Monday, February 17, 2014

How Long Before Burnham Sleeps with the Fishes?

Ed might yet regret not sacking Andy Burnham. Last week the Labour leadership vetoed the Shadow Health secretary’s plan to hand over control of billions of pounds of NHS funding to councils. And, as Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun column, Ed’s allies have slapped down his one-time leadership rival after he threatened to oppose the high-speed rail line that will run through his seat. A Miliband henchman whispers: “If Andy wants to be leader, he better learn about loyalty.”

Which reminded Guido of what Chuka Umunna used to boast: “One of the things Ed has been so clear about is he will not tolerate any of that kind of behaviour. If anybody is found briefing against anybody, you are out – there will be no discussion. That is not the way Ed Miliband’s party does things.” What has Ed done to deserve this disrespect?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Burnham ‘State of the NHS’ Update: Still Exists

In October 2011, Andy Burnham said there were just 72 hours to save the NHS.

In March 2012, he said there were only 24 hours to save it.

Fast forward almost two years, and Burnham is this afternoon giving a speech on “The State of the NHS”. Update: it still exists.

No mention in Burnham’s speech of those who died at Mid-Staffs either, though he does stress the need to “raise the alarm about what is happening in the NHS”. It’s a shame he never did before it was too late…

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

NHS Accuse Burnham of ‘Misreporting Facts For Political Gain’
Senior Official Says Shadow Health Secretary Misled Commons

A senior NHS official has accused Andy Burnham’s office of “misinterpreting and misreporting” evidence about taxis being used as ambulances “in order to present a grossly inaccurate picture for the purposes of apparent political gain”. Ken Wenman, the chief executive of the South Western Ambulance Service, says that Burnham’s team spun a Freedom of Information response from the service to make the stats look worse than they really are. Guido has his damning letter to the Shadow Health Secretary, in which he concludes “I am astonished that anyone would present such misleading information to the House of Commons.”

This is one he couldn’t cover up…

Monday, November 18, 2013

Quote of the Day

Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham lies…

“I can’t remember the front bench being as united as it is today.”

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Burnham’s £189,637 Bottled Water Bonanza

Bercow interrupting Cameron just as he was about to slap down Andy Burnham – “I’m not going to take lectures from a govenrment who had patients drinking out of vases” – had the PM properly hitting back at the Speaker. That mooted 1922 letter never came, but the Tories are publicly bashing Bercow again this afternoon.

To be fair to Dave, attacking Labour on Mid Staffs is one of his best lines, so no wonder he was peeved. One that Bercow certainly wouldn’t let go uninterrupted: as neglected patients were forced to drink from vases, Burnham’s department spent £189,637 on bottled water when in government. The champers clearly wasn’t enough…

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tory/Labour Health Tensions Boil Over in PCH

News of fireworks after Health Questions reaches its way back to Guido. Witnesses suggest that neighbouring MPs David Morris (Tory) and John Woodcock (Labour) nearly squared up after Morris walked off of the top of the escalators in Portcullis House. After saying “hello” to Woodcock, it is claimed that Morris was met with the following barrage after he had asked awkward questions to the Health Secretary:

JW: “What you are doing, talking about Morecombe Bay Trust is f**king disgraceful and says more about you as a person… don’t you f**king look at me like that or I will….”

DM: “or you’ll do what? What will you do John..? I think you are a nice guy, and a good man, but it’s my job to look after my constituents.”

JW: “Leave Andy Burnham alone, the electorate will not forgive you for this!”

Morris stands by this version of events, but Woodcock ain’t happy:

“I am very angry at the way David Morris has used infant deaths at Furness General Hospital to call for Andy Burnham’s resignation despite, to my knowledge, showing no other interest in the wellbeing of grieving Barrow families who are continuing to go through a dreadful time. Regrettably, I did use the f- word in telling him I thought he had behaved disgracefully. The other words being attributed to me are untrue and actionable.”

Calm down dears.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Will Ed Bottle Moving Andy?

