Tony Blair claims he has nothing to do with the Chilcot Inquiry delays, but is he telling the truth? His people clearly state:
‘It is not true to say that Tony Blair has caused the delay … On the contrary, he regrets this delay.’
However, multiple sources familiar with the situation have suggested to Guido that whilst Blair has received his warning letter for Sir John Chilcot, he has yet to respond as is currently still seeking legal advice before doing so.
How long does it take a former barrister to find a lawyer? Perhaps he should ask his wife…
Remember when Labour tried to boost party morale by claiming that they may be outspent at this election, but at least they were winning the internetz? Well Facebook has not gone very well for them today. #CameronMustGo
Last Tuesday’s vote for the “Charter for Budget Responsibility” saw Labour – under the direction of Balls – troop through the division lobbies with the Tories to vote for fiscal restraint. Guido hears that Tory deputy chief whip Greg Hands was greatly enjoying this rare moment of swine aviation, standing at the entrance to the “aye” lobby loudly telling Labour MPs entering “this way for The Cuts”. Apparently the SNP teller opposite was in fits of ecstasy as various Labour MPs (particularly those from Scotland) did little to hide their anger as they stomped through. “The vast Jimmy Hoods looked tempted to deck him”, says Guido’s co-conspiratorial elected witness.
Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham has been out and about this morning pushing Labour’s public health manifesto. It basically amounts to yet another series of caps – the usual series of nanny state, anti–business policies.
It wasn’t the detail which interested Guido – more then timing of the announcement. As part of the policies, Burnham has reiterated his pledge to introduce plain packaging on tobacco (despite dismissing it back in 2008 when he was Health Secretary). Such a move could result in a future government facing an £11 billion compensation bill to Big Tobacco, according to a report by analysts at the BNP Paribas and other legal experts.
Guido wonders why the future Labour leadership hopeful chose today of all days to make his announcement? Could it be because Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls is in the US – that he decides today to announce what is effectively a £10 billion deficit busting new spending pledge?
UPDATE: A co-conspirator shrouded in smoke reminds Guido that in government when he was Secretary of State for Health, Andy Burnham wrote in a November 2009 letter to Tessa Jowell:
“No studies have shown that introducing plain packaging of tobacco products would cut the number of young people smoking, or enable people who want to quit, to do so. Given the impact that plain packaging would have on intellectual property rights, we would need strong and convincing evidence showing the health benefits of this policy before it would be acceptable at an international level.”
What has changed?
The Blairites are not quite done yet. Peter Mandelson’s former SpAd Matthew Doyle organised a £100 per head “exclusive event… at Lord Alli’s home in Covent Garden” last week to raise cash for two up and coming Labour right-wingers. Though he admitted it won’t be “an overly large group.” Will the last Blarite to leave Westminster for Scotland please turn off the light…
Last year Ed Miliband rejected celebrity politics, where “things are judged far more on style than substance”:
“…this political culture, this photo-op politics, denies people a debate about the things that really matter. And does deep harm to our
This is a Lucy Powell leaflet encouraging people to register to vote. In it she claims that the first election she voted in was 1997, when she was 22 years old. Apparently it was “important because it was the first […]
Someone might want to have a quiet word with Labour regional organiser Rob Sherrington and tell him to step away from the Twitter:
If social media is going to win Labour the election, do they really need their […]
Labour hope that social media is going to win them the election, so you might have thought they would have a look at the online presence of those chosen to introduce Ed Miliband at his speech in Manchester this morning.