“Is true that Huhne has a chapter in the new Liberal Democrat ‘Green Book’” Guido asked a LibDem source in bewilderment earlier. “No, that would be madness… He has two chapters,” came the reply. And yes it’s true, Huhne has found good use of his spare time to pen two chapters for ‘New Directions for Liberals in Government’ that apparently ‘brings together 27 leading Liberal Democrats and sympathetic experts to propose radical and innovative new directions for the Liberal Democrats.’
One chapter is on, cough, “Driving Growth” and the another on ““reducing emissions from transport”.
Two areas he has a specialist interest in.
With a foreword from Clegg, it seems his party has learnt many lessons from their recent communication disasters.
David Ward’s campaign to have the whip removed is in full flow. A particularly exasperated source in LibDem HQ tells Guido that Ward is “more stupid than I had realised”, and that “if David has a problem with what was agreed, he knows how to get in touch with the Whips office. It’s clear he is saying different things in private to what he is saying in public. It’s very disappointing that he seems to be refusing to acknowledge his mistake”.
A party spokesman merely says that yesterday’s comments “will form part of the ongoing process” looking at his conduct. Not like the LibDems to avoid a difficult subject…
An interesting little snippet from Paul Waugh this afternoon: Lord Rennard took part in an emergency conference call with party bosses on the very day that Chris Huhne quit his seat. LibDem chief executive Tim Gordon’s PA invited randy Rennard to the strategy chat just minutes after Huhne made his announcement on the steps of Southwark Crown Court:
As an MP resigned and decisions needed to be made, to whom did they turn? Despite what they might want us to believe, Lord Rennard was at the heart of LibDem strategy right up until the sex pest story broke…
Anyone would have thought David Ward wanted to have the whip suspended. Here are his latest comments on his punishment from LibDem bosses last week:
“I’m very disappointed and angry about this, because what has been said does not reflect what I believe was decided. And, as someone who has run race awareness classes, I find the idea that I have been sent on some sort of correctionary course to be patronising and quite offensive.”
That’s at least his fourth yellow card…
Have you had an accident at work? Slipped, tripped or fell into an inappropriate position with a colleague? Sarah Teather has the answer. The silent LibDem has just pocketed a £2,000 donation from Simple Claims, an ambulance-chasing personal injury compensation firm. Apparently “everyone in the workplace, including visitors and members of the public, are at risk”, and Simple Claims are “experts in providing hassle free quick settlements”. Every little helps…
Another LibDem peer with his head in the sand; Lord Newby insists he knew nothing of Rennard’s randy ways. The party’s chief whip in the Lords told the Daily Politics the whole nasty matter will soon be dealt with, thank goodness, because “we’ve got a properly appointed detective now”. He might be loathe to admit it but Rennard would never have been held to account if it were not for the self-appointed detectives Clegg and co clearly despise so much. The properly appointed detective is five years too late.
Tory deputy chairman Sarah Newton has come out with the spin to end all by-election spin:
“It is good for the Coalition that the Coalition was able to retain the seat.”
A sure fire way to increase mutinous feeling among the Tory right even further this morning. If that’s the best they can come up with…
UPDATE: A Tory spokesman tells Guido:
“I think the Prime Minister’s response is the official response from the Conservative Party. This is a disappointing result. Obviously some people have their different ideas.”
Significantly fewer people turned out for both the Tories and LibDems yesterday compared with 2010; the blues down 14% and the yellows by 14.5%. Labour’s vote was largely unchanged. A huge swing to UKIP…
Attorney General Warns Press Over Rebekah & Andy | Media Guido
UKIP Pros and Cons | Allister Heath
“The Double Income No Kids Existence” | Alex Deane
David Nicholson to Quit NHS Next Year | HSJ
We Don’t Have Gatsby-esque Inequality | Tim Worstall
Dave Will Still Win in 2015 | Toby Young
Activists Should Ignore the Sneerers | Jacob Rees-Mogg
NHS Can Kill Tories | James Kirkup
Dave Lets Labour Take Credit For Gay Marriage | FT
UKIP Set to Out-Poll Tories | Telegraph
UKIP Spokesperson Slaps Down BBC | The Commentator
Ai Weiwei in China fighting the taxman…
“Under totalitarian rule, no one is protected by law. We will all be the same helpless victims. When a country insists on its lies, it’s time for an artist to bring forth change.”