The people have spoken. Nearly three thousand of you voted in Guido’s consultation on whether he should sue Claire Perry for defamation after she accused him of “sponsoring” hackers to post porno pictures on her website. 2,404 co-conspirators said Guido should sue Claire Perry…
It is not as if Guido did not politely ask her to withdraw her false accusations:
Last night after Guido reported the legitimate news that anti-porn campaigner Claire Perry had been targeted by internet hackers who hosted porn on her website, the Tory MP went proper shouty crackers on Twitter.
She then bizarrely claimed that Guido had “sponsored“ the hacking of her website.
When smears did not work, Perry then tried vague threats about calling the editor of The Sun, despite the story appearing on the blog, for which the editor of The Sun doesn’t have any responsibility.
You can read her collected tweets here. They are without any foundation, merit or a shred of evidence to back them up. Guido suspects it is based on Perry’s dislike of the blog bringing the pushy MP back down to earth occasionally. Perry does not have a leg to stand on here, so if she does not retract the bonkers allegations, should Guido unleash his lawyers? You won’t like them when they’re angry.
So in the now fashionable manner popularised by the government the blog has decided to put the decision out to consultation to the readers. Poll closes at midday. Vote below…
This covert recording obtained by Guido – made at the Fabian Society’s recent £100-a-ticket gala – reveals that Labour are planning to enshrine welfare payments as a human right, with plans to extend the Human Rights Act to include ‘economic and social rights’. Essentially enshrining socialism in law. No wonder the symbol of the Fabian Society is a socialist wolf in sheep’s clothing…
The Sunreported the plan which Labour’s Shadow Minister for Scotland, Willie Bain, himself describes as a “scrounger’s charter”. In response Labour put out a statement claiming “The discussion at a Fabian Society event was about methods used abroad, not something the Labour Party is considering as a policy.” If you listen to the actual recording you will realise that is complete spin:
After admitting it will be a lot easier for Labour to do a deal with Vince Cable he says a Lib-Lab coalition would make welfare benefits a “human right”:
“Sadiq asked me to do this and Jon Cruddas is keen on this as well is to look at whether economic and social rights can be put into law. At the moment the human rights act just deals with civil political rights. It needs really careful handling because I think the politics of this would be the Tories would say it’s a scroungers charter, helping skivers….we might just talk about having a commission on it. It might need a commission after the election…that’s something again where there’d be a communality with the Libs.”
Lawyers will love this, welfare reform would be impossible because it would be a “human right”…
A classic ding-dong between Iain Dale and the Bow Group’s pompous chairman Ben Harris-Quinney. It all kicked off when legal letter-loving Harris-Quinney took exception a mildly bitchy ConservativeHomediary piece, in which Dale, not unfairly, said the Bow Group had “disappeared up its own backside… under the control of a self-publicist who goes by the name of Ben Harris-Quinney”. Cue an utterly cringeworthy letter from lawyers Speechly Bircham, who asked for a retraction on the grounds that the Bow Group is actually doing jolly well as it has “greatly expanded its followers on Facebook and Twitter”. Guido offered Iain some friendly advice:
Ben Harris-Quinney of the Bow Group is a pompous arse, you can tell his lawyers in writing. You have defence of absolute truth. @IainDale
“Yes, to say that the Bow Group is “disappearing up its own backside” is indeed offensive. It was meant to be. Furthermore, it is true, as evidenced by your clients hiring you to send me your ridiculous and totally unnecessary letter. What further evidence do I need to supply to back up this assertion? Any normal person or responsible organisation would have contacted me directly or picked up the phone. Instead your clients resorted to cowardice.”
It is worth reading the exchange in full here. This is not the first time that Harris-Quinney has been spanked after hollow legal threats…
When it comes to Stafford Hospital, you would have thought that Labour would tread very, very carefully. Campaigners have been tying blue ribbons around trees in the area to show their support, despite recent events, for keeping the hospital open. More militant protesters from the Support Stafford Hospital campaign even advertised a candlelit vigil. How did Cannock Chase District Council respond? Not by joining the peaceful protest, but instead threatening to prosecute the campaigners. Emails leaked to Guido show the local Labour-run council coming down like a ton of bricks on these radical, subversive candle wavers:
The local Labour candidate Janos Toth was happy to pose with the same campaigners for his leaflets, yet until the end of last month he was the deputy leader of the council putting on the legal heavies.
