Monday, October 15, 2012

Mitchell at Risk

His first big Commons test coming up this afternoon with two emergency statements. Will the Chief Whip be forced to hide again?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Telegraph Throw Down Mitchell Gauntlet

There is a fairly incredible editorial in this morning’s Telegraph that challenges the Prime Minister to fire his Chief Whip:

“It is, of course, unfair that a successful ministerial career should end thanks to an intemperate outburst. Certainly, Mr Mitchell is entitled to feel aggrieved at the role played by the Police Federation. Whether or not its officers were complicit in the row first becoming public, they have done everything possible to stoke it since, as part of a wider campaign against the Government’s police reforms. Yet that – like the question of what was actually said that day – is almost beside the point. In the end, it is not so much a matter of principle as of politics. If he stays, Mr Mitchell can do little good, and much damage. For the sake of his party, he should do the decent thing and stand down.”

Guido suspects such demands from the press might stiffen the Prime Minister’s resolve. If Mitchell does go this afternoon, questions are likely to be asked about who is really running the show…

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Maude Pours Cold Water on Chief Whip Rumour
Wants to Get On With Reforming Job at Cabinet Office

Francis Maude has kicked back at the speculation he could be moved to replace Andrew Mitchell imminently. Tonight’s Standard reports:

“Senior minister Francis Maude is being tipped to replace disgraced Andrew Mitchell as Chief Whip amid growing pressure on David Cameron to fire the man who allegedly called a police officer a “pleb”. Mr Maude, who served as a junior whip under Margaret Thatcher between 1985 and 1987, is Cabinet Office Minister and Paymaster General with responsibility for making Whitehall more efficient.”

But a Cabinet Office source just told Guido:

“Francis wants to get on with the job of civil service reform and this government’s focus on efficiency and transparency. The Prime Minister made a very clear decision to keep him where he is at the reshuffle.”

It sounds like he could dig in if Cameron fires the trigger on Mitchell, as many are speculating he will tomorrow…

Thursday, September 27, 2012

SpAd Movements – Glover Out of No.10

There was a big fanfare when Downing Street poached the Guardian’s Julian Glover to be chief speech-writer in October 2011. Comparisons with Sam Seaborne from the West Wing were flying around – though that may have been a bit premature – Glover has quietly left No.10 and is now the policy Special Adviser at the Department of Transport. After less than a year in the job, the man hired for his way with words to defend the coalition did not even get a conference speech under his belt.

Sources say he was keen to branch out to a more policy heavy role, but Guido is sceptical…

New Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin  has also hired Benjamin Mascall to do his media. Until recently Ben was fire-fighting on the education brief as a CCHQ press officer. McLoughlin old Whips Office adviser Chris White has gone over to Lansley as Leader of the House. Other appointments are still being cleared by No.10. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Breaking: Police Leak Full Mitchell Incident Report

The Telegraph has been handed the whole police report from the Mitchell incident:

Whilst on duty at *** tonight (Wed 19th Sept) on a 1400-2200 hrs between the hours of 1800-2000 I had to deal with a man claiming to be the chief whip and who I later confirmed to be such and a Mr Andrew MITCHELL.

Mr Mitchell was speaking to PC ******** demanding exit through the main vehicle gate into Whitehall. PC ******** explained to Mr MITCHELL that the policy was for pedal cycles to use the side pedestrian exit. Mr MITCHELL refused, stating he was the chief whip and he always used the main gates.

I explained to Mr MITCHELL that the policy was to use the side pedestrian gates and that I was happy to open those for him, but that no officer present would be opening the main gates as this was the policy we were directed to follow.

Mr MITCHELL refused. Repeatedly reiterating he was the chief whip. My exact explanation to Mr MITCHELL was “I am more than happy to open the side pedestrian gate for you Sir, but it is policy that we are not to allow cycles through the main vehicle entrance”.

After several refusals Mr MITCHELL got off his bike and walked to the pedestrian gate with me after I again offered to open that for him.

There were several members of public present as is the norm opposite the pedestrian gate and as we neared it, Mr MITCHELL said: “Best you learn your f—— place…you don’t run this f—— government…You’re f—— plebs.” The members of public looked visibly shocked and I was somewhat taken aback by the language used and the view expressed by a senior government official. I can not say if this statement was aimed at me individually, or the officers present or the police service as a whole.

I warned Mr MITCHELL that he should not swear, and if he continued to do so I would have no option but to arrest him under the Public Order Act, saying “Please don’t swear at me Sir. If you continue to I will have no option but to arrest you under the public order act”.

Mr MITCHELL was then silent and left saying “you haven’t heard the last of this” as he cycled off.

I forward this to you as all officers were extremely polite to Mr MITCHELL, but such behaviour and verbal expressions could lead to the unfortunate situation of officers being left no option but to exercise their powers.

I write this for your information as Mr Mitchell’s last comments would appear to indicate that he is unhappy with my actions.

I have recorded this fully in my pocket book.

