Friday, September 12, 2014

Clegg Faces Recall Rebellion

Nick Clegg is facing a rebellion over his Recall fudge denying voters the chance to sack disgraced MPs unless the Commons or the law agrees. Chief opponent Zac Goldsmith has dissected yesterday’s Bill:

“As before, it is a weak pretence at reform. If the Govt’s Recall Bill goes through as drafted, voters will be no more empowered to hold MPs to account than they are today. At the very first scandal, people will realise they’ve been duped, and the resulting anger will do our democracy harm. A [very] serious mistake.”

The Sun reports Michael Gove will give Tories a “free hand” to rebel against Clegg’s government proposals, with 70 MPs from all parties signing Goldsmith’s rebel motion, which you can read here. The David Ruffley case shows exactly why we need a proper Recall Bill which gives the public a say; local voters in Bury St Edmunds are and would be prevented from booting Ruffley out immediately under Clegg’s proposals. A Recall Bill which only lets the public act when an MP has been sent to jail or suspended by his colleagues is no Recall Bill at all…

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

PMQs Off: Joint Statement From Cam, Clegg and Ed

They’re very, very rattled. A joint statement announces that, in the panic, PMQs is off tomorrow:

“There is a lot that divides us – but there’s one thing on which we agree passionately: the United Kingdom is better together. That’s why all of us are agreed the right place for us to be tomorrow is in Scotland, not at Prime Minister’s Questions in Westminster. We want to be listening and talking to voters about the huge choice they face. Our message to the Scottish people will be simple: ‘We want you to stay.’”

Crisis mode. Accountability out of the window for a last minute flap.

UPDATE:

Friday, August 22, 2014

There’s Already Been a Clegg Movie…

James Kirkup pitches his script ideas for Clegg: The Movie.

“My name is Nicholas William Peter Clegg, commander of what’s left of the Army of the South West, deputy chair (acting) of the Federal Executive Committee, loyal servant of the true emperor Paddy Aurelius. Father of a murdered party, husband to a murdered campaign for AV. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”

Casting is underway for the Channel 4 production… 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Clegg Spins His Own Rennard Failings

The restoration of Lord Rennard’s LibDem membership card, and neutering of Nick Clegg, as gone down like a cup of cold sick with almost everybody except the pervy peer’s mates. The Deputy PM and LibDem leader – in office but out of power – is left to bleating about long hard looks in the mirror.

Clegg outrider Sean Kemp spins to the Times RedBox:

“The Lib Dems’ absurdly complex disciplinary system has meant the only person being punished for the Rennard affair is Nick Clegg. The party’s leader was left unable to take charge of the issue, even while it badly damaged his party’s reputation.That system has now been changed, but that will do nothing for the people who wanted to see the party take tougher action.”

Clegg could have ‘taken charge of the issue’ when the allegations first surfaced internally before the last election. Or when he was told about them in 2010. Instead, like with Mike Hancock, he chose to ignore the problem and hoped it would go away.

Guido has zero sympathy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

ROCKET MAN: Cross-Party Condemnation For David Ward

A LibDem spokesperson said:

“We utterly condemn David Ward’s comments, they are not representative of the Liberal Democrats. The party takes this matter very seriously and will treat it as a disciplinary issue.”

A Labour spokesperson said:

“At a time when all sides should be working for a ceasefire and a peaceful settlement, it defies belief that a Liberal Democrat MP should tweet something so vile and irresponsible. Nick Clegg must act immediately to disassociate his party from this comment.”

Tory chairman Grant Shapps said:

“Appalling: No MP should tweet what’s essentially incitement to violence. Mr Ward must withdraw now. Completely irresponsible.”

Last time Ward timed his comments just as MPs were heading off on recess, guaranteeing him a recess-only suspension. He has done the same this time round, so will Nick Clegg step up and give him the punishment he deserves?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Old Etonian Who Brought Cam and Clegg Together Leaves No.10

When Nick Clegg went on Desert Island Discs after the election, he told the tale that when he was considering joining David Cameron in a coalition government, he texted a mutual friend and asked him, “Can I trust this guy?”

As Guido revealed for the first time in the Sun on Sunday yesterday, the friend who told him “yes” was Tim Luke. The Old Etonian who vouched for David Cameron is in a way responsible for bringing this coalition government together. Luke’s previous claim to fame was hitting the headlines for walking in front of the camera while James Corden was presenting the Brit Awards.

