Miliband’s former psycho-spinner Tom Baldwin squirmed in his seat as the Daily Politics grilled him on his toxic press briefings during the election. On the infamous “weaponise the NHS” comment, Baldwin complained it was “intended to be off the record“. On his tasteless “Milly Dowler moment” remarks, he scoffs “this was another Nick Robinson exclusive… I did not use that phrase“. Though he refused to deny making any sort of comparison. Once a spinner…
Europe minister David Lidington has set out the government’s compromise on ‘purdah’ ahead of tonight’s vote – only to have his spin shredded by parliament’s top lawyer. In a damning email leaked to Guido, Speaker’s Counsel Michael Carpenter says Lidington’s arguments against letting the purdah rules apply in full are “unsound“.
One of Lidington’s main arguments against purdah is that “the legal advice we have received suggests that this could extend to individual elected representatives” – i.e. it would gag all MPs in the run up to the referendum. Carpenter dismisses this as “too literal a reading“. MPs would not face restrictions.
Another of Lidington’s key claims is that purdah would stop ministers from conducting European Union business. Carpenter says “I do not share the view“. Lidington suggests that the “full rigour” of purdah would prevent ministers communicating what is going on in Brussels. But Carpenter says the rules “expressly allow the issue of press notices without any restriction as to their content“.
He concludes of the Europe minister: “Mr Lidington seems simply to repeat the unsound arguments advanced before“. That’s two of the government’s main arguments on purdah torn apart by parliament’s top laywer ahead of tonight’s crunch vote…
There is one word we will be hearing a lot from Downing Street if and when Corbyn becomes leader. David Cameron mentions “security” six times in an article attacking Jezza for the Times today:
[Economic stability] is what makes it possible to deliver the security we all yearn for. At the heart of our election manifesto was that simple goal: to give people security… Security is formed of many things… getting the training you need to secure a worthwhile career… The most important source of security is a well-paid job… It’s that combination of recovery and reform that will enable us to help those who often have the least security“
Got the message?
If that wasn’t subtle enough, George Osborne used No. 10’s new buzzword a total of eight times in a very repetitive op-ed for the Sun over the weekend, including three times in the first line:
“This is a Government that puts security first – our national security and our economic security… that consensus, which is so important for our security and reliability as an ally, risks being shattered…The UK’s future security is threatened… the return of the unilateralists to British politics threatens our nation’s future security… For the new unilateralists of British politics are a threat to our future national security and to our economic security”
That’s 14 times in 48 hours…
“My concern is that we do everything we can to protect and enhance the security of the United Kingdom” was Cameron’s only previous comment on Corbyn, made two weeks ago. The Tories were masters of thematic campaigning in May, and their new mot du jour has the benefit of ringing true…
One of the many, many upsides for the Tories of Corbynmania and Labour’s complete absence of opposition is that they can now just stick two fingers up at accountability:
No. 10 is also expected to announce details of the latest list of cronies and donors to be bunged peerages this afternoon as well. Probably not a coincidence that TfL have chosen today to announce that they are backing down to the union bullyboys over all night tubes, either. A good day to bury bad news, not so good for holding power to account…
As China’s Shanghai Composite index slides by 8.5% in a day, its biggest one-day percentage loss since 2007, Damian McBride offers his prophecy of doom:
Zombie Apocalypse: This Time The QE Won’t Work…
At 1:30pm yesterday, Burnham went on the BBC to criticise those in the Labour Party attacking Jeremy Corbyn:
“If we’re just attacking people and making dire warnings it is misreading what we are seeing… it misreads the mood of the party.”
At 11:17am today, Burnham went on the BBC to attack Jeremy Corbyn:
“Jeremy’s plans lack credibility. It’s not possible to promise free university education, renationalising the utilities, without that coming at a great cost… His plans lack financial and economic credibility.”
Which is almost exactly what he criticised Cooper for saying yesterday. Burnham flip flops on a weekly basis during this race, but a full reversal in under 24 hours is impressive even by his standards…
Multiple sources say top Obama pollster Joel Benenson, now working on the Hillary Clinton campaign, is lined up to work for the Labour Party – in particular on the London mayoral campaign. Benenson, who runs a consulting firm which advises Democrat politicians, was a senior adviser to the Obama campaigns in 2008 and 2012 and is now the chief strategist for Hillary’s presidential run. He also worked for Gordon Brown in 2009. There is one obstacle…
The Hillary campaign guru won’t work for the Labour Party if Jeremy Corbyn is leader. Sources point to Corbyn’s extreme views on Israel-Palestine and Hamas as a major stumbling block to him coming on board. Benenson is described by GQ as the “go-to guy for any politico wanting to take the public’s temperature“. That he won’t work for Corbyn is a small indicator of Corbyn’s trans-Atlantic toxicity…
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…
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“.[…]
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.[…]
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?[…]
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.[…]
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?
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.