Wrong Laura Trott, Standard…
A colleague of Victoria Borwick, the current favourite to be the next Tory MP for Kensington, denies being behind an attempt to smear a rival candidate. The rumour was put about to the media yesterday – in writing – that “George Osborne’s private office” was calling up Kensington members to pressurise them to back No. 10 Special Adviser Laura Trott. N0. 11 sources deny outright that any such calls were made.
Apparently: “The call was pretty high pressure, and when I said I wanted a local candidate not some advisor I’d never heard of I was told quite clearly that “the Chancellor needs Laura in parliament.” It’s bad form, and I don’t think many members in Kensington are going to put up with it.”
It was said to have been a woman: “she said she’s from ‘the Chancellor’s office’. I felt very pressured and like I wasn’t allowed to disagree with her.”
When Guido put it to Borwick’s people, they simply said “Victoria doesn’t want to comment.”
We report, you decide.
Sayeeda Warsi and a host of Labour MPs attended the unveiling of a ‘Muslim Manifesto’ yesterday at an event on the parliamentary estate. Did they know it was organised by an ‘Islamic extremist’ who has praised Al-Qaeda?
Azad Ali is the Head of Community Engagement at Mend, an ‘anti-Islamophobia think tank’ which met yesterday to demand a “review [of] all counter-terrorism legislation enacted since 2000″.
Ali has previously written of his “love” of Al-Qaeda terrorist Anwar Al-Awlaki and was suspended from his job at the Treasury after he attempted to justify the murder of British troops. He has also admitted attending speeches by Al-Qaeda hate preacher Abu Qatada. Ali has previously been described as an “Islamic extremist” by an eminent expert in the field.
Earlier this week, Mend defended CAGE, the extremist group linked to Jihadi John, accusing the media of “an attempt to discredit” them. Their event in parliament, which Ali live-tweeted, was attended by left-wing Labour MPs Yasmin Qureshi, Gerald Kaufman, Kate Green and Andy Slaughter.
So was Baroness Warsi, who said their “Muslim Manifesto is something you can take to your election candidates”.
Shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Ashworth added: “I think this manifesto is really important and a great initiative. I will be studying it very carefully and I will be passing it on to our Shadow Cabinet”.
What was Azad Ali, a man who has professed his love for a senior Al-Qaeda leader, doing in the heart of parliament?
Plain packs will be slipped into law next week without so much as a debate in the Commons:
Parliamentary business for Monday 9 March 2015:
4.30pm Twelfth Delegated Legislation Committee
Subject: Draft Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015
Location: Committee Room 6, Palace of Westminster
“Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled.” - Michael Crichton
Standard reveal the dates:
“The Evening Standard understands that the local party will be given six names by Central Office next Tuesday and they will be allowed to whittle that list down to three. A party spokesman confirms this timetable, but wishes to emphasise that the initial six will be the product of ongoing discussions between the local party and party HQ. The chosen three will then pitch to members and face a vote three days later at the Town Hall, next Friday. The local member says security will be “very tight” so only members of the association who live within the Kensington constituency (and not those in neighbouring Chelsea and Fulham) can get in.”
Lucky day for one…
Former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor tells the Today programme he wants to be interviewed by police “at the earliest opportunity” after his home was searched by police investigating allegations of child abuse. He says he “never attended sex parties” and was not part of a “rent boy ring”…
The next MP for Kensington has until noon today to submit their 500 word candidate application for the seat. There is increasing chatter around local boy and former Boris adviser Kulveer Ranger, who is believed to be in the running though has to overcome the not inconsiderable obstacle of being a man. Guido understands there has been an unprecedented level of entries from candidates for the seat. These will be whittled down to a final three, who will then be presented to the association in the coming weeks. Two hours til deadline…