Yellow-Bellied LibDems Absent for Bedroom ‘Tax’ Debate

Labour and Tory MPs were whipped into staying in London this morning for the tetchy debate on the spare room subsidy currently taking place in parliament. Even the Prime Mentalist has managed to turn up:

Three people in particular are conspicuous by their absence. The Deputy Prime Minister is nowhere to be seen. Neither is Danny Alexander. And what about Steve Webb, who is actually a minister in the department and who has at every previous opportunity stood by the policy the LibDems are now calling the bedroom ‘tax’ in a vain attempt to avoid electoral annihilation. Conveniently, Guido understands, they are up in Scotland…

UPDATE:

84% of Public Say Clegg Was Stitched Up

At close of play almost 2,000 readers have voted in Guido’s poll over whether that really was a nine year old child grilling the Deputy Prime Minister on LBC this morning. 84% smell BS…

The station are sticking to their guns though:

“The LBC production team spoke to the boy and his mum, and we were confident the caller was genuine. Since the show, we’ve spoken to Rohan’s headteacher who confirmed he made the call from school in the presence of a teacher, and we’re completely satisfied he has a genuine interest in the issue.”

Show us the boy! 

POLL: Did Clegg Really Get Challenged By a Nine Year Old?

Nick Clegg sounded very sceptical that he was really being grilled on Call Clegg by a remarkably eloquent nine year old boy called Rohan.  He sounded suspiciously like an adult woman. 

It wasn’t posh enough to be a Tory press officer, and strangely “Rohan” echoes Labour’s attack lines on Free School Meals. Sources close to the Deputy Prime Minister are “positive” he has been done over.

What do you reckon?

UPDATE: Despite 85% of Guido readers disagreeing, an LBC spokesman says:

“The LBC production team spoke to the boy and his mum, and we were confident the caller was genuine. Since the show, we’ve spoken to Rohan’s headteacher who confirmed he made the call from school in the presence of a teacher, and we’re completely satisfied he has a genuine interest in the issue.”

LibDems Select Hancock Cover Up Ally to Fight His Seat

Nick Clegg said that the LibDems had had a long hard look in the mirror after the recent sex scandals that have plagued the party. But has anything really changed?

They’ve welcomed back handsy Lord Rennard into the party fold after he apologised for ‘inadvertently’ ‘invading the personal space’ (knickers) of female activists and party aides. Now a row is brewing over their candidate selected in Portsmouth South, the seat vacated by pervy MP Mike Hancock who apologised and settled out of court after admitting inappropriate behaviour towards a mentally ill constituent. Portsmouth Council fought tooth and nail to protect Hancock: initially dismissing the allegations and refusing to properly investigate. Hancock’s oddball ally Gerald Vernon Jackson was the council leader at the time – and will now fight to keep his seat yellow. It’s a gift to UKIP, who made huge gains on the council in May. Another target seat for Farage…

Clegg Spins His Own Rennard Failings

The restoration of Lord Rennard’s LibDem membership card, and neutering of Nick Clegg, as gone down like a cup of cold sick with almost everybody except the pervy peer’s mates. The Deputy PM and LibDem leader – in office but out of power – is left to bleating about long hard looks in the mirror.

Clegg outrider Sean Kemp spins to the Times RedBox:

“The Lib Dems’ absurdly complex disciplinary system has meant the only person being punished for the Rennard affair is Nick Clegg. The party’s leader was left unable to take charge of the issue, even while it badly damaged his party’s reputation.That system has now been changed, but that will do nothing for the people who wanted to see the party take tougher action.”

Clegg could have ‘taken charge of the issue’ when the allegations first surfaced internally before the last election. Or when he was told about them in 2010. Instead, like with Mike Hancock, he chose to ignore the problem and hoped it would go away.

Guido has zero sympathy.

LibDems Clear Rocket Man David Ward

In the least surprising news of the summer, the LibDems have cleared David Ward of bringing his party into disrepute after he said he would fire rockets at Israeli civilians were he a Palestinian. Impotent Chief Whip Don Foster bleats that he will take no action:

“David has subsequently repeated his apology and placed it and his explanation on his website. 

