Congratulations to the new Baroness Pidding of Amersham, who was sworn in to the House of Lords yesterday. Though it is slightly odd that this top Tory activist, who was credited with helping to run the Road Trip 2015 campaign during the election, received such a muted response from the Tory youth movement on her big day. “There are just three messages of congratulations on her Facebook page,” notes a knowing Tory source. Surely nothing to do with Baroness Pidding’s popularity plummeting since her implication in the Elliott Johnson bullying scandal…
Home Secretaries will be given powers to identify journalists’ sources without authorisation from a judge. Theresa May has confirmed she will be able to sign an “urgent warrant” to view journalists’ sources without consulting a judge, which will then be subject to “review” in the courts:
“There will be an urgent process, so it will be possible for a Secretary of State to sign an urgent warrant for it to come immediately into effect, and then there will be a period of time within which the judge will have to review that and then make a decision as to whether it should continue or not.”
Given the widespread abuse of RIPA by the police, and coppers then covering it up, this is a concerning attack on the most fundamental basics of press freedom. They’ll be entering newsrooms to smash up hard drives next…
UPDATE: A Home Office source gets in touch to stress that the urgent warrants will only be used in extreme circumstances, for example when there is an immediate threat to life, with a warrant then having to be authorised by the Judicial Commissioner within five days, at which point they would rule on whether the data can be kept or destroyed. They insist this provision means sources will always be protected…
“Look at his appointments. His media adviser is a Stalinist. His new policy adviser is a Trotskyist. And his economic adviser is a communist. If he’s trying to move the Labour Party to the left, I’d give him full Marx.”
Incidentally, who is the communist economics adviser?
UPDATE: Not the full Marx after all:
Labour MP Catherine West tells a meeting with the Stop the War Coalition in parliament tonight that her party will consult with them before a vote on action against Syria. That’s the same Stop the War Coalition that has supported “resistance” against British troops…
Baroness Young of Old Scone has been over-sharing in the Lords, revealing that it was being provided the contraceptive pill aged 16 by Harold Wilson’s government that led her to support the Labour Party. Poor old Lord Blencathra didn’t know where to look when she started talking about how she “had a good Scottish diet and was very precocious for my age”:
Baroness Young of Old Scone (Lab): I was born in Scotland and I was brought up in a Scottish Conservative household. When I was 16 I thought that the election result, when a Labour Government was returned after 13 years of what is now known as Tory misrule, was the end of the world. I had been taught to believe that. Two years later I was canvassing for Labour in the election.
What changed me was that at the age of 16 I could get pregnant. At that time I could not get birth control in this country at that age. During that period, when I was aged 16 or 17, the first Brook Advisory Centre opened in Edinburgh. I could then go on the pill. Quite frankly, it was probably the best thing that ever happened to me. The knowledge that I could not get proper support for being sexually active—I had had a good Scottish diet and was very precocious for my age—was what politicised me. I have no qualms about announcing that here tonight.
Not the first person to get into politics for the sex…
A box office dust up between Jess Phillips in the red corner and Philip Davies in the blue corner:
Worth watching to enjoy first hand the absolute contempt they clearly have for each other.
Fair to say Sky News could have found a better proponent of the pro-immigration argument than the hapless Mr Butt…
“I welcome the Honourable Gentleman to his place and it’s good to see such a high turnout of his MPs.”
There were four LibDems present. Miaow!
“I can say that I apologise for the fact that the intelligence we received was wrong because, even though he had used chemical weapons extensively against his own people, against others, the programme in the form that we thought it was did not exist in the way that we thought.
The Trillion Fund, an organisation that aims to “open up opportunities to profit from clean energy” has released a video aiming to convince the public to keep the Feed-in tariffs that force the taxpayer to subsidise solar panels. It’s terrible…
“In 2014, Britain led solar expansion in Europe.
Speaking on Putin propaganda channel Russia Today just two weeks ago, Labour’s new strategy chief warned:
“… There will be some shake-up in the existing Shadow Cabinet – this is a kind of stabilisation Shadow Cabinet… There are a whole lot of progressive people who came in in the May election, young MPs who are fully supportive of Corbyn.
Only one question allowed at Downing Street’s ‘press conference’ with President Xi, but it was a punchy one from Laura Kuenssberg:
LK: “Why do you think members of the British public should be pleased to do more business with a country that is not democratic, is not transparent and has a deeply, deeply troubling attitude towards human rights?”
Xi: “China attaches great importance to the protection of human rights.
The Speaker’s bad temper continued at PMQs, where he bizarrely banned Tory MP Chris Philp from asking, entirely reasonably, if green taxes have contributed to the steel industry crisis. Curiously, Bercow ruled this had “nothing to do with government policy” and prevented the PM from answering:
Except, it demonstrably does. […]