Labour Rivals and Trade Unionists Briefed Chuka “Whispers”

Readers will remember the rumours being pushed by Chuka’s left-wing rivals in the days before he stood aside from the Labour leadership race. The union funded propaganda blog Political Scrapbook even added the words “nudge nudge wink wink” to a story amplifying “dog whistle” attacks.

Dan Hodges has more in this week’s Speccie:

“There was no proper reason, and no proper scandal. He was the victim of an elegant, silent old-fashioned Westminster character assassination… Umunna was a candidate for Labour leader, and there were other people who wanted to be leader. So the whispers started. ‘Chuka isn’t going to run,’ I was told by a trade union official back in March. ‘Personal issues.’ He smiled, and tapped the side of his nose. A former Minister had heard it too. ‘The word is “Chuka’s out”. He won’t even enter.’ Again, ‘personal issues’ were cited.

The briefings became so intense that at the Daily Telegraph we discussed whether or not to run a story about them. But we decided that, if we did so, we’d become part of the spin operation.”

Funny that those most loudly criticising the press over Chuka’s ‘personal life’ were from the wing of the party Chuka would have killed off…

The Curse of McTernan

The scalping of Jim Murphy and the capitulation of Scottish Labour are a cruel addendum to the long and illustrious CV of Labour spinner John McTernan. Such other career achievements of the party’s panglossian media cheerleader should not be overlooked.

  • Special Advisor to Harriet Harman at DSS. Harman was sacked.
  • Helped run Frank Dobson’s Mayoral Campaign. Dobson lost.
  • Special Advisor to Scottish First Minister Henry McLeish. McLeish had to resign over an expenses “muddle”.
  • Helped run Labour’s Scottish Parliament Campaign in 2007. Labour were beaten in Scotland for the first time in 50 years.
  • Chief of Communications for Julia Gillard. She was ousted by her own party.
  • Chief of Staff to Jim Murphy. Labour lost all their seats in Scotland, including Murphy’s, bar one.

McTernan is spending his free time retweeting kind words about Liz Kendall. Don’t let him Liz!

Airbust: Plane Stupid EU Spin Contradiction

Airbus UK, who employ 16,000 people in Britain, have given a gentle warning about leaving the EU: “The best way to guarantee this is by remaining part of the EU.”

In light of JCB saying it would be no biggie to leave, and the CBI organising companies to come out in favour of staying in, Airbus have put down a marker. Just a shame it completely contradicts to all the other markers the company have have put down in the past. Here is what their Chief Executive said in January 2014:

“Clearly we have a massive investment in the UK and I don’t think there has ever been a plan to change that. The key issue is for the UK to continue to be a competitive place to do business. Profitable trade and political union are not joined at the hip. Russian and American companies trade with companies in Europe without being part of a political union. Business investment depends on profits not politics.”

Guido could not agree more…

Reckless in Running to Take Over as UKIP Policy Chief

Will the next victim of the UKIP un-putsch be Suzanne Evans? Speculation mounts that there are plans afoot to sack Suzanne as party policy chief and replace her with defeated ex-MP Mark Reckless. Guido put it to Reckless this afternoon:

“I don’t want to comment on my future plans. Nothing has been agreed.”

Asked if UKIP had offered him Evans’ job, Reckless replied “I don’t want to comment”.

A UKIP spokesman says “no comment”. Evans has been approached for comment but is silent thus far.

Carswell is back in line, Gobby and O’Flynn are out… will Evans be next?

UPDATE: Evans says she will make a statement later.

Tory / Bercow Love In Continues

New Tory Party Deputy Chairman Rob Halfon has told The Sun he wants to change the Tory party logo from an tree to a ladder:

“We are the party of the ladder, it was Churchill who first said that. The ladder symbolises everything we’re about. If you’re in poverty we’ll get you into work, if you’re in work we’ll cut your taxes. If you want to own your home, we’ll help you do that too. It’s not just leaving people to climb up it themselves, we hold that ladder for them.”

Re-elected Speaker John Bercow will be pleased, he chose the symbol for his coat of arms:


Though crueller Tories at the time said it represented his social climbing…

Chuka Aide Mail Briefing Unravels

Looks like another row is due between the Mail and the Labour Party after an unnamed aide for Chuka Umunna briefed out that it was their behaviour that so upset their boss, including a toxic claim of doorstepping a 102 year old grandmother:

Mail-land is keen to stress it’s simply not true:

Guido understands that no one from the Staggers checked with the Mail to see if it was true before punting the line…

Are You Going to Resign, Gobby? Yes

gobby

The next victim of the UKIP bloodletting is the party’s Director of Communications, Paul “Gobby” Lambert. He has told ITV that he is on holiday and not coming back.

The level of sniping and negative briefing between Farage’s camp and the UKIP press office increased throughout the election campaign and reached a crescendo yesterday, with a Farage aide claiming “the press office has declared war on the leader”. This allegation was flatly denied by a source in the press office, who insisted “pretty much everybody are Farage loyalists” and that “Gobby [has been] desperately trying to keep the peace”. Seems that proved an impossible task…

Farage meanwhile is going after an unnamed senior UKIP figure who he claims is undermining him: “there is one person in UKIP agitating for change and he hasn’t had the courage to come out in public… that person better put up or shut up or go”. Who could he possibly mean…

Kassam Out: Explains Confusion to Guido

“I no longer work for UKIP, but whether I ever work for Nigel again remains to be seen…

My contract expires at the end of the month and I’m on holiday till then.”

He claims from NYC…

Labour Spinners Rumour Mill

Ed Miliband’s spokesman James Stewart is off to make some money.

Tom Baldwin is out of a job but is still spinning away: Arguing with people on Twitter and writing conspiracy theory bollocks on the Guardian website.

Bob Roberts is […]

+ READ MORE +

#EdStone Hunt Intensifies

edstonejones

There is a Big Yellow Storage place […]

+ READ MORE +

Top Brown Ally to Murphy: Get Oot

Dear Jim

I am writing to you to advise that I am, from this morning, standing down from the position as Labour’s spokesperson for Local Government and Community Empowerment in the Scottish Parliament.

I said yesterday at the meeting of

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Another Broken LibDem Promise

During the election campaign Danny Alexander claimed that he would be leaving a reply to Liam Byrne in the drawer of the desk of the Chief Secretary to the Treasury. It wasn’t very witty:

Well sadly it seems he’s broken […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Adam Boulton says David Cameron campaigned as a neo-Thatcherite…

“The manifesto programme, with its sell-off of social housing, clampdown on public sector strikes, EU in/out referendum and benefit cuts, represents a much more traditional, neo-Thatcherite conservatism than that offered by Cameron Mk 1…”

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