Bookies Slash Odds on Tory Corby Win With Strauss

Ladbrokes are offering 50/1 that Strauss steps up to the crease and is made the Tory candidate for Corby, with the former England captain 16/1 to beat Andy Sawford and win the seat. A Ladbrokes spokesman said: “If the Tories send Strauss into bat in Corby their odds of securing the seat will tumble“. Only KP running for the LibDems could stop him…

UPDATE: The punters are piling their cash on Strauss for Corby and he is now 25/1 to be the Tory candidate.

UPDATE II: Odds have been slashed again – now 16/1.

Corby Tories Back Strauss in Local Media

The local press in Corby like the idea of Andrew Strauss knocking Labour’s Andy Sawford for six, as does one local Conservative councillor they have quoted:

‘Corby borough councillor Rob McKellar said: “I couldn’t rule out voting for Andrew Strauss as a Conservative candidate if the rumours were to be true. I would like our next MP to be somebody who lives in the constituency and who has Corby and East Northamptonshire at heart.

But that is not to say a high-profile candidate couldn’t achieve this, while raising the profile of the area at the same time.”’

Howzat?

Andrew Strauss Could Stump Labour in Corby

Many have been wondering why England captain Andrew Strauss has quit international cricket. While it’s probably has more to do with his bad couple of years at the crease and major dramas in the dressing room, it’s well known that Andrew is a Tory and rumoured that he has an interest in moving into politics. He raised £25,000 for the party at a 2011 fundraiser…

With the Tories struggling to find a candidate for the Corby by-election, perhaps it’s time for Strauss to serve again.

Selection meeting is this Friday, could he rise from the Corby ashes?

UPDATE: Strauss has retired not only from international cricket, but from Middlesex too. Coincidently Corby the tourism website says “the area has a long cricketing tradition.”

UPDATE II: Others are circling:

Labour’s Corby Candidate Conservative Conference Confusion

After getting caught short on the French riviera, Labour’s Corby candidate Andy Sawford will take a barely-earned break from the campaign trail next month. To speak at the Conservative Party conference.

Sawford will have a day’s respite from Tom Watson when he gives a speech to his lobbyist pals in his capacity as chief executive of well-funded think tank LGIU:

Don’t Menshn the by-election…

By-Election Watch: Lobbyist Reunion in Corby

Labour’s Corby campaign might have posed problems for Tom Watson and his team over the last few weeks, but there were smiles all round yesterday as two former public sector lobbyists enjoyed a reunion in the sun. The highlight was Labour chief whip Rosie Winterton posing with party candidate Andy Sawford as she opened Labour’s new campaign bunker. Cosy.

Yorkshire mafia footsoldier Winterton is a former employee of Connect Public Affairs, a lobbying firm with close links to the Labour Party. Connect currently employs ex-Unite trade unionist Tom Denney, Yvette Cooper’s former adviser Caroline Gordon, David Blunkett’s ex-researcher Emily Wallace and Gill Morris, described as “the best connected Labour lobbyist in the business“. Another former employee of this merry band of lefty lobbyists? One Andy Sawford…

Labour Corby Campaign Cock-Up

Last week Guido revealed that Labour campaign chief Tom Watson had been busy massing the troops in Corby as party bosses seek to avoid a repeat of their Bradford nightmare. Watson might have dragged half of Labour HQ’s staff with him to Louise Mensch’s old constituency but their plan to hit the ground running has got off to a slow start. Back on the 9th August a helpful tweeter alerted Labour’s holidaying hopeful Andy Sawford to the fact that he had yet to set up a website for his campaign. Sawford promised he would get on the case:

https://twitter.com/AndySawford/status/233660830380601344

Almost a week later Labour have sent out a press release encouraging constituents to visit their candidate’s brand new website, but when they do this is what they find:

Guido wonders what Watson and co have been up to the past six days…

Piri Piri Mili

Guido has already reported the efforts to which the Labour Party are going in order to hit the ground running in the Corby by-election. There is only so far the back-room operation can take things though.

Out on the stump events, and indeed pictures say it all…

Guido’s favourite anecdote so far is the report that Ed asked a group of teenage girls: “what can politicians do for you?“, to which they replied: “Get us a Nandos in town!“.

Finally a policy!

Bradford Routing Haunts Labour – Watson Amassing Troops in Corby

The joke doing the rounds this morning in Labour circles is:

“Rupert Murdoch has three months to take out the trash. If he wanted to kill someone he could probably get away with it. Tom is now so obsessed with Corby he thinks it’s Ed’s Crewe.”

