Carswell: The Old Parties Respond

Tories:

“This is a regrettable and frankly counterproductive decision. As  Douglas Carswell said, the only way to get a referendum on the EU is to return a majority Conservative government. The Conservative party will contest the forthcoming by-election vigorously to make sure the people in Clacton have a strong conservative voice in this parliament and the next.”

‘The Conservative Party will contest the by-election vigorously, to ensure that the people of Clacton have a strong Conservative voice in this Parliament and the next.’

Labour:

“Douglas Carswell’s defection is a hammer blow to David Cameron. Confidence in David Cameron is collapsing inside a Conservative party which is divided and running scared of UKIP. David Cameron’s weak leadership has seen him abandon the centre ground, repeatedly trying to pander to his own right-wing backbenchers rather than concentrate on the needs of the country. Now even his own side are abandoning him.”

Panic stations.

WATCH: Carswell's Defection Speech

UKIP Academic: "Dead Cert" for a Carswell Win

DC-UKIPUKIP’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.”

+ + + Douglas Carswell Defects to UKIP + + +

DC-UKIP

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.”

Hub-ble Trouble Bubbles for Boris

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…

Dave the Rave: Tories Launch Ibiza Branch

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?

Tories Very Publicly Break Cover in Speaker RowMP Demands Delay in Appointment of New Clerk

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.

THE CHOICE: Tories Draw Level With Labour

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…

Tories Thrash Labour in Donation Stakes: Q2 Figures in Full

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.[…]

+ READ MORE +

SpAd Movements: Truss Takes PX’s Porter to Defra

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.[…]

+ READ MORE +

£173,000 Simmonds Quits Saying Expenses Are Too Low

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.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Warsi’s Bitter Welcome for New Female Muslim Tory Peers

Baroness Warsi used her punchy Sunday interviews to imply that “public school” Tories around the PM had it in for her because she is a “a brown, working-class woman” who they saw as “not good enough” to serve in office. Two bits of information might influence how we view that claim – the names of the two new Muslim women appointed by those same nasty Tories as peers on Friday, the impressive women being businesswoman Nosheena Mobarik and popular former Hague SpAd Arminka Helic.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Another Foreign Office Minister Resigns

Mark Simmonds, best known for missing the Syria vote because he was busy discussing Rwanda with Justine Greening, has quit his job at FCO. No.10 deny it is anything to do with policy, his replacement will be James Duddridge. Simmonds will also stand down as an MP in Boston and Skegness in 2015. […]

+ READ MORE +

Ellison Faces Public Plain Packs Backlash

plain

The final six week consultation on plain packaging for cigarettes comes to an end today. Pushy public health minister Jane Ellison is under pressure to take into consideration the 100,000 people who have signed a petition opposing plain packs, as well as the 50,000 who personally wrote to the Prime Minister rejecting the proposal.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Are You a FOB or a FOG?

It’s been a bad week if you are a FOG (Friend of George). First Osborne’s big spending speech was obliterated from the news agenda by Warsi, then Sajid Javid’s second attempt disappeared under Boris’ shadow. Harry Mount in this week’s Speccie explains why the FOBs are beating the FOGs:

“Boris is already forming a loose-knit collection of supporters — FOBs, friends of Boris, to engage in mortal combat with the FOGs, friends of George Osborne, should there be a leadership contest. 

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Osborne Camp Responds

Not for the last time, Boris has overshadowed the Osborne camp.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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