Burnham to Finally Quit Shadow Cabinet

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Andy Burnham is to finally quit the Shadow Cabinet, because he has won Labour’s nomination for Manchester mayor. Which gave us a rare sight of Andy’s victory face. He’ll also be standing down “at the first and earliest opportunity” as an MP, so there’ll be a by-election in Leigh. At last he can leave the Westminster bubble!

Labour Councillor Deletes Black Lives Matter Tweet

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Tough test for the compliance unit this: a Labour councillor has deleted a rather un-PC tweet mocking Black Lives Matters protesters. Cllr Kevin Peel is accused by the LibDems of being “racist and contemptuous” for tweeting three laughing face emoticons accompanied by a picture of the protest captioned: “LaShawna, 2nd left, is looking for love with Momentum Matches. Must be local to Nott’ham due to her bail conditions”. When his followers called him out he then deleted the tweet. This isn’t your typical Labour race row story – Cllr Peel is an Owen Smith supporting moderate. The compliance unit swiftly suspends Corbynista councillors, surely they will want to be consistent…

UPDATE: Former LibDem MP and fellow Manchester councillor John Leech weighs in:

“This kind of thoughtless behaviour could cause widespread offence and bring Manchester Council into serious disrepute.”

UPDATE II: A very punchy Labour insider adds:

“Another example of where the word “moderate” is inappropriately used to describe one wing of the party. Calamity Kevin is just the ugly face of Owen Smith’s Progress stormtroopers who tweet before they think. We just want the contest to end as soon as possible before these clowns embarrass our party any further with their gaffes.”

UPDATE III: Cllr Peel offers a lengthy grovelling apology:

“This is clearly an inappropriate and unacceptable image and so I deleted my re-tweet and had no further contact with this account. I am sorry for any offence I may have caused. I am a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement and am deeply upset that a flippant tweet from myself undermined this support. I apologise for my sharing of this post and I am sorry for offence it caused and any inadvertent upset I have caused. Clearly sharing it was in bad taste and I regret it. However, I want to make clear as a lifelong campaigner against discrimination that I did not say, condone endorse or in any way support a racist message and nor would I. If I gave any impression otherwise then I am truly sorry.”

Labour HQ say that is the end of the matter…

UPDATE IV: That Labour insider gets back in touch:

“One rule for one, another rule for Calamity Kev. I wonder if him having friends at Labour HQ makes a difference.”

Owen Smith Grilled By Hecklers at Half-Empty BBQ

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Owen Smith rolled his tanks onto Jezza’s lawn on Sunday by holding a barbecue in the Corbynista hotspot of London Fields. Unfortunately supporters were unimpressed by the attendance and lack of vegetarian option – “a few kebab sticks on a griddle, there aren’t enough for the food to make its way round to us”. Oily warned guests the burgers were “dodgy“, before he was heckled: “You’ve got no passion, mate”. How many turned up? According to Vice:

“This time last year, Liz Kendall had her own “Picnic with Liz” up in Dulwich Park on a rainy Tuesday afternoon, and she still managed to pull in 40 people. Owen’s got about the same now, except it’s Sunday and glorious, and Liz eventually managed to poll just four percent of the Labour vote.”

While a second visitor describes the event as “terrible“:

“It struck me that literally anyone offering free beer and burgers in East London could attract two dozen people, and I have a sneaking suspicion that if there had been a similar event on Facebook with the only difference being no mention of Owen Smith, more people would have turned up.”

Half of those who did turn up were Momentum supporters who had only come along to see how much of a threat Owen posed”. If Jezza had a BBQ he could’ve filled the park twice over…

Eddie Izzard Loses Again

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Eddie Izzard has lost his bid for a seat on Labour NEC’s, falling 12,000 votes short of victory. There were six places up for grabs, he came eighth in the running, behind all the Corbynista candidates. That Izzard campaign record in full:

  • join the euro
  • elect Ken Livingstone
  • elect Gordon Brown
  • vote Yes in the AV referedum
  • elect Ed Miliband
  • elect Andy Burnham as Labour leader
  • Remain in the EU
  • run for Labour’s NEC

The lipstick kiss of death strikes again…

Hard-Left Win Labour NEC Elections

The pro-Corbyn Momentum / Grassroots Alliance slate has won all six seats up for grabs on Labour’s NEC. Momentum’s Jon Lansman, tipped as the next general secretary, tweets:

Corbyn’s control of the NEC is consolidated…

Captain Europe’s Sexy Wrestling Fetish

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Readers may remember Captain Europe, the eccentric cape-wearing ‘superhero’ enlisted to make the case for Remain. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that a federast who likes to dress up in latex would have some exotic tastes. A browse of who the Captain follows on Twitter shows he has a keen interest in sexy wrestling dominatrix sites. “Pippa the Ripper”, for example, runs “The Submission Room”, where blokes pay for a spanking from ladies with names like “Killpussy“. Captain Europe just loves getting beat… 

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…

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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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