Labour sources tell Guido that they are determined not to see a repeat of their Bradford by-election shambles. Former Brownite boot-boys Watson and Ian Austin are off to Louise Mensch’s old constituency, along with half the party staff. They’ve despatched a team to find a decent office as at the moment they are working from the Labour Club. Gordon Paterson, former Labour Yorkshire organiser, is in charge of field operations at the moment and will probably be the agent. Labour confirmed to Guido last night that leave has already been cancelled. Dozens of HQ staff have been told they have to go up there full time.

Political advisers and the policy team are rather grumpy because they are being told there will be daily mini-buses from London and that they are all expected to be on them. Ed has also told staff in the leader’s office that he wants them up there: “some of them don’t mind to be honest because nice to be out of office but others moaning.” One insider even says there has been talk of conference being scaled back. General Secretary Iain McNicol has apparently told staff that Corby is the single biggest party priority now until November. Everything else is now secondary, including Police Commissioner elections. 

Gone is the complacency of Bradford and it’s all hands to the deck. Obviously that is not what they are saying publicly though – as Guido revealed last night – the line is “we’re not going to win”.

Thankfully the candidate has deigned to cut short his south of France holiday and is out on the stump.

Better late than never…

Watson Tells Labour Spinners to Brief That They Will Lose Corby

As Ed spends the afternoon in Corby – the front-line of Tory/Labour fighting in the next three months – Guido hears that Tom Watson is already playing the long game. The party campaign director has told Labour Political Advisers to stress that the party expects to lose the by-election in every conversation they have with the lobby.[…]

+ READ MORE +

CCHQ Begin Corby Candidate Contest Badly

Wannabe Tories on the party’s approved candidates list were left unimpressed last night when this hit their inboxes:

From: Chairman of Candidates
Date: 6 August 2012 17:58
Subject: Corby and East Northamptonshire
To: Candidates

The Party now has a pending Parliamentary by-election in Corby and East Northamptonshire and we are asking every candidate on the Approved List to rise to the challenge.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Mensch Quits

“Louise Mensch MP will announce this morning that she has tendered her resignation to the Prime Minister, and will stand down as the Member of Parliament for Corby and East Northamptonshire. In her resignation letter, Mrs Mensch thanked the Prime Minister for all his support, but said that she had “been struggling for some time to find the best outcome for my family life, and have decided, in order to keep us together, to move to New York.””

A Tory/Labour marginal by-election?[…]

+ READ MORE +

Ballot Day for Bonkers Bryn Phillips

Today is the City of London by-election in the Farringdon Within ward. Yesterday the candidates met face to face for a hustings, and needless to say, with a convicted rioter and Occupy hippy on the ballot, things got a little spicy.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Farage Eyes Eastleigh

Nigel Farage is up to something. He’s very publicly challenged Cameron to a debate, delivering a personal note to No.10 this morning:

“I propose a public debate between us where we can put our respective cases forward. My challenge to you is an open and honest one and I hope you will afford me, and the people of this country, a proper say on the matter.”

True to form, the UKIP leader took some ladies with him for the ride.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Blarites Kick Back at Watson's Fixing

There were some surprising results in Labour’s selection of candidates for elected Police Commissioners. No, not “Kojag” in Hull, but victories for two ultra-Blairites in the face of the full weight of opposition from Tom Watson. Jane Kennedy, the former Liverpool MP who resigned as a Junior Minister in June 2009 saying she was unable to affirm her loyalty to the then PM because of Brown’s briefing against colleagues, is back. […]

+ READ MORE +

Labour Backlash at Harman/Watson By-Election Stich-Up

Patrick Wintour’s article in the Guardian this morning has gone down very badly in Labour circles. The notion that Labour MPs could be banned from triggering by-elections in order stand as Mayors or Police Commissioners due to dire finances has been met with outrage throughout the party.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Manchester Mystery

Guido will eat his hat if Lucy Powell does not win the Labour selection process for Manchester Central.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

David Cowling, the BBC’s head of political research, in an internal memo…

“It seems to me that the London bubble has to burst if there is to be any prospect of addressing the issues that have brought us to our current situation. There are many millions of people in the UK who do not enthuse about diversity and do not embrace metropolitan values yet do not consider themselves lesser human beings for all that. Until their values and opinions are acknowledged and respected, rather than ignored and despised, our present discord will persist. Because these discontents run very wide and very deep and the metropolitan political class, confronted by them, seems completely bewildered and at a loss about how to respond (“who are these ghastly people and where do they come from?” doesn’t really hack it). The 2016 EU referendum has witnessed the cashing in of some very bitter bankable grudges but I believe that, throughout this 2016 campaign, Europe has been the shadow not the substance.”

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