Tory Leadership Runners and Riders

This is where the potential Tory leadership contenders stand this morning:

  • Boris Johnson – Will announce he’s running within days. Jesse Norman, Nadhim Zahawi and Ben Wallace are phoning round MPs canvassing for support. Faces a battle to get on the ballot from Cameron’s allies, Remain MPs and a number of Leavers too. The story of the next few weeks is whether anyone can ‘Stop Boris’.
  • Theresa May – Definitely a goer, the leading ‘Anyone But Boris’ candidate. Her aides did a ring around yesterday and a group of 20+ Remain MPs met on Friday where her name came up. MPs believe only she can beat Boris with the members. Several Leavers would back her. But would Cameron and Osborne?
  • Michael Gove – Many Leave MPs wanted him to run but he has always had reservations. Sunday Times says he is backing Boris. Out of the running.
  • Stephen Crabb – Sets out his stall in two Sunday papers. Has the personal story but MPs say he isn’t PM material. Could be the Cameron/Osborne choice. Faces fight to the death with May to be the Remain candidate.
  • Andrea Leadsom – Name has been doing the rounds for months. Leader of the Fresh Start group which will be a player in the next few years. Potential Chancellor?
  • Liam Fox – Intends to stand. Has significant backing from the south-west contingent of MPs. Will he make a deal for a Cabinet post? Whoever squares him off will get a boost.
  • George Freeman – Who? He’s the Life Sciences minister and the Sunday Times says he’s running with the backing of 30 MPs from the 2010 and 2015 intakes. He has tweeted that he is “discussing how best to get a bold Programme of OneNation reforms centre stage. #NoPlansUPDATE: Tells Crick he’s not running.
  • Nicky Morgan – Arch-Europhile. “Friends” unsubtly briefed Sky that she was “taking soundings“, which was treated with as much derision as when she put herself forward at conference last year.
  • Jeremy Hunt – Tipped by the Mail on Sunday today, and previously by Toby Young and Peter Oborne. Could Cameron and Osborne back him? His SpAd Ed Jones has cryptically posted on Facebook that he is “losing his job”.
  • Dominic Raab – David Davis’ old chief of staff is something of a hipster choice for Tories who fancy a flutter. Name was in the mix pre-referendum and he had a good war. An outside right-wing choice, seems a long shot. UPDATE: Told Question Time tonight “I can tell you now I won’t be running.”
  • Priti Patel – Has ruled herself out.
  • George Osborne – Missing, loathed by Leavers over his scorched earth campaign and punishment budget. Isabel Oakeshott says he spent yesterday canvassing support. Has longer odds than Priti, and she’s not even in the running.
  • Sajid Javid – Eurosceptic who went with Osborne and will forever live to regret it.
  • David Davis – Said to want another go.
  • Graham Brady – Chairman of the 1922 so has influence, said to fancy himself.
  • Adam Afriyie – Genuinely not ruling himself out. LOL.
  • Alan Duncan – hard for anyone he tells to keep a straight face. Attention seeking behaviour.

So, who are you backing?

Cameron’s Big Speech Bombs

For the second time, Downing Street have summoned the press for a supposedly “significant” statement that has bombed:

Is that it? The “significant statement” is that Dave backs Remain?

Panicked PM Misses Parkinson’s Memorial

PARKINSON-540

Today brought the memorial service for Cecil Parkinson, the former Thatcher confidant and Party Chairman who was possibly one of the best Prime Ministers we never had. It was noted by many attendees that the PM did not show his face – it was held in St Margarets, Westminster Abbey, a 2 minute walk from Downing Street. He did turn up last month for the service for Geoffrey Howe and was expected today. Apparently Lord Feldman and Baroness Stowell represented the PM in his place. Was the PM too busy wasting his time at the Savoy or was it because Cecil was a Eurosceptic?

Peter Gabriel’s “Interspecies Internet”

Peter Gabriel went to Downing Street to hand in a petition to ban keeping monkeys as pets. Also on the agenda: “An interspecies internet that is open and available to non-humans.”