Well that is certainly more detailed than Mitchell’s side of the story. The version that the Prime Minister claims to believe…

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

No.10 Confirm Nadine is Not Security Threat to PM

An unnamed No. 10 insider has briefed Nick Watt of the Guardian:

“Nadine Dorries has made clear that she does not think the prime minister should be murdered. But she is well known for having unusual views and unusual ways of expressing them. There will no change to the security arrangements for the prime minister. We were never genuinely concerned about a threat to the prime minister’s life.”

Unlikely to be a sense of humour failure, Downing Street staffers are clearly wittier than previously thought. Either way the original story that Guido ran this afternoon made it clear that the comment was made metaphorically. Given that Nadine is not the only Tory MP thinking these political thoughts, conference could well be a metaphorical bloodbath for the PM.

UPDATE:

Friday, September 7, 2012

Angry Dave Turns On Bojo

There was always going to be kickback after Boris’ cold and calculated intervention to cock-up Cameron’s cabinet reshuffle day by coming down on Justine Greening’s side. Something she will remember in years to come. The faux Olympic camaraderie is long gone this morning, with a No.10 source telling the FT:

“We will see what happens the next time he comes around with the begging bowl…He might need us one day.”

Boris is not the type to appreciate being put back in his box…

Thursday, September 6, 2012

No. 10: Dave Just Axing Not Chillaxing

Guido just put the Cameron drinking wine while sacking Gillan story to No. 10. Joe Watts of the Eastern Daily Press writes:

“Gillan’s sacking interview also appears to have irked. When she went in Cameron wielded the proverbial axe while drinking a glass of wine, I’m told; chillaxing perhaps. He didn’t offer her any though.”

As fun as some of the puns have been, it’s an official denial:

“Not true. He wasn’t drinking wine when he saw Cheryl and didn’t tell Caroline Spelman she was too old. Her replacement is two years older so that doesn’t even make sense.”

But then Dave also said no one cried, contrary to reports.

It’s been hinted this afternoon that Gillan and Spelman might be offered peerages, they might want to think about going on the record to deny tears and wine if they want that to happen…

Steve Field Scoop Confirmed
Prime Minister’s Spokesman Quitting for IMF

Guido was savaged when he wrote this piece back in May. No.10 denied the story on the basis that he hadn’t walked that day. Today the Prime Minister’s Spokesman Steve Field has announced he’s departing to join the IMF. A possible job Guido tweeted as follow up back in May. You’re either in front of Guido or…

UPDATE: Lest we forget what they said at the time:

Smirk.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Rolling Reshuffle Rumours and Gossip

Beyond sharing in the delight that Osborne loyalist and current backbencher Matthew Hancock had a busy evening answering prank phone calls from amused colleagues calling him on private numbers, very few details regarding the reshuffle are actually cast in stone this morning. Downing Street have confirmed that Andrew Mitchell will replace Patrick McLoughlin as Chief Whip. The move was not universally welcomed amongst the ranks on the Commons terrace last night.

Guido was heavily tipped at the weekend that the former Chief would not be returning to the backbenches, instead getting a party role. Therefore the latest gossip that McLoughlin will be heading to Transport makes a lot of sense – when Philip Hammond was in the job, he would spend one minute of a TV appearance talking about cars or trains and the rest mopping up the government crisis of the day. From miner to firefighter.

George Young and Cheryl Gillan are reportedly toast and Shapps remains tipped to replace Warsi. Elsewhere outward movement was talked up overnight for Lansley, Spelman and Clarke – all of which remains, thus far, speculation. As of midnight, Guido got heavy kick back on Clarke going completely, but the man himself has remained uncharacteristically tight lipped. Sky claim he turned down Young’s job. Where we will be by the end of breakfast remains to be seen…

UPDATE: Clarke to Minister Without Portfollio, which means Warsi is out of two jobs.


Seen Elsewhere

What Farage, Boris and Rob Ford Have in Common | William Walter
Labour Spell New Adviser’s Name Wrong | ITV
Dave Stung by Jellyfish | Sun
City Minister’s Inheritance Tax Dodging Trusts | Indy
What I Would Have Done if I was Sarah Wollaston | Iain Dale
Boris is an Epic Europhile | Louise Mensch
Warsi Got PM to Confront “Secular Fundamentalism” | Fraser Nelson
Guardian April Fools Apology | Press Gazette
Jenni Russell and Her Child’s Godfather, Ed Miliband | Breitbart
Labour’s Left and Right are Growing Restive | Staggers
Corrupt, Incompetent UN Has No Right to Lecture Us | Dan Hannan


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Rod Liddle on the loony UN sexism special rapporteur:

“There is more sexism in Britain than in any other country in the world, according to a mad woman who has been sent here by the United Nations.

Rashida Manjoo is a part-time professor of law at Cape Town University in the totally non-sexist country of South Africa (otherwise known as Rape Capital Of The World).

Mrs Magoo has been wandering around with her notebook and is appalled by the sexist “boys’ club” culture here, apparently.

I don’t doubt we still have sexism in the UK. But is it worse than in, say, Saudi Arabia, d’you think, honey-lamb? Or about 175 other countries? Get a grip, you doolally old bat.”



orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?


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