Monday, September 3, 2012

Where’s Warsi? Not in CCHQ for Much Longer…

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

CCHQ Warsi Spin Fun

This morning on ConservativeHome Alistair Thompson reported that beleaguered Tory chairman Baroness Warsi was both “on holiday” and “destined for demotion“. A few hours later CCHQ went out of their way to deny one of those claims:

In the comments Thompson says CCHQ emailed ConHome to refute that Warsi was currently on a summer break, but gave no such rebuttal that she is facing the chop in the Autumn reshuffle. Telling…

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

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. Our call centre in CCHQ Midlands, based in Coleshill will be open from 10.00am until 8.00pm on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, or you can make evening calls from CCHQ.

To take part please contact xxxx@conservatives.com with the dates you are available to help.

If there are reasons why you cannot give your support at this time, please let Gareth know by emailing xxxx@conservatives.com  or Davina on xxxx@conservatives.com

Carlyn Chisholm
Chairman of Candidates

Before asking people to sacrifice their time and effort in the name of a by-election, would it not have been more sensible to tell the hopefuls the process, if one exists, by which one of them could become the candidate? Or is this by-election selection, as widely speculated, going to be another back-room stitch up? The A-list parachuting operation went so well last time…

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Warsi Cleared on Expenses Mystery

According to Joe Murphy of the Standard, Warsi has got away it over her expenses mystery:

Refresh your memory of the allegations and fall out here.

UPDATE: CCHQ confirm:

Presumably she was able to prove that she paid the cash to someone, given that her landlord at the time claimed he received no money.

UPDATE II:

Cameron has said that “I am pleased that these allegations have been dismissed by the Lords Commissioner.” He mentions that Warsi as Co-Chairman will be leading the Tory Police commisioner elections “big summer of campaigning”. Moved in the autumn then…

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tory Rebels Keep Jobs

With Conor Burns quitting and Angie Bray being sacked for refusing to walk the line on Lords reform, eyebrows have been raised about other job-holding Tories who rebelled, but have somehow managed to stay in their party posts, nominally in the gift of the party leader.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown is head of the International Office at CCHQ. His former deputy there was Mark Pritchard, who made a big fuss about resigning a while back specifically so that he could vote against the leadership. Precedent has been set…

Nicola Blackwood is a Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party with responsibility for Social Action. Not for long though surely?

Charlotte Leslie is Cameron’s Big Society Ambassador. A job that her local paper claims makes her a “lynch pin” in the project. How will it cope?

Will they face the high jump or will the Whips turn a blind eye?

UPDATE: It’s a no comment from CCHQ.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Dave Preparing Conference EU Blitz

The latest briefing to Tory MPs gives an interesting clue as to Cameron’s next move re-Europe:

From: CCHQ
Date: 2 July 2012
To: MPs Lines To Take
Subject: Political Topline: 2 July 2012

Good afternoon. Please see below the political top line:

The Prime Minister is clear that an in-out referendum is not the answer right now. Instead we should first set out how we want to change our relationship with Europe and then as the end point becomes clear we should consult the British people, either in a general election or a referendum. He will set out more details of the Conservative Party’s position in the Autumn.

Faced with his choppiest conference yet as leader, it seems the PM is preparing some EU shaped hats and rabbits in time for Birmingham.

Tories Advise Top Donors How to Avoid Tax

Dave might think that Jimmy Carr is morally repugnant but that has not stopped the Tories from advising their wealthy donors on how to avoid tax. The Conservative Foundation, an organisation run by an array of Tory grandees and city types, is offering donors the chance to dodge inheritance tax through a scheme in which they leave a “legacy” to the Tory party. The scheme promises to “reduce or even remove completely” the inheritance tax liability of rich Conservative backers, while its website explains how to take advantage of rules allowing tax-free donations to political parties. Although the scheme appears to have been set up on the quiet it is startlingly open about its intentions:

Cameron was always going to be a hostage to fortune over tax avoidance, now he faces the inevitable dilemma of having to deal with questions about his party’s wealthy financiers. He’s hardly making it easy for himself.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

CCHQ Abandon Lords Spin

From: Lines To Take
Sent: 26 June 2012 12:26
To: Lines To Take
Subject: Political Topline: 26 June 2012

Lords reform

We know this is not the most important issue facing this country. We are focussed on dealing with the deficit, getting the economy growing and standing up for hard-working people.

There have been divisions on all sides regarding the details of reform so we’re only going to achieve reform if we work together and Parliament will debate these issues. But it is right that we should try to agree something that all three major parties committed to in their manifestos at the last election.

Hardly fighting talk…

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Warsi Reality Check

Guido has been a regular critic of Baroness Warsi – it is fair to say we do not approve of her characterisation and handling of the Eurosceptic wing of her party – for example she blundered so badly during the succession to the retiring Roger Helmer MEP that his seat is now represented in the UKIP interest.

We’ve written before that it is pretty poor of her defenders to try to characterise criticism as crypto-racism. It was the Labour MP Karl Turner who called for Warsi to be referred over her expenses claims not just to the Lords Commissioner for Standards, he wrote to the police as well. It was Labour’s semi-official attack dog Michael Dugher who wrote to the Cabinet Secretary demanding a full investigation. Labour’s Deputy General Secretary Tom Watson raised questions about the propriety of her trip funded by the government of Pakistan. Turner, Dugher and Watson have many unpleasant failings, however racism is not among them.

Tory activists don’t rate Warsi’s skill at making her party’s case on the Today programme or on Newsnight, Tory commentators tend to agree. Here Guido thinks they mistake her blunt directness for a communications problem – she was pretty effective on the most watched edition of Question Time against Nick Griffin. She may not appeal to political wonks and pundits – she is not a product of the Oxbridge PPE clique that dominates Westminster – however because voters can identify with her Warsi reaches voters who it is impossible for the posh boys to reach. Warsi is a highly visible and valuable advocate, which is exactly why Cameron appointed her party chairman. Warsi should be deployed to reach non-traditional Tory voters, not to communicate to the political class that wakes up listening to Today and goes to bed watching Newsnight. 

Labour and their media allies are trying hard to make capital out of her referral by Cameron and Hunt’s non-referral. This is supposedly evidence of Tory prejudice. Actually it just reflects the fact that Hunt denies wrongdoing and Warsi admits it, arguing that they are minor oversights.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Warsi’s War

20120531-084809.jpg

There is a fascinating exchange of letters over at the Staggers between the Chairman of the Conservative Arab Network and Tory Chairman Sayeeda Warsi. They discuss Guido’s revelations about the group, and show how the exposé set off a chain of events that led to the troubles that Warsi is in right now:

20120531-084858.jpg

This may be revenge, but that does not make it any less dangerous for Warsi…


Seen Elsewhere

Twitter Should Not Ban Racist Words | Alex Wickham
Guardian Staff’s Elite Schooling | Chris McGovern
Term-Time Holidays Were State Encouraged | Liberal England
What Did Britain Really Look Like in 1930s? | CapX
Who Is Steering Labour’s Strategy? | Ballot Box
Greens are UKIP for Young People | Telegraph
Short-Termism of CCHQ | ConHome
May Aide: CCHQ Are Being Misleading | Telegraph
Tories Planning For Second Election | Guardian
We Are Losing Cyber War | Fraser Nelson
Osborne Aide Lands Pay Rise | Mirror


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