Westminster Arms Faces Closure Threat

Worrying news for one of Westminster’s favourite watering holes. Guido understands that the Westminster Arms on Storey’s Gate – preferred pub of Nigel Farage and half of CCHQ – is facing a fight to stay open.

The Arms is run by Irish firebrand Gerry Dolan but co-owned by an equity company, which owns the building next door and the downstairs bar. Dolan reveals he is contesting plans to develop the neighbouring offices into flats, which would see punters banned from drinking on the pavement outside the pub. The downstairs bar, which houses the ladies’ loos, is also set to go, meaning the pub faces the prospect of only having a gents’ toilets. Dolan tells Guido “it would be the death of the pub”.

A Call to Arms has been launched to save the pub, fellow boozers can sign up here

UPDATE: The equity company is GM Investment Trustees Limited, a subsidiary of General Motors.

Desmond’s Bill

Remember Desmond’s PFL with the FT? Well:

Given Desmond’s company banned kettles from the newsroom, it’s unlikely his own papers would nod this through. 

UPDATE: Uh oh…

Brillo Lifts Lid on Bilderberg

That’s what they want you to think though.

You Can’t Fault Desmond’s Taste in Wine

So Richard Desmond knows all about a PFL.

The FT reports:

“In Richard Desmond’s hands, simple objects become terrifying. There’s the receptionist’s bell that he uses to interrupt executives in board meetings, or the cups of tea that occasionally fly over underlings.

For me, the terror begins when he picks up the wine list. This is Coq d’Argent, a rooftop restaurant overlooking the Bank of England. The prices look like cricket scores — and Desmond is on the hunt for an innings victory.

“We’ll have that one,” he says, before I can intervene. As the sommelier skips away, the sum of £580 lingers on my retina.
So this, I think, is how it feels to be screwed by Richard Desmond. It took less than 10 minutes.”

Interestingly – given the million quid he has given UKIP – Desmond is not sure about leaving Europe:

“I don’t know. I don’t think anyone knows,” he says. “But we need a referendum.”

Not a great week for big UKIP donors.

Arron Banks has put 150 jobs at risk in the South West by moving his business operations to South Africa.

So much for the party slogan ‘Believe in Britain’.

#PFL Explained

keep-calm-and-go-to-a-boozy-lunch-2

The concept of a Nigel Farage “PFL” – proper f**king lunch – should not come as a surprise to regular readers. What was that about, asks Emily Maitless innocently on Newsnight last night:

Well from Guido’s hazy memory, lunch with Farage usually consists of: “two Bloody Marys, a bottle of white, two bottles of red and a cheeky port.” Last time Nige even paid….

Charles Kennedy Died From “Major Hemorrhage”

Charles Kennedy died from a “major haemorrhage” that “was a consequence of his battle with alcoholism”, his family tells Press Association. 

Play It Again, Salm

A once great statesman reduced to loitering around the dingy bars of Westminster putting the world to rights with washed up has-beens.

The other, Alex Salmond.

Sports and Social is SNP’s Next Target

It’s not just Labour’s traditional seats in the Commons that the SNP are after, now the nationalist horde are coming for their favourite bar. The taxpayer-subsidised Sports and Social Club is popular with Labour MPs and their visiting trade union brothers, earning it the nickname “The Sports and Socialist”, but change is coming. As Guido revealed in the Sun yesterday, plans are afoot amongst SNP MPs to rename the dingy watering hole the “Rabbie Burns Bar”.

Friday Caption Contest (Salmond Champagne Edition)

Entries in the comments below.

The winner of this week will get their hands on the #EdStone:

Well a 3D printed version of it, thanks to our friends at CEL[…]

+ READ MORE +

Vinda-who: Farron / Mulholland / Lembit’s Late Night Poppadom Plot

LibDem MP Greg Mulholland is doing little to dampen speculation he is running for leader of his party. He’s twanking any mention of his ambitions and being coy with the press:

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Austerity Champers Arrives at Downing Steet

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:

Cheers!

Pic via @sean_clare
[…]

+ READ MORE +

Bullingdon Wannabes: Sob Story of Labour’s Zero Hour Banter Lads

Spare a thought this morning for the plight of Labour’s zero hours letter writers. Among the names of 100 “people from all walks of life”, cobbled together by the party in response to the 100 business leaders backing the Tories, were hard-done-by Manchester students John-jo Pierce and Rory Somerville.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Actual Pub Landlord Likes Farage, Irritated With Guardian

Farage’s pub landlord writes to his paper of choice:

As a Guardian reader for over 50 years and a Downe resident for over 20 years, including eight years as landlord of the Queen’s Head, I find your article (Big trouble in middle England, G2, 24 March) disappointing, to say the least.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Crosby Declares: “I’d S**k Off David Cameron”

It’s all go down under. In a wide-ranging pre-election intervention, the cast of Geordie Shore, MTV’s Newcastle-based genitourinary gorefest, have had their say on the party leaders. True blue Charlotte Crosby brings the PM some positive news, at last:

“I’d s**k off David Cameron”


One way to shut him up…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Cabinet Drown Sorrows

Or are they celebrating?[…]

+ READ MORE +

Labour MP: Miliband is a ‘F**king Knob’

Labour MP Simon Danczuk is full of his usual glowing praise for his leader in a Staggers interview:

“I ask Danczuk what he thought of Miliband apologising in June 2014 for agreeing to be pictured holding a World Cup issue of the Sun. 

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Owen Smith backs one hour contracts but wants to abolish zero hours contracts:

“You need to give people a contract to say, ‘here’s what you will be working’. It could be one, but I’m saying it shouldn’t be zero, we should invert that emphasis.”

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