As Andy Burnham waits to find out whether he will be spared another 18 months of scrutiny for his past sins, Guido reveals in his Sun column that on the day families of Mid Staffs victims launched a national campaign in memory of those who died of neglect, Burnham’s department bought 18 bottles of Charles Lafitte champagne with taxpayers’ money. They were forced to drink water from vases, Burnham’s department drank champagne.

Then the Health Secretary cancelled a meeting arranged with the campaigners at the last minute. Just what was so important that he let down grieving relatives? Burnham’s diary shows he spent that day at a trade union event. Prioritising his union paymasters over the Mid Staffs families so badly let down. And where was he the day the inquiry into the deaths began? Checking into the luxury St. Regis Hotel in Washington DC and enjoying a boozy £431 dinner.

If Miliband does fire Burnham it probably won’t be for the failings at Mid Staffs, nor his department’s taxpayer-funded contempt for families. Miliband knows that whenever you see “Shadow Cabinet sources” attack the Labour leadership in the papers, more often than not they are the words of one of his old rivals for the Labour leadership. Burnham hardly gave his leader a cosy summer either.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Tories Call For Burnham to Resign

Some determined FoI-ing from Tory MP Stephen Barclay published in the Mail and the Telegraph today. Email chains from ministers and officials serving in the previous government show how Labour tried to block the release of a report into neglect at NHS hospitals. Barclay is now calling for Burnham to go:

“Labour tried to cover up failing hospitals before the last General Election. Andy Burnham told the House of Commons in July there was no shred of evidence of political interference with the health regulator. But these emails show a clear paper trail of political meddling – leading back to him. He needs to correct his statement when Parliament returns on Monday. Andy Burnham owes a big apology to the patients and families who suffered, and he should resign. No one will ever trust Labour with our hospitals again.”

Which only increases the chances of him staying…

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Life of Andy Burnham, Starring Michael Le Vell

This one is definitely not coming soon to cinemas near you. As Guido reported in his Sun column yesterday, who did man-of-the-people Andy Burnham name as the actor he would choose to play him in a film of his life during an interview? “The bloke who plays Kevin Webster in Corrie”. That would be Michael Le Vell, the soap star in the dock over child sex abuse allegations. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tories Call For Burnham to Resign

Last night around 50 Tory MPs were briefed by Jeremy Hunt ahead of today’s statement on Bruce Keogh’s mortality review. One attendee tells Guido they will call for Burnham to resign for “failing to defend patients”, accusing him of a “catastrophic failure” and insisting his position is “untenable”. The Tories will claim “these hospitals failed on their watch”, that Labour “ignored the warnings” and “instead tried to cover things up”. One Tory MP warns Guido “we really want to do the business today”. Justice for the 13,000…

UPDATE: Ominous:

13,000 dead and somehow Burnham is portrayed as the victim. Pull the other one…


Seen Elsewhere

Labour’s Plan to Attack Part-Time Boris | Standard
Ex-Sun Hack Cleared After 582 Days on Bail | MediaGuido
11 Times Boris Denied He Would Stand for Parliament | Buzzfeed
Attacking UKIP’s Posters is Counter-Productive | Guardian
Sarkozy Tried it on With Hollande’s Ex | Times
Another Spare Room Subsidy Cut Success | Harry Phibbs
Rich Now Have Less Leisure Than Poor | Economist
UKIP’s Immigration Policy Promotes Migrant Entrepreneurs | Breitbart
Another Feminist Lecture | Laura Perrins
UKIP Posters Bad Economics But Good Politics | James Delingpole
Tories Losing to UKIP in Scotland | ConHome


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A confused Nick Griffin says Nigel Farage is a shill for the City, forgetting that City banks want to stay in the EU:

“Farage is a snake oil salesman, but a very good one. His supposed anti-immigration stance is all smoke and mirrors, as is his carefully cultivated image as a ‘man of the people’. The truth is that UKIP is a pro-immigration party that exists to lobby for the interests of the City of London.”



Alexrod says:

It’s money innit.


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