Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Full Voting Data for Deputy Speaker Election

First round went Laing, Binley, Bellingham, Streeter, Burns, Amess, Dorries.

Crunching the numbers, it seems the late surge in the hustings for Bellingham denied Brian Binley the position of deputy Speaker. A poor performance from the latter and a surprising old school appeal from the former had the two of them a close second and third to Laing in the lead in the 5th Stage.

The Tory toff stuffing the working class, once again…

Laing Wins Deputy Speakership


As predicted (and bet on) by Guido, Laing survived six rounds of Single Transferable Votes to take the Deputy Speakership.

Of the 551 votes case she eventually got 273.

Trebles all round in Strangers.

Late Money Coming in on Bellingham

Those candidates with a suspicious mind might insist on an observer in the room when the ballot boxes are opened. The clerks are running the election, and it’s not their area of expertise. While they know little if anything of box-swapping and ballot stuffing. These days you just can’t rely on anyone…

The Deputy Speaker election starts at 11.30 with voting open until 14.00, but the late mover is Henry Bellingham after he impressed at both the 1922 and the PLP. Paddy Power have him at 7/4 with Laing still the favourite at 6/4:

Guido’s money is still on Laing…

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

SKETCH: Deputy Speaker PLP Meeting

The candidates wanted the 1922 format with each of them being the only candidate in the room. This allows personal remarks to be made. Labour practice had them all in it together.

Simon Burns. Joked someone had said this was like a chicken in a fox house: “I think it’s more like a fox in a chicken house.”

Whichever way round, it was the wrong way.

He would cease to be partisan and so forth. Oversee the smooth running of Parliament, “like a football referee.” Brian Binley: “He’s stolen my line! That was my line!” That was better in than out.

Eleanor Laing. Passion for the place, make back benchers matter, executive too powerful, stand up for the rights of backbenchers. Standard fare. “Forgive me, I’m going to be very brief. If you aspire to hear your own voice you shouldn’t sit in the Speaker’s chair.” Brilliant line, well delivered, big round of applause.

Nadine Dorries: Attempted an anti-Tory pitch (it has worked before, but needs years of groundwork). One Labour MP commented: “The more she talked about how she didn’t ever really vote with her Party, the more we didn’t like her.”

“Many of you will remember that I was not John Bercow’s biggest fan before the election. But out of my great respect for the Chair, and realising how admired he was in the House, I went to see him and I apologised. I sought him out and I apologised to him. And since then, John and I have been the best of friends.” Sick bags all round.

Henry Bellingham: “Many of you will be looking at me and thinking that I’m an archetypal, typical Tory. Well, I’m very sorry to disappoint you. That’s exactly what I am.” Big laugh, surprisingly warm feelings. The authenticity principle working strongly.

His competence, his attention to detail, his punctuality, the importance of courtesy to colleagues, that he wouldn’t guard the speaker’s list as though it contained the nuclear codes (laughter). “The reason why Lindsay Hoyle is so popular amongst Tories is because he is courteous.” He said that he will work with the Speaker’s team but that he will stand up to him in private if he has disagreements with him. Surprise contender!

Gary Streeter read the job description from some Procedure Committee report. It had things like “must have a sense of humour” and should serve on the Chairman’s Panel. “I have in the past shadowed the one-and-only Clare Short. Doctors say I will make a full recovery!” (Quiet groans).

His time on the Home Affairs select committee allowed him to learn the dark arts of chairmanship from Keith Vaz. Ouch! No, no, no. Not in front of Labour.

He said he had no ambition to be Speaker, that he was friendly and sympathetic and sat down.

Brian Binley told us that he heard the Prime Minister might vote for him. Didn’t get the laugh he had hoped for and he followed it with “I didn’t expect that. I really didn’t, I can tell you.” Then he turned on Burns for stealing his football joke “Glad you liked it, Simon.” Some glaring.

Time as a Co-op bank manager where he learned the most important skill for a Deputy Speaker and that was man-management. He said it again. “What about women?” a shout from the back. Brian hadn’t heard him and said it again. The room folded its arms.

