Angry Local Residents Demand Miliband Apology

Rather than do a reccy of the Sky studios yesterday morning, Ed Miliband was in Rotherhithe in South London for a campaign event with a local Labour councillor. The meeting was held in a community hall on deprived Silverlock council estate. Yet, to the surprise of the residents of the estate, they claim they were not invited. Despite it being held in the middle of the residential area, they say it was an invite-only event for local Labour supporters and the actual people who live there claim they were prevented from going in. Resident and ex-Labour supporter Karen Connolly tells Guido:

“I am a former Labour supporter, I helped with David Miliband’s campaign. Ed Miliband says he was addressing local issues but initially they wouldn’t let us in the hall. I said I was going to have to climb through the window. This is a deprived council estate with problems with asbestos, electrics, hot water and people taking drugs on the stairs 10 seconds away from where he was. He needed to be told about those things. He should publicly say sorry to us.” 

Other residents expressed their anger on Twitter:

Labour have as yet declined the opportunity to comment. During his interview with Paxman yesterday Miliband insisted “I care about the British people and what happens to them”. So why wouldn’t he listen to the concerns of the residents of Silverlock yesterday morning?

UPDATE: A Labour spokesman eventually gets in touch to insist: “Lots of local people from the Silverlock estate were both invited and actually attended.”

Two-Faced Chuka Refuses to Rule Out Toxic ‘Jobs Tax’

That sound you can hear is Labour pulping thousands of their Tory VAT leaflets. They won’t be using yesterday’s attack ad again either, which bashed current and former Tory chancellors for saying they had “no plans” to raise VAT, then going back on their word. “No plans” was the key sound-bite. 

24 hours later, on the pre-PMQs Daily Politics, when asked to rule out a rise in National Insurance, two-faced Chuka Umunna used the exact same choice of words:

“We’ve got absolutely no plans to do so.”

Will Labour rule out the the toxic branded ‘tax on jobs’ or do they just have “no plans” to do so?

Salmond Orders Pink, Causes Stink

The former First Minister sat down to be interviewed by the Staggers‘ Jason Cowley and ordered a bottle of pink champagne, which reminded Guido of this picture. Meanwhile, Salmond also appears to have shot down any hope the Tories had on relying on SNP numbers post May 7:

“The Tories would have to go straight effectively for a vote of confidence, usually the Queen’s Speech, although it could be otherwise, of course, and we’d be voting against. So if Labour joins us in that pledge, then that’s Cameron locked out.”

Salmond confirmed the SNP would instead do a deal with Labour:

“I think… probable would be vote-by-vote [support for Labour], and possible would be confidence and supply. This arrangement is . . . a narrow range of policies, and a narrow range of supported votes, obviously: that’s confidence and supply. And then in turn, of course, there has to be an agreed number of policies . . . not like the full coalition, where you take responsibility for every dot and comma, but a narrow range of policies, in return for which you make it possible for the government to function – over a period of time.”

Shouldn’t he run that by Nicola Sturgeon first…

Boneheaded: Labour Poster Backfiring

“Labour rules out negative election campaign posters” reported the Observer in January, claiming the party had vowed to “occupy the moral high ground” and “raise the tone of debate”Will Ed Balls and Andy Burnham come to regret this poster launch in Harlow at the weekend?

Not only is that a broken leg being used to represent “Tory cuts”, experts say it belongs to a child. Even worse, the x-ray suggests they may have been a “victim of child abuse”. Prof Christopher Colton tells the Telegraph:

“There are absolutely clear two episodes of violence and possibly the bone bruise is a third… I have run it past a couple of paediatric colleagues are they both recognised this to be very likely non-accidental injury.”

Classy.

The Nation’s Favourite Focus Group Slaughters Miliband, Again



Miliband V Gogglebox. The gift that keeps on giving…

Rachel Reeves Finally Admits Bedroom Tax is Not a Tax

How does the aspiring Work and Pensions Secretary want to raise money for Labour’s new flagship policy in Scotland?

Reeves wants to scrap the bedroom ‘tax’ and “use the savings” to raise £175 million. But, as should be obvious from Labour’s name for the policy, the bedroom ‘tax’ actually reduces government spending. Saving around a billion pounds so far in fact. Therefore scrapping it would not, as Reeves thinks, ‘save £175 million’. On the contrary, it would cost over a billion. Not like Reeves used to be at the heart of Labour’s Treasury team or anything…

UPDATE:

Marcus Roberts Out at Fabian Society

The fierce Miliband critic turned Times and Guardian writer is leaving the Fabian Society. It’s all amicable:

“After three and a half great years at the Fabians I’m moving on to a new adventure after the election. Working on issues as diverse as campaign guides, UKIP analyses and infrastructure policy reports has been both an intellectual challenge and a professional privilege. The Fabians aren’t just some of the smartest people on the Left but it turns out they’re some of the nicest people too and I will miss them tremendously.”

Stepping down to spend more time in Southampton Itchen?

Chris Leslie Offered Fake Donor Manifesto Influence

Tonight’s Dispatches makes very awkward viewing for Labour’s Chris Leslie, who is secretly filmed offering influence over manifesto policy to an undercover businessman posing as a party donor. Leslie is told by a Labour fundraising chief that Paul Wilmott is a “prospective donor”, then takes him for tea at the Marriott Hotel in Westminster where they discuss the Financial Transaction Tax. During the cosy discussion Leslie offers the fake donor access to Chuka Umunna. Afterwards, Wilmott emails Leslie some more detailed policy proposals, to which the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury responds:

From: LESLIE, Chris
To: WILMOTT, Paul

Many thanks for this Paul… I think you make some good points about the best way to introduce an FTT… I’ll have a good think about some of these good points ahead of our manifesto but I appreciate any updates you might have along the way.

The footage is described by Sir Alistair Graham, the former Chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, as “exceptional”:

“You see a specific reference to the manifesto. So here he is at the point of the development of the policies of the Labour Party where he might actually influence a manifesto pledge. Now that is an exceptional situation to be in.”

Chris Leslie’s price? £10,000…

Burnham Taps Up Quack Doc For Press Stunt

Andy Burnham is up in Birmingham electioneering at a GP surgery, where Labour spinners are briefing: “He will meet Dr. Ian Walton and colleagues… There will be a short private meeting, followed by opportunities for media interviews and photographs”. […]

+ READ MORE +

Ed’s 2010 Leadership Campaign Financed By Hedge Fund Tycoon Second Mayfair Based Offshore Hedge Fund Backer Revealed

In his speech to Scottish Labour this morning Ed Miliband has just attacked tax avoidance by hedge funds. It is a regular theme, he was attacking the Tories as “the party of Mayfair hedge funds” at PMQs last month only […]

+ READ MORE +

Diane Abbott Gets Brillo’d

BBC This Week rolled back the years last night and gave Diane Abbott another skewering over that tweet.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Fast-Moving Stationery Investigation Halted With Apology

Labour MP John Woodcock has said sorry after the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner ruled that he shouldn’t have sent these raffle tickets offering tours of parliament using taxpayers’ money:

“I apologise for this inadvertent breach of the rules, which I have

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

David Cameron tells MPs after voting:

“Wouldn’t miss this for the world. Secret ballots very important. Remember the Chartists.”

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