The PM later appointed him to No.10’s policy unit. Could Tim’s leaving party next week – he’s off back to Barclays investment bank – be a sign the coalition is beginning to prepare for the end?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Hancock Victim: “It’s Disgusting That No-One Listened to Me”

Portsmouth News have further detail of the heartbreaking pleas made by a vulnerable young woman pursued by Mike Hancock that, as revealed by Guido in the Sun in January, were ignored by the government. “Annie” sent letters, under her real name, to Nick Clegg and the other party leaders, but never received a reply. In March 2011 she wrote to Clegg:

Speaking out this morning, “Annie” says:

“It angers me. It’s disgusting that no-one listened to me all those years ago. It’s a bit too late for them to jump on the bandwagon as I have been tormented for all of these years. I’m angry that some never even bothered to reply to me. The system of dealing with people with mental health problems needs changing. It’s terrible.”

We know the letter was received by Downing Street, but still her cries for help went unanswered…

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Ed Smashes His Negative Polling Record, Slumps Below Clegg
Osborne’s Shock Positive Approval Rating Grows

Ed Miliband has hit his lowest ever personal rating by gold-standard pollsters ICM for the Guardian. The Labour leader has dropped 14 points in the last month to -39, below even Nick Clegg, who has a rating of -37. Cameron has lost last month’s positive rating of +2, dropping to -5, though Osborne has seen an increase in his own rating from +5 to +6.

The force is strong in that one.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Clegg’s Recall Porkies

Fair to say the Tory backbenchers who have campaigned for a genuine recall bill didn’t take too kindly to Nick Clegg telling LBC that the Queen’s Speech fudge was all their fault. Zac Goldsmith offers Guido his thoughts:

“Clegg told listeners that he and I are ‘at one’ on the issue of Recall, that he supports ‘radical’ Recall but has had to compromise because of the Conservative backbenchers. I wish that were true, but it is the opposite of the truth. I have debated the issue with him many times, and until very recently, he was vehement in his opposition to a proper Recall system.

Nick Clegg is the architect of the current Recall Bill. It is a disgrace even by the standards of modern politics – and it will be rejected by Parliament, as it has been rejected by every single democracy campaign group in the UK. It is nothing more and nothing less than a con. Bottom line is that even after his ‘Recall’ is introduced, it would still be possible for an MP to join the BNP, fail to show up in Parliament, fail to speak to constituents, break all promises, even take a 5-year holiday without qualifying for Recall.”

Douglas Carswell is even less forgiving:

“If I can be blunt, it’s bullsh*t and he knows it. It’s straightforward deceit and he has said this simply for effect. The truth is that on the Conservative backbenches there is strong support. Where there is kickback it’s coming from people holding red boxes and people in the Cabinet Office. I wouldn’t hold it against Clegg if he opposed he idea, but what’s absolutely unforgivable is that he opposed it but pretends to be in favour.”

Who do you believe?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Cabinet Office Covers Up Clegg’s Secret Farage Briefings

Readers will remember back in March when Guido broke the story that Nick Clegg had been accused of using civil service resources to prepare for his debates with Nigel Farage. At the time sources familiar with the situation reported that Clegg’s taxpayer funded preparation had strayed into party political territory. This would be a clear breach of the Ministerial Code of Conduct, which says any briefings received by ministers must be non-partisan. In the debates Clegg appeared as Leader of the Liberal Democrats…

In search for the truth, Guido requested a copy of Clegg’s preparation for the debates from the Cabinet Office under the Freedom of Information Act. Today, after some delay, the Cabinet Office have confirmed that they do possess the briefings Clegg received, but are refusing to release them despite admitting there is a public interest in doing so:

“There is a general public interest in disclosure of information and I recognise that openness in government may increase public trust in and engagement with the Government. However, these public interests have to be weighed against a stronger public interest of the workings of a private office.”

Clegg has the opportunity to clear his name and prove he did not use civil service resources on party political activity. If he is innocent, there is no loss to him or the Cabinet Office by releasing non-partisan briefing papers. For some reason however, they are not doing so. Those more cynical than Guido might suggest they have something to hide…


Seen Elsewhere

What We Learned From the Referendum | FT
Scottish Crisis Moves South | Nick Wood
English Democrats Accidentally Celebrate Yes Victory | Pink News
Union In Its Current Form is Dead | Janan Ganesh
Labour Could Be Split in Two | Sun
Ashcroft Poll: Why Scotland Voted No | Buzzfeed
Boris: Change Barnett Formula | Sun
Cameron is Back | Dan Hodges
What Happens Now | James Kirkup
Cairo of the North | Quentin Letts
Labour are the Biggest Losers | Phil Collins


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Diane Abbott on the Daily Politics:

“Labour MPs will unite behind Ed Miliband, once we find out what our policies are.”



It was only a tiny tiny collision.


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