Then: “No-one has mentioned Nigel. Well, I will because it’s the reason we are all here. And it’s a lesson for all of us. Anyone with a profile is vulnerable and that’s why we all have to defend him. If he’s acquitted, and I pray to the Almighty that he is, I would step aside. Defending Nigel is defending all of us because you never know when something will smack you in the face.” He sat down, campaign slumped.

David Amess. Walked in late. “The last time I was here we were counting a ballot and my candidate got one less vote than there were people on his campaign team.” Good sort of laughter.

“Colleagues, if you want a lady, I can’t help you. They are both excellent and will make excellent Deputy Speakers. But if your mind is open then I could tell you that I have been inundated with phone calls and letters begging me to stand, or I could tell you the truth.” More laughter.

“The fact is, I really fancy this job, I wouldn’t mind the salary and I’d love the prestige that goes with it. And I’d love to sit on that green chair bossing you all around.” (So much laughter he had to pause.)

“Colleagues, I know my limitations. I don’t like pomposity, bullying or cruelty. And for those of you who don’t like me, think of the prize: never to hear me droning on again or making a partisan speech!”

Performance rating: 1. Henry Bellingham 2. Eleanor Laing 3. David Amess .

This is not to say the vote will go that way.

Hustings at 12.45.

Labour Verdict on Deputy Speaker Election: “Laings to Lose”

Mixed reviews for the Tory MPs who want to be Deputy Speaker and their performance in front of the Parliamentary Labour Party. Brian Binley continued his quest to come through the middle of Eleanor Laing and Simon Burns by pointing out as a 1922 Committee Exec Officer he is obviously a backbencher’s friend. Digging at Burns he said he was Not the No. 10 candidate, nor crucially the Speaker’s mate either. It didn’t work with everyone: “Binley was awful” a Labour MP tells Guido, “Bellingham did very well as did Laing.” Bellingham is a growing dark horse after two strong speeches in front of Tories last week and now Labour, but a Shadow Minister sums up the mood: “Think it’s Laing’s to lose.”  Voting is tomorrow…

Monday, October 14, 2013

Eleanor Laing: the MPs’ MP

Eleanor Laing is the still the front-runner in Deputy-Speaker election. She has public support from Labour’s side; Kevin Barron has written to Labour colleagues calling on them to support Laing and Chris Bryant is sounding out support for her. If Chris is her campaign manager on the Labour side, his own failure to win election to the Shadow Cabinet doesn’t bode too well. After Laing was exposed for not paying capital gains on the £1 million profit she made when she “flipped” her home in the great 2009 expenses scandal, she told Guido she would stand down in 2010. She obviously didn’t.

As for her supporters; Kevin Barron, chairman of the Standards and Privileges Committee which judges MPs’ ethics, sold his taxpayer funded home for a tax-free £500,000 profit, whilst Chris Bryant flipped his ‘second home’ twice in two years at taxpayers expense.

Quite a flippin’ team.

UPDATE: Eleanor Laing called within seconds of this post going up to deny she ever said to Guido that she would stand down. We both agree where and when we had a conversation, she denies saying anything of the sort. Guido’s recollection is different. She also points out that Sir Thomas Legg’s inquiry did not result in her being ordered to make a repayment – because, we both agree, “it was all within the rules”. We’ll leave it at that…

Friday, October 11, 2013

Burns v Laing For Deputy Speaker

Seven candidates put themselves in front of the 1922. Three or four emerged as front runners ahead of David Amess, Henry Bellingham, and celebrity MP Nadine Dorries. Simon Burns and Eleanor Laing box and cox for first and second places. Third is Brian Binley or Gary Streeter.

Nadine’s manifesto commitments included an aspiration not to tweet from the chair. This didn’t go over as well as she’d hoped.

The Speaker has been rumoured to be backing Eleanor Laing – but latterly, in his infinite complexity, he is said to be backing Binley as well. Why? Because Binley is standing down, his replacement won’t have time to establish him or herself and challenge Charles Walker, the Speaker’s chosen son in his succession planning. Is the rumour true? It’s true there’s a rumour.

The candidates are presenting themselves to Labour’s PLP meeting on Monday. And it will be Labour votes that will decide the election to the £102,000 a year job. That’s a full house of Speaker office holders decided by Labour.

