RUMOUR: Sarah Wollaston to Quit Vote Leave

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Rumours are doing the rounds that Tory MP Sarah Wollaston is about to quit Vote Leave. The career contrarian is supposedly due to attack their £350 million figure – which oddly she has already criticised on numerous occasions before, so it’s strange she is suddenly upset about it. Her Euroscepticism must have been pretty thin if she’s wavering on this…

Long Day at the Office, Prime Minister?

According to the EyeSpy.MP Twitter account, Dave followed his ITV Q&A last night with a fag and a pint on the Commons terrace. Long day at the office?

Tory Association Chiefs Complain About Candidate Cull

Tory associations are already at war with the leadership over the referendum and the aborted Feldman plan to merge local parties. Now angry association chairman are complaining to CCHQ about the candidate cull that took place in the last 10 days. Guido has spoken to several local Tory chiefs who are very upset that their preferred candidates have been removed from the approved candidates list, without explanation. This has happened across the country. In some cases, the purged candidates stood for election in 2015, achieved a respectable result and have the full support of their associations to run next time round, but CCHQ has kicked them off the list. Judging by some of those booted off – and some of those left on – this isn’t a simple clear out of failed or weak candidates. A number of prominent Eurosceptics have been removed, as well as some Remainers. Some associations have even been told they won’t be able to select their own candidates for next year’s local elections, a move which has gone down like a cup of cold sick. The timing is particularly unfortunate too – one local Tory figure describes CCHQ’s actions as “Stalinist“. Tory Head of Candidates Gareth Fox’s phone hasn’t stopped ringing…

Tory Turncoat Tipped For Peerage

GEOFFREY VAN ORDEN

Tory MEP Geoffrey Van Orden, famous for sharing a Fanny with Kanye West, is a self-proclaimed “dyed-in-the-wool Eurosceptic”. On his own website he boasts:

“I didn’t become an MEP in order to promote the EU – I want us to govern our own country”

Last month he said:

“I oppose so much of what goes on in this place (European Parliament) and in the European Union. I think a lot of it is detrimental to British interests and indeed in the interest of many of our European countries”

And he threatened to back Brexit unless Cameron achieved “tangible change”. You’ll never guess what…

Today he has ‘done a Mak‘ and come out for Remain. Sir Geoffrey is set to retire at the end of this term. This will only fuel the rumours he’s been offered a seat in the Lords…

Tories Demand Electoral Commission Investigates Labour, LibDems and SNP

Tory MP Charles Walker writes to the Electoral Commission demanding they investigate Hattie’s pink bus, the LibDem battle bus, the SNP chopper and Labour’s four undeclared battle busesCircular firing squad…

Mercer Promised Constituents “Direct Democracy: You Call the Shots”

Johnny Mercer gave Guido a two word response for pointing out he’d ignored his own constituency referendum poll: “Total bollocks”. Johnny says his poll – which found 74% backed Leave – was “unscientific” and therefore he will be voting Remain anyway. Local voters aren’t impressed, mainly because of a promise Mercer made them on his website. This pledge is still up for all to see:

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Step one: Promise your constituents “Direct Democracy – you call the shots”.

Step two: Poll them on their views on the referendum.

Step three: Ignore them when the results don’t agree with your career plans…

Remainer Mercer Ignores Constituents

MERCER poll

To the surprise of absolutely no-one, Tory MP Johnny Mercer finally came out for Remain yesterday. This morning he writes for ConHome calling Farage “pathetic“. What Johnny doesn’t mention is that just a few weeks ago, when he was supposedly still making up his mind, he polled his constituents about how they would be voting. Over 400 responded, with 74.1% of Plymouth Moor View residents backing Leave. Just 19.2% supported Remain. Mercer won his seat by 1,000 votes in 2015, with UKIP coming third with over 9,000 votes. Ammo for them in 2020…

Tory Fury at Candidate Cull

Dozens of names have been culled from the Tory candidates list in the past two weeks, in a purge that is causing considerable ructions behind the scenes. Guido is aware of several candidates who were contacted by CCHQ and told they were being kicked off the list, with no explanation why. They believe the number booted out in similar fashion is well into double figures. The curious move has gone down very badly as the chances of appeal in time for the 2020 election are remote. Candidates are mystified as to why they have been dropped – the names include people who fought seats in 2015 and performed above expectations, others are highly thought-of up-and-comers who had support locally, in CCHQ and in parliament. Meanwhile many weak candidates remain on the list. People are very, very p*ssed off…

Downing Street Scream Blue Purdah

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Downing Street/Remain have been rattled by Vote Leave’s recent strategy shift towards proposing a post-Brexit policy platform. In the last week or so Gove, Boris and Priti have begun to offer alternative policies for a Leave government, such as an Australian-style immigration points system and scrapping VAT on domestic fuel.[…]

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Turncoat Tolhurst ‘Claimed to Be Pro-Leave’

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Oh dear… according to Quentin Letts, newly converted Remain supporter Kelly Tolhurst personally told him she was a Brexiteer:

Kelly says she is “surprised” by Quentin’s tweet because she “only finally decided last week”.[…]

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Turncoat Tolhurst Backs Remain

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Tory MP Kelly Tolhurst, who claimed to be a Eurosceptic worried about EU immigration in order to defeat UKIP’s Mark Reckless, has endorsed Remain:

“Having listened to the debate, looked at the facts, and spoken to prominent campaigners on both sides, I have now made my own decision that I will be voting to remain on the 23rd June.

[…]

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Patrick Rock Guilty

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Former Cameron aide Patrick Rock has been convinced of five counts of making indecent images of children. Developing…[…]

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Tories Fail to Block Police Investigation in Thanet South

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The Tory who stopped Nigel Farage winning in Thanet South has failed to block police extending the time available for their investigation of his election expenses spending. Why did the Tories try to block the police from investigating this seat – unlike in the twenty or so other seats where similar allegations have been made?[…]

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Gove Leads With ConHome Readers

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Another boost for those who want to see Gove as Deputy PM – once again he is the firm leadership frontrunner among ConHome readers, eight points ahead of Boris. Gove has led the field for three consecutive months. That said BoJo has had a good month, rising 8 points.[…]

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Elliott Johnson: No Link Between Redundancy and Bullying

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The coroner has ruled that that there was no link between Elliott Johnson being made redundant from Conservative Way Forward and alleged bulling by ‘Tatler Tory’ Mark Clarke. The inquest heard from CWF’s Paul Abbott about a bitter feud between him and Clarke, however the coroner warned the Johnson family QC that linking the redundancy and Clarke was “irrelevant… I will not allow this to degenerate into a trial of Mark Clarke”.[…]

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Patrick Rock Trial: ‘It Was Just Like Watching Britney’

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Former Cameron aide Patrick Rock’s trial has begun – he stands accused of downloading indecent images of children. Rock admits downloading 19 images of girls aged 10-14 dressed in bikinis and ballet tutus. The prosecution allege the children were wearing “sexualised or erotic clothing… in a pose that is deliberately sexual in tone”.[…]

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Quote of the Day

David Cowling, the BBC’s head of political research, in an internal memo…

“It seems to me that the London bubble has to burst if there is to be any prospect of addressing the issues that have brought us to our current situation. There are many millions of people in the UK who do not enthuse about diversity and do not embrace metropolitan values yet do not consider themselves lesser human beings for all that. Until their values and opinions are acknowledged and respected, rather than ignored and despised, our present discord will persist. Because these discontents run very wide and very deep and the metropolitan political class, confronted by them, seems completely bewildered and at a loss about how to respond (“who are these ghastly people and where do they come from?” doesn’t really hack it). The 2016 EU referendum has witnessed the cashing in of some very bitter bankable grudges but I believe that, throughout this 2016 campaign, Europe has been the shadow not the substance.”

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