H/T ITV News

Dave’s Photo-Ban Fail

Despite a Downing Street mandated ban on holiday photos of the Camerons, nobody appears to have told Alicia Fisher:

She beat the paparazzi…

UPDATE: Spotted arriving as well:

Peston’s Downing Street “Movie Set”

ITV’s scoop-getting political editor Robert Peston is annoying Tory spinners in more ways than one. When the other broadcasters film short interviews in Downing Street, they usually bring one camera with them to film the interviewee. Peston however insists on bringing two cameras, one to film the minister, the other to film himself. Apparently Pesto wants a camera on himself at all times so plenty of shots of him looking inquisitive can be edited into the package. This means double the number of camera crew, causing a headache for press officers. A senior government source reveals “he turns up with a f**king movie set”. Don’t disturb the creative process…

Introducing Minister Media Monitor

Pundits and political producers have complained since the election that Downing Street is refusing to put up ministers on television. Craig Oliver has an iron grip on broadcast appearances, implementing  a “one minister a day” policy where a single, reliable minister reads out the lines to take on whatever issue. Our Minister Media Monitor charts ministerial broadcast appearances throughout the day, everyday.

From the Today programme to Newsnight, we monitor which ministers appeared answering questions in interviews. Note this will not include doorsteps, only scheduled appearances. Our league table ranks ministers by their number of appearances, showing who is the flavour of the month in No.10, and who has been kept away from the cameras. This resource empirically illustrates No.10’s strict broadcast grid, their reticence at sending ministers out to be held to account, and how this is being challenged by the referendum. Here is the spreadsheet with the data from February and here is the league table…

MMM February the ministers

The referendum sees three Leave ministers make the top ten, with Chris Grayling by some way the most vocal. Philip Hammond is No.10’s flavour of the month to give the government’s line, followed by the ever-reliable Matt Hancock. Jeremy Hunt was under the spotlight over junior doctors and government spinners obviously think it is important to get as many women on screen as possible – Greening, Rudd and Soubry are high up the list. It is notable that there were just 53 ministerial broadcast appearances in February, and a considerable number of these by off-the-grid Outers not authorised by Craig Oliver. George Osborne is keeping away from the cameras, the submarine Chancellor appeared just twice in 29 days…

Downing Street: Do As We Say, Not As We Do

Taxpayer-funded civil servants have been authorised by David Cameron to use public resources to campaign for Remain. Will advisers and officials working for ministers who back Leave have the same freedom? They have tonight been issued a strict ban on their activities by the Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood.

Civil servants working in the departments of Grayling, Whitto, IDS etc have been barred from giving their ministers briefings supporting their position on the EU. They are banned from providing speech material, and will be denied access to government papers relating to the referendum. Special advisers working for Leave ministers are banned from supporting their boss’ position in office hours. They are also banned from using annual leave on campaign activity. Pro-Remain ministers are meanwhile allowed to use public resources to campaign.

Amusingly, Heywood writes that these restrictions mean:

“The principles of impartiality and the proper use of public resources continue to apply to all government communications activity, including activity related to the EU referendum.”

This is laughable – Downing Street civil servants like Chris Hopkins are authorised to use taxpayer-funded resources to campaign for Remain, yet civil servants and SpAds for Eurosceptic ministers who want to do the same thing for the Leave campaign are banned from doing so. This is the exact opposite of “the principles of impartiality and the proper use of public resources”. It’s “do as we say, not as we do…”

No. 10 Loses Half its FTSE Support Since Dave’s Deal

Last Thursday, before the EU council meeting, the Telegraph had a briefing that “more than 80 FTSE 100 firms” were about to support Dave’s deal and back Remain:

Yesterday, after the deal, the FT reported that only 50 FTSE bosses were going to sign the letter supporting Remain:

As Guido revealed, the stunt had been drafted and orchestrated by Downing Street civil servants, and was lined up to appear in today’s Times.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Downing Street Soliciting Big Business Support For Remain

Guido has got hold of a draft letter sent to FTSE 100 bosses by Downing Street business adviser Chris Hopkins yesterday, soliciting support for Dave’s deal. It was due to appear in tomorrow’s Times, but you can read it on Guido today:

From: Chris Hopkins
Sent: 21 February 2016
To: XXXXX

Dear Sirs

We run businesses representing every sector and region of the United Kingdom.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

That No.10 Pantomime in Full

Thursday

8:00pm: No.10 briefing to Lobby: “I would say the going is tough, this could be a long night. Some real outstanding issues to resolve, it’s not clear how we’re going to do that.”

