The champers is arriving in Downing Street this morning:
While it is Bollinger, back in the boom years the Downing Street champagne orders were far more lavish in size. From 2004:
New video has emerged that further weakens Labour’s latest line that the PM should leave Downing Street immediately if he has not achieved a majority. On election night in 2010, Ed Balls was very clear about our constitutional position: the Prime Minister gets to stay in Downing Street, regardless of the result:
“The first question is, can the Prime Minister form a government… it’s about the way our county is governed… the question will be, can the Prime Minister form a government?”
As Guido revealed at the weekend, Ed Miliband was saying exactly the opposite back in 2010 to what Labour are saying today:
“The Prime Minister – the constitutional position is clear – gets to have the first crack… the Prime Minister gets the first go at that and that’s just very simple.”
As the Guardian agrees today:
“Constitutional experts are united that Cameron is entitled to sit in Downing Street to see if he can form a government and might even be entitled to put his Queen’s speech to a vote in the Commons.”
Yet the order has gone out from Labour HQ: say the exact opposite to what they were saying in 2010 when it was their man in Downing Street.
Labour’s coordinated line is clear: even if the Tories are the biggest party, they have lost. One Labour official briefs:
“All the noise coming out of the mouths of David Cameron and Nick Clegg is about how they can cling on to power even if their coalition loses its majority.”
Over at the Staggers, Owen Jones says the rules must be rewritten, but only if it keeps out the Tories:
“If there is a left-of-centre, anti-Tory majority in parliament then the Tories must fall, however many seats they have won. Left-wing parties will have won the election and a left-of-centre government led by Labour must take office.”
LabourList’s normally quite reasonable Mark Ferguson has verbally soiled himself:
“If Cameron ends up similarly able to command a majority, he’ll seek to be dragged out of Downing Street in the dead of night – after losing a Queen’s Speech vote – his fingernails scraping their way down Whitehall as he goes.”
Did they really think everyone would just forget what Labour were saying just five short years ago?
Boris has gone violently off message in a speech in the West Country, calling for the government to: “Bring back hunting to Exmoor, whilst always respecting the feelings and indeed the wishes of the animals.” The Western Morning News reports on the Mayor’s visit to Dulverton Town Hall, where he “intrigued the audience with other pre-election promises such as an NHS for animals, making Scrabble an Olympic sport, and a bid to open Britain’s borders to citizens of “Eurozone disaster areas like Italy”, but only if they agreed to help hill farmers at lambing time”:
Number one – abolish VAT on hearing aids.
Two: apply to the UN for the immediate recognition of the superior intelligence of rats, geese and other animals…”
Best received was a call to “bring back manners in young people” and make them eat crisps with a knife and fork…”
Banter aside and most intriguingly, Boris let slip that the Tory manifesto – due imminently – is still being written:
“Our family does not have good reputation for meeting deadlines. My brother Joseph (MP for Orpington) has had to go to London today after someone rang before breakfast – probably the Prime Minister – reminding him he had to write 4,000 words for the Conservative manifesto.”
Well it can’t be as rubbish as their 2010 one.
Asked by the Loose Women whether she would humbly put her name forward if her country was to call upon her, Esther McVey said yes:
JSP: “Do you want to be Prime Minister?”
EM: “To be honest, it is not as simple as that.”
JSP: “Yes or no?”
EM: “If I had to do a yes or no, I’d be honest, I’d say yes.”
To rapturous applause…
Senior LibDem Don Foster, MP for Bath for the past 23 years, clearly thinks he can do the job in his sleep. The chain-smoking chief whip has been struggling to stay awake even during Cabinet meetings. As revealed in yesterday’s Sun, Tory ministers have been unable to hide their giggles as the 67-year-old dozes off, out of sight from his leader Nick Clegg but in full view of the Prime Minister. Gambling coalition cabinet colleagues have opened a book, taking bets on how long into the Tuesday morning meeting the old dear’s eyelids will start to droop. Sounds like a dream job.
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.
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.[…]
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.[…]