Balls’ Belardinelli Goes on Leak Rampage

Well in his head at least…

See also: EMAIL LEAK: Balls’ Spinner Admits “Screw Up” But Briefs Opposite

Hugh Grant Calls for Twitter to Be Regulated

The Englishman who went up a hill but came down a Chinese Communist:

He was on air on behalf of the Hacked Off campaign who were quick to distance themselves from his absurd comments. A glimpse into a dark mind…

Vid via @LiarPoliticians

UPDATE: Friends of Hugh get in touch to point out that he doesn’t really believe what he said. Glad that’s all cleared up then.

Ed Commits To Transparency, Yet Still No Rudd Dinner List

Ed just told ITV News: “I’m very happy to be open and transparent about what we’re doing.” A nice platitude. And another promise. Now for the action:

Time to cough up who was at this dinner and whether any “wonga” was involved…

Sarah Southern “Accepts She’s F****d”

With Downing Street aides declaring to the Lobby that Sarah Southern is “persona non grata” her former colleagues are a little less diplomatic. Guido’s favourite joke so far being

CCHQ Staffer: Knock, knock…
GF: Who’s there?
CCHQ: Sarah…
GF: Sarah who?
CCHQ: Yeah, exactly.

Nothing like a bit of gallows humour, but the more information that emerges, the more this looks like an accident waiting to happen…

Reportedly on the verge of being sacked for incompetence as a coordinator in 2007,  Southern mysteriously quit on the day she was due to meet HR and senior staff. Conveniently Lord Ashcroft immediately gave her a job working for the International Young Democrat Union, which he was bankrolling at the time. This was during the height of his empire in CCHQ which included multiple desk spaces and his own glass office. Southern stayed around CCHQ reporting to Ashcroft until 2009 when everyone seemed to have forgotten about the whole mystery non-sacking. She then joined the events team though Guido has been unable to stand up her claims that she went shopping with Sam Cam on election day. CCHQ Op-Notes from the time suggest she was the logistics contact for a Cameron speech in Carlisle the day before…

The photograph on her now infamous business card was taken at the CCHQ thank you party after the election in the Rose Garden at Downing Street. Southern did not make it into government and instead embarked on a career in public affairs. Lobbying industry insiders tell Guido that they were put off  by her “it is not what you know, but who” attitude and belief that it would be enough to secure her work. In interviews she blamed the coalition for a lack of job in No.10 and boasted that she was at the peak of her insider knowledge and thus the perfect time to move on.  With no agency seemingly willing to take her on, she set up Sarah Southern Consulting. And the rest they say is history…

The line that will haunt her forever will be the Draperesque “I am friends with all the people who are now his closest advisers. I’m friends with the people who are chiefs of staff to members of the cabinet. I’m also friends with a number of people in the cabinet”. Those friends tell Guido that the one time insider “accepts she’s f****d”.

Don’t worry Sarah, bragging about contacts didn’t stop Dolly coming back… 

No.10’s Own Website Dispels “Private Flat” Spin

The Downing Street flat is one of the most protected pieces of public property in the land. The Treasury have spent millions on renovations and upkeep over the years. The area around Downing Street has been Crown property since, as the No. 10 website puts it: “when Henry VIII confiscated York House from Cardinal Wolsey in 1530 and extended the complex.” The government’s own website goes on to state that “King George II presented both the house on Downing Street and the house overlooking Horse Guards to Sir Robert Walpole” in 1735. Since then they have remained government property.

The Camerons pay no rent on the flat, and though they met some of the recent restoration costs, the taxpayer picks up most of that tab. Since 1989 you have required security clearance to even get onto the street, let alone into the building or up the stairs. Any notion that this is somehow private property is either a vast delusion of grandeur or a desperate holding measure while the list of unsavoury characters is scanned and checked for landmines…

UPDATE:

Was this a private or public affair?

Murdoch and Mirror Man Maguire’s Money Mystery

Apparently not. With his Mirror job; New Statesman, Public Affairs News and House Magazine columns; BBC and ITV contributions; his weekly slot on Sky News as well being as host on LBC, Guido imagines that our Kev must do though. We should be told!

Damian McBride Enters Rehab

Damian McBride’s 4 a.m. blogpost about the formulation of budgets has got plenty of his old drinking buddies and once loyal hacks excited:

Currently Damian is marking time as head of spin at the Catholic overseas aid charity CAFOD as part of his political rehabilitation programme. As interesting as the behind the scenes look is, the timing of this re-entry into the fray is highly suspicious. Given that Balls wants McBride back in his operation, Guido reckons this will be the first of many such interventions…

Labour Leak News of Leak Question Before Parliament

Guido isn’t exactly sure why Labour are taking their eye off the bigger picture and making such a fuss about Budget leaks today. They are in a stronger position because of them, though it will win some brownie points with a bruised Bercow. Ernest little Chris Leslie has been granted the imminent Urgent Question, but Labour managed to leak the news that it had been secured on their Twitter account before it was announced by the Speaker’s office. So much for playing by the rules…

UPDATE:

Not only did Leslie manage to keep a straight face, but he even managed to feign some anger.

Ken Promises to Start Paying Tax in May

In a tacit admission that his current tax affairs leave more than a little to be desired, Ken has told our friends at LBC that if he’s elected Mayor he will start to pay income tax. Why hasn’t he been […]

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Young Campaign Rally Star Calls on Ken to Pay Taxes

Taking time out from photoshopping a fake campaign bus, Ken’s team have been whipping up support for tonight’s “eve of campaign rally” near Waterloo Station. Supporters have been lured in on the promise of speeches from the likes of […]

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Zarb to the Slaughter

Labour aide Matt Zarb Cousins shot to village fame when he tweeted that the Queen was a benefit scrounger, on Jubilee day. After initially standing by his gag, he was forced to climb down and grovel by his waspish boss […]

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Mandy’s Front Group Back to Bash Burnham


Throughout December Mandelson backed wonk-shop Policy Network launched multiple salvos against the direction that the Labour Party is taking under Miliband. This morning they are back. Writing in the Guardian, Patrick Diamond, Alan Milburn’s former SpAd and the man […]

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