UKIP’s specialist academic Matthew Goodwin tells Guido that Clacton is a “dead cert” for the party and that he had briefed Douglas Carswell about this before he made his decision to quit. He claims that the seat is the most ‘kippy in the country. Intriguingly Goodwin confirmed he had briefed the Parliamentary Conservative Party about where UKIP were the biggest threat and Carswell had been at that presentation. Along with many others.
When Guido asked Farage whether there were any more Tory MPs in the pipeline he refused to say: “You buy the chap one pint and he asks for a second.”
He cites Tory dependency on pollsters, lack of real change on offer in Europe and blocking of parliamentary reform. He will resign his seat and trigger a by-election, the honourable thing to do. “I want change, I am an optimist”.
UPDATE: Guido asked Carswell to rate his chances: “I don’t know”. He confirmed he had not spoken to the PM this morning. “I wouldn’t worry Douglas, he’s watching live,” Nigel quipped. Carswell commented “I happen to like David Cameron, I’m not expecting him to reciprocate that now. He’s a nice person, he’s just not serious about change.”
Boris has confirmed it’s Uxbridge. A seat populated by thousands of people who work at an airport the Mayor of London would like to see shut down. Well he’s got to make it a teeny bit challenging, Guido wonders for how much longer Boris will want to have “a genuine, honest discussion about what London could achieve in a world post Heathrow.” Even today he was still lobbying for his Island hub, which should jar somewhat with the local Tories…
Chuka Umunna is not the only politico on Ibiza this summer. The Tories have just launched their own Balearic branch of Conservatives Abroad:
“Ibiza is renowned for attracting the world’s party people and last week was no exception as Conservatives Abroad launched its latest new branch – Conservatives Abroad Ibiza. Overlooking the secluded bay of Porroig, residents and visitors mingled in the beautiful home and gardens of Charlie and Louise Bracken for cocktails and canapes, generously sponsored by Ibiza-Southerbys.”
How long before Ed Vaizey jets out for a fundraiser?
He’s at it again. Tory MP Rob Wilson has written to the Leader of the House, the PM and the Speaker to very publicly blow up the row over the appointment of the new Clerk of the House:
“Media reports suggest, as does the Australian Senate website, that Ms Mill’s Department of Parliamentary Services oversaw the CCTV ‘spying’ on a senior Labor Senator’s office for the purpose of unmasking a whistle-blower and also recorded a Senator’s movements. The Senate Privileges Committee has a significant investigation underway which apparently will report early next year, March 2015.
In these circumstances, how can we possibly appoint a Clerk of the House of Commons who is under investigation for a serious breach of parliamentary privilege? Should we not await the investigation being carried out by the highly respected cross-party Australian Senate Committee?
Likewise, it is reported today that the Speaker (as a compromise to critics) is now considering a split in this historic role. I seriously doubt the merit of this proposal and agree with Sir Robert Rogers when he said: “I can’t think of more than half a dozen chief executive-type decisions that I have had to take over the last three years that haven’t had to be very closely informed by a profound knowledge of the house and what the house will take. So the two roles are inextricably intertwined.” Furthermore it would not overcome the concerns outlined above regarding Senate Committee investigation into Ms Mills.
I therefore urge you and the Prime Minister to use your good offices to find a way to block the appointment of Mrs Mills, at least until such time that matters become clearer. It could prove extremely damaging to both Parliament, and to all concerned with Ms Mills’s appointment to do otherwise.”
The Speaker will take great pleasure in swiftly replying, no doubt.
At the end of July Labour launched their summer offensive, drawing up the battle lines for next year with the catchy slogan: “The Choice: The Labour Future, The Tory Threat”. Well, after three weeks of shadow cabinet speeches up and down the country outlining “the choice” faced by voters, the people have spoken. YouGov’s poll for the Sun today sees the Tories draw level with Labour for the first time in three months, both parties on 35%. This confirms yesterday’s Ipsos Mori poll which also had both parties level. Labour are telling voters what “the choice” is, and the voters are making it…
Electoral Commission figures out this morning show the Tories are amassing a decent pre-election war chest, raking in £7,185,709 in donations in Q2 of 2014. That’s almost double Labour, who banked just £3,761,615 by comparison. The biggest single donation was given to UKIP, £1,079,567 from Paul Sykes’ Highstone Group.
Those posters don’t pay for themselves…
Liz Truss has landed a big name from wonk world as her new media SpAd. Guido understands Policy Exchange brainbox Ruth Porter will be shopping for a new pair of wellies as she heads off to Defra. It’s a strong move all round, Ruth’s media handling experience will help boost the public profile of ambitious Liz, while another PX graduate moving into the heart of government bolsters their reputation as a feeder club for top Tory talent. Politically-ambitious Porter herself must be in line for a decent seat next time round. She will be replaced at PX by former Bank of England economist Steve Hughes. White Dee cruelly overlooked for the job…
Mark Simmonds has told the BBC that his decision to quit parliament was due to the “intolerable” impact of expenses rules on his family, saying his allowances don’t allow him to rent a big enough house in London to bring up his children. Last year Simmonds was named by his local paper as the most expensive MP in his county after they found he had claimed £173,436.96 in expenses for 2013. He cost the taxpayer:
Simmonds and his wife directly took home over £160,000 from the taxpayer last year, as well as claiming for tens of thousands more in other expenses. On top of that, IPSA rules allow MPs to claim £27,875 a year for rent. He says that is not enough to bring up his family in London. Guido imagines his missus told him he wasn’t going anywhere so he might as well start on getting a proper job and making some proper money…
Yes Scotland’s Geo-Targeting Advertising Fail | MessageSpace
#IndyRef Twitter Map | Trendsmap
Westminster Has Patronised Scots | Scottish Sun
What Happens in the Event of a Recount? | Breitbart
Yes Side Emphatically Won Campaign | Speccie
Joyce Thacker on Sick Leave | Doncaster Free Press
Claire Perry Slams ‘Goodies’ for Scots | Sun
Westminster Truce Shatters | Times
Boris: Prime Minister By Monday | James Ford
Tories Say Don’t Bribe the Scots | Times
Dave Can’t Stay if Scots Go | Laura Perrins
The Prime Minister feels the pressure:
“I have to say that after the events I have been facing over the last few days, assassination would be a welcome release.”