The LibDems have announced their new ‘top’ team. Clearly Nick Clegg is too busy with his speaking engagements:
“Nick Clegg was offered a post in Tim’s spokesperson team, but decided after some consideration that he wanted to take a quieter role on the back benches and would not be taking a spokesperson position at this time.”
Here are the riveting details in full:
- Leader: Tim Farron MP
- Economics: Baroness Susan Kramer
- Foreign Affairs/Chief Whip/Leader of the house: Tom Brake MP
- Defence: Baroness Judith Jolly
- Home Affairs: Alistair Carmichael MP
- Health: Norman Lamb MP
- Education: John Pugh MP
- Work and Pensions: Baroness Zahida Manzoor
- Business: Lorely Burt
- Energy and Climate Change: Lynne Featherstone
- Local Government: Mayor of Watford, Cllr Dorothy Thornhill
- Transport: Baroness Jenny Randerson
- Environment and Rural Affairs: Baroness Kate Parminter
- International Development: Baroness Lindsay Northover
- Culture Media and Sport: Baroness Jane Bonham-Carter
- Equalities: Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece
- Justice/Attorney General: Lord Jonathan Marks
- Northern Ireland: Lord John Alderdice
- Scotland: Willie Rennie MSP, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats
- Wales: Kirsty Williams AM, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats
- Campaigns Chair: Greg Mullholland MP
- Grassroots Campaigns: Cllr Tim Pickstone, Chair of the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors
Poor Nick Clegg has seen his £134,565 Deputy Prime Minister’s salary plummet to a measly £67,000 now he is merely a lowly MP. How will he cope?
By hiring Leading Authorities, a Washington based agent, to manage his after-dinner speaking engagements. Boasting of his “internationalist approach to world affairs”, Clegg says he is available to give speeches “in five European languages”:
“For UK audiences, Clegg shares his experiences about the future of politics and the direction of the UK, specifically relating to the EU. For international groups, he explores how current UK politics affects international relations.”
How much will it set you back to book him? A cool $55,000.
Asian audiences with deeper pockets are asked to “please inquire”.
Seems a bit steep… Ken Clarke will do you a drab speech about Europe for under 10 grand…
Westminster stops still for the most riveting news since the election:
Tim Farron received 56.5% of the votes and in second place Norman Lamb received the backing of 43.5%.
A somewhat unfortunate blogpost went up on the LibDemFuture site yesterday written by Gareth Epps, a former parliamentary candidate who sits on his party’s federal policy committee. Among Epps’ musings about the future direction of the LibDems, published by the site last night, is this suggestion:
“Our federal structure and the presence of several political heavyweights are advantages that should be used. Demonstrating the Scottish Party’s independence from London as well as high-profile roles for senior figures – Charles Kennedy, perhaps – would be a confident and positive way to face the future.”
It would be positively miraculous. Er… who’s going to tell them?
UPDATE: Gareth gets in touch to lay the blame at the door of LibDemFuture:
“I published [the original blog] on 27 May on my website www.garethepps.org.uk – at a time when Charlie Kennedy was very much alive.
Evidently some idiot – no way of checking who from here – has reposted it without reading the actual blog, or apparently linking to it.”
They don’t know when it happened, or why, but the LibDems were left disappointed when they pulled up the Chancellor’s Twitter page to look at his Budget photo this morning:
Safely the most retweeted LibDem press office tweet ever…
Self-confessed teen fondler Mike Hancock might have lost his seat but he is not out of the woods yet. The Tory, Labour, UKIP and even LibDem group leaders in Portsmouth have all written to Theresa May demanding that the police take action:
Dear Mrs May,
We, the undersigned councillors of Portsmouth City Council, feel compelled to write to you about the failure of Hampshire Constabulary to investigate and take appropriate action regarding allegations of serious misconduct surrounding former councillor and MP Mike Hancock…
As you may know from national press reports, the careworker for a vulnerable adult (known as ‘Annie’) with mental health issues reported to Hampshire Constabulary in 2010 that Cllr Hancock had sexually assaulted or harassed Annie, in proper compliance with the Safeguarding Adults Policy. We have been informed that two male police officers then visited ‘Annie’ and counselled her not to pursue her complaint, because Cllr Hancock was a powerful person…
In the light of recent similar cases, where Hampshire Constabulary have admitted failures in procedure and in fact paid substantial damages, we view this situation to be of professional concern and unacceptable. We would therefore urge you to order an independent inquiry as to why Hampshire police have taken no action in this case, and, if necessary, make direction that the case should be looked at again by a police force other than Hampshire Constabulary.
We believe that this is the only way in which public confidence in Hampshire Constabulary might be restored in this case. This letter is a summary; all points raised in this letter can be evidenced.
We would appreciate a full, written reply to this letter which is of great importance to victims of alleged sexual abuse.
Cllr Luke Stubbs, deputy Tory council leader
Cllr John Ferrett, Labour group leader
Cllr Steve Wemyss, Tory group leader in 2010, when the matter first surfaced
Cllr Colin Galloway, Ukip group leader
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Lib Dem group leader
Handycock went from 18,921 votes in 2010 to 716 in 2015, so the people of Portsmouth certainly cottoned on that he was a wrong’un. Significant that all four parties are demanding action…
Former MP Stephen Lloyd lands West End director role
After narrowly losing his seat as the MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon, Stephen Lloyd was one of many former parliamentarians looking for a fresh challenge after May’s general election. However, it hasn’t taken the popular politician very long to re-start his career in business after being appointed Business Development Director at West End, an international event, broadcast, multi-media communications and exhibition company based in Eastbourne.
Less “Who, What, Where, Why and When”, more “Who, Who, Who, What, Why”?
Ex-LibDem deputy leader Malcolm Bruce hasn’t done Alistair Carmichael any favours with his intervention on the Today programme this morning, suggesting the people of Orkney and Shetland should forgive him because all politicians lie:
Bruce: “If you’re telling me that