In light of that apology, the assurance by David Ward that he would do all he could to ensure comments he made would be in a form that would be difficult to misinterpret, and that he will continue – in relation to the Israeli//Palestinian situation – to condemn violence on both sides and support moves for a cease fire, I do not intend to take further action in relation to the tweet.

I am conscious that this decision will not satisfy some people. To them I would say, at a time of considerable international unease in the Middle East, comments have been made by politicians from all parties that have been unwelcome by some or other section of society. 

The question I have had to answer is not, did the comments by David Ward cause offence to some people (within the party or outside), but did they bring the party into disrepute?

David accepts that his tweet did cause offence to some people. He recognises that the use of Twitter as a form of communication can lead to misinterpretation and accepts the need for greater care in the future. However, I do not believe it was in any way anti-Semitic or motivated by anti-Semitic intentions and I do not believe his tweet brought the party into disrepute.

I believe that his statement including an apology on 23rd July should draw a line under this matter.”

It goes without saying that Ward was not “misinterpreted” as the LibDems are claiming, even people within his own party were calling for him to be booted out. The line that politicians from all parties have made similar comments during this conflict is patently untrue. The same LibDems who will stop Britain from arming Israel if Hamas strikes again have backed their MP who expressed sympathy for Hamas rocket attacks…

Loony LibDem Candidate Boycotts BBC Over Gaza

Where do the LibDems find ‘em? The party’s ambitious candidate to be Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, who was given a glowing reference on LibDemVoice just a few weeks ago, is something of a wannabe David Ward. Ayoub Khan has shown his campaigning genius by boycotting the BBC over their “biased” coverage of Gaza:

FROM: Ayoub Khan
TO: Kathryn Stanczyszyn
11 August 2014

Whilst it is in the interest of any candidate to promote themselves and attract voter support on mainstream media, particularly in a by-election, I have decided not to do this with the BBC because their broadcasting of the Gaza situation has been biased. One has to live with ones own conscience and I refuse to participate with organisations such as the BBC who in the view of so many, have acted in such an unfair manner.

Barrister Khan’s other credentials include being accused of lying in court, while on his website he modestly says: “Some people call me a hero, but I just did what anyone would do.” You have to wonder what BBC journalists risking risking their lives in Gaza think about being called Israeli propagandists by armchair activists back in Britain…

LibDem Losers in the Lords

Hats off to the LibDems for managing to choose the six most boring people they could find to go to the Lords today. The only really interesting thing about them is that they are perennial losers – five of the six tried to become MPs and failed. First, Barbara Janke failed to be elected as the Lib Dem candidate for Surbiton in 1992. Then Chris Fox failed in Windsor in 1997. Kath Pinnock lost in Batley & Spen in 1997 and 2001, and Paul Scriven got beaten in Sheffield Central in 2010. Poor old Julie Smith tried to become the candidate for Cambridge in 2010, but didn’t even get selected. Rejected by the voters, the only hope these failed politicians ever had of making it to Westminster was in the Lords…

AUDIO:  Ward Refuses to Apologise Over Rocket Row

David Ward has told BBC Radio Leeds that he will not apologise for last night’s comments, insisting he is only sorry “it people misinterpreted” his admission that were he a Palestinian he would fire rockets at Israel. Ward confirmed he […]

Coalition Rift: Tories Ratchet Up Ward Rocket Row

This one is a kite, but the story is not going away. The Tories have grassed Ward to the old bill for “encouragement of terrorism as defined by Section 1 (2) of the Terrorism Act 2006.” In a letter to […]

Another LibDem Scandal, Another Warning Letter Ignored

Last time David Ward hit the headlines for his comments about “the Jews”, the Fink wrote this letter to Nick Clegg warning him “Mr Ward will make another offensive remark, probably worse than this one. It’s just a matter […]

ROCKET MAN: Cross-Party Condemnation For David Ward

A LibDem spokesperson said:

“We utterly condemn David Ward’s comments, they are not representative of the Liberal Democrats. The party takes this matter very seriously and will treat it as a disciplinary issue.”

A Labour spokesperson said:

“At a time

[…]



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Tim Shipman to Adam Boulton on the TV debates…

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