Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Warsi Resigns to Spend More Time With Her Diaries

Quite late in Baroness Warsi’s career to discover principle:

How will FCO cope without its ‘Senior Minister of State’?

Cynical and calculating to the end, it is hard to see this resignation as anything other than a naked attempt to salvage her reputation. Warsi was due to go during the reshuffle, but the PM reportedly had second thoughts. Now she will be free to snipe, as they feared…

UPDATE: Warsi’s letter to the PM:

warsi

UPDATE II: No.10 have finally responded:

“The Prime Minister regrets that Baroness Warsi has decided to stand down and is grateful for the excellent work that she has done both as a Minister and in Opposition. Our policy always been consistently clear – the situation in Gaza is intolerable and we’ve urged both sides to agree to an immediate and unconditional ceasefire.”

Monday, August 4, 2014

Tory MP Graham Stuart Raving Video Emerges

Well one Tory MP  is having a mental recess. Gurning Graham Stuart spent his Saturday night at the Humber Street Sesh with monged out fellow revellers dancing to Endoflevelbaddie. For those of you not aquainted with the four piece dance collective: “With the best name in the history of music, Endoflevelbaddie hail from, well, another galaxy probably”:

“Endoflevelbaddie combine massive production, slick visuals, sharp lyrics and a live show second to none. With producer ‘Endoflevelbaddie’, VJ ‘EyeSaw’ drummer ‘Beat ‘em Up’ and MC ‘Player 1’, they cut a striking image in anonymous masks.”

Also cutting a ‘striking image’ was silver-haired shape thrower, Graham, who can be seen below having it large:

Guido approves.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

80% of Tory Candidates Selected This Week Were Men

52 year old Graham Cox will defend Mike Weatherley’s 1,868 majority down in Hove, after he beat the slightly more photogenic female candidate Kristy Adams at last night’s selection.

That means four of the five Tory selections that took place this week were won by blokes.

Peter Anthony won in Blackpool South, Jeremy Moulton was selected for Southampton Test and Andrew Atkinson will be the PPC in Wrexham.

At least one woman is a shoo-in, Victoria Atkins has been selected to take over from Peter Tapsell in Louth and Horncastle.

Dave’s women problem is not going away…

Tory Secretary of State Ups Ante in Bercow Pass Row
++ Grayling: “Passes Should Not Be Given Out Lightly” ++
++ Justice Secretary Says Right That Speaker Faces Questions ++

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has weighed into the row over why John Bercow gave a parliamentary pass to a woman funding his re-election campaign. Responding to a question from Guido at his press conference this morning, Grayling warned:

“It’s certainly the case that passes to the House of Commons should not be given out lightly. They can only be given out to people who have a proper reason to be there. Any Member of Parliament, and obviously the Speaker of the House of Commons is a Member of Parliament like the rest of us, who has issued a pass to a third party, must have a good reason for doing so. And if they don’t have a good reason for doing so they will undoubtedly face questions from a great number of people as to why that is the case.”

Bercow has until tomorrow to reply to Rob Wilson’s letter, but this looks to Guido like it is heading for the Standards Commissioner…

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tory MP Probes Speaker’s Passholder Donation Mystery

On Sunday Guido revealed that John Bercow is facing accusations of ‘cash for access’ over a curious donation from a businesswoman to whom he gave a parliamentary pass. For any other MP such an arrangement would provoke suggestions of impropriety. Today Tory MP Rob Wilson has sought clarification from the Speaker, with a view to potentially reporting him to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards:

Dear Mr Speaker,

I am writing to you today to raise the concerns of several of my constituents about an item in Guido Fawkes’ column in the Sun on Sunday. It outlines that you have signed off on a Parliamentary pass for Farah Sassoon. The item continues that in addition to your signing off on a pass for her that she has donated substantial sums to your office via her company, Trust Reservations Ltd. Appropriately, this donation has been put into the Register of Members’ Interests.

Integrity, accountability and openness, are part of the seven Nolan Principles of Public Life which are enshrined into Parliament by their inclusion in Code of Conduct for MPs. In this spirit and on behalf of my constituents, I would request that you put on the record as soon as possible answers to the following questions:

1. Why Ms Sassoon was given a Parliamentary pass?
2. What kind of pass was she given? (Member’s Staff, Staff of the House etc.)
3. When was this pass issued, and when does it expire?
4. What was the intended purpose of her company’s donation to your office?
5. Did you consult with any of the Parliamentary authorities, such as your foremost adviser, the Clerk of the Commons, on the propriety of accepting a donation having issued this pass?

I am sure that you will be able to provide a speedy answer to my questions and would request that you do so by Friday 1st of August. Several of my constituents have suggested that I write directly to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, however in the first instance I feel it is appropriate that you should be afforded the opportunity to respond.

In the interests of transparency I am placing a copy of this letter in the public domain.