Maybe he could personally serve a letter before action or the writ?
As Sky News’ Amber Elliott points out, the LibDems’ own rules say that “during the course of the Disciplinary Procedure, the person being complained against may be suspended from membership of the Party”. This is expected to happen later today. Fresh from the Rennard scandal, Clegg cannot be seen to dither on this one, though it’s too late for that. These allegations have been circulating for years and Clegg’s office were notified about them directly, as Guido revealed in February.
So why so keen to act all of a sudden?
Well a source familiar with the High Court action against the MP suggests that “LibDem leaders, past and present, could well be called to give evidence” in the upcoming civil case. Why Clegg ignored this dossier, and why the Leader of Portsmouth Council dismissed the allegations as “political” might well be of interest to the judge. Would give a new meaning to Call Clegg…
David Sherborne has a new client. The Hacked Off ladies man specialises in representing the poor and downtrodden such as; Diana, the late Princess of Wales; Benazhir Bhutto; Cherie and Tony Blair; Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones; Ewan McGregor; Sienna Miller; Nicole Kidman; Jennifer Aniston; Mick Jagger; Liam and Noel Gallagher; the Spice Girls; Claudia Schiffer; Kate Moss; Mike Tyson; Ricky Hatton; Don King; Lewis Hamilton; Rio Ferdinand; Kieron Dyer; David Beckham; Ashley Cole; Craig Bellamy; Ledley King and Sven Goren Eriksson.
He has a new celebrity client, Andrew Mitchell, who has retained him in his fight against The Sun over plebgate…
This paragraph from an online case report contains a striking miss by the person whose job it was to anonymise the Court of Appeal’s recent judgement regarding the paternity of a child born out of wedlock to someone “in high public office”:
The papers are reporting this morning that Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and David Cameorn were on the verge of agreement until Hugh Grant’s Hacked Off campaign lobbied Labour aggressively. This is the draft press release brandished by Hacked Off to put the wind up Ed Miliband if he went ahead with the deal:
Click to Enlarge
The language is ridiculous, Hugh Grant is a victim of his own making, calling on the Queen not to carry out her constitutional duty because he doesn’t want his picture in the papers any more is frankly comical.[…]
Back in October Guido noted that barrister, judge and Huhne prosecution witness Constance Briscoe had been arrested. It can now be reported for the first time that her arrest is in connection with the Huhne-Pryce case. The jury have been told that Briscoe could not be relied upon as a “witness of truth”, and that she “may have lied about her involvement with the press”.[…]
Ever mindful of the little guy, Guido read with some interest a report recently of a university student union going to court to silence its own student newspaper. The Guardian reported two weeks ago:
“Edinburgh University Students’ Association, a charity independent of the University, has been granted an interim interdict (the Scots version of an injunction) preventing publication of an edition of the weekly paper carrying a story based on those confidential documents.
Yesterday Guardian journalists gleefully drew Guido’s attention to a clause in Maria Miller’s proposed legislation that attempts to bring this blog into the regulated, un-free press sector that is being created post-Leveson. Guido has highlighted the ambitious clause in red below…
All the evidence has now been heard in Vicky Pryce’s trial, closing speeches will be presented to the jury tomorrow. Today Pryce’s eldest daughter Georgia Beesley took to the stand, alleging that Chris Huhne coerced his ex-wife into taking his points:
“I remember speaking to my mother and she told me that Chris had been caught speeding and was asking her to take speeding points.
Some great top lines from the opening day of Vicky Pryce’s trial, not least her description of her husband’s former bisexual lover as “that man of yours”. The jury of eight women and four men today heard the not so jaw-dropping admission that Vicky’s main motivation was revenge.[…]
The court restrictions have been lifted. Rejecting Huhne’s application to have the case thrown out last week, Mr Justice Sweeney said the jury would “be free to draw adverse inference” from these texts between Chris Huhne and his son, Peter:
CH:Peter, just to say, I’m thinking of you and I love you very much.
“It was a tongue in cheek pop after the European Parliament tweet – it was purely that. I also wanted to congratulate Team GB on a brilliant result and thirdly congratulate the Commonwealth countries who also did very well. Fourth, I am also looking forwarded to establishing new trade agreements. That was it – nothing more. Let’s just enjoy the summer!”