Another Tory Old Fart Facing Local Deselection

West Country bore Ian Liddell-Grainger is having a right old ding-dong with local Tories down in Somerset, where his own blue council group have passed a vote of no confidence and accused him of “unethical manoeuvres” and “gratuitously derogatory and offensive comments” about their mates. They’re very upset with Queen Victoria’s great, great, great grandson:

  • Over a number of years, it stated, the MP “has made gratuitously derogatory and offensive comments about West Somerset Council, it’s leaders and some of its councillors and officers”
  • Being “proactive in undermining what the council’s been trying to achieve on behalf of its residents”
  • Treatment of “certain individuals has been immoral sometimes by bullying and making fun in public of those unable or unwilling to defend themselves”, sometimes to cover up for himself
  • The end of the document stated his “ill-informed, dishonourable, divisive and destructive behaviour… makes him unfit to be a member of parliament” and the West Somerset Council Conservative Group “does not trust him and lacks confidence in him”

The Association has full confidence… for now. 

100 Days to Go and Tories STILL have 96 Candidates to Select

Research shows that with 100 days to go, the Tories are still short a whopping 97 candidates. Almost a sixth of all seats…

Even if you subtract Northern Ireland, there are still 79 candidate-less seats with just a couple of months to go.

Number crunching by Peter Botting and Anthony Gearing can be found here.

There are some surprisingly marginal seats still looking for Tory representation…

UPDATE: Hold the front page… Guido is informed it’s actually 95 seats. CCHQ’s very own top spinner Richard Holden was recently selected in Preston…

UPDATE II: 5 unwinnable Scottish seats have also selected. Panic over…

UPDATE III: CCHQ claim it is only 40 odd seats that have no candidate. They have yet to send over the numbers and they seem to be missing from their own Conservatives.com website…

Peer: ISIS Gains “Entirely Due” to WhatsApp or Snapchat

In a moment of admirable honesty while scrutinising the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, former defence secretary Tom King admitted that while he’s not a tweeter and he does not know about WhatsApp and Snapchat, he is certain that “the terrorists and jihadists do”:

So certain is Lord King of the terrorists’ prowess with WhatsApp and Snapchat, that he believes the reason for ISIL’s advance across Iraq and Syria was entirely down to the teenage sexting apps:

“It includes the use of things that not all your Lordships—that certainly includes me—are masters of. I am not a tweeter. We have Facebook and Twitter. Somebody tried to explain WhatsApp to me; somebody else tried to explain Snapchat. I do not know about them, but it is absolutely clear that the terrorists and jihadists do. The understanding is that part of the reason for ISIL’s amazing advance across Syria and into Iraq was that their communications were so good and the way they kept together was entirely due to one or other of the last two systems that I mentioned, which they handled with great intelligence.”

 This message will self destruct in 10, 9, 8….

Plans to Unseat Jane “Plain Pack” Ellison Underway

There is a growing Tory backlash against Health minister Jane Ellison over her plain pack ambush. “Four letter word, starts in S and ends in T” was the ringing endorsement of one colleague, “she is not a Conservative” claims another, whilst another simply added “she’s a wrong ‘un”. One Tory MP even claims:

“It challenges the imagination that such a grubby little measure could come from members of a party who only 25 years ago waged the moral battle of ideas against Communism heralding the freedom of individuals to choose. Now they have morphed from noble liberators to little nannies.”

The Bill will pass with support of Labour and the Liberal Democrats, though Guido hears that Ellison may not have the last laugh. Not only will there be a huge rebellion on the right, plans for a very well funded campaign to unseat her in her marginal south-west London seat of Battersea are already afoot, with a freedom-loving candidate being sought. Applications on the back of a fag packet…

Put It Away, Chancellor!

Also, unclear why he seems to be sniffing a giant bottle of piss…

Via @CharlotteGay92 and today’s Western Daily Press

Plain Pack Fireworks Expected at Cabinet
Osborne, May & Hammond Confront Hunt Over Pack Backtrack

Word reaches Guido that there is serious consternation amongst a number of senior Tories over the way in which last week’s surprise announcement about plain packaging was squeezed out like an awkward fart. Usually reliable sources suggest Osborne is set to raise it at Cabinet this morning, with Jeremy Hunt in the sights for a proper going over. In an increasingly rare moment of agreement between the Chancellor and the Home Secretary, Guido hears Theresa May is pretty annoyed too about how the move was snuck out with little or no wider consultation of Cabinet colleagues. Big Phil Hammond is also said to be against the Labour-backed measure, sceptically telling the BBC last week that he “will want to look very carefully at the evidence.” The consensus is ‘bat sh*t’ Jane Ellison has gone ‘totally native’ and will do anything to please the do-gooders and pen-pushers that choke up the Department for Health…

Tories Gag Bashir: “I’m Not Allowed to Give a Statement”

Guido has spoken with Amjad Bashir by telephone this afternoon to ask him for a response to the slew of stories that have emerged about him over the last 48 hours. An extremely nervous sounding MEP refused to comment, pleading that he had been gagged his new party:

“I’m not allowed to give a statement. They have all the answers”.