Yours sincerely,

Rob Wilson MP

Has Bercow fallen a little short of the standards of probity expected in public life? Guido awaits the answer, especially to question 5…

Tories Tipped That Ruffley Row Was About to Go Very Public
Conservative Staff Threatened With Sack if They Joined Protest

It has been briefed that it was a ‘pincer movement’ from the Chief Whip and the Party Chairman that sealed the deal for Ruffley yesterday. They were kicked into action, finally, by the leak of this letter from the Dean of Bury St Edmunds, and tens of thousands of people signing an online petition. Crucially the Tories were also made aware yesterday morning of a letter planned for Wednesday’s Times from dozens of women affiliated with the Conservative Party. “Women problem” is an understatement.

Guido has obtained a copy:

We are writing to share our concerns about the behaviour of David Ruffley MP.

We consider it unacceptable that a man who has accepted a caution for assaulting his partner should continue in his position.

This Conservative-led government has a proud record of acting to prevent domestic violence.  On 2 July 2014 the Prime Minister asserted the importance of  Clare’s Law in relation to abusive partners, and on 8 March 2014 the Home Secretary said: “I am determined to see a society where violence against women and girls is not tolerated, where people speak out.” It is disappointing, therefore, that despite the Government’s strong moral stance on this issue, our own party has been slow to take any action against one of their own Members, who has accepted a police caution for assault of his partner, one of the crimes we are trying to prevent.

When Andrew Pelling MP was arrested under suspicion of assaulting his wife in 2007, the whip was immediately withdrawn, pending an investigation by the party’s ethics committee. We are pleased that the new Chief Whip, the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP decided last week to launch an investigation into this matter, however, given the serious nature of the offence for which Mr Ruffley has accepted a caution, which is an admission of guilt, we feel that the Conservative whip should be immediately withdrawn.

The public has the right to be served by representatives who abide by the legislation that they pass through Parliament.

We are proud to be members of the party who first gave women the vote, produced the first female Member of Parliament to take her seat in the House of Commons, as well electing the first female party Leader who went on to be the first female Prime Minister. For generations, the Conservative Party has lead the way in advancing equality of opportunity and equality under the rule of law.  Two people die every week at the hands of an abusive partner, and our party must demonstrate that no matter who you are, domestic violence is unacceptable

It was about to blow up, and blow up very publicly.

To those MPs who emotionally blackmailed and even threatened their female staff with disciplinary measures to stop them signing the above letter – and then grassed the plot to CCHQ – Guido says this. I know who you are, and you know what you have done. What I have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you…

Ruffley Resignation Raises Recall Row

The Recall measures announced in the Queen’s Speech would mean MPs on the Standards Committee, not local voters, will decide whether disgraced politicians should be booted out. David Ruffley’s announcement last night that he would be standing down at the election shows why it is crucial that parliament passes a proper Recall bill, not Nick Clegg’s fudge. 

Who pushed the Ruffley story and forced him to fall on his sword? Not his fellow MPs on either side of the House, who were either silent or actively trying to keep him out of trouble. The people saw things differently though…

Ruffley went mainstream because of the admirable work of women both inside and outside of the Tory party; from the Dean of St Edmundsbury’s devastating letter calling for him to quit; to the voices of women’s groups both locally and nationally, to the petition that amassed more than 40,000 signatures organised by an outraged woman. Guido understands 15 Tory women were going to publicly and openly protest Ruffley’s candidature tomorrow, some of them high profile. They were under immense pressure not to go ahead from within the party.

Ruffley will remain as the MP for Bury St Edmunds for ten months, earning more than £50,000 from his salary and pension contributions courtesy of the taxpayer when he should arguably be leaving parliament immediately. He cut a deal with the Tories and remains on board the gravy train. A Recall Bill that lets MPs decide whether their fellow MPs will face a vote is not going to work. David Ruffley shows more than ever why we need a proper Recall Bill to democratically boot out morally bankrupt politicians once and for all…

You can see all Guido’s stories about how the Ruffley story unfolded in full here.

Monday, July 28, 2014

UPDATE: 38,000 Sign Petition Calling for Ruffley to Resign

Senior members of David Ruffley’s Suffolk Tory association say they see nothing wrong with having a man who assaulted his girlfriend remain as their MP.

Do you disagree?

Then sign this petition calling for Ruffley to resign.

At the time of going to pixel over 33,000 others already have.

Add your voice here

UPDATE 5:00pm: 38,000 have now signed.

Top Tory: Nothing Wrong With an MP Who Assaults His Girlfriend

Seven million listeners will have heard Jeremy Vine’s Radio 2 phone-in on David Ruffley this lunchtime, many in Bury St Edmunds. The discussion was most notable for the bizarre comments made by Bernard Sergeant, an important local Conservative figure. Asked if Ruffley should resign, Sergeant laughed and replied: “We do have these odd female organisations that look for equality and I think they’ve got it these days.” Pressed further by Vine on whether “you can have as a candidate a man who beats up his girlfriend”, Sergeant replies: “Well why not?”

Guido wondered if that is the official line, before he remembered there isn’t one…

Spooks and Tories Jet Off on Israel Junket

Fair to say the Conservative Friends of Israel trip this week might not be ideally timed. The latest conflict has not deterred a hardy half-dozen politicians, including former spy boss Baroness Neville Jones and Jack Lopresti, the army commando turned Tory MP, from jetting off to see what is going on for