Friday, October 3, 2014

WATCH: Newmark Story Was Not Entrapment

Fleetstreet Fox’s defence of the Sunday Mirror’s Brooks Newmark story on Question Time last night is worth watching. Critics who have not read the original story and trigger happy IPSO bosses should watch:

“I think in this particular case that it’s not entrapment because Mr Newmark, if you’ve read the original article, responded to this journalist, which he thought was a young woman online, by firstly offering his mobile phone number, secondly going into private messages, and then on seven occasions seeking explicit photographs from her, and on another three occasions asking to meet her. Now that doesn’t sound to me like someone who was reluctant or who needed persuading, it sounds to me like someone who was quite enthusiastic with the opportunity to misbehave, and he grabbed it with one hand while lowering his pyjama trousers with the other one.

“I think there are two issues that would make this in the public interest. One of those is one of the messages that Brooks Newmark sent was “you send me a picture and I will send you one, that way we both have a secret”. Now if that were you and me, it doesn’t matter. A government minister who has security clearance, that’s an invitation to blackmail, and corruption. Under the Ministerial Code of Conduct that alone would be a reason to resign… A man with power and wealth and influence repeatedly, not once or twice, sought explicit photographs from what he thought was a young woman who had no power or wealth or influence, and if she had been the young activist that he thought she was, he would have had the power to influence her career for better or for worse. To me, that smells like exploitation and it’s certainly abuse of power.”

Notable that Grant Shapps also refused to say Newmark was entrapped…

Thursday, October 2, 2014

CON 35 / LAB 34: Tories Take Poll Lead for First Time Since 2012

Newmark Speaks: “I Blame No One But Myself”
58% of Local Residents Say He Should Quit as an MP

“I hope people will balance the good I have done for the community over the years with a foolish thing I did one evening several months ago. Although what the Sunday Mirror did was underhand I blame no one but myself. I hope I can be forgiven for that.”

The former Civil Society Minister was responding to an online poll in his local paper that found 58% of residents thought he should resign as an MP as well as from government. It was Brooks’ old department that watered down the Recall Bill…

Shapps Confirms PM Will Campaign in Clacton

Many thought the PM would want to avoid the UKIP landslide. Apparently not…

In case you missed the Guy News special report during conference, it’s not looking good for the Tories on the Essex coast:

Guido is not sure a visit from Dave will do much to turn that around…

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tax Rabbit Saves Dave’s Conference

Guido has never seen a tax cut that he does not like so Cameron’s speech today was certainly lively. The hall loved it and Dave hit their sweet spots in a way he has not since before the last election. Personal allowance up, the threshold for 40% rate up from £41,000 to £50,000. More money kept in the pockets of millions of voters, but… 

Having said that, whatever happened to that last tax rabbit that the Tories plucked from a hat when in a tight spot? Inheritance tax threshold up to a million? 2007? Ring any bells? Guido will believe it when he sees it… 

It may unravel and billions in cuts will have to be found to pay for it all, but in terms of strategy it’s exactly what the Tories needed to do. After last week’s eighty minute snoozefest from Ed Miliband, it’s tough to see how Labour can avoid responding to these pledges directly. UKIP and the LibDems will moan that their ideas have been lifted, which will further please the blues. Over to you Ed…

 

UKIP Banks on Mystery Donation Figure…
…and Don’t Mention His Mrs and Mike Hancock

There is some bafflement in Tory circles this morning over from where exactly UKIP have plucked the quarter of a million pound figure for defector Arron Bank’s donations to the Conservative Party since 2005. A hungover scan of the Electoral Commission website by Guido shows only two donations of £25,000 from Banks to two Tory branches since Cameron became leader: Thornbury & Yate and Northavon, and no money to the central party. Which makes the £250,000 being punted on the news channels look a little iffy.

Leaving that aside this initial confusion while it’s investigated, what will Arron Banks’ new friends at UKIP have to say about his wife’s somewhat mysterious acquisition of the right to stay in the UK? Banks married Ekaterina Paderina in 2001, who regular readers will remember was a good chum of LibDem turbo-perve Mike Hancock:

“Miss Paderina came to Britain from Ekaterinburg in eastern Russia on a student visa in the late 1990s. In November 1998 she met and married Eric Butler a retired merchant seaman from Portsmouth, who was more than twice her age. Immigration officials were suspicious about the marriage and Miss Paderina was informed she could face deportation. But after seeking help from their local MP, Mr Hancock, Miss Paderina was allowed to stay in Britain, despite her marriage to Mr Butler allegedly lasting just three months.”

