At last some government good news:
“Hospitals and fire services will be run “outside the public sector” as the Conservatives dramatically shrink the state and cut costs, a senior minister has disclosed. Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, told The Telegraph that services could be handed over to mutual companies owned by employers and other non-state bodies. Mr Maude, who is drawing up plans for £20 billion of Whitehall savings by 2020, said that with the exception of defence and policing, every function of the state could potentially be done outside the public sector.”
The Tories are hoping the voters will swallow their “Long Term Economic Plan” slogan, though one adviser is literally stuffing it down throats. Last week saw Downing Street staff recreate the Great British Bake Off, with civil service boss Sir Jeremy Heywood playing the role of Mary Berry and judging the contest.
Raising money for Magic Breakfast – who provide 8,500 brekkies to school children every day – SpAd Daniel Korski’s entry was a cake emblazoned with the slogan, though that lost out to the elaborate gingerbread reconstruction of No 10 Deputy Head of Press Alan Sendorek.
Insiders blame rigid civil service impartiality for the the decision – Sir Jeremy’s loyalty must always be to the office and institution rather than the party in power. “I was robbed” says a source close to Korski.
Not a great start for the new No. 10 Head of News Nicola Hudson. In her first week in the job she has just sent this morning’s government toplines for the day out to all of Whitehall’s taxpayer-funded spinners. However, she forgot to remove the Conservative Party’s email signature from whichever top Tory strategist crafted the lines before forwarding them. CCHQ writing government lines… whodathunk?
Earlier this week a well versed government source whispered to Guido that Ed Llewellyn is holding out to secure the Ambassadorship to Berlin. Well, the latest No. 10 SpAd hospitality declarations suggest Herr Llewellyn has been busy making plans for the job. In only one of two publicly declared engagements, Dave’s Chief of Staff attended the Königswinter Conference, an annual meeting that has taken place since the Second World War “with the aim of improving the troubled relationship between Germany and Great Britain”. It sees “around 80 German and British politicians, diplomats, business managers, academics and journalists for a profound exchange of ideas”, promising to “create bonds and friendships”, and presumably future careers. For you, Eddie, ze coalition is almost over…
Guido’s revelation that Cameron’s Europhile Chief of Staff wants out of Downing Street, has not been denied.
Forget the rumours of Rome, now a well versed government source whispers that Ed Llewellyn is holding out to secure the Ambassadorship to Berlin before jumping ship.
Well Kim Philby ended up in Moscow…
David Cameron’s Chief of Staff Ed Llewellyn has signalled that he wants out. As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun on Sunday the exact timings are yet to be decided, though Llewellyn is holding out for a top ambassadorship with Dave reportedly promising his Old Etonian chum the plum job in Rome or Washington. A Downing Street source claims the PM is “indifferent” about Llewellyn going, telling Guido: “Like everyone, he hears the whispers about Evil Eddie.”
Meanwhile, Guido is told Dave’s hopes of poaching Osborne’s Chief of Staff Rupert Harrison to replace Llewellyn were short-lived. So far it appears Osborne’s “brain” is not keen on sticking around either and is also hoping to leave before the next election.
Will the last Chief of Staff to leave Downing Street please turn off the lights…
Tough one to explain…
Craig Oliver is facing a misconduct hearing as smears return to the heart of Downing Street. As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun, Labour have reported him to the Cabinet Office for breaking the Special Advisers Code of Conduct after he accused Peter Oborne of being “tired and emotional” on Newsnight. The rules prohibit any adviser from the “preparation or dissemination of inappropriate material or personal attacks.” Labour MP Sheila Gilmore has written to Jeremy Heywood calling for an investigation:
“It is disgraceful that such a senior adviser to David Cameron has behaved in this way. This shows Craig Oliver to be as nasty as the rest of the Tory party. Jeremy Heywood should treat this incident with the utmost seriousness. The taxpayer should not be paying the wages of someone so unprofessional.”
When the spokesperson needs a spokesperson…
Matthew D’Ancona once quoted a “Cameron ally” dismissing the long-term threat posed by UKIP. D’Ancona’s soothsaying source predicted Farage’s party “should reach its peak in the European elections on May 22″, leading the Telegraph columnist to urge Dave to “forget UKIP”, warn “too much time is still devoted to soothing those who might jump ship” and profess “UKIP will not be Cameron’s biggest problem”.
The ill-fated “peak UKIP” analysis adopted by Downing Street up until recently was based on the fatally flawed insight of Cameron’s über-modernising gay-marriage architect and pollster Andrew Cooper, who told the Prime Minister two years ago that UKIP would just be a “flash in the pan”. He once argued via Powerpoint slides in a presentation to Tory MPs that UKIP’s rise was down to “mid-term grumbles” rather than anything more serious. Since then UKIP have stubbornly maintained their position in the polls, two Tory MPs have defected, thousands of true blue activists have joined the purple army and they have just taken a formerly safe Tory seat in a by-election. If the Tories lose in 2015, Cooper is the man most to blame – he may well go down in British political history as the worst adviser/pollster of the modern era…
The New Puritans | Alex Wickham
UKIP on 23% With Survation | Mirror
UKIP Could Deal With Dave | Douglas Carswell
Tories Would Lower Benefit Cap | Telegraph
Bashir Twitter Meltdown | Mirror
Bashir is a Wrong’un | Norman Tebbit
Natalie Bennett Says it Should Not be a Crime to Belong to ISIS | Indy
LibDems Fifth in London | Standard
45 Mirror Group Stories Linked to Phone-Hacking | Press Gazette
Dave’s Diet | Speccie
Pink’O’Flynn | HuffPo
George Galloway says of his former Respect candidate the UKIP MEP turned Tory, Amjad Bashir…
“Clearly Bashir does not have any real political principles or commitment, only naked opportunism and self-interest. He represents the revolving door principle in politics. The Tories are welcome to him because he will cause them embarrassment. Fortunately Respect was able to act before he did it to us.”