Balls Swaps Marr & Brillo For Fletch & Sav

What is Ed Balls up to these days? The new Norwich City FC chairman swapped Marr and Brillo on BBC1 for ten minutes on the sofa with BT Sport’s Fletch & Sav this weekend. Balls says he’s done with politics for good:

“I did 20 years in politics and I’m done with politics, I’m out now, I’m not expecting to go back, I don’t think I’ll ever be re-elected again.”

Before Robbie Savage brilliantly asked: “So, what made you leave Parliament?”

“The electorate, general election, people vote – I was an MP for 10 years but at the last general election I lost my constituency up in Leeds to the Conservatives. David Cameron got a majority, George Osborne is still the Chancellor, I’m chairman of Norwich City, so the question is – who got the better deal?”

Well, Norwich lost 5-4 in the 90th minute on Saturday to sink to 17th in the league, so…

Another Happy Reader: McDonnell Mocks Osborne’s Chopper

Not every day John McDonnell quotes Guido stories in the Commons chamber, though he clearly enjoyed our scoop on George Osborne’s helicopter trips to fundraising dinners:

“He’ll jump into a helicopter for a Tory fundraiser, but it’s taken him four months to lift a finger to save steelworkers’ jobs.”

Heli freezes over…

Dromey Would Ban Trump, Welcome Dictators and Head-Choppers

Piers Morgan enjoyably skewered Jack Dromey over his tedious support for the Trump ban on Good Morning Britain.

On whether he’d ban Putin, Dromey replied: “No I wouldn’t.

On a ban for head-chopping Saudi King Salman: “No, I wouldn’t ban him.”

What about Robert Mugabe? “No.”

Almost as if the ban-happy crowd haven’t thought this through.

Bryant Ribs “Leader of the Out Campaign” Grayling

Chris Grayling will be delighted to have been named the “leader of the Out campaign” by Chris Bryant at Business questions. Grayling writes in today’s Telegraph that the EU is “disastrous” for Britain:

“Most people in Westminster know that I hold strong Eurosceptic views. It is time for Britain to vote again on its future in Europe… I am someone who believes that simply staying in the EU with our current terms of membership unchanged would be disastrous for Britain. That’s why I have always believed that it is imperative that his renegotiation takes place and delivers as much potential change as possible. It is in the interests of all Eurosceptics and of our country. I want Britain to choose between a changed relationship and leaving, and not between the current situation and leaving.”

To paraphrase Bryant, he’s the first Cabinet minister to come out since yesterday…

Wonk Watch: Kate Andrews From ASI to IEA

The wonk world transfer window is open and Guido hears the Institute of Economic Affairs are about to make a show-stopping signing. Readers will recognise 25 year-old Kate Andrews from her regular crusades for the cause of freedom on Sky News, which have made her something of a wunderkind of the right. A Texan Newcastle United supporter, Kate is moving from the Adam Smith Institute to the IEA next month to work on their digital content, “unless she is flagged up as a national security risk” by the immigration authorities. The IEA bolstered its ranks before Christmas by taking on Nissy Chesterfield from Business for Britain to do comms. The merry-go-round begins…

Farage: “I Made a Terrible Mistake” Talking About ‘Assassination Attempt’

After the wheels came off the Farage assassination attempt story, Nige tells LBC he probably shouldn’t have spoken to the papers about the story. He did also tell LBC on Sunday that “someone clearly had loosened the wing nuts on all four of the tires of my car”. UKIP are convinced the details of the incident were leaked out by a senior anti-Farage figure in the party…

Reynolds Hits Back at Diane Abbott Smear

Diane Abbott smeared the departed members of the frontbench on Newsnight as “all former Special Advisers”:

“When you look at some of the other people, when you look at Jonathan Reynolds, if you look at Mr Dugher, if you look at some of these others, what do they have in common? They’re all former Special Advisers…”

Reynolds, who wasn’t a SpAd, hits back:

Anyway, not like Ken Livingstone press officer turned councillor, turned candidate, turned MP, turned shadow minister Diane Abbott is a career politician…

Corbyn Critic Confirms Leadership Ambitions

Back in October, Guido quoted a Shadow Minister who said he wanted Jess Phillips to be the next Labour leader. In December, Julie Burchill wrote in Spectator Life: “She’s going to be leader of the Labour party one day”. Well, Phillips fancies it, telling Newsnight:

“Yes, absolutely I would consider doing it, a long time in the future. It’s not something I’m planning on doing any time soon but it’s absolutely something I would do in the future, yes.”

No “ball coming loose at the back of the scrum” nonsense with our Jess…

Donald Trump’s First TV Advert

In which Trump reaffirms his “temporary shut-down of Muslims entering the United States” and vows to “cut the head off ISIS and take their oil”. Understated as ever.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Year in 60 Seconds: 10 Best Videos of 2015

Bored of the usual end of year countdowns? GuyNews gives you the ten most amusing moments of 2015 in the form of concise six second clips (or there abouts). Enjoy…

Back in March, Ed Miliband was a Prime Ministerial hopeful dodging bacon sarnies and telling the nation he was “tough enough” to make it to Downing Street.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Crotch-Grab Punch-Up in Ukrainian Parliament

Meanwhile, over in the Ukrainian parliament today…

H/T @parfitt_tom
[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Cameron: #YouAintNoMuslimBruv

Full version:

+ READ MORE +

Ken Denies Being Sodomised By Six Men in Succession at Gay Sex Orgy

“You had Tory central office people wandering round the newspapers back when I was leader of the GLC, saying I’d been sodomised by six men in succession at a gay orgy.”

Glad he’s cleared that up.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Hilary Benn’s Barnstorming Syria Speech

And in full:

+ READ MORE +

Listen: Leave.EU’s Official Anthem

Let the river run,
Let all the dreamers
Wake the nation.
Come, the New Jerusalem.

Silver cities rise,
The morning lights
The streets that meet them,
And sirens call them on
With a song.

Its asking for the taking.
Trembling, shaking.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Ken Confronted With Victims’ Families’ Views on 7/7 Slur

This is the spectacularly awkward moment when Ken Livingstone was confronted about his claim that the 7/7 bombers “gave their lives in protest at Iraq” by the families of the victims. One calls Ken “a stupid man who just wants to upset people”, a second says “he is legitimising terrorism”.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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