79%* of Goldsmith’s Constituents #BackZac

After Zac Goldsmith asked his constituents’ permission to run for Mayor of London in a postal vote, the numbers are in:

YES: 15,802 79%

NO: 3569 18%

Don’t Know: 503 2%

Spoilt: 16 

77,071 ballots sent out, 19,890 came before deadline. 25.8% turnout.

Zac is in the race.

UPDATE: Zac speaks:

“I am hugely grateful to the residents of Richmond Park and North Kingston for taking part in the ballot, and am overwhelmed by the mandate they have given me to run for Mayor… Having just been given the green light to run by my constituents, I have a lot of work to do to earn selection as the Conservative Party candidate for Mayor. I will work tirelessly to repay my constituents’ loyalty and to gain the trust of Londoners so we can make London an even greater and more liveable city.”

UPDATE II:

*Who expressed a preference.

Labour Admit They Can’t Stop Tories Voting For Corbyn

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Last week Labour sought to nip the #ToriesForCorbyn campaign in the bud by insisting everyone voting must “support the aims and values of the Labour Party and if they don’t then they won’t be allowed to take part”.

Since then, the only change made to the process has been to ask participants to agree to this statement:

“I support the aims and values of the Labour Party, and I am not a supporter of any organisation opposed to it.”

Yet Labour NEC veteran Ann Black last night admitted that the new system would not stop Tory entryists:

“Some members are concerned about registered supporters and whether our political enemies can subvert the process… Of course people can always lie”

The Corbyn campaign is now seeking to allay concerns:

“much has been made of the idea that Tories are joining the party to vote for this or that candidate. Our instincts tell us to be suspicious of a storm whipped up mainly by the Tory Press. We doubt if it adds up to much.”

He might doubt it, but he’ll be hoping that it does…

Duncan’s Blimping Good Idea

duncan blimp Sir Alan Duncan floated a novel idea today to help local people properly visualise the impact of wind farms on the landscape: force developers to fly blimps.

“A photo montage never really give an accurate picture of the visual impact of these turbines, will the Secretary of State consider making it compulsory applicants to fly a blimp in order better to show the real height of any turbine that is proposed.”

Capital idea…

Kamall Confirms He’s Running

As Guido revealed two weeks ago, Syed Kamall is running for Mayor. He confirms today:

“I am really excited about the prospect of doing this. I’m a Londoner born and bred. I grew up here and I’ve always enjoyed fighting for our city.”

I look forward to having some robust conversations and debates over the coming months about the issues which affect our city. We need to tackle some of the most important things like housing and transport but we also need to ensure that everyone in our city enjoys the full fruits of London’s success.”

No Boris style coronation for Zac…

Labour U-Turn on Public Engagement Promise to Stop #ToriesForCorbyn

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Despite Harriet Harman’s promise that Labour aren’t “afraid” to allow Joe Public a vote in their leadership contest…

“We must let the public in. Into the process and into our minds as we make the decisions about who is our next leader and how we go forward. So we are going to start that with how we do the leadership elections.”

… The party tell MailOnline that they will now require a “verification” process to root out Tory entryists. A Labour source tells Guido:

“Registered supporters have to support the aims and values of the Labour Party and if they don’t then they won’t be allowed to take part.”

The end of #ToriesForCorbyn? A cunning plan relying only on the Tories never telling a lie…

Toby Crunches #ToriesForCorbyn Numbers

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Toby Young has a cunning plan in the Telegraph:

“The size of the Labour leadership electorate is projected to be 240,000 or thereabouts, so quite large. Second preferences are redistributed and, assuming Liz Kendall’s eliminated first, followed by Yvette Cooper, I can’t see him getting many of those. To win, therefore, Corbyn would need to get close to 50 per cent of first preferences – quite a tall order, even in a party as batshit crazy as Labour.

But that doesn’t mean 120,000 Tories will have to vote for him. Incredibly, Corbyn is quite popular with Labour’s grass roots. He was the overwhelming favourite in a recent LabourList poll, attracting a whopping 47 per cent of the vote, compared to 13 per cent for Burnham, 11 per cent for Kendall and nine per cent for Cooper. If that holds up, he could win as many as 40,000 votes without any help from us. That means only 80,000 #ToriesForCorbyn need to sign up to put him over the top. Note to Lynton: You can buy the next election for just £240,000.”

Guido suspects this could go the same way as Toby’s Tory/UKIP pact plan, but all good fun.

The Guardian have had a characteristically po-faced reaction to the campaign:

“Conservative party supporters have mounted a Twitter campaign to elect Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader in order to damage the party’s future election chances. According to new rules, anybody can pay £3 to register as a Labour supporter and vote for the new leader, a change that some speculated would leave the process open to abuse by opponents.”

Sign up here.

EU Purdah Stitch Up: Full Letter From Lidington to Tories

Minister for Europe David Lidington has written to Tory MPs to tell them they are still planning on stitching up the EU Referendum, but it’s ok because they they will ‘work with them’ to do so:

16th June 2015

Dear Colleague,

EU REFERENDUM BILL

I am writing ahead of the Committee Stages of the Bill to address some of the key concerns raised by colleagues during the Second Reading debate last week and to set out the Government’s approach.