When Guido asked if he had ever been a member of Respect, he hung up.

Yesterday a Conservative Party spokesman contacted Guido to directly ask him to clarify that Bashir “denied he’s ever had anything to do with Respect”. Today that line has shifted to silence. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Tories were misled by Bashir in this regard.

First thing this morning Guido contacted the CCHQ to ask which of these allegations Bashir now denied:

  1. He was previously a member of the Labour Party.
  2. He was previously a member of the UK Independence Party.
  3. He was previously a member of the Respect Party.
  4. He was previously a member of the Conservative Party (prior to this time, if indeed he is now actually now a paid up party member).
  5. That he was a director of a restaurant which was raided for employing illegal immigrants.
  6. That he withdrew a complaint about reporting of the restaurant matter on counsel’s advice because his counsel felt he was misled about the facts of the matter.

A full working day later and they have refused to comment. Instead, Bashir’s Twitter account has mysteriously been deactivated and he has been banned from the airwaves. Is the Prime Minister still ‘delighted’ by the defection?

Bashir ‘Lied’ About Times Illegal Immigrants Exposé

Yet more evidence emerges today that the Tories’ star defector Amjad Bashir has serious questions to answer regarding his honesty around his company’s employment of illegal workers. Legal documents seen by Guido accuse Bashir of lying in a Press Complaints Commission complaint about last year’s Times story alleging he had employed seven illegal immigrants in his Zouk restaurant in Manchester.

The Times reported Bashir resigned as a director of Zouk Ltd three days after it was raided by immigration officials. Bashir denied this, complaining to the PCC that he had left a month before the raid.

However, Companies House documents show that nothing was filed to confirm any resignation until after the raid. An internal investigation by UKIP’s lawyers carried out last July found “Mr Bashir had put in the resignation 3 days after the raid but back-dated it to a month earlier”.

The UKIP legal advice then states: “without any credible evidence to substantiate the position of Mr Bashir, on the approval of the party secretary, counsel withdrew the Press Complaint”. They concluded – six months before he defected – that:

“It is counsel’s view that Mr Bashir has put forward a false account of the incident to minimise his involvement in any wrongdoing and pushing it forward so publicly was both brazen and irresponsible when thinking of the Party’s reputation at large.”

So Bashir’s counsel withdrew his complaint when they realised he wasn’t telling the truth. Something that UKIP sat on for months. Remember when the Tories claimed they vetted him and found he was fine?

Amjad Bashir Accused of Lying Over Respect Party Links
+ Told Tories He Has ‘Never Had Anything to Do With Them’
+ Respect: Application Form and 5 Witnesses Prove He is Lying
+ Also Claimed He Was a Labour Member in 80s 

Amjad Bashir has been accused of lying about his links to the Respect Party after evidence emerged tonight apparently disproving his claims to have never had anything to do with the party. Earlier today, George Galloway accused Bashir of being […]

Quote of the Day

George Galloway says of his former Respect candidate the UKIP MEP turned Tory, Amjad Bashir…

“Clearly Bashir does not have any real political principles or commitment, only naked opportunism and self-interest. He represents the revolving door principle in politics. The […]

WATCH: Farage on Bigots and Defector

Nigel Farage seemed to pretty much take today’s negative headlines in his stride. Coolly saying the Tories are welcome to their defecting UKIP MEP Amjad Bashir and that the UKIP General Secretary’s joke about there being “a lot of bigots […]

Tories Deny Photoshopping Miliband to Make Him Look Fat

Tory sources deny any manipulation of Ed’s face to make him look fatter on their new poster.

We report, you decide…

UPDATE:

This is the source image, via Getty:

UPDATE II:

The Tory chairman tells Iain Dale:

“This

[…]



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Quote of the Day

Adam Spiegel, producer of Nazi themed “The Producers” musical says…

“Margate seemed a perfect place to start the promotion. I’m disappointed but not entirely surprised to see that UKIP are trying to hitch a publicity ride on the back of the show.”

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