8:20pm: BBC reports No.10 source: “impasse… we thought there might be talk of bridges but still big gaps”, “talks pushed back”

Friday

5:29am: Times reports No.10 downbeat: “problems across the board”

7:50am: No.10 briefing to Lobby: “It’s hard going.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Prang Spin

momentary-prang

The PM’s official spokesman says his official car “momentarily touched” another vehicle while manoeuvring in Downing Street. “PM was not inside, no damage done”, they also deny it was a “car crash”Never believe anything until it is officially denied…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Rain on Dave’s Parade

The PM brought back up to his summer bash for Peroni-guzzling Lobby hacks last night, but it was the weather that rained on his parade – literally. As damp Tory leadership contenders worked the thinning lawn of the Downing Street rose garden, a relaxed Dave stood side by side with Theresa May doling out titbits to a ‘doughnut’ of senior correspondents, while Saj put in a good innings.[…]

+ READ MORE +

EU Purdah Stitch Up: Full Letter From Lidington to Tories

Minister for Europe David Lidington has written to Tory MPs to tell them they are still planning on stitching up the EU Referendum, but it’s ok because they they will ‘work with them’ to do so:

16th June 2015

Dear Colleague,

EU REFERENDUM BILL

I am writing ahead of the Committee Stages of the Bill to address some of the key concerns raised by colleagues during the Second Reading debate last week and to set out the Government’s approach.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Huge Increase in “Payroll Vote” after PPS Splurge

pps-overdriveAbout turn:

Despite the confusion over whether members of the government will be allowed to campaign for ‘out’ after the EU renegotiation is complete, it is clear No.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Machinery of Government Changes: Power Redistributed From BIS

Three vaguely interesting bits of government power play this afternoon.

Osborne takes control of the Shareholder Executive – the body managing the taxpayer’s holdings in part-government owned businesses – from BIS.

While overall responsibility for the Digital Economy Unit goes to John Whittingdale at DCMS – again away from BIS.[…]

+ READ MORE +



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Dominic Cummings sums up scribblers…

“99% of expensive punditry is noise not signal, tune it out and think for yourself.”

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

Runners & Riders Runners & Riders
Social Media’s Filter Bubble Driving Political Anger Social Media’s Filter Bubble Driving Political Anger
4 a.m. Tom Watson 4 a.m. Tom Watson
Britain Votes For Brexit Britain Votes For Brexit
BBC Declares Brexit Winner BBC Declares Brexit Winner
Guido’s Referendum Best Bits Guido’s Referendum Best Bits
Bob Geldof Boat Passenger Votes Leave Bob Geldof Boat Passenger Votes Leave
Which Brexiteer Are You? Which Brexiteer Are You?
Referendum Day CCHQ Leak Referendum Day CCHQ Leak
Liz Hurley Backs Brexit Liz Hurley Backs Brexit
WHICH REMAINER ARE YOU? WHICH REMAINER ARE YOU?
EU TO OPEN NEW TURKEY MEMBERSHIP TALKS ON JUNE 30 EU TO OPEN NEW TURKEY MEMBERSHIP TALKS ON JUNE 30
GERMAN BUSINESS CHIEF CALLS POSSIBILITY OF POST-BREXIT BARRIERS “VERY, VERY FOOLISH” GERMAN BUSINESS CHIEF CALLS POSSIBILITY OF POST-BREXIT BARRIERS “VERY, VERY FOOLISH”
PROJECT SNEER: LUVVIES SAY LEAVERS ARE ‘THICK IDIOTS’ PROJECT SNEER: LUVVIES SAY LEAVERS ARE ‘THICK IDIOTS’
TURKEY “FLABBERGASTED” BY CAMERON: “HE’S OUR BIGGEST SUPPORTER!” TURKEY “FLABBERGASTED” BY CAMERON: “HE’S OUR BIGGEST SUPPORTER!”
BORIS LOOKS FORWARD TO INDEPENDENCE DAY BORIS LOOKS FORWARD TO INDEPENDENCE DAY
HESELTINE: UK WILL JOIN EURO IF WE REMAIN HESELTINE: UK WILL JOIN EURO IF WE REMAIN
Sadiq “EU Should Not Be a Christian Club” Sadiq “EU Should Not Be a Christian Club”
“REST IN POWER”: CORPORATE SPIN DOCTORS TAKE CONTROL OF COX IMAGE “REST IN POWER”: CORPORATE SPIN DOCTORS TAKE CONTROL OF COX IMAGE