Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Eric Joyce Appeal For Witnesses

Nearly two weeks on from Eric Joyce’s latest brush with the law, this is still up on the door of parliament’s Sports and Social bar. Researchers hawking videos of the commotion around the papers should get in touch…

Monday, March 25, 2013

Baldamort’s Showdown With Labour Rebels
Liam Byrne Meeting With “Friends of Benefits” Right Now

An awkward afternoon for Baldamort, putting it lightly. Last week that well known Labour MP Ian Mearns quit as Ivan Lewis’ PPS, as over 40 of his Labour colleagues rebelled over Liam Byrne’s decision to abstain on the welfare sanctions vote.  The party’s hardline “friends of benefits wing are baying for blood against one of the few Shadow Cabinet members to understand that Labour are on the wrong side of the handout arguement. They are meeting with him at 4pm to, er, discuss their differences. Oh to be a fly on the wall…

Call Me Chuka O’Munna

As revealed in yesterday’s Sun column, two-faced Chuka Umunna isn’t so shy about the ‘British Obama’ tag when he’s away from the public eye. When the President visited Ireland in the summer of 2011 he delighted his hosts by telling them of his Moneygall ancestral roots and dubbing himself Barry O’Bama. This year it was Chuka’s turn, speaking to guests at the Labour Irish Society’s St Patrick’s Day shindig of a relative from Sligo. Telling them they could call him Chuka O’Munna may have given the game away…

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Many Faces of Emily Thornberry

Well worth taking a look at Michael Gove skewer Emily Thornberry on last night’s Question Time just for her facial expressions, from 40 minutes in. She didn’t fare much better on the Daily Politics today either, accusing the government of “starving out” cancer sufferers from their homes:

Thornberry: I met a guy in Lancashire, right, and he lives in a three bedroom house. His wife has recently died, wife has recently died and he has cancer. He is in a three  bedroom house, and they have written to him and they have said unless you move you’re going to lose £80 a month. I am not saying that in the long term it wouldn’t be a good idea for him to move. But basically, to starve him out is not right, and…

Brillo: You’re accusing the coalition of starving him out?

Thornberry: I mean I think this is what happens.

A strong nomination for an Order of the OTT…

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Budget Doesn’t Unravel, Budget Spin Does

24 hours later and Osborne’s budget has yet to unravel, though both sides are having quite a set-to over the Help to Buy mortgage scheme. This morning Labour spinners got very excited by Osborne’s refusal to deny that the scheme would help wealthy homeowners to buy second homes, having the cheek to call it the “spare home subsidy”.

Both Osborne and Cable again did not deny it in the House at lunchtime. A Tory spokesman insists to Guido: “this is a very technical area. We have said that we are going to consult in order to get this right, instead of rushing into decisions or knee jerk reactions”. Yet Housing minister Mark Prisk seems to have made his mind up, telling Wato second homes would not be included.

Labour aren’t having a much better time of it: yesterday two-faced Chuka Umunna told Radio 4 he liked the policy, today he’s against it. If it turns out the spare home subsidy doesn’t exist and the policy is as he thought yesterday, that leaves him in a rather awkward position…

Monday, March 18, 2013

Hacked Off Donors: #6 Billionaire Labour Lord Sainsbury

Last but not least of the cabal of millionaires who have donated to Hacked Off is Lord Sainsbury. A life peer with a net worth of £1.3 billion, Sainsbury has been a major financial backer of the Labour Party, forking out many millions to Blair. He acted through his Gatsby Foundation to finance the Media Standards Trust through which his money help set up and support Hacked Off. In passing it should be noted that he was a big backer of the SDP and also has his fingerprints on other politcal organisations such as the Social Market Foundation, Progress, David Miliband’s Movement For Change and the Institute for Government, the last of which Guido thinks is the most serious threat to freedom in Britain since the Communist Party. Through Hacked Off, Sainsbury has surpassed himself…

Here are the other Hacked Off donors Guido has revealed today:

Labour Blows £150,000 of Taxpayers’ Cash to Help Out Pals

Ed BallsEven in opposition, Ed Balls is still finding ways to waste taxpayers’ money. New figures show a group of senior Labour MPs have claimed £151,474 on expenses paid to Gordon and Badley Communications, a PR firm run by two party acolytes. Fiona Gordon is the partner of Labour MP Steve McCabe and was the Prime Mentalist’s political secretary, Caroline Badley was a party press officer. Guido wonders how many other non-Labour affiliated PR firms were considered.

The 16 senior Labour MPs using taxpayer cash to help out their old pals include Balls, Yvette Cooper, Liam Byrne, Jon Cruddas, Tom Watson, Bridget Phillipson, Diana Johnson, Emma Reynolds, Gisela Stuart, Ian Austin, Jack Dromey, Julie Hilling, Khalid Mahmood, Lyn Brown, Robert Flello and Shabana Mahmood. Cronyism plain and simple…

Friday, March 15, 2013

Dave v Nick and Ed Leveson Showdown in Full

Click on Dave to see his proposals for the future of the British press, click on Nick and Ed to see their statutory alternative…

Eric Joyce Barred, Martin Brown Free to Booze

Bar brawler Eric Joyce has been banned from buying alcohol on the parliamentary estate, only a few years too late. The Commons authorities have confirmed to Guido that Martin Brown, Joyce’s researcher who is accused knocking a female researcher to the ground, is still free to drink in Parliament. Since complaints about staffers go through the MP before they reach the Commons, as yet no action can be taken. Parliamentary bag-carriers: don’t say Guido didn’t warn you…

Rent-Swap Victory: Expenses Piggy Linda Riordan Sells Up

Regular readers will remember how Guido has been on the case of shamed Labour rent-swapper Linda Riordan. In October last year it was revealed how this expenses piggy rented out her London flat to another MP and skimmed off an extra £1,000-a-month in profit from the taxpayer, charging a rent of £1,560 on a property where her mortgage costs her some £500-a-month. The other MP in question, Iain McKenzie, amusingly insisted he had never heard of Riordan. Nonetheless, Riordan admitted that she had been caught red-handed and promised to kick McKenzie out, sell up and pay back the profits.

In the last few weeks Riordan has finally flogged her London property, putting an end to the whole dodgy arrangement. Whether her constituents will forgive her in 2015 is another matter…


Seen Elsewhere

What Ruffley Standing Down Tells Us About Gove | James Forsyth
Tories Say They Could Sack Ruffley | Buzzfeed
Ruffley Supporter Provokes Outcry | HuffPo
Mirror Readies Pennies for Hacking Payouts | Media Guido
How to Win a Twitter Argument | Hopi Sen
Sign Petition Calling for Ruffley to Resign | Change.org
People’s PMQs Would Divide Politicians and Public | Dan Hodges
Morgan Hires Gay Rights Campaigner as SpAd | Telegraph
Don’t Underestimate Philip Hammond | Nick Wood
Labour Council Collaborates With Pro-Hamas Group | Breitbart
Qatar Sugar-Daddies of Islamist Financing | Left Foot Forward


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New Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has big ambitions in his first meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu today:

“I came to bring this conflict to an end.”



Christie Malry @fcablog

Ed Miliband does photo oops, not photo ops


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