Leaked Emails Reveal “UKIP Kidnapper” is Tory Member Newsnight Scoop Missed PM Welcoming Bhutto to the Party

Last night’s Newsnight scoop was bizarre for many reasons, not least their revelations that the UKIP Commonwealth Spokesman had been jailed for seven years. Mujeeb ur Rehman Bhutto was the leader of a gang who kidnapped the son of a wealthy businessman at gunpoint in Karachi in June 2004. The establishment’s favourite new mantra was wheeled out and lots of noise made about the make up of UKIP membership. Except someone didn’t do their homework, fully…

As these emails, just revealed by the Daily Politics, indicate, Bhutto is a member of the Conservative Party:

From: “David Cameron”
Date: 30 January 2014 12:44:35 GMT
To: Mujeeb.bhutto
Subject: Thank you for becoming a Member

Dear Mr Bhutto,

Firstly, let me offer you a very warm welcome to the Conservatives.

I’m delighted you have taken the decision to help us turn Britain around by becoming a Member of the Party. Your membership card will be posted out to you shortly (within the next month).

As a Member, you have a vital role to play. The Conservative-led Government has many challenges ahead before – and including – the next set of elections, but with your help we can continue to make the case for Conservative values.

The more who join us, the more we can achieve – so please email everyone you know who would be interested in becoming a Member of the Conservatives. Together, we can build a better future for Britain.

Thanks in advance for all your help,

David Cameron

This is being blamed on an automated online application. Which cannot be said for Leeds Conservatives following up the email from Dave to further welcome Mr Bhutto back into Tory arms:

From: “Robert Winfield” 
Date: 30 January 2014 23:59:38 GMT
To: Mujeeb.bhutto
Subject: Leeds Central Conservatives

Mujeeb
I am just dropping you a brief e mail to say that I was delighted to learn that you have rejoined the Conservative Party. I hope to speak to you soon but unfortunately I am just getting over flu.

I assume this means that you have severed your connections with UKIP.

Best wishes

Robert Winfield

This is not the first time that UKIP have got into trouble with Tory friends. No one noticed the gay floods chap when he was a Conservative councillor, and the member accused by the Mail on Sunday of being in the National Front was actually a Tory when she made the incendiary comments. And let’s not forget Roger Helmer. As Farage said the other day, “if you accept defectors from the Conservative Party you will always have embarrassments.”

UPDATE: Shapps was just confronted with these emails on the Daily Politics, it seems the Tories had spotted the issue here. Though it seems no one told Leeds…

UPDATE II: Poor Bhutto has been booted out already. Tories say:

“Bhutto is not a member. He applied, got the normal follow ups, and we reserve the right to refuse and have done that.”

Normal follow ups including a personalised welcome thanking them for re-joining? Glad that’s all cleared up then…

Tim Yeo: Conniving to the End

Yeo fibbed his way through an interview with Channel 4 News last night, telling viewers with a straight face that he was booted out because of his views on gay marriage. Anyone who has ever been to Suffolk knows that is his most laughable spin yet – you can’t throw a quiche in Aldeburgh without hitting four interior designers. They kicked him out because he was a useless, arrogant toad.

Cameron, Osborne, Gove, May, Poulter, Ruffley, Coffeyyour boy took one hell of a beating.

Via @liarpoliticians.

Tim Yeo’s Greatest Hits

From leadership contender to loser in nine years, Tim Yeo bites the dust. Guido has been exposing his absenteeism and conflicts of interest for the best part of a decade. As far back as 2007 Guido reported his hypocrisy in lobbying for an end to unnecessary air travel as he flew around the world on golfing jollies. In 2010 Guido accused Yeo of using House of Commons banqueting facilities to wine and dine a group of environmental investors, while at the same time raising money for AFC Energy, a company of which he is the chairman. Yeo’s denial to Guido on Newsnight that it was “absolutely outrageous” is particularly amusing today.

Later that year Yeo put his name forward for the chairmanship of the Energy and Climate Change select committee. Guido warned at the time, “MPs look set to elect a man completely tied up with an industry that he would be responsible for the checks and balances on”. They didn’t listen.

By 2012, Yeo’s conflicts of interests were adding up. He was now earning over £100,000-a-year from his green investments as he lobbied the government to stop green cuts. Then there was Yeo’s dodgy taxi firm dealings – he resigned from the company when Guido started sniffing round – and his call for extra flights to China just as one of his companies signed a huge deal in the country.

2013 saw Yeo stung by the Sunday Times, offering to become a paid advocate for a fake firm for £7,000-a-day. The cops took an interest but Yeo survived. Though not for long…

Read all Guido’s stories on Tim Yeo, dating back to 2005, here.

Yeo’s Woes are Direct Challenge to PM’s Authority

Well that was a bad judgement call from Downing Street, with Cameron and Osborne spending their political capital hopelessly backing Tim Yeo. Senior Tories are paranoid that this is just the beginning of the de-selection woes and the crack in the dam is rapidly expanding. Associations are going to get a taste for this sort of accountability and direct action. 

