Register of His Member’s Interest

justin2

This morning’s Sun revealed that Tory minister Justin Tomlinson had split up with his wife (above left) and fallen in love with his 25 year-old parliamentary assistant (above right). Of course, MPs are required by the Commons authorities to declare all family members, spouses and partners in their employ. Sure enough, in the new Register of Members’ Interests released this afternoon, Justin confirms:

Awwwww.

Max Mosley Gives Tom Watson £200,000

watson

Tom Watson has declared a massive £200,000 donation from multi-millionaire former Monaco-based tax exile Max Mosley. The Murdophobe fan of German-themed parties had previously written Watson a cheque for £40,000 last year. Watson says the new cash is “to support my office as Deputy Leader and Shadow Cabinet Office Minister”:

mosley

Mosley of course spent years avoiding tax in Monaco, returning to the UK in 2010 when he complainedI now have to pay tax here”. Curious that as he sharpens his knife Watson needs so much money just to “support his office”…

Wham, Bam, Thank You Cam

gallery-guido

Today was David Cameron’s 147th – and final – Prime Minister’s Questions. 147, not a bad knock all considered, and rather unfortunate in the manner of dismissal: caught out on the boundary by a Eurosceptic when swinging for a six. Rotten luck – he should have played it straight.

But before the long walk back to the pavilion there was just time for his swansong: and boy what a swansong it was. Mr. Cameron naturally opted to go out in style –  no gingham shirt this time, gosh no, strictly Tory blue twill and matching necktie. Dolled up, he then treated us to a real treat: a whistlestop tour of all the tricks of the trade that made him one of the best PMQs performers to have ever graced the despatch box.

To kick off the PM began with a full display of impeccably researched pop culture trivia, enthusiastically congratulating the full list of British Wimbledon winners with barely a glance at his notes. So clued up was he that when Corbyn went off-piste with praise for American Serena Williams, he was able to wholeheartedly agree, noting how she’d now overtaken Steffi Graf’s amazing record of 22 grand slams. Few come to the Chamber this well prepared.

Trivia done with, now a lesson in how to dismantle an argument in style. When challenged on his economic record by his opposite number, the PM furrowed his brow in condescension, before demanding that if we are going to talk about the economic record, let us get the facts straight”. Having teed himself up he then boomed that since he took office we have cut the deficit by two thirds”, and that “there are 2.5 million more people in work in our country. One elbow propping up the despatch box, he went on to rattle off a succession of similar rapid fire statistics with his thumb, completely in command of the chamber. Facts duly listed and voice at a crescendo, he delivered the humourous parting blow that, while Corbyn accuses him of economic sloth, if they ever got into power, it would take them about a year to work out who would sit where”. This was Cameron in full flow, hitting his opponent with a flurry of highly specific data, all the while cockily leaning forwards as if holding court in a saloon bar.

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Labour’s Civil War Hotting Up

TSSA-MOMENTUM

A co-conspirator sent this picture of hundreds of Corbyn / Momentum posters being delivered to TSSA union’s headquarters on Melton Street.  Labour’s civil war is hotting up with thousands of Cobynistas are expected to attend Momentum rallies

Cameron’s Farewell: “I was the Future Once”

“Yes we can be pretty tough and test and challenge our leaders – perhaps more than some other countries – but that is something we should be proud of, and we should keep at it. And I hope you will all keep at it, and I will will you on as you do. The last thing I would say, is that you can achieve a lot of things in politics, you can get a lot of things done, and that, in the end – the public service, the national interest – that is what it is all about. Nothing is really impossible if you put your mind to it. After all, as I once said – I was the future once.” 

Farewell, Prime Minister…

“I Love Your Show”

Cameron retells a story about the international recognition PMQs gets. Great accent, Prime Minister…

Cameron’s Last Laugh Over May, Labour, and Watson

An email from “Judith” over Tom Watson’s threats to the Labour leadership poses a particular highlight in Cameron’s last PMQs against Corbyn. The buoyant PM looks raring to go…

Cameron’s Empty Schedule

“Other than one meeting this afternoon, the diary for the rest of my day is remarkably light.” Classy…

PMQs: Who is Asking the Questions Today?

Q1 Danny Kinahan (South Antrim)

Q2 Jeff Smith (Manchester, Withington)

Q3 Graham Stringer (Blackley and Broughton)

Q4 Jack Lopresti (Filton and Bradley Stoke)

Q5 Mr Adrian Bailey (West Bromwich West)

Q6 Mr Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden)

Q7 Jo Churchill (Bury St Edmunds)

Q8 Carol Monaghan (Glasgow North West)

Q9 John Mc Nally (Falkirk)

Q10 Jo Stevens (Cardiff Central)

Q11 Margaret Ferrier (Rutherglen and Hamilton West)

Q12 Steve Brine (Winchester)

Q13 Wendy Morton (Aldridge-Brownhills)

Q14 Ian Blackford (Ross, Skye and Lochaber)

Q15 Mr Robin Walker (Worcester) (905847)

India and China Seek UK Trade Deals

HEAVEN

China has already signalled its keenness for an Anglo-Sino free trade deal, now India says a bilateral trade agreement would be “made in heaven”. Naushad Forbes, president of the Confederation of Indian Industry, says a deal will lead to increased trade. Indian companies already invest more in the UK than in the rest of the EU combined, and UK is third largest foreign investor in India. Nine years of talks over an India-EU agreement stalled over concerns about European exports of wine and cars. Forbes says these problems would not apply if the UK negotiated its own arrangement. Moves in the US to put Britain at the front of the queue, India and China on board – that’s over a third of the world’s population open for business…