According to Paderina’s ex, Handy-cock “went out of his way to help the blonde Russian after she paid several visits to his constituency office.” Rather awkwardly for Banks, Hancock’s seat is very high up the list of UKIP targets that he’s now funding… 

UPDATE: UKIP sources are confident of the figure. They immediately point to an outstanding loan from 2007 of £75,000 from Banks’ Panacea Finance to the Thornbury association, as well as the £50,000 given in his own name. So that’s halfway there then…

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Eurosceptics: We Have Been Tories Longer Than Cameron
Mark Pritchard Denies Defection Rumour

Tory conference is getting itself into a right lather about who might be the next defector to UKIP, with an, as yet, baseless rumour that someone will jump in time for Cameron’s speech tomorrow. It would certainly be a punchy move, and Guido wonders whether the public would like such a brazenly calculated departure.

Right-wingers are queuing up to say ‘it ain’t me, guv’. Mark Pritchard tells Guido:

“I will not be defecting to UKIP. My beating heart is Conservative. I joined the Party long before David Cameron – and I will still be part of it long after David Cameron is gone.”

There is also growing talk of a ‘put or shut up’ style ‘well go on then’ moment for the Prime Minister, which would please the likes of Matthew Parris. It would certainly take the sting out of any future drip, drip, drip of defectors.

Dick Pic Tory Tipped to Defect to UKIP

Rumours swirl at Tory conference that the next man to jump ship to UKIP will be Boris’ former deputy mayor Dick Barnes, best known for uploading some unfortunate photos to Facebook.

The Tories will be fearing this is just the tip of the iceberg, if UKIP keep it up they could be well and truly shafted tomorrow…

UPDATE: It has been confirmed that Dick has joined UKIP, however he had actually been kicked out of the Tories and has already stood as an independent.

Monday, September 29, 2014

CCHQ Gestapo Interrogate UKIP Sympathising Tory Delegate

Sources close to the airport-style security area at Tory conference have an intriguing tale about the whereabouts of a man who was let into the secure zone wearing a t-shirt sporting the slogan “Nigel has a point”. Guido is told that a furious  Tory official “dragged” the cheeky visitor, a party member, into a quiet room by the security fence and grilled him at length to determine whether he was a “security threat” to the conference, reportedly suspending his pass for several hours. A rare case of a Ukipper trying to get into the Tories, rather than the other way round…

Team Osborne Tell Their Backstories

It’s Team Osborne day in Birmingham today. And we’re getting a lot of back stories from the Chancellor’s loyal lieutenants. Sajid Javid told a previously unhead story about being the son of an immigrant bus drive who became a banker and then joined the cabinet. Liz Truss talked about her lefty academic parents taking her on protest marches and Matt Hancock lifted the lid on life growing up on tough front line of the internet revolution at his mum’s internet business. It certainly seemed like a coordinated effort for Team Osborne to show some ankle. Curious timing; incidentally Boris arrives at 6. 

Guido preferred Saj’s tale from growing up that he told to the Tech Central fringe event last night:

“I stuck in one of the holes. Nothing happened. So I stuck it in the other hole, and bang, I went flying across the room.”

For context, he was talking about his neon screwdriver


Seen Elsewhere

Comply or Die at Grauniad | MediaGuido
Labour Beats UKIP in South Yorkshire | LabourList
Mock the Week’s Weak Comedy | Nigel Farage
Can Jim Murphy Save Scottish Labour? | Guardian
There is Still Appetite for the Westminster Lunch | Jon Craig
Labour Turn Their Backs on Jewish Community | Dan Hodges
Chivalry is Not Dead | Laura Perrins
Jonathan Jones is a Tw*t | Iain Dale
Second Scotland Poll Suggests Labour Wipeout | Times
Paedo Probe Boss Urged to Quit | Sun
Keynesian Tories Won’t Eliminate Deficit | Tim Montgomerie


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