No. 10 say the deselection “is a matter for the constituency”, but that’s a funny way of describing a direct challenge to the PM’s authority. While the Chancellor hilariously described Yeo as “politician of principle”, just last week Dave wrote:

“You have served your constituency of South Suffolk for over three decades – a record of which you can be enormously proud. I very much hope that you will be selected to stand as the Conservative representative in this seat again, so that you can fight to continue representing your constituents in the next parliament as you always have done in the past, with tenacity and commitment. Your considerable expertise in rural issues and the environment has been of real benefit to our party and our country. You have always provided a strong voice for the people of South Suffolk and it would be a great loss to your constituents, to parliament, and to the Conservative Party if the South Suffolk Conservative Association did not re-select you so that you can continue providing that steadfast representation.”

The hard-working people of South Suffolk politely disagreed. Let the uprising begin.

UPDATE: 

VICTORY: Tim Yeo Deselected

CCHQ:

“The South Suffolk Conservative Association have voted not to re-adopt Tim Yeo MP as their candidate for the next General Election.  Selection for the South Suffolk constituency will be opened in due course.”

Yeo sobs:

“It has been a privilege to serve as MP for South Suffolk since 1983. I will continue to work for all my constituents until the General Election next year. I am immensely grateful to all those Conservative Party members who voted for me to continue as their MP. I now ask them all to campaign for my successor with the same loyalty and dedication they have shown to me. I will give my full and unqualified support to whoever is chosen as the candidate here in South Suffolk. I wish him or her every success.”

82% turnout. Tories not releasing vote breakdown figures. Bye!

Anne McIntosh Deselected

No wonder it took them 4 hours to count 500 votes and announce it two hours late: somewhat disliked Tory MP Anne McIntosh has been deselected in Thirsk and Malton. She is making it clear she will stand against the Tory candidate in 2015. Now for the Yeo result on Monday…

Wharton Bill Dead

Labour and LibDem peers have voted 180-130 to adjourn the Wharton bill, effectively rendering the attempt to secure a referendum dead. So no law requiring a referendum in 2017, unless the Tories decided to invoke the Parliament Act. Incidentally, the Euro elections are in 111 days…

UPDATE:

Richest Hit Hardest Since Recession

Miliband wowed us all with the stunning originality of his attack on Cameron at PMQs this week:

“With every answer, the Prime Minister shows who he stands up for: a few at the top, not the ordinary families of Britain. That is the truth. This is a country where, after four years of this Government, people are worse off. This is a Prime Minister who has already given those at the top, millionaires, a £100,000 tax cut, and he wants to give them another one. He can only govern for the few; he can never govern for the many.”

Which fits cutely into Ed’s increasingly dull narrative. Buried within the spin about today’s Institute for Fiscal Studies numbers is the proof that, whatever Ed wants to believe, the richest have been hit hardest. The wealthiest decile have seen their incomes fall by 9% since the recession, while by comparison the poorest decile have suffered a relatively smaller drop of 2.4%. Add that to the richest paying more in tax than they did under Labour and Ed’s line falls apart. Guido does not agree with the Tories line that taking more in tax from the rich is something to be proud of, though it makes a mockery of Labour’s attacks either way…

Have Your SayAnother thing to take away from the report is that the IFS data model also supports the emerging consensus that the “cost of living crisis” is coming to an end and barely touched those on inflation indexed benefits. Whilst those famous hardworking voters saw a real terms decrease in spending power, Labour’s core shirking voters saw no real terms fall in spending power on Benefits Street until this year’s reforms.

It was way past the time that the Tories made good on their promise that work would always pay better than benefits… 

Tory Wars: These Rebels, Coming Over Here, Taking our Bill

Big day for Dave as he faces a pasting from his own backbenchers on the Immigration Bill. As ever, Guido gives you the run down on the sparring factions ahead of today’s scrap:

  • Raab amendment – Rebellion led by Dominic

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Guru Joshing: Arnie Graf Hits PMQs

Dave resisted temptation to stick the boot into Arnie Graf at PMQs today, though Alec Shelbrooke’s question was amusing nonetheless. Labour are trying to kick back at the story with references to Lynton Crosby’s status. Awkwardly that line doesn’t hold […]

+ READ MORE +

Any Way the Wind Yeos, Nothing Really Matters to Tim

One more week of voting down in South Suffolk as absentee MP Tim Yeo tries to grease up his local association.

Fast forward through the above video of Tim Yeo meeting with concerned constituents on Friday about windmills being built […]

+ READ MORE +

Bright Blue Director’s SpAd Blocking Temper Tantrum

Over Christmas dripping wet Tory pressure group Bright Blue launched a blistering attack on the Conservative Party’s messaging. The group’s director Ryan Shorthouse slammed the Dave for “pandering to prejudice, uncertainty and anger”. Though now it appears it was […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Former Labour MP Dame Anne Begg:

“[Iain Duncan Smith] took to standing behind me during Prime Minister’s Questions. He stood at what’s called the Bar of the House and occasionally he would lean on my wheelchair. Our working relationship was slightly fraught anyway because I’d been critical of him a lot. I wanted to keep that criticism a professional criticism, not a criticism of him as a person so I never quite built up the courage to actually say: ‘Please don’t do that.'”

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