“Oily Smith” Was a Blairite Hawk

oily+smith

Owen Smith is hoodwinking people on the left of the Labour Party into believing he is one of their own. Nothing could be further from the truth. Smith’s nickname when he worked as a corporate lobbyist at Pfizer was “Oily Smith” because everyone was wise to his habit of telling people what he thought they wanted to hear.   Here are some of the things he has said in the past…

In an interview with the Western Mail, 10 May 2006, on Iraq, Smith said:

“We are making significant inroads in improving what is happening in Iraq. I thought at the time the tradition of the Labour Party and the tradition of left-wing engagement to remove dictators was a noble, valuable tradition, and one that in South Wales, from the Spanish Civil War onwards, we have recognised and played a part in.”

Yet today Smith claimed he was against the Iraq war:

He supported NHS privatisation:

“Where they can bring good ideas, where they can bring valuable services that the NHS is not able to deliver, and where they can work alongside but subservient to the NHS and without diminishing in any respect the public service ethos of the NHS, then I think that’s fine. I think if their involvement means in any way, shape or form the break up of the NHS, then I’m not a fan of it, but I don’t think it does.”

And even welcomed PFI:

We’ve had PFI in Wales, we’ve had a hospital built down in Baglan through PFI. If PFI works, then let’s do it. What people want to see are more hospitals, better services. City academies in certain parts of inner city Britain, where schools were failing, where children were not being well served, have made great inroads. I’m not someone, frankly, who gets terribly wound up about some of the ideological nuances that get read into some of these things, and I think sometimes they are totally overblown.”

Last year Owen Smith accepted the need for austerity:

“I don’t think it’s realistic to say that they [public spending cuts] are wholly unnecessary. There is a very serious point that we don’t know what would happen to a government that failed to tackle its debts in the long run.”

He went further in the Sunday Express, writing of the deficit that the Labour Party had “…. to acknowledge that when people asked the question, “Did we spend too much?” it wasn’t enough to simply say, “No.” There was a debate to be had, a record to defend and some failings to acknowledge. And our refusal to take that head-on, to ’fess up to shortcomings, was a key reason why people baulked at putting us back in charge.”

“Oily” Smith’s Blairite past is something that will make the now overwhelmingly left-wing membership uncomfortable…

McDonnell: Labour Plotters “F**king Useless”

John McDonnell addressing a rally of Corbynistas last night:

“They’ve been potting and conniving. The only good thing about it: as plotters, they’re f**king useless.”

Hard to disagree with his analysis.

Labour Leadership Election Timetable

savejez-2

Monday 18 July: Registered supporters applications open

Monday 18 July, 7pm: PLP and Euro PLP nominations open

Wednesday 20 July, 5pm: PLP and Euro PLP nominations close, supporting nominations open, last date to join as registered supporter

Friday 22 July: Hustings open

Monday 15 August, noon: Supporting nominations close

Wednesday 21 September, noon: Ballot closes

Saturday 24 September: Special conference to announce result

Via George Eaton

++ Corbyn on the Ballot ++

corbyn

“The NEC has agreed that as the incumbent Leader Jeremy Corbyn will go forward onto the ballot without requiring nominations from the Parliamentary Labour Party and the European Parliamentary Labour Party. All other Leadership candidates will require nominations from twenty percent of the PLP and EPLP.”

18-14 in his favour – comfortable…

UPDATE: New rules mean you can only vote if you’ve been a member for six months, if not you have to pay £25:

The freeze date for Labour Party members eligible to vote in the Leadership contest has been agreed by the NEC as six months (February 2016).

The NEC has agreed that the one-off payment for Registered Supporters in this contest will be £25. Details of how to become a Registered Supporter to vote in this contest will be published on Thursday, along with the timetable.

Not that this’ll put off the poshos for Corbyn…

Barriers Up and Cops Out for Labour NEC Meet

barriers police

Barriers and police were deployed at Labour HQ to protect National Executive Committee members from their own support base. According to conspirators, 100 protesters gathered at the HQ, with some trying to storm the rear entrance to confront NEC members being ushered in. The NEC are deciding on whether or not to allow Corbyn automatically onto the ballot. Sure that will do their man a lot of favours…

UPDATE: Not a Guido “scoop”, got it from Laura Kuenssberg’s Twitter feed.

UPDATE: Labour NEC votes 17/15 for a secret ballot on whether or not Corbyn should be automatically nominated. Corbyn apparently refusing to leave.

Ruth Davidson’s Lobby Lunch

ruth davidson

Ruth Davidson didn’t spare Leadsom or Brexiteers at today’s lobby lunch:

The top Tory Scot left no Brexiteer safe, taking a pop at the member for Uxbridge’s recent departure from front line politics:

After the room broke up into laughter she said “Sorry that’s not even my speech, that’s just a text from Stephen Crabb….”. […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Owen Smith backs one hour contracts but wants to abolish zero hours contracts:

“You need to give people a contract to say, ‘here’s what you will be working’. It could be one, but I’m saying it shouldn’t be zero, we should invert that emphasis.”

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