Liam Byrne’s letter has been an ever present prop in this election, wheeled out by David Cameron at every opportunity. But what of the man himself? Byrne used to be a Labour broadcast regular, sent out to mop up, but during this campaign he was keeping a very low profile. Guido spotted him briefly addressing the controversial segregated Labour rally, but apart from that…
Well it turns out he is hiding at his desk. A co-conspirator writes:
“Just rang his office to ask about sex segregation. Blow me down, the man himself picked up the phone. Referred me to an article in the Birmingham Mail and put the phone down.”
From the cabinet position of Chief Secretary, to answering his own phone, while lurking in his office at the peak of an election campaign to hide from the media. Ouch…
Stan Collymore, Russell Brand, Steve Coogan.
Do celebs help or hinder parties?
A Labour spokesman speaks, finally:
“Labour fully supports gender equality in all areas of society and all cultures. Equally, we support those who are breaking down barriers where inequality remains. There was no forced segregation. Speakers at the event included both women and men. Everyone was together in one room and all were treated equally and respectfully.”
So apparently it wasn’t forced and just happened naturally. Of course…
Funny looking definition of “all were treated equally”.
New video has emerged that further weakens Labour’s latest line that the PM should leave Downing Street immediately if he has not achieved a majority. On election night in 2010, Ed Balls was very clear about our constitutional position: the Prime Minister gets to stay in Downing Street, regardless of the result:
“The first question is, can the Prime Minister form a government… it’s about the way our county is governed… the question will be, can the Prime Minister form a government?”
As Guido revealed at the weekend, Ed Miliband was saying exactly the opposite back in 2010 to what Labour are saying today:
“The Prime Minister – the constitutional position is clear – gets to have the first crack… the Prime Minister gets the first go at that and that’s just very simple.”
As the Guardian agrees today:
“Constitutional experts are united that Cameron is entitled to sit in Downing Street to see if he can form a government and might even be entitled to put his Queen’s speech to a vote in the Commons.”
Yet the order has gone out from Labour HQ: say the exact opposite to what they were saying in 2010 when it was their man in Downing Street.
Labour’s coordinated line is clear: even if the Tories are the biggest party, they have lost. One Labour official briefs:
“All the noise coming out of the mouths of David Cameron and Nick Clegg is about how they can cling on to power even if their coalition loses its majority.”
Over at the Staggers, Owen Jones says the rules must be rewritten, but only if it keeps out the Tories:
“If there is a left-of-centre, anti-Tory majority in parliament then the Tories must fall, however many seats they have won. Left-wing parties will have won the election and a left-of-centre government led by Labour must take office.”
LabourList’s normally quite reasonable Mark Ferguson has verbally soiled himself:
“If Cameron ends up similarly able to command a majority, he’ll seek to be dragged out of Downing Street in the dead of night – after losing a Queen’s Speech vote – his fingernails scraping their way down Whitehall as he goes.”
Did they really think everyone would just forget what Labour were saying just five short years ago?
The Tories have missed a trick in the campaign posters.
There are some brilliant – and topical – anagrams of ‘STURGEON AND MILIBAND’.
Like ‘SUBORDINATING MAN, LED’.
Or ‘BUILDING A MONSTER’…
One important face was missing from the backstage ‘spin room’ at last Thursday leaders’ Question Time encounter: Ed Miliband’s controversial media henchman Tom Baldwin.
In the last year Baldwin has been criticised for comparing a tax row to the death of ‘Milly Dowler’, making a sick jibe about cancer to a journalist, using the term ‘weaponise’ about the NHS and finally, last Monday, blaming the Prime Minister for migrant deaths in the Med, triggering a huge political row.
Word reaches Guido that Miliband was furious with Baldwin’s bloody briefing and his spokesman declined the opportunity to comment when asked whether Ed would take his controversial spin king into Downing Street should he win on Thursday.
“When the spokesman needs a spokesman”, as the old saying goes…
Head over to the controversial BBC Election hub if you DON’T want to read about Ed Miliband and his massively derided stone pledges stunt, that united the nation in laughter at the Labour leader. Not a squeak of it on the front page:
The one time it’s not littered with sympathetic Labour lines, it is conveniently not reporting Labour disasters.
Can they really think that if Ed Miliband screws up and the BBC website don’t cover it prominently, then it did not really happen?
Labour’s grubby candidate for Hendon, the slime-ball former MP Andrew Dismore, has declared vote Labour, or more people will die:
“The graph below shows what has happened to suicide rates in the UK since the Coalition came to power. It