And her embarrassment factor may be Nadine’s only real electoral appeal.

Where are the Lib Dems? No one has come forward, after Alan Beith has faded from view. They could surely rely on 58 votes from their party…

Monday, October 7, 2013

Nadine Solicits Votes

Nadine has emailed every Tory MP today in her bid to become Deputy Speaker. It’s quite something:

From: DORRIES, Nadine
Sent: 07 October 2013 14:50
Importance: High

I will be writing personally, however, I am emailing now to ask if you would possibly consider voting for me in the forthcoming Deputy Speaker election and, if you cannot give me your first preference vote, would you consider giving me your second?

The paramount quality for a Deputy Speaker position is impartiality. I don’t think anyone can doubt that I am possibly the most impartial MP in the House of Commons and I do believe I have demonstrated my commitment to fairness via my role as a committee chair on the Speakers Panel.

In terms of my political commitment, I was the only victim of the smear gate emails who could attack Damian McBride, which I did for five consecutive days and nights. The attack culminated in my publicly demanding an apology from Gordon Brown, which I received. Damian McBride left No 10 the same day.

Since the 2009 expenses crisis I have been a known defender of MPs and continue to tackle IPSA on a regular basis.

I have a record of achievement in Parliament that has resulted in the number of late term abortions dropping year on year since my first vote in 2008 and the offer of abortion counselling being included in DOH guidelines following the campaign in 2011. It was always about winning over hearts and minds in the public, not votes in Parliament. If you don’t agree with my position on late term abortion you may see this as a way to shut me up!

In terms of the profile of women within the party, it would certainly be helpful for the party to be seen to elect a working class, northern female. This is an issue David Cameron is very aware of in the lead up to the General Election.

I haven’t agreed a pact with Nigel but would stand down without hesitation should he return, as a matter of decency.

I am obviously not the No 10 candidate, something which in the election of a Deputy Speaker should not exist.

Whichever way you vote, thanks for reading this far and I hope if you feel you can’t vote for me, you would consider giving me your second vote.

Yours with best wishes,


Apparently she is not the Number 10 candidate. Who’da thunk it? Guido’s money is on Burns still…

Friday, October 4, 2013

Simon Burns Quits as Minister to Run For Deputy Speaker

Likely to lose his Transport minister job in the upcoming reshuffle anyway, Simon Burns is resigning to run for Deputy Speaker. Tory MPs will relish the chance to give the job to the man who called Bercow a “stupid sanctimonious dwarf”…

Via Tim Shipman


Nads v Eleanor Laing For Deputy Speaker

As tipped by Guido, Nadine Dorries is throwing her hat into the ring for the Deputy Speaker job. Which certainly makes the race all the more interesting. Odds are shortening on Eleanor Laing, who has announced she is going to stand, is popular and hotly-tipped by Tory colleagues. She tells Guido she only thought of going for the job when she saw her name on this blog’s runners and riders. She denies she is Number 10′s candidate to the Standard.

Seen Elsewhere

Ex-Sun Hack Cleared After 582 Days on Bail | MediaGuido
11 Times Boris Denied He Would Stand for Parliament | Buzzfeed
Attacking UKIP’s Posters is Counter-Productive | Guardian
Sarkozy Tried it on With Hollande’s Ex | Times
Another Spare Room Subsidy Cut Success | Harry Phibbs
Rich Now Have Less Leisure Than Poor | Economist
UKIP’s Immigration Policy Promotes Migrant Entrepreneurs | Breitbart
Another Feminist Lecture | Laura Perrins
UKIP Posters Bad Economics But Good Politics | James Delingpole
Tories Losing to UKIP in Scotland | ConHome
UKIPers Will Come Home in 2015 | Sun

Guido-hot-button (1) Guido-hot-button (1)

A confused Nick Griffin says Nigel Farage is a shill for the City, forgetting that City banks want to stay in the EU:

“Farage is a snake oil salesman, but a very good one. His supposed anti-immigration stance is all smoke and mirrors, as is his carefully cultivated image as a ‘man of the people’. The truth is that UKIP is a pro-immigration party that exists to lobby for the interests of the City of London.”

Alexrod says:

It’s money innit.

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