Chris Bryant Caught on Camera

Poor old Chris Bryant was due on the BBC News Channel after Whitto had finished his down-the-line, when they cruelly cut to him at the most unfortunate of moments:

After all his hard work defending the Beeb, this is how they go and repay him…

Poll LOL: Corbyn Stormin’ to Victory

The Staggers reports on Labour’s private internal polling:

If vote share and constituency nominations mirrored each other, Burnham would be ahead of the pack with 39 per cent, Corbyn would be second with 33 per cent, Cooper third with 25 per cent, and Kendall fourth with four per cent. However, it appears that Labour’s preferential voting system – used both for the final contest and to nominate by local parties – is masking Corbyn’s strength in the first round. One survey has Corbyn ahead by more than 15 points. Another puts him in what one campaign staffer called “a commanding position…he is on course to win”.

One more heave…

Corbyn Boycotts Jewish Chronicle

Jeremy Corbyn has run the risk of appearing to shun the Jewish community by pulling out of an interview with the Jewish Chronicle, Britain’s most widely read Jewish newspaper.

Guido understands that Corbyn’s people approached the JC offering them a clear-the-air interview, realising he was not exactly JC readers’ number one choice given his ‘friendship‘ with Hamas and his support for the anti-Semitic Islamist Raed Salah.

The JC agreed, proposing that Corbyn be interviewed by Oliver Kamm, the neo-Con Times journalist, a Labour supporter but a friend of Israel. Upon being told Kamm would conduct the interview, Corbyn’s team informed the JC he was no longer interested in speaking to them.

Next week’s Labour Friends of Israel hustings, which Corbyn is attending and which is co-hosted by the JC, will certainly be punchy…

Burnham Praises Corbyn in Shift to Left

Andy Burnham has refused to rule out giving Jeremy Corbyn a job in the Shadow Cabinet – describing the man who counts Hamas terrorists among his friends as “a man of integrity”. Speaking to a Lobby journalists’ lunch at the heart of the “Westminster bubble” he claims to despise, Burnham praised Corbyn as someone who has “important things to say” and as having “made important contributions” to the leadership contest. An unsubtle shift to the left to sweep up second preferences from Corbyn supporters… Jezza for Shadow Defence Secretary? 

Burnham then went off on one about Hillsborough, mystically hinting “all I’m saying is there was a decision to leave it alone” when asked directly about a link between Blair and News International. He didn’t squash the idea that the relationship between New Labour & “certain newspapers” led to a cover up. No sign of tin foil…

Pic via @RosaPrinceUK

Kendall: I’m Not a Tory, Honest

How better to respond to your rivals smearing you as a Tory than by listing all the things you don’t like about George Osborne? Liz Kendall has mastered the art of subtlety this morning:

“Let’s start with a quiz. Which part of George Osborne’s budget last week did The Economist describe as “perhaps the daftest economic policy of the decade”?

Could it be Osborne’s con-trick on the living wage, which in reality is no such thing, or his claim that Britain is getting a pay rise, when low paid families and public sector workers are in fact getting a pay cut? You might have expected greater cynicism from media commentators about the Chancellor’s apparent conversion to the cause of tackling low pay. But it’s not that.

Perhaps it was Osborne’s confession that he has failed once again to keep his promises on the deficit, and will take one whole extra year to close the gap in our finances, despite all his rhetoric?

No. The answer is neither of the above.

It’s Osborne’s sop to the all-ready lucky inheritors of property. His inheritance tax cut, which will benefit fewer than one in 1000 families a year, but costs nearly £1billion of tax-payers’ cash by 2021.

As The Economist puts it, this announcement in the budget was the point at which “things took a turn for the barmy”.

You couldn’t make it up. A Chancellor who is happy to see those with the least income lose most, yet with the same stroke of his pen, gives those who are already fortunate in life another bung.”

Unfortunate that she chose one of more sensible and popular parts of the Budget for her differentiation strategy, but still. Ok Liz, we get it…

“Tory” Witch-Hunt: Kendall and Harman Smeared

If the Labour leadership contest wasn’t already a spiralling descent into insanity, Diane Abbott has now accused Harriet Harman of “voicing a Tory agenda“:

The increasing use of the “Tory” smear is becoming a hysterical, McCluskeyite witch hunt, rooting out any sign of moderation among the leadership candidates. The language and rhetoric of the Unite-Zombie-Socialist tendency is becoming prevalent… 

Yvette used it in a barely disguised attack on Kendall:

“I will set out ideas for the future that don’t just involve swallowing the Tory manifesto and set out a Labour vision for the future.”

Then Burnham used the same line in a direct slap at Liz:

“This doesn’t mean copying the Tories. Labour wins when we are better than they are.”

It’s clearly cutting through to the Labour grassroots, providing Kendall’s tensest moment at this morning’s hustings:

Her comeback was a zinger:

“If you believe that a strong economy, sound public finances and backing businesses are simply Tory values, the Tories will be in power for ever.”

The blue menace is real, report all suspected Tory activity…

Labour MPs Swamped By Corbyn Lobbying Effort

Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity at the BBC hustings was considerable – the audience even gave his defence of calling Hamas “friends” wild applause. Allegra Stratton has more to give Labour grown ups nightmares:

“Private research being done for the leadership contenders has shocked many by revealing quite how many party members sympathise with Jeremy Corbyn… Many people who are saying they will vote Corbyn tell the phone canvassers they joined the party in 2010, and then another chunk joined under Ed Miliband’s leadership. The worry for some MPs is that Ed Miliband’s lasting legacy may be to have brought in to the party these members who then end up making Labour’s next leader more left wing than its modernisers want.”

Guido was sceptical last week when one senior Labour MP privately expressed fears that Corbyn might even come top in the first round. Labour MPs have been inundated with letters from hardcore constituents demanding they end their support for other candidates and back Corbyn instead. “Everyone I speak to” wants him to win, sighs one weary Kendall-supporting MP. There’s a lot of anger at Labour big beasts like Tom Watson, who urged colleagues to lend their nominations to Corbyn in order to have a ‘broad’ debate. How’s that working out for ya?

Picture: @ 

Burnham Reluctantly Apologises For His Record in Treasury

Andy Burnham, Chief Secretary to the Treasury under Alistair Darling, eventually – and very quietly – says the magic word:

AB: “The deficit was too high when the crash came. I know that because I was Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 2007…”

VD: “You were still borrowing when the economy was growing. Why?!”

AB: “If you’re honest about your mistakes, then I think people begin to listen to you…”

VD: “Do you want to apologise for that then? Do you want to apologise?”

AB: “Well, we were running a strong economy from 1997-2007… But the deficit was too high in 2007.”

Audience member: “Just say sorry!”

AB: “Sorry, it was a mistake, we shouldn’t have allowed the deficit to get that high.”

Alas they didn’t ask him about Mid Staffs…

Kendall Backs Harman in Welfare Row

All eyes on Liz Kendall after Burnham, Cooper and Corbyn all rejected Harriet Harman’s call to support the Tories on curbing tax credits yesterday. The Blairite candidate prevaricated at this morning’s never-ending Victoria Derbyshire hustings, but she did broadly support […]

+ READ MORE +

Kendall Swipes Back Over #ChildGate

The row between the Kendall and Cooper camps rumbles on. After Yvette’s team allegedly made an issue out of Liz not having children, causing fury among her campaign team, Kendall has spoken out for the first time:

“I

[…]

+ READ MORE +

IFS Keeping Labour Up

Unimpressed attendees at the Shadow Treasury’s pre-Budget briefing with the IFS report that it descended into shambles when its host, City spokesman Alison McGovern – cruelly nicknamed “Intern” by colleagues – “arrived late looking scruffy in a badly-fitting, […]

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Out-of-the-Loop Chris Bryant Hasn’t a Clue

As Guido revealed in this week’s Sun on Sunday:

“The BBC has announced 1,000 jobs are to go as part of a £150 million round of cuts. These job losses would cover just £50 million of the sum, however,

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Ken Clarke tells the Ben Fellows trial:

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