May Hires New Press SpAd

SPADS

Theresa May has hired Patrick McLoughlin’s spinner Tim Smith as her final Downing Street press SpAd. Another alumnus of the CCHQ press office, Smith has been a SpAd at Transport for the last year, taking a short sabbatical to fight the good fight during Zac’s battle against Sadiq. Smith going to Number 10 means the Tory chairman’s chief of staff job is up for grabs…

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Tory Press Chief to Be Home Secretary’s SpAd

SPADS

Some more SpAd movements: Guido hears Tory Director of Communications Amy Fisher is returning to government as a Special Adviser to Home Secretary Amber Rudd. Fisher was Chris Grayling’s SpAd before heading up the press operation at CCHQ after the election. She had to put out more than her share of fires in a busy 12 months and was a formidable opponent, so is a smart hire for the Home Office. See Guido’s SpAd List in full below:

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Press Gallery Chairman Craig Woodhouse New DCMS SpAd

A raft of new SpAd appointments is expected imminently and Guido understands the headline move will be Craig Woodhouse joining Karen Bradley at DCMS. It’s a smart hire for the new Culture Secretary to poach an industry insider – Woodhouse is a newspaper veteran, the respected chairman of the Press Gallery and chief political correspondent at The Sun. He is well-liked by MPs of all parties which will help in a notoriously adversarial brief. The long-suffering Sheffield Wednesday fan might even be able to pick up a freebie or two along the way. The Lobby loses yet another leading name to SpAd-dom…

See Guido’s SpAd List in full here.

SpAd List: New Appointments

SPADS

Downing Street sources indicate the final SpAd List will not be released for some weeks, so Guido’s spreadsheet is the only place to stay up to date. Since our last update Osborne’s widely-respected former SpAd Neil O’Brien has been kept on to do industrial strategy in Number 10. Damian Green has retained Flora Rose at DWP and signed up Matt Hancock’s old SpAd Lottie Dexter. Vote Leave spinner Rob Oxley teams up once again with Priti Patel at DfID. Another Vote Leave alumnus, their broadcast chief Lee Cain, is expected to join Leadsom at Defra. Rachel Wolf is reportedly leaving No.10 despite initially being kept on.

The Times says May will be purging SpAds to cut costs after the numbers rocketed under Dave, apparently a limit of two per Cabinet minister. That will go down like a cup of cold sick with the likes of Boris, Davis and Fox. Appointments are being vetted by May’s chiefs of staff Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill. Good luck – they are going to be ruthless… 

UKIP NEC Member Compares Faragists to Nazis

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 09.43.31

UKIP’s civil war has kicked off again this morning with a leading member of the party’s NEC comparing Team Farage to Nazi propagandists. John Bickley, part of the NEC which blocked Steven Woolfe from standing, says claims by Faragists that Woolfe was stitched up are “pure Goebbels”. He offers some further calming rhetoric, including that Farage’s allies are “insane” and come from “the conspiracy theorist wing of the party”. It must have been a coincidence that Woolfe’s 14 year-old driving offence was briefed to the press at the height of the leadership contest. UKIP are being very UKIPpy at the moment…

Smith’s Fantasy Minimum Wage Numbers

owen1

Owen Smith has hit back at Guido’s story from earlier by producing the above graphic claiming his proposed minimum wage would be higher than the Tories’. Unfortunately for Oily this raises more questions than it answers. First, Smith’s team have confirmed their numbers are dependent on him becoming Prime Minister this year. Not sure how he plans to do that unless he is going to launch a coup on Downing Street. Second, he appears to have pulled these fantasy figures out from nowhere. What on earth does “well over £10” mean? Do they not have an actual number? How have these vague figures been costed? How much will that increase the deficit via the public sector wage bill? Guido has asked the Smith campaign and received no answers…

Empty Seats at Smith Campaign Rally

smuth3

Owen Smith boasts that a “great crowd” turned up to his campaign rally tonight. His team tweeted out the carefully cropped picture above to show off his turnout. Guido’s pictures taken from slightly further back tell a different story:

smith1

It was a 900 capacity venue, filled to about a third:

smith2

Some Smith supporters are tweeting that his fans are queuing round the block. Guessing they got in…

McGinn Whipped Labour MPs to “Keep Up the Pressure on JC”

Labour whip Conor McGinn has created some headlines today by accusing Corbyn of threatening to call up his dad. McGinn over-dramatically says this is “bullying”. It’s not really though, is it. “Just wait till your father hears about this” is said by many mothers…

McGinn was fingered a while back as a key anti-Corbyn plotter, despite supposedly serving the leader as an opposition whip. This errant WhatsApp message catches McGinn red-handed plotting against Jez with Labour MPs:

IMG_3859

In writing, an opposition whip whipping his backbenchers to ‘keep up the pressure on JC’. A punchy Labour insider says:

“Calamity Conor couldn’t even use WhatsApp when he was pretending not to be playing both sides, and his latest nonsense about his dad just makes him look like a clown.”

More than worthy of a telling off…

Hammond Fibs and Saudi Slavery Slipped Out on Dumping Day

hammond

Over 300 government documents were quietly slipped out on “dumping day” yesterday, the traditional Whitehall operation where dozens of embarrassing stories are slipped out all at the same time on the last day before recess. Among the worst revelations are the admission that Philip Hammond repeatedly misled parliament about Saudi human rights abuses in Yemen – Tobias Elwood says the former Foreign Secretary made a string of erroneous statements downplaying actions by the British ally during the conflict.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Downing Street Boozing Kiboshed

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Philip Hammond has joined Theresa May in cancelling a get-to-know-you drinks party for journalists. Last week the new PM, who is famously not a gossip and is keen to end the spinning / briefing culture of the old regime, called off her planned drinks bash with the Lobby.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Exodus of Labour Spinners

kevin

Jeremy Corbyn’s Head of Media Kevin Slocombe is leaving the leader’s office to go and spin for Bristol mayor Marvin Rees. Comrade Kevin (above right) has been the no-bullsh*t voice of reason among the madness of Jezza’s operation, one of the few Corbynistas who commanded the respect of SW1.[…]

+ READ MORE +

‘Corbyn Voted Leave’ Rumour Non-Denial

Chris Bryant claims Corbyn refused to confirm to him if he personally voted Remain. There’s been no clarification from Corbyn himself today – he did tweet on Thursday that “I have voted to Remain”. Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has demanded an urgent update.[…]

+ READ MORE +

READ: Leaked Labour Script Hails Corbyn

These are the lines sent to Labour MPs by party spin doctors this morning:

Referendum 0600 script

Top lines:

Clearly many communities across our country feel left behind and cut off by the political establishment in Brussels and Westminster. This was a rejection of the status quo by millions of people who are not sharing in the wealth of this country, for whom the economy is not working.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Cameron’s Big Speech Bombs

For the second time, Downing Street have summoned the press for a supposedly “significant” statement that has bombed:

[…]

+ READ MORE +

“Rest in Power”: Corporate Spin Doctors Take Control of Cox Image

freuds+portland

After yesterday’s genuinely tear-jerking tributes in parliament, a media event has been organised tomorrow in Trafalgar Square in memory of Jo Cox. […]

+ READ MORE +

Remain Leaflet Blames Leave: “Jo Cox’s Murder is Only the Start”

remain2

This pro-Remain literature personally targeting Leave campaigner Kate Hoey has landed on doormats in Brixton, Vauxhall and Kennington the last 24 hours. They have clearly taken a leaf-let out of Will Straw’s book, directly blaming “the Leave campaign” for Jo Cox’s death:

“The Leave campaign’s anti-immigrant rhetoric has stoked the British public’s fears to the point that we now find ourselves in a country riven by hate.

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Heather Wheeler talks to Burton Mail about her tweet…

“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!”

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