Of course today would be Majestic’s World Malbec Day, brought to you by “Wines of Argentina”. Not quite in the Oddbins league perhaps, though this must be the second most unfortunate booze promotion of the week. Guido will be heading down to Maggie’s nightclub later this evening, where the drinks will be rather more suited to today’s other occasion of note…
As Guido revealed in his Sun on Sunday column, an unlikely alliance has been forged over beers. The gruesome twosome of Damian McBride and Grant Shapps teamed up for a Macmillian charity pub quiz night last week. McBride tells Guido how Grant “demolished a round of cryptic clues to underground stations”, with the pair finishing second overall. Shapps was rather more coy about his new friend…
In yesterday’s Sun column Guido revealed that police guarding the checkpoints at entrances to Parliament have confiscated 641 knives from visitors in the first two months of this year, an average of more than ten a day. Lock knives, flick knives and Swiss army knives were among those found, so much for Dave’s promise to lock up anyone carrying a blade. Some of the more crazy and kinky items confiscated include bungee jumping equipment, stilts, footballs, a hockey stick, and fluffy handcuffs. The 43 people who tried to take whisky, vodka and wine in should have saved their money and taken advantage of Parliament’s subsidised booze instead…
Copious booze, staff nicking mementos and partygoers scoring in the studios; the Beeb’s Television Centre goodbye party sounds like a night to remember. Or, more likely, forget:
Meanwhile today half the hacks in the BBC’s swanky new studio are on strike over job cuts. Happy Easter weekend…
Backbench dunce Ian Mearns wasted no time in sticking his oar in to the bitch fight between Tim Loughton and the anonymous @ToryEducation yesterday. The Member of the Education Select Committee must have thought he was onto a right wheeze up there on his high horse:
“This extraordinary attack is another example of derogatory language…. There is no place for these kind of personal attacks in public life. The Education Secretary needs to take action.”
Guido is looking forward to the poor delicate flower press releasing his concern about another Honourable Member’s sharp words last night. Brownite boot-boy Ian Austin went off on one at Greg Hands, amusingly about the very same Ian Mearns:
Guido has asked Mearns whether he is standing by his line that “there is no place for these kind of personal attacks in public life”. For some reason he has yet to reply…
Lamentations across Westminster village as word spreads that upmarket lunch spot Shepherd’s has shut down. What was rumoured to be a gas leak has now been confirmed as a full closure. Guido is shocked and saddened. There are too many poncy restaurants in Westminster and for some reason Shepherd’s had been recently remodelled and menu changed for worse.
He did enjoy end of meal looks of horror when a politico leaving would realise he had been braying loudly at the next table.
And they made a good Bloody Mary…
Clegg initially tried to deny the existence of the Commons booze subsidy on LBC this morning, but when presented with the facts by Nick Ferrari the Deputy PM gave in: “I haven’t seen the prices, but my knee jerk reaction is why should MPs be subsidised for drinking in the House of Commons?”
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The £5.8 million subsidy would be a good place to begin, but it is also worth pointing out that since parliament’s watering holes are inside a Royal Palace, many of the bars pay no rent or business rates whatsoever.[…]
Guido has spoken to witnesses about last night’s fracas, this is what he has pieced together from various accounts.
At about 10.15 pm last night Eric Joyce’s researcher Martin Brown (pictured on the right above) exchanged words with Louise (an MP’s researcher, whose surname is known to Guido) outside the Sports and Social in the area where people smoke in the Commons Inner Court.[…]
This invitation was sent last night from the Whips office to all Tory staffers:
You are cordially invited to attend the
Conservative Parliamentary Staff New Year Party
Thursday 14th February 2013
6pm – midnight
It seems they don’t have much faith in young Tories having dates tomorrow night then.[…]
Guido is preparing to relive his more youthful days as Fat Boy Slim is playing in Parliament on 6 March, thanks to the Last Night A DJ Saved My Life Foundation. Norman Cook is excited too: “I’ve played some exciting and unique places around the world from Bondi Beach to The Great Wall of China to an Igloo but playing in the House of Commons might be the most unique to date.” See you at the “House The House” event.[…]
Slumped in an alleyway outside a bar: this was Sally Bercow in the early hours of Friday morning. The Speaker’s wife had spent a boozy evening with young male Tory researchers, kicking off at the Sports and Social in Parliament before heading to Players’, a regular piano dive for twenty-something staffers.[…]
Guido was sad to miss two-faced Chuka Umunna dining in a pub popular with the Guy Newsroom team last night. Judging by his choice of meal, the Shadow Business Secretary was putting on his man of the people act, though a co-conspiratorial vintner whispers that the mask slipped and Chuka awkwardly came a cropper with his cutlery:
“He had a burger and a pint of s**t lager.