Keith Simpson has been gloriously indiscreet in a post PMQs chat with the Standard’s Craig Woodhouse:
“I do not have any time for the man. He has got a tin ear. He doesn’t know when to intervene or not… He comes out with these appalling cliches, all this business about ‘the public don’t like it, I don’t like it’, but I’m pretty sure my 88-year-old mother is sitting in front of the TV screaming that she does like it. (Burns) would happily take the rap but for once it wasn’t him. He picked on old Burnsy, who tends to be a serial offender, but in fact it wasn’t Burns – it was one of the younger lads standing to Burns’s left. I said to him, it’s like a man who is always speeding up and down the M11 and then gets caught when he is not driving. That’s life. It’s much easier to pick on a man who is a serial offender… Every time the Speaker interferes and leaps up and down he tends to bring out the worst in me.”
There’s even a Huhne joke for good measure. Simpson joins a growing list of Tory MPs willing to break cover and say out loud what many more of them are discuss privately. You might think that the mulled wine has been flowing all morning…
ID: What’s your favourite gadget? Steady…
SB: I was going to say my vibrator [giggles].
ID: I knew you were going to say that. Are you going to claim that is off the record?
SB: Oh no, put that in.
Fire up the press releases!
Bet it wasn’t just the men in tights that winced at this one…
In November 2007, two months after being selected as Labour’s candidate for Leeds West, Rachel Reeves declared a donation from Unite in November 2007 of £1,979.50 to the Electoral Commission. As the election got closer, the cheques from Unite kept coming. They gave her Leeds West Constituency £1,500 in May 2009 and another £1,500 in the April before the election. All of these donations were declared with the Electoral Commission correctly. But funnily enough she decided not to put the details on her Register of Members Interests when she won the following month…
This lack of information on the Register of Interests is probably why nobody noticed that Reeves wasn’t declaring an interest throughout the life of the Pensions Bill in Parliament, but Rule 78 of the House of Commons Code of Conduct is very clear:
“Members are required to declare relevant interests on the Order Paper (when tabling any written notice initiating a parliamentary proceeding.”
When Bercow was asked in a Point of Order about this earlier, he decided he didn’t want anything to do with it. To the cheers of the Labour benches.
Odd, but not the end of the matter…
Someone on the inside of the high-end Tory plot to destroy John Bercow has been speaking candidly to the Telegraph’s James Kirkup. The plotters might be on to something here:
“A senior Conservative said it would be “quite unfair” if Mr Bercow was allowed to stand for a redrawn constituency while another MP was not. The source said “If the constituency vanishes or is virtually unrecognisable then the local party may feel free to select their own candidate [against Mr Bercow] because the tradition would not apply.”
In recent months Bercow has had run ins with Ministers Simon Burns and Tim Loughton, but the dislike for him goes beyond those two and deep into the back-benches…
Last week Guido promised to watch Celebrity Big Brother “so that you don’t have to”. It turns out it’s unwatchable rubbish.
In the couple of times he has managed to tune in, he’s caught Sally discussing the impact that the show would have on the authority of the Speaker’s office with a gypsy, as well as being offered a “vajazzle” by the cute one off of The Only Way is Essex. There is no word on whether John would approve of that…
With an eye for the headline, the producers set Sally the task of making everyone in the house dress in bed sheets. The tabloids wrote themselves the next day…
Yes it’s all go and utterly riveting. Though it could all be over soon. Sally is up for eviction on Friday along with Kerry Katona. It looks like the fight to stay in the house is getting dirty…
So £62.3 billion was wiped off of the FTSE today, gold is surging, Osborne is practising saying “it started in America” as a global double dip recession hovers on the horizon and it’s raining, but don’t worry, Celebrity Big Brother is back, and this year it has a certain appeal for Westminster watchers. Though Guido would not have recommended it, as a patron of Ambition For Autism, £100,000 must have been hard for Sally Bercow to turn down. Never normally a fan of the show something tells Guido it won’t just be Mr Speaker and his spinners glued to the screen. With Charlie Sheen joining the fun and games, what’s the worst that could possibly happen…
After the tension between Dave and Bercow flared up again last week, the PM has responded very publicly to the Speaker’s sarcasm. PA report from the PM’s trip to Afghanistan:
“Commons Speaker John Bercow is to spend time trading places with his counterpart in Afghanistan, it was revealed today. Bercow and Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi have been lined up for an exchange scheme agreed between the two countries. Asked if Bercow had been approached to participate in the exchange, a Downing Street spokesman said: “I am sure he is fully supportive of our efforts.”
Of course he is. Apparently “British and Afghan MPs, peers and senators could also take part…” Mark Pritchard and Peter Bone should start packing their bags.
As John Hemming MP stood up to make a point of order, under parliamentary privilege, having announced his intention to break a superjunction in advance, he was silenced the Speaker. Twice Hemming tried to stand to make his point and twice he was silenced by Bercow who insisted the matter be discussed privately.
Away from that pesky public eh.
UPDATE: Hemming has blogged that he sees today as mission accomplished. He broke a gag in Parliament therefore someone, whose name was previously injuncted can now be reported.
PM Tweets About Ant & Dec While Giving Mandela Tribute | Express
George Osborne: Action Chancellor | Speccie
DfE Taking Children for Poodles | Laura Perrins
Man Locked Up For Telling Mandela Joke | Star
Gordon Brown Debt Buster | Kebab Time
Five Arguments Against Paying MPs More | Left Foot Forward
BBC Must Be Held to Account Over Savile | Trevor Kavanagh
Guido’s Column | Sun
Safe Seat MPs Will Be Paid More Than Marginal MPs | Alex Wickham
Judging Blogs By Their Comment Threads | Dan Hannan
Labour Select Union Candidate in Falkirk | Guardian
The Belgravia Gallery reports:
“Having been asked by Nelson Mandela’s art publisher to represent his work,drawings mainly of Robben Island, we had the privilege of spending a morning with Mandela when he was signing the lithographs at his home in Johannesburg in December 2002. He delighted us with stories about a number of well known British personalities over the years when he was president. Perhaps the most surprising was his description of Margaret Thatcher as “Motherly” and he remembered how she had poured him tea and they had discussed various ailments and how after he returned home, she had sent him herbal remedies.”