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?”
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. Research by the ASI calculates that they are saving £1.4 million-a-year as a result. All at the taxpayer’s expense…
Here are some of the other posts on the issue Guido has put out over the years:
- Hungry for Taxes: MPs Lunch Subsidy Now £8,823 Per Annum
- Hungry For Taxes: Lunchtime Robbery
- Each MPs’ Lunch Subsidy Costs Six Hospital Meals
- Food in Parliament is Twice as Expensive for Public as MPs
- Hungry for Taxes: Compare and Contrast Today’s Menus
- Wives, Girlfriends, Predecessors
- Speaker Ignores Parliament Booze Subsidy
- Sun Backs Guido’s Subsidy Campaign
- Parliament’s I-rasher-nal Breakfast Prices
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. In the ensuing altercation Louise was knocked to the ground.
Alex Cruz Vidal (pictured, right), a researcher for deputy speaker Nigel Evans, intervened to protect Louise and restrain Martin Brown by wrestling him to the ground and sitting on him. The administrator of the Sports & Social came out and with Alex’s help manhandled a shocked Martin Brown into the bar’s little cupboard sized office and locked him inside until the police arrived. Police came to arrest Brown and Eric Joyce showed up shouting at the cops.
Joyce – who had already been involved in some argie-bargie in the Sports and Social earlier that night – is said to have arrived at the scene and reacted angrily to being told by a copper about the incident – he pushed the copper, who came back to restrain him, whereupon Joycey threw a punch at the copper. At this point another copper joined in to restrain him, resulting in the Honourable Member for Falkirk ending up on the floor being handcuffed before being taken away into the back of a police van.
By this time there was a large crowd and around a dozen policemen outside the Sports & Social – including PoliticsHome’s Tony Grew – who only saw the second altercation involving Joyce not the original altercation involving Martin Brown that kicked the whole thing off. Police closed the Sports & Social and the Strangers Bar early…
Police have this morning contacted those witnesses who had their names taken last night, to tell them they will be required to give full statements in due course. Charges will almost certainly follow…
Coincidentally Joyce’s 12-month community order for his last brawl expired six days ago. Two things that are clearly reinforced by this brawl; we need to end the obscene taxpayer subsidy that means the Commons bars are the cheapest pubs in Central London, secondly we need a real power of MPs’ recall. As we were promised by the coalition parties after the expenses scandal…
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 […]
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