Burnham’s Big Pharma Fudge

You might have thought the Shadow Health Secretary would want to have his say on the brewing Pfizer scandal, which has seen the drugs giant accused of overcharging the NHS for epilepsy treatments. Surely this is an opportunity for the Labour leadership candidate holding the health brief to stand up to those big nasty drugs corporations?

Guido has invited Burnham’s people to comment several times over the last 24 hours, but alas they did not want to give a line. Only a cynic would think that silence has anything to with Burnham’s campaign director being uber-lobbyist John Lehal, managing director at Insight Consulting Group, whose clients include… Pfizer. Pure coincidence, Guido is sure…

Crosby on Farage

Sky News Australia have Tory strategist Lynton Crosby’s say on the election. You can tell he particularly enjoyed the UKIP result:

“I don’t think they’ve got a long-term future. You should never write anyone off but they will be a voice of discontent. They are very reliant on the performance of their leader Nigel Farage and even he couldn’t win a seat. Sixth or seventh time he’s tried to win a Westminster seat. I think he might be better coming to Australia and doing talkback radio than trying to run another seat in the UK.”

Well at least Nige’s boys are winning the cricket…

Bow Group Bunfight: Was Zac “Misled”?

Another stunning success for the beleaguered Bow Group. On Monday they announced Zac Goldsmith as the keynote speaker at their summer reception, rather an odd move for a think tank that spends its time condemning Tories who show the slightest ideological impurity as “unconservative“. Three days later, Zac has backed out and pointed the finger at the organisers:

Zac’s campaign chief Nick de Bois says he feels “misled” because the Bow Group billed him as their keynote speaker, telling the Bow Group-friendly Breitbart site:

“Without agreement the Bow group has been misleading attendees and the public, selling the event as a keynote speech – something very different. He will therefore not be taking part.”

Well, was he “misled“? These emails between the Bow Group’s Nic Conner and Zac’s people suggest they didn’t have that much of a problem with it being described as a keynote speech:

From: Nic Conner
To: Team Zac
4th August 12:46

I will call to order at 18:55 with the Chairman’s address at 19:00. We then aim to give Zac a chance to give his keynote at 19:10 for 15 minutes then 10 minuets [sic] of questions from the floor… After Zac has taken selfies and shaken hands I suspect he will be out the door by 20:00.

From: Team Zac
To: Nic Conner
4th August 16:06

Thanks Nic. The timings of 7-8pm look fine. Please could I make some small amends? In short, fine for the chairman to give opening remarks. Could it then go to Nick de Bois as Zac’s campaign chairman to give a couple of short remarks and set the scene as a former MP, and then Zac can give a speech of between 5-10 minutes and chair his own Q&A? If we then aim for 7:30pm for Zac to mingle.

Perhaps someone had a quiet word in Zac’s ear that the Bow Group might not be his ideological allies…

Burnham Train Derailed: Renationalisation Spin Unravels

Andy Burnham got the headlines he wanted this morning: the Mirror dutifully report he “promises to renationalise the railways if he takes power” on their front page. Rival Labour camps are quick to point out that Burnham’s plan has been lifted “word for word” from Ed Miliband’s manifesto, which pledged:

“Labour will legislate so a public sector operator can take on lines and challenge private train operating companies on a level playing field… We will end the situation where the only public sector that cannot run our railways is our own.”

“It is hardly the big, bold new policy it was promised to be,” says a spokesperson from the Yvette campaign.

What’s more, Labour sources point out that 90% of rail franchises expire in the next 5 years and won’t be up again until 2030. Burnham has confirmed that his policy is not immediate compulsory renationalisation, merely letting the public sector bid when franchises expire:

So even if he was to become PM in 2020, the policy wouldn’t come into effect for some ten years of Burnham governments. Almost as if it’s just an empty headline grabber to take Corbyn votes…

End of an Era…

End of an error, more like…

Where Eagle Dares… to Hire Unpaid Interns

eagle

Here is Angela Eagle slamming unpaid internships during the election campaign:

She could not have been clearer about them:

“Let me assure you, we will legislate to stop this happening, and everybody – whether it is our own party or any other part of the country – will have to make sure there is a level playing field for interns, so those that don’t have deep pockets or rich parents can have access to the same opportunities as everyone else.”

So, this advert from Angela Eagle’s campaign asking for two unpaid interns must be a mistake then?

She calls them ‘volunteers’, but Guido will let you be the judge on whether this sounds like a job or not:

Responsible to the Field Operations Co-ordinator, the post-holders should have the ability to work both independently and as part of a team, provide leadership and have excellent organisation skills and attention to detail.

You will be required to work on:

  • Capacity building
  • Volunteer mobilisation
  • Event organisation
  • Liaising with local Labour parties
  • Social media
  • Policy inquiries  
  • Administration of an efficient campaign office
  • Entry of data
  • Other tasks as requested by campaign staff

Please note this role continues until the close of voting in the Labour leadership election.

The Angela Eagle for Deputy campaign values equality and diversity, and welcomes applications from candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status, or pregnancy and maternity.

