David Cameron is in full on gush mode:
“I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abd Al Aziz Al Saud. He will be remembered for his long years of service to the Kingdom, for his commitment to peace and for strengthening understanding between faiths. My thoughts and prayers are with the Saudi Royal Family and the people of the Kingdom at this sad time. I sincerely hope that the long and deep ties between our two Kingdoms will continue and that we can continue to work together to strengthen peace and prosperity in the world.”
So anyway, here are the Saudis cutting off a woman’s head in the street last week:
Meanwhile Saudi blogger Raif Badawi faces another 950 lashes as soon as his initial 50 have healed enough.
“Leon Brittan was a dedicated and fiercely intelligent public servant. As a central figurein Margaret Thatcher’s government, he helped her transform our country for the better by giving distinguished service as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. He went on to play a leading role at the European Commission where he did so much to promote free trade in Europe and across the world. More recently, he made an active contribution to the House of Lords. My thoughts are with Leon’s family and friends at this sad time.”
He would have been fully briefed before giving this statement…
UPDATE: It took Clegg four hours to release his statement:
“Leon was one of the most intelligent figures in modern British public life.
When I worked for Leon in Brussels almost 20 years ago, his forensic understanding of detailed issues combined with his passionate belief in internationalism was evident to everyone.
His courage in sticking up for his pro-European views, despite huge pressure to the contrary, never wavered.
His intellectual curiosity about politics; the arts; history; and literature was encyclopedic. Even as illness affected him badly in recent years, he kept up his lifelong habit of reading a constant flow of books on a huge range of subjects.
My heart goes out to Diana Brittan and Leon’s family at this very sad time.”
The PM just popped up on Capital Xtra for a particuarly cringeworthy interview. The last three minutes are golden as “Dave” fails a test to see if he’s as cool as Obama. Guido managed to record a copy before it mysteriously disappeared from the internet:
He prefers cooking shows to the Kardashians, Bryan Ferry over Tinie Tempah and wants everyone to call him Dave…
UPDATE: Full transcript:
Capital: You’ve just had a hard PMQs. You pop along to the office and turn on the TV. Only reality shows are on. Now which one do you watch: Big Brother?
Capital: Love and Hip Hop?
Capital: Or Keeping Up With the Kardashians?
DC: I think – whoops, I’ve just dropped the microphone in shock at that question. I’m not a big brother fan, I have watched it. I haven’t quite got into why everyone’s interested in the Kardashians, so I’m not doing very well on that one. So maybe I’ll try the hip hop show, that sounds a bit better. I like watching cooking shows.
Capital: Barack Obama suggests you need a big artist to pull back the youth vote, so he suggests that he’s gonna bring in Jay-Z for you.
Capital: Prime Minister Tony Abbott calls from Australia and says Iggy Azalea is the way forward.
Capital: Or do you go safe and call up Tinie Tempah and get the UK on track?
DC: I don’t know, the track I would like to have – but this makes me sound so old – is Let’s Stick Together by Bryan Ferry, because I think that’s the message for the election.
Capital: One more question. Everyone’s over in London for the G7 summit. It’s up to you to order lunch. Do you go to Harvester, the Gordon Ramsay pub or get some chicken in from Nando’s.
DC: I’ve been to a Gordon Ramsay restaurant, I’ve been to Nando’s and I’ve been to a Harvester. I think Nando’s is the best value for money. I had a very good Nando’s in Bristol.
UPDATE II: Nigel Farage slams Cameron, telling Guido: “Harvester over Nando’s any day, but if you ask me a good local pub can’t be beat.”
UPDATE III: Ed Balls weighs in, he prefers Little Chef:
“My kids like Nando’s, I haven’t been a regular at Harvester.”
The big news from Dave’s trip to the States: confirmation that the leader of the free world does call him “bro”.
“It’s normally Barack and David, I hasten to add… well, it’s been said.”
“Call me bro…”
How much is Dave’s “chicken” debate demand to let the Greens take part hurting him with voters? A YouGov/Sun poll today finds 7 in 10 agree with the PM that Natalie Bennett should be allowed in. Meanwhile, overnight:
Guido understands as of yesterday UKIP’s memberships stands at 41,943, but the Greens have now overtaken that. Over to the broadcasters…
Tired and emotional MPs stumbling into cabs late at night have been warned to change the Prime Minister’s name in their phone contacts to something inconspicuous, amid fears his mobile number could fall into the wrong hands. Many MPs – […]