Ex-SpAd Spins for Murky Lagoon

tomos

Tomos Davies, a SpAd who advised the government on green energy, is in hot water after getting a job with the Cardiff lobbying firm Deryn less than a year after he left his government job. Spin merchants Deryn, a firm which has a hand in far too many Welsh government lobbying scandals, employed the former Special Adviser from the Wales Office.

Until recently Tomos Davies was advising UK Government Ministers on policy issues, including the proposal to a build tidal lagoon off the coast at Swansea. Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Neil McEvoy has complained to the Cabinet secretary, Jeremy Heywood, that he is in breach of the rules governing SpAd employment. Davies, he complains, jumped straight into lobbying work and failed to get Civil Service clearance to work for the firm.

McEvoy cites Davies’ ConservativeHome article praising tidal power as evidence of lobbying on behalf of one of Deryn’s clients in breach of the rules, especially as one of Deryn’s clients is trying to build a tidal lagoon off Swansea. In it Tomos claimed, without irony, that “the unit cost of power from the project can, at a manageably small scale, match that of Hinkley”. Hinkley’s energy costs are among the most expensive in the world. Guido thinks Tomos Davies might be left high and dry…

LEAK: Labour Moderates Infiltrated Momentum

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Labour Party moderates carried out an off-the-books investigation into the activities of Jeremy Corbyn supporters, infiltrating their meetings and private Facebook groups with the aim of leaking the findings to the press. Guido has obtained a 19 page document titled “An investigation into far-left infiltration of the Labour Party in Liverpool since September 2015”. Written in the Labour Party’s font, containing highly professional, forensic levels of detail, it contains many of the revelations found in this morning’s Times story on Momentum. A Labour HQ source denies it is an official Labour Party document. They say they cannot comment on who wrote it. Another Labour source says it was written by Labour moderates

“who found a way into secret Facebook and Google groups that Momentum were using locally to coordinate and plan”

Whoever carried out the extensive investigation must have had significant abilities and resources. This is not an amateur job, it is a forensic red-on-red black op which found its way to the press to diminish the party leadership. Note that it’s written in the official party font. You can read it in full here:

Expect revenge from the Corbynistas now they have proof that moderates are anonymously organising against them…

May Orders Ministers to Link Every Policy to Meritocracy

Theresa May’s grammar schools speech was as much about defining her premiership as anything else. If eagle-eyed photographer Steve Back hadn’t snapped those secret government papers outlining the return of grammars, today’s speech would not have been made until conference. Senior Tories watching noted one key line:

“It will mean recalibrating how we approach policy development to ensure that everything we do as government helps to give a fair chance to those who are just getting by”

This is tanks-on-Labour’s-lawn rhetoric, but the PM is deadly serious about revamping how policy is formulated across Whitehall. Over the last few weeks ministers and civil servants have grown frustrated at Downing Street’s insistence that every single policy must have a “making the country work for everyone” angle. Policies and announcements that have nothing to do with May’s theme of meritocracy are being delayed or shunned until ministers can think of a way to make a link. In some departments, announcements and updates on old projects where the money has already been spent are being held back. As with Brexit, the government is actually getting work done, they just aren’t telling the public about it…

Milne Likes Tweet Claiming “New World Order Created ISIS”

milne

Corbyn strategy chief Seumas Milne must have pressed the wrong button by accident, because he has “liked” a tweet claiming ISIS was created by the “New World Order”. It must surely be an innocent case of fat finger, Seumas can’t possibly believe that’s true. Although he did write this for the Guardian last year, claiming the US “incubated” and “fuelled the rise of ISIS”…

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Come on Seumas, get it right, everyone knows it was the Zionists…

Theresa’s Copy and Paste Job

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Theresa May tells us that “obviously over the summer – over the last few weeks – quite a lot of work has been done”. Which is good to know. So does the new government have any further detail on their plan for Brexit or their legislative agenda? Compare and contrast these quotes from the PM from today with her words over the last few weeks…

Today: “Brexit means Brexit, we’re going to make a success of it”

11 July: “Brexit means Brexit, and we’re going to make a success of it”

Today: “there’s no second referendum; no attempts to sort of stay in the EU by the back door”

11 July: “no attempts to remain inside the EU, with no second referendum or attempts to rejoin it by the backdoor”

Today: “We want to be a government and a country that works for everyone”

13 July: “a mission to make Britain a country that works for everyone”

Today: “I want it to be a society where it’s the talent that you have and how hard you’re prepared to work that determines how you get on”

13 July: “We will do everything to help you go as far as your talents can take you.”

Today: “we can get tough on irresponsible behaviour in big business”

11 July: “get tough on irresponsible behaviour in big business”

Today: “forge a new positive role for the UK in the world”

11 July: “forge a new role for ourselves in the World”

That “quite a lot of work” done over the summer appears to be copying and pasting her old speeches…

Smith Campaign Hires Another Big Pharma Lobbyist

PHARMA

What is it about Owen Smith and Big Pharma lobbyists? Fresh from hiring Pfizer PR guru Jon Lehal as his chief of operations, Smith has taken on a former AstraZeneca lobbyist as his director of communications. Will Tanner was until recently the head of Finsbury PR’s UK public affairs team, where he proudly boasted of his work for top pharmaceutical companies. Tanner has for the last decade been right hand man to mega-rich super-lobbyist Roland Rudd, the Remain campaign’s éminence grise. Which explains why Smith is so keen on his democracy-defying plan for a second referendum. Oily Smith is a former Big Pharma lobbyist, whose campaign is being run by a former Big Pharma lobbyist, and whose spinner is another former Big Pharma lobbyist…

UPDATE: A pro-Corbyn source gets in touch:

“What would Nye say? Pretending to be the heir to Nye Bevan and having one big pharma lobbyist running your campaign is sloppy, but having two is either suspicious or incompetent or both. It’s clear now that Owen Smith doesn’t give a Pfizer about our NHS.”

May Hires New Press SpAd

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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…

Send any updates to team@order-order.com

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:

Send any updates to team@order-order.com

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.[…]

+ READ MORE +

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.[…]

+ READ MORE +

UKIP NEC Member Compares Faragists to Nazis

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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”.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Smith’s Fantasy Minimum Wage Numbers

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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.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Empty Seats at Smith Campaign Rally

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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:

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

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Some Smith supporters are tweeting that his fans are queuing round the block.[…]

+ READ MORE +

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.[…]

+ READ MORE +

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

may

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 +



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