

Except, well placed Labour sources reveal, someone has put a stop to all that. Guido hears that an official from Labour HQ – at the express behest of Douglas Alexander – rang the regional officers and told them to stop bringing up the criticism of the leader in the calls. Is an ostrich strategy better than no strategy at all?

MailOnline Breaks Judge’s Libor Gagging Order

“Banker admits rate rigging – but you can’t know where he works” reports MailOnline this morning, explaining that the identity of a top City employee facing ten years behind bars “is protected by a court order”. The story is accompanied by a blurred photo of the banker in question. Right click on the image and look at its properties, however, and the world’s most read newspaper website has inadvertently named the Libor rigger. Guido has blurred the name out:

Judge Leonard QC will not be amused…

Flood of Pre-Speech Bets on Clegg to Quit

As Clegg decides what he is going to wear for his speech at 1pm, Paddy Power have slashed the odds on him to announce he will quit as LibDem leader before the election:

This comes on the back of an element of stirring last night:

If you reckon he’s got a very big rabbit coming this afternoon you can put your money where your mouth is here

Oliver Dowden Finally Finds a Seat

Congratulations to No. 10 Deputy Chief of Staff Oliver Dowden who has, after many years of trying, finally found a seat. Hertsmere has a majority of 17,605, which should be UKIP-proof for even the ultimate political class lobbyist turned government spinner. Croydon South’s loss is Hertsmere gain.

Tories Demand Investigation Into Speaker’s Spokesperson
Bercow Spinner Accused of “Serious Breach” of Impartiality

The Tories are very angry about the Speaker’s official spokesperson going native and accusing them of “aim[ing] to buy the election”, a story followed up by the Mail and the Times this morning. Guido understands Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi has written to John Bercow accusing Justine McGuinness of “a serious breach of the guidance on Speaker’s impartiality.” Zahawi demands that an investigation is carried out by “one of your deputies” because of Bercow’s “close working relationship with Ms McGuinness”, so that “full confidence and transparency and upholding the integrity of your esteemed office” can been guaranteed. As Zahawi writes:

“The guidance on Speakers impartiality is clear: “The Speaker must be above party political controversy and must be seen to be completely impartial in all public matters. All sides in the House rely on the Speaker’s disinterest, and understand that he or she must stand aside from controversy.””

He concludes: “I’m sure you will agree with me Ms McGuinness’ actions constitute a serious breach of impartiality and must be urgently investigated.” Perhaps Eleanor Laing could take a look. As someone once said, when the spokesperson needs a spokesperson…


Seen Elsewhere

Double Standards of Police Leaks to Guardian | Mail
My Year in Court | Charlie Brooks
Legalise Pot | NY Times
Spooks Recruited IRA Paedo | Mirror
How Police Hack Phones and Email | Times
Labour’s Minimum Wage Pledge Not Ambitious | Alan Milburn
Lord Freud’s Comments | Ryan Bourne
Obama’s Credit Card Rejected in Restauarant | Washington Times
Reckless Was Shifting In July | Rob Hutton
Unions Given Free Office Space Size of Kremlin | Harry Phibbs
Feminism to Blame for Nursing Decline | Kathy Gyngell


VOTER-RECALL
Find out more about PLMR


Chris Bryant talks to the Times Diary about a famous gay actor:

“I don’t think I’ve had sex with him. He says we had sex in Clapham. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had sex south of the river”



Progressive Inclusion Champion says:

Great to hear Carswell call for inclusive policies and that UKIP must stand for first and second generation immigrants as much as the English.


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