Bow Group Bunfight: Was Zac “Misled”?

Another stunning success for the beleaguered Bow Group. On Monday they announced Zac Goldsmith as the keynote speaker at their summer reception, rather an odd move for a think tank that spends its time condemning Tories who show the slightest ideological impurity as “unconservative“. Three days later, Zac has backed out and pointed the finger at the organisers:

Zac’s campaign chief Nick de Bois says he feels “misled” because the Bow Group billed him as their keynote speaker, telling the Bow Group-friendly Breitbart site:

“Without agreement the Bow group has been misleading attendees and the public, selling the event as a keynote speech – something very different. He will therefore not be taking part.”

Well, was he “misled“? These emails between the Bow Group’s Nic Conner and Zac’s people suggest they didn’t have that much of a problem with it being described as a keynote speech:

From: Nic Conner
To: Team Zac
4th August 12:46

I will call to order at 18:55 with the Chairman’s address at 19:00. We then aim to give Zac a chance to give his keynote at 19:10 for 15 minutes then 10 minuets [sic] of questions from the floor… After Zac has taken selfies and shaken hands I suspect he will be out the door by 20:00.

From: Team Zac
To: Nic Conner
4th August 16:06

Thanks Nic. The timings of 7-8pm look fine. Please could I make some small amends? In short, fine for the chairman to give opening remarks. Could it then go to Nick de Bois as Zac’s campaign chairman to give a couple of short remarks and set the scene as a former MP, and then Zac can give a speech of between 5-10 minutes and chair his own Q&A? If we then aim for 7:30pm for Zac to mingle.

Perhaps someone had a quiet word in Zac’s ear that the Bow Group might not be his ideological allies…

Look to the Evans: Suzanne Running For Mayor

Suzanne Evans tells Iain Dale:

“I have thrown my hat into the ring to apply to be UKIP candidate for Mayor of London and or an London assembly member. Let’s be realistic, I don’t think London is going to have a UKIP mayor any time soon. But I think it’s time for London to have a different view, a different approach. I think there are a growing amount of people in London who want to see things from a UKIP perspective.”

Also in the running for the UKIP nomination is Culture spokesman Peter Whittle, as revealed by Guido last week.

Guido also hears that Richard Hendron, organiser of UKIP’s Gay Pride contingent, is also throwing his hat into the ring. Suzanne says she reckons she is Nige’s candidate…

Purple Goes Pink for UKIP Mayoral Race

_53283023_jex_1068616_de27-1

UKIP don’t have a great reputation amongst the gay community after campaigning against marriage equality and even blaming floods on gay sinners.

So good news that their Culture Spokesman Peter Whittle is highly likely to be the party’s candidate for Mayor of London.

Guido hears the think tank boss / Westminster legend is a shoo-in to win the internal contest, and is ready to take the fight from the right to Zac.

Gay Pride would be hard pushed to pull off a similar stunt in banning UKIP next year, should Whittle be on the ballot. The short-list will be whittled down soon…

London Assembly: Climate Change will Destroy our Economy

london-flood-470x353_tcm4-435192

The London Assembly’s crack “Economy Committee” have today released their hotly anticipated reportWeathering the Storm: The Impact of Climate Change on London’s Economy” and it makes for a cracking read. Stunning revelations in the report include:

  • Lots of small and medium sized businesses don’t have plans in place to deal with extreme weather conditions
  • Most FTSE 100 firms have no strategy in place to adapt to climate change
  • Lots of people still invest in fossil fuels

According to the Committee, this means London’s economy will be devastated by the coming “flooding, drought, heatwaves“. Unless of course companies kneecap themselves by buying in advise from the “adaptation sector“. This kind of hyperbolic eco-alarmism and scaremongering from the likes of the Green Party’s Jenny Jones is why London needs a mayor who will stand up to the anti-capitalists who use the cover of environmentalism to advance their extremist agenda… 