“Let me assure you…”

Will Straw’s Spinning Swingometer

will-straw

Will Straw is one of the editors of a pamphlet from the Fabians – Never Again” – which basically argues that under Ed Miliband their policy offer was too left-wing. It also boasts that in the seat in which he was standing – Rossendale and Darwen – he increased Labour’s vote by 2,000. Up to a point Will…

Rossendale and Darwen’s voter turnout was up by a similar 2,000, the Tory share of the vote went up by 4.8%. Tory Jake Berry increased his majority over Will Straw’s Labour. Expect more spinning of statistics like this when Will starts working for the “Yes to EU” campaign…

Yet Another Burnham Flip Flop

flipflop

Last night Andy Burnham told the LBC hustings that he would serve in Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet:

“I would. I would serve the Labour Party at any level that it asked me to serve the Labour Party.”

Iain Dale pushed the ‘frontrunner’ on this:

ID: Any particular job you’d like in a Corbyn Shadow Cabinet?

AB: I would always put the Labour Party…

ID: Chancellor?

AB: I think it’s really important that coming from this, the Labour Party unites. That’s the most important thing and we have a clear sense of direction going forward.

Pretty clear he’s thinking about Shadow Cabinet roles…

Which is odd, given that last week he told the lobby lunch that he was not giving any thought to other jobs and he was only in the race to win it.

He could not have been clearer, he was not even thinking about any Shadow Cabinet, bar his own:

“No funnily enough, I’m not thinking about any other job.

I’m confident I’ve put forward the right change for the Labour Party to mean I will be the next leader of the Labour Party.

I’m not thinking about other jobs.

I’m very focussed on what I’m doing, why I am standing as I say, this party that I love, that I’ve given my life to is, I think, in quite a dangerous position right now. It is out of touch with millions of people around the country. It does need to make some serious changes if it is to win back their trust.

I am purely focussed on that, I’m not giving a thought to anything else.

I’m expecting to be leader and I want to make those changes to the Labour Party from day one.”

Another Andy flip flop…

Cooper and Burnham in Corbyn Tail Spin

Cooper says that last night’s poll proves that only she can beat Corbyn, when it fact it says the complete opposite:

“This doesn’t reflect our internal data and significantly understates the huge number of members and supporters giving Yvette their first preference.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Roll Call of Labour ‘Morons’

From Panglossian cheerleader to doomsayer in the space of two months, Labour spinner John McTernan had some choice words after last night’s poll:

“The moronic MPs who nominated Jeremy Corbyn to ‘have a debate’ need their heads felt. They should be ashamed of themselves.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Ey Up, Chuck: Yvette’s ‘Mockney’ Mystery

“I will be a leader whose voice can carry in to all the nations and regions of our country,” said Andy Burnham the other day, pledging to “appoint a front bench full of accents and diversity.” And fellow candidate Yvette Cooper is also offering a diversity of accents

When the Shadow Home Secretary speaks in the Commons chamber she takes  care to pronounce every vowel and consonants in a polished and clipped school mistress tone, yet since she’s been running for leader she’s dropping her T’s and has a distinctly more northern twang to her voice on the airwaves during interviews.[…]

+ READ MORE +

BBC Accidentally Reveal Hand in Lobbying Letter

BLOODY-BBC

The circle jerk continues. In another stunning success for the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire Shower, invited guest Michael Palin coughed live on air that BBC director of Television Danny Cohen had personally called up the celebrities that signed the ‘independent’ letter to the Telegraph that argued against a single cut to the BBC. […]

+ READ MORE +

NoYouKhant: Fellow MPs Blow Up Sadiq Tony Terror Smear

An explosive development in the race to be the Labour candidate for London Mayor. Regular readers will remember Khan going off on one about Blair last week:

“Khan did, however, recall his frustration with the reaction of Tony Blair to the 7/7 terror attacks, when the then-prime minister called in the newly elected MP and the three other Muslim Labour members of the House of Commons.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

BBC Licence Fee Lobbying Circle Jerk

With impeccable timing, every MP has received a DVD and slurpy letter from the BBC’s lobbying wing.

Ostentatiously designed to show MPs the quality of recent BBC work, it’s no coincidence that the targeted lobbying campaign has taken place in the same week that Whittingdale launches his BBC Charter Review Green Paper.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Dave Struggles With Another Three Letter Acronym Text

Along with Boris (late), Hammond (cold),  Fallon (sober-ish), Soubry (jolly), Hancock (bouncy) and former Aussie PM John Howard, the PM laid it on thick last night at Lynton Crosby’s victory party at the Science Museum.

Taking the stage to do his best Australian accent, Dave was sweary:

“‘Stick to your course and bloody do it…’ That is Lynton in a bloody nutshell.”

The PM also revealed he was struggling with three letter acronyms again, this time curt text messages from his campaign manager about “Paisley pyjamas or whatever”:

“I didn’t have my glasses on and could only see WEF, and I was wondering why he was talking about the World Economic Forum.  

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Confirmed: Philippa Roe Running For Mayor

On Wednesday Guido exclusively revealed that Philippa Roe would be a last minute addition to the Tory mayoral race. Today she confirms she is running:

“I am a Londoner through and through. I was born and brought up here, have spent my entire working and political career here and am now raising my family in what I consider to be the world’s greatest city.

[…]

+ 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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