SpAd List: New Appointments


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


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


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:


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


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:


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


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. Then there is the disturbing revelation that a Saudi diplomat brought a slave to London. Saudi officials also face a further claim of “human trafficking, slavery or forced labour” in Britain. Theresa May told her new Cabinet that politics is not a game, but the charade of dumping day lives on… 

Downing Street Boozing Kiboshed


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. To be fair she was a little busy – it was at that point that Leadsom had just pulled out. Now this evening’s planned drinkies with the Chancellor at the Treasury are off as well, though hacks have been assured they’re only postponed until the autumn. Shame, it was a nice day for it. Pub?

Exodus of Labour Spinners


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. 10 months in the bunker is enough to make anyone want a quieter life.

Labour HQ Head of Press Kieren Walters is also packing his bags, meaning Jez now needs a new top spinner for the leader’s office, a new head of press in Victoria Street, and a new Deputy Head of Press, after that role became vacant as well. In the meantime, good luck Seumas. Will the last spinner to leave Labour please turn out the lights?

‘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: 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.



Cameron’s Big Speech Bombs

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



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


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


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


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.



Time to Say-eeda Goodbye…

“Although I was never a member of the group, I did hum along to one of their songs two weeks ago…”[…]


How Remainers Stitched Up Gove’s Elderly Father


Michael Gove was as emotional as you will ever see on Question Time as he responded to the Guardian story about his father. Privately the Goves are genuinely furious, and say the paper “rang up an elderly man who is very hard of hearing and has serious diabetes and twisted his words”.[…]


SPANISH FLEE: Remain’s Messina Off to Madrid


Remain’s “senior strategic advisor” Jim Messina has learned from David Axelrod how to fly in for a couple of days, shake a few hands, send a couple of tweets and then jet off having trousered a thick wedge. With ten days to go Messina is forgetting about the referendum – he has just been hired by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to help with his election strategy.[…]


Tip offs: 0709 284 0531

Quote of the Day

Philip Hammond at Treasury questions:

“I’m sorry to be boring.”

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.


Guido’s Baroness Scotland Investigation Guido’s Baroness Scotland Investigation
UKIP Lets Hookem Off the Hook UKIP Lets Hookem Off the Hook
PMQs Sketch – It’s Rigged! PMQs Sketch – It’s Rigged!
Moment Boulton Realises He’s Still On Air Moment Boulton Realises He’s Still On Air
Through The Keyhole – Open Britain Chairman’s Mansion Through The Keyhole – Open Britain Chairman’s Mansion
Sky – We Need To Talk About Your Glass Box Sky – We Need To Talk About Your Glass Box
Open Britain’s Offshore Hypocrisy Open Britain’s Offshore Hypocrisy
Single Market Round-up Single Market Round-up
Labour Hit With Maximum Expenses Fine Labour Hit With Maximum Expenses Fine
UKIP Candidate’s Gay Donkey Horse Rape Banter UKIP Candidate’s Gay Donkey Horse Rape Banter
UKIP Leadership Latest UKIP Leadership Latest
New Tory Election Poster? New Tory Election Poster?
Diane Abbott Offered Interns £2 Below Living Wage Diane Abbott Offered Interns £2 Below Living Wage
Walkers Factory Was Raided For Illegal Immigrants Walkers Factory Was Raided For Illegal Immigrants
Is This Our New Parliament? Is This Our New Parliament?
Japan’s Single Market Trade Japan’s Single Market Trade
Prezza For Jezza Prezza For Jezza
Man On Sun’s Front Page Is Not Interpreter Man On Sun’s Front Page Is Not Interpreter
Was it Davis or Davies? Was it Davis or Davies?
Multi-Millionaire’s “Hipster Begging” Multi-Millionaire’s “Hipster Begging”