NoYouKhant: Fellow MPs Blow Up Sadiq Tony Terror Smear

An explosive development in the race to be the Labour candidate for London Mayor. Regular readers will remember Khan going off on one about Blair last week:

“Khan did, however, recall his frustration with the reaction of Tony Blair to the 7/7 terror attacks, when the then-prime minister called in the newly elected MP and the three other Muslim Labour members of the House of Commons. “One of my criticisms of Tony Blair was when he called the four MPs of Islamic faith into No 10 and sat us round the table and said – to Mohammad Sarwar, Khalid Mahmood, Shahid Malik and myself – it was our responsibility,” Khan said. “I said: ‘No, it’s not. Why have you called us in? I don’t blame you for the Ku Klux Klan. Why are you blaming me for the four bombers on 7/7?’ Which is why, after he called us in, and there were lots of cameras outside waiting to speak to us, my three colleagues spoke to the cameras and I walked away.”

Unfortunately for Khan, the other Muslim MPs he mentioned say his version of events is total horsesh*t:

As the MPs identified by Sadiq Khan (Electing a Muslim mayor would send out message of tolerance, says Khan, 3 July) who met with the then prime minister, Tony Blair, following the shocking 7/7 London attacks, we are extremely troubled by Khan’s evidently self-serving revisionism. Having conferred with Mohammed Sarwar (who is now Pakistan-based), we feel compelled to reveal that Khan’s account is at complete odds with our collective recollection.

He now claims that Blair was somehow accusatory towards Muslims as a whole for 7/7, and that Khan was combative in chastising the prime minister for presuming to call him to Downing Street to somehow take responsibility. Our Downing Street discussions in fact ended with a unanimous agreement on the need for unity in the fight against terror and the crucial role for Muslims.

To misrepresent the words of a British prime minister and to mischaracterise a significant meeting in the wake of the tragic loss of 52 lives a week earlier is frankly beyond the pale, and we write today not to defend Blair but to defend the truth.

Khan’s depiction of his bravado is almost comical, and if the events of 7/7 were not so grave, it would be unworthy of response. But this was a profoundly grave episode in our history, which necessitates challenging those who would seek to exploit it for personal gain.

While we agree with Khan that it would be great to see a Muslim mayor for London – as indeed it would to see a black mayor or woman mayor – above all it would be good to see a mayor who could truly command the trust of Londoners irrespective of their colour, creed, race, or gender.

Khalid Mahmood MP Labour, Birmingham Perry Barr

Shahid Malik Labour MP for Dewsbury and Mirfield, 2005-10

A source on Sadiq’s campaign tells Guido this morning that they are “not sweating it” as “ten years on people are going to take different things away from conversations.” Which is all very well, except for the fact that everyone else’s recollection is different from Khan’s…

Confirmed: Philippa Roe Running For Mayor

On Wednesday Guido exclusively revealed that Philippa Roe would be a last minute addition to the Tory mayoral race. Today she confirms she is running:

“I am a Londoner through and through. I was born and brought up here, have spent my entire working and political career here and am now raising my family in what I consider to be the world’s greatest city. I am passionate about what London and Londoners can achieve… I believe I am now ready to make the next step up and deliver successfully for all Londoners.”

Her campaign team would not be drawn on when exactly Roe put in her application. Or speculation that she only entered after CCHQ realised there was no female candidate. Instead optimistic supporters point to the fact that she runs a £1 billion operation at Westminster council and say her campaign will be based on showing her “proven track record in London”.

You heard it here first…

CCHQ Bend Rules to Avoid All-Male Mayoral Shortlist

Guido understands there is likely to be a last minute addition to the Tory mayoral race: gaffe prone Westminster council leader Philippa Roe has had her arm twisted to put in an application. Multiple sources say she has been canvassing for support.

The deadline for candidates to apply was Monday, sources say “CCHQ panicked that they didn’t have a woman on the ticket” and Roe has been convinced to throw her hat in even after the deadline had supposedly closed “at the request of CCHQ”. CCHQ are being suspiciously tight-lipped.

Readers will remember her PR blunder of publicly accusing immigrants of “defecating on people’s doorsteps”. Sounds like it’s hit the fan today…

At the time of going to pixel Philippa has not responded to Guido’s request for comment…

Ken Livingstone’s 7/7 Speech

Ten years ago today Ken Livingstone spoke in Singapore, where Britain had just won its bid to host the Olympics:

“They choose to come to London, as so many have come before because they come to be free, they come to live the life they choose, they come to be able to be themselves. They flee you because you tell them how they should live. They don’t want that and nothing you do, however many of us you kill, will stop that flight to our city where freedom is strong and where people can live in harmony with one another. Whatever you do, however many you kill, you will fail.”

His finest speech…

Tory Mayoral is Two Horse Race

con-home-mayoral-survey

A ConservativeHome survey of 900 members* makes the campaign for the Tory Mayoral candidature a two-horse race between Zac Goldsmith and Syed Kamall. Zac on 56% looks prima facie unassailable, however he has never before been challenged from the right in a competitive election.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Sadiq Khan’s Hollow Words on Internet Jihad

Sadiq Khan has spoken about extremism and terrorism:

“I want action to be taken against those on the other side of the net and with the ISP [internet service provider] maybe. We need to make sure communities have the confidence to come forward.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Zac and Boris: Heathrow Not Happening

The long-awaited Davies Commission

“has unanimously concluded that the proposal for a new northwest runway at Heathrow Airport, combined with a significant package of measures to address its environmental and community impacts, presents the strongest case and offers the greatest strategic and economic benefits – providing around 40 new destinations from the airport and more than 70,000 new jobs by 2050”

Here comes trouble.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Boris Gets a Pay Rise

Last week the Telegraph gave new Tory MP Victoria Borwick a slap for raking in £100,000 a year for her three jobs. For some reason they neglected to look into the outside interests of another, more prominent London politician.

Boris Johnson infamously described his rumoured £250,000 Telegraph salary as “chicken feed”.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Boris’ Painfully Awkward Wheelchair Gaffe

BoJo had his very own Joe Biden moment at the State of London debate last night:

Boris: “Why aren’t you, why aren’t you even standing? That’s the question we all want to know.”

Nicholas: “Because I’m in a wheelchair.”

Boris: “Sorry.”

Well at least he didn’t get everyone to “stand up for Nicholas…”

UPDATE: Boris’ side of the story is that he was in fact addressing Nick Ferrari, not Nick in the audience, and was asking Ferrari jokingly why he isn’t standing for Mayor.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Man of the People Sol Campbell: ‘I Have Used the Tube’

Having launched a thinly veiled dig at Zac Goldsmith’s ability to connect to Londoners earlier, it turns out the multi-millionaire former football star needs a little work on his whole ‘in touch’ act:

LBC: “Do you use the tube? Are you a regular user?”

Sol: “I’m not a regular user, but I have used it.”

It was a case of letting Sol dig his own mayoral grave on LBC this afternoon.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Zac’s Campaign Chair is Nick de Bois, Lynton’s CTF Advising

zac+nic

Guido hears that Zac has managed to secure the services of Nick de Bois, who is apparently going to chair and run Zac’s selection campaign. Lynton Crosby’s CTF Partners are on hand to offer Zac advice on his campaign. For someone who was willing to put his fate in the hands of his electorate, Zac certainly seems serious about it now… […]

+ READ MORE +

79%* of Goldsmith’s Constituents #BackZac

After Zac Goldsmith asked his constituents’ permission to run for Mayor of London in a postal vote, the numbers are in:

YES: 15,802 79%

NO: 3569 18%

Don’t Know: 503 2%

Spoilt: 16 

77,071 ballots sent out, 19,890 came before deadline. […]

+ READ MORE +



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