Not the finest hour for the Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson. Asked about referendums and leadership challenges the former BBC journalist seems to have forgotten her TV training. Fairly painful viewing…
Andrew Neil: Now, there have been many reports that you have leadership ambitions. Do you?
Adam Afriyie: I’m ambitious for the country. I chose to come into politics from a business background, and I’m happy to serve the country in whichever way people would see fit.
AN: Right, there are reports that you have leadership ambitions. Do you?
AA: I’m not ambitious for any position in government or any position at all in the party. What I’m ambitious for is for the British people to get jobs, and you know, to feel proud of their country again. And I think we can have a future like that if we concentrate on the policies and actually not the personalities.
AN: Let’s just put this to bed. Because they write about you all the time. For the avoidance of doubt, and to put the issue to bed, do you want to lead your party one day?
AA: I have no ambition to lead my party and I have no ambition for any particular position. I’m ambitious for Britain to be back on top, to be a global trading nation, and all of my efforts and the efforts of my team around me, all of those efforts are focused on trying to deliver those policies that will Britain on top again.
AN: So you would rule out leading the Conservatives?
AA: I think you’re asking the same question in so many different ways and I’ve given you my answer.
AN: It’s because I’m trying to get an answer.
AA: You’ve had an answer. I’m not ambitious for position at all.
AN: So you rule out being leader of the Conservatives, there is no leadership campaign behind you, correct, in any way? You haven’t got a small group of supporters pushing your interest?
AA: I’m working with a large group of Conservative MPs to make sure we have a Conservative Britain that is trading with the world, that is outward looking and is addressing its relationship with Europe so that your viewers can feel confident that they’re going to get jobs and they’re going to do well in this country.
The Independent’s Mary Ann Sieghart has joined in the ongoing debate about women hacks in Westminster. Guido was on about this last week, with the Guardian and Telegraph following up on the issue. Sieghart claims:
“It took years of campaigning for childcare to be seen as a mainstream political issue rather than a private matter for parents. That was because politicians didn’t think it was important and nor did political editors. They were, on the whole, workaholic men with wives at home.”
Which hasn’t gone down very well with those same male political editors:
Guido was particularly amused by the suggestion that Mary Ann wasn’t very happy with Andrew Neil and the BBC:
“I had the uncomfortable feeling all the way through that I was being forced to play second fiddle, but it wasn’t till I watched the programme back on iPlayer that I realised why. The presenter, Andrew Neil, had gone to Danny first with every single question and had often given him, but not me, the chance of a follow-up.”
If her choice of outfits for Brillo’s show was anything to go by , she can’t have been that cheesed off…
Not the first time I’ve seen Giles with a red nose…
Fans of BBC1’s Sunday Politics may be a little disappointed when Andrew Neil’s show returns this month. Sadly, sexy journalist and part-time Labour councillor Rowenna Davis will no longer be seen on the show’s pundit panel. Westminster is full of people with faces for radio but she will be replaced on the panel by the Guardian’s chief political correspondent, the equally pretty Nick Watt.
Guido reported this first in his Daily Sunday Star column.
Guido won’t bother with the fashion round up this time, but devout nicotine addict Laurie Penny popped up on our television again this lunchtime, complete with a fake cigarette. Jackie Ashley had dropped out at the last minute from appearing on the Daily Politics, so our favourite flame-haired firebrand was called up to fill in. In the course of the interview she offered her services as chairman of RBS, declaring that she could do Hester’s job without the paycheck. Guido is sceptical…
Leaving aside the differences between turning around an enormous multinational financial institution and jetting around teenage trouble-spots with a smartphone, let’s just see what Penny’s comrades at the Occupy movement could teach us about running a bank:
“Following criticism of the way in which the camp’s financial affairs have been run, the finance group quit en masse. That included the person who has the key for the safe — with the result that no one could access the money. Coupled with the fact that donations are now lagging behind expenditure, there has been a serious shortage of money to pay for things such as food and power. Protester Leo Ashford, 20, …told reporters that despite generous donations by supporters, money had been squandered. ‘We’re protesting against bankers, and no one on our finance team knows how to use a ledger or a receipt,’ he said.‘In the second week we had public opinion on our side and enough donations to sustain ourselves. We all could have had brand-new tents and blow-up mattresses. Now no one knows where the money has gone. ‘I’m sad, but I knew a month ago that it would get to the point where we would collapse in on ourselves on essentially our own stupidity.’”
Watching the Penny, you better hope the pounds could look after themselves.
More bad news for Boris today as a ComRes poll echoes last week’s YouGov offering that had Ken in the lead. The jubilation in Labour circles is on the up, but they obviously didn’t get the same lines Chuka was sent for his appearance on the Sunday Politics yesterday: “Polls go up and down… you’re obsessed with polls Andrew”. Heads in the sand…
Leaving aside Brillo’s cutting riposte “I’m sorry Mr Umunna these just go down”, Labour are clearly trying to have it both ways. Do polls matter or not? Why is a poll showing Ken in the lead any more valid that one showing Ed tanking? Any suggestion that polls aren’t devoured by people like Chuka is nonsense…
Brillo’s trailer for his much anticipated Sunday Politics show, launching next week, reveals that the man about town wears the classic night time attire favoured by playboys from Hugh Hefner to Frank Sinatra. Black silk pyjamas…
It’s amazing what turns up on a DVD that you find down the back of a sofa at Annabel’s:
Brillo and Co. are launching the new Daily Politics and Sunday show next week, which is said to have a Newsnight style politically balanced pundit panel. They are keeping the pundits under wraps…
Guido notes with some interest that Osborne’s biographer and Economist hack Janan Ganesh has just started tweeting, as has the Sunday Times’ Political Editor Isabel Oakshott. The Labour Party councillor and Guardian writer Rowenna Davis has also upped her twitter game recently. Could they be preparing for some regular debate?
Reform the House of Lords | Nigel Farage
Labour Members Don’t Believe Ed Can Be PM | Rafael Behr
How China Bought Britain | London Loves Business
Why Dave Shouldn’t Check His Twitter | Buzzfeed
Young People Getting More Libertarian | ConHome
How to Write a Dan Hodges Column | Left Foot Forward
Politicians Made This Mess | Douglas Carswell
Magna Carta – Walking in King John’s Footsteps | Anna Raccoon
How to Stop Reckless Bankers | Guido Fawkes
Tories Double Younger Support | Guardian
Public Prefers Boris to Dave | Times
Andrew Pierce on Ed Balls…
“Porky Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls sweet-talked guests at a fund-raising dinner by saying if he wasn’t a politician, he would be a chef. That’s not surprising, since he was accused of cooking the Treasury books when he was Gordon Brown’s boot boy.”
Bloody foreigners, coming over here taking all our twitter followers