As you know, the Government’s intention in bringing forward this Bill is to fulfil our General Election Manifesto pledge to let the British people decide our country’s future in the European Union. It is our clear intention, through the Bill, to provide a straightforward, fair and effective framework for the referendum.

Timing of the Referendum

As stated during the debate, the government is keen to maintain as much flexibility as possible over the date of the referendum. The bill sets out a requirement to hold the referendum by the end of 2017 at the latest, and the Prime Minister has always been clear that if we can hold it earlier, then we will. This has lead to a great deal of speculation that the Government intends to hold the referendum in May 2016 in combination with elections to Scottish Parliament and Welsh and Northern Irish Assemblies. I can confirm that this is not the case. We have now tabled an amendment to specifically rule out 5th May 2016 as a date. If we are not able to debate it during committee, it will be retabled at report.

Section 125 of PPERA 2000

A number of colleagues raised concerns in the debate about Clause 25 and Schedule 1 of the Bill. I am grateful for the constructive way in which these concerns were raised.

The effect of Clause 25 is to disapply S.125 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. It therefore removes the statutory restrictions placed on Government publications in the final 28 days before the referendum. Under S.125, Government and Ministers are prohibited from publishing during the 28 days prior to polling day any material which deals with any of the issues raised by a referendum question; and which puts any arguments for or against a referendum outcome.

As the Foreign Secretary set out during the debate, after careful consideration we believe that it is unworkable and inappropriate to fully apply S.125 in this instance. It is unworkable because the restriction on publication is so broad that it could prevent Ministers from effectively conducting the significant amounts of ordinary day-to-day business between the Government and the EU that will necessarily continue during the pre-poll period. And it is inappropriate because the Government, having taken a position on the outcome of our negotiations with the rest of the EU, will naturally be obliged to account to Parliament and the British people.

The Foreign Secretary said during the debate that the Government will exercise proper restraint to ensure a balanced debate during the campaign. We have no intention of, for example, spending public money to deliver mailshots to households ​in the last four weeks of the campaign.

Working out a system that will reassure colleagues and voters that the referendum is a fair fight, yet will preserve the Government’s ability to act in the national interest is not straightforward. It is important that it is legally clear and robust.

Therefore, we will work with colleagues over the next few months to understand their specific areas of concern and bring forward at report stage in the Autumn government amendments that command the widest possible support within the House and put beyond any doubt that the campaign will be conducted throughout in a manner that all sides will see as fair.

I look forward to working with you during its passage.

Yours sincerely

David Lidington MP
Minister for Europe

Yeah, that should do it…

Warsi Blames Tories For Jihadis Joining ISIS

Another measured and constructive contribution to political discourse from Sayeeda Warsi on the Today programme this morning. As a 17 year old Brit blows himself up in Iraq and a Bradford family goes missing, who does the Baroness blame for the radicalisation of Muslims?

“Let’s first of all be very clear about finding the evidence base of what are the drivers to radicalisation. It may make for uncomfortable reading but it is only when we start to have that honest conversation that we unpick what is now becoming a generational challenge…

Sadly over the last six or seven years there has been a policy of disengagement with British Muslim communities. It is incredibly odd and incredibly worrying that over time more and more individuals, more and more organisations are considered by the government to be beyond the pale and therefore not to be engaged with … Unfortunately the coalition government carried on that policy. It is now time to end that policy of disengagement and start speaking to the British Muslim communities”

Exactly which individuals and organisations considered “beyond the pale” does Warsi want to engage with? Think she is taking this whole Corbyn fandom thing a bit too seriously…

Tories: Purdah Vital to “Enhance Integrity of Politics”

Cameron’s concession on the date of the EU referendum distracts from the more important issue of his attempt to scrap the pre-vote ‘purdah’ period. Effectively allowing a taxpayer funded stitch up in the weeks before the referendum.

Back during the […]

+ READ MORE +

Kamall: I’m Still De-Syed-ing

zacsyed

Popular Tory MEP Syed Kamall is on the brink of declaring a bid to be the Tory candidate for Mayor of London.

Multiple sources report that Kamall spent the weekend speaking to MPs, councillors and London local organisers. Something he […]

+ READ MORE +

Amy Fisher New Head of Press at CCHQ

amy fisher showcase_3bea2c4e6574bbb6d162a9de46bdb148
Chris Grayling’s SpAD Amy Fisher replaces Giles Kenningham as Head of Press at CCHQ.

Long time press office stalwart – and tax justice campaigner – Richard Jackson will be her deputy.

Fisher used to be at Policy Exchange before spinning […]

+ READ MORE +

Tory MEP Shares Fanny With Kanye West

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Geoffrey Van Orden’s wife looked rather smitten with Kanye West in a photo shared by the Conservative MEP on Facebook recently.

Fanny Van Orden called Kanye her “new best friend” and described the global superstar as “a real gentleman” and[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Rod Liddle:

“Family of 12 from Luton – including a baby and two grandparents who are suffering from diabetes and cancer – feared to have joined ISIS… yay – result! That’s saved us all quite a few bob, no? Carry on like this and we might clear the national debt.”

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