Talking of headaches for Dave, last night’s ICM/Guardian poll has UKIP on 18%, their highest ever rating and double their ICM rating for a month ago. Labour, the Tories and the LibDems all lost four points each, with Labour falling below Ed’s fabled 35% target. UKIP are up nine points. What was that about a referendum?
As Guido reported in his Sun on Sunday column, the Labour triumvirate of Tom Watson, John Spellar and Michael Dugher are being remarkably tight-lipped about what was discussed over lunch with Lord Ashcroft last week, and who picked up the tab. A friend points out that “Tom Watson’s credit card hasn’t been seen in 25 years” and Spellar is a notoriously “careful with his money” Yorkshireman. Presumably that means Aschroft made his first donation to the Labour Party by footing the bill.
And it’s paying off: the flirting continues this morning, with Ashcroft gleefully retweeting Watson’s digs at Gove and Watson laying on the praise for Ashcroft’s polling. It seems Watson can be bought off with food…
Keith Vaz’s masterclass in a photo op gone wrong on a playground roundabout this afternoon.
“I liked the roundabout a lot. It was fast and you could sit down on it. The problem was I fell off a couple of times because it was a bit too fast. I think it’s probably designed for people smaller than me.”
The rough and tumble of politics…
Bad news for the Co-op today as Moody’s downgrades their debt rating to junk status. Labour’s bank of choice has been battered by bad debts over recent years, one of their major debtors is – surprise, surprise – none other than the Labour Party themselves. Of the £3,580,000 borrowed in 1999, only £189,000 has been repaid, meaning Labour still owe their troubled lender £3,391,000. Maybe they could pay them back to help them out a bit…
Later today Shadow Media Minister Helen Goodman will promise Labour’s first cut in public spending:
Building One Digital Nation
Helen Goodman MP will announce today (Thursday 9 May) that Labour would invest £75 million in a new programme that would focus on getting more people online and improving people’s digital skills. This new programme would be funded by halving the size of the government’s current super-connected cities programme.
Helen Goodman MP said:
“There are about 10 million people in the UK who don’t know how to send an email and around 16 million who don’t have other basic digital skills. A Labour government would invest £75 million to ensure that people in Britain are able to get online and are able to perform basic tasks like sending an email.
DCMS sources enthusiastically point out that they are already spending £150 million doing just this. Finally, a firm commitment to cut from Labour…
Moany Keith Vaz is cross about outsourcing of jobs from Westminster, to areas with lower levels of employment:
Would he be opposed to those big baddies at G4S outsourcing jobs to his own constituency? Well apparently not. Here is Keith welcoming the management of G4S to Leicester just last week, where he praised them for employing 60 people from his local area through a new outsourcing contract:
Who does Keith have to thank for those jobs? The French Ministry of Justice. Farce, indeed…
Labour MP Jon Ashworth is all right on over at the Staggers today:
“When David Miliband announced his resignation as MP for South Shields, there was some suspicion that another so-called ‘London special advisor’ would be parachuted into this supposed rock solid northern Labour bastion. Ed Miliband’s One Nation Labour has genuinely made an effort to widen the pool of figures joining the PLP…”
Yes, shame on all these “London special advisers” parachuted into northern seats. Well said that man. That man being a former “London special adviser” (No.10 Deputy Political Secretary) “parachuted into the supposed rock solid northern Labour bastion” of Leicester for the 2011 by-election. Spun like a true Brown SpAd.
Expenses trougher and Labour’s former Enfield North MP Joan Ryan has some nerve. In a letter to her local Labour Party seen by Guido, Ryan begs them for her support, saying she wants to run again in 2015: “we have […]
“Royal Mail for sale, Queen’s head privatised.” He’s had worse…[…]
The tension from Labour’s underwhelming performance at the locals last week is boiling over. Last night Peter Hain comically denied he was firing a broadside against Ed Balls for not pulling his weight:
When the going got tough, Gordon Brown would pull his favourite Macavity trick and disappear. It seems his prodigy Ed Balls has learnt exactly the same trick. There has been a lot of grumbling over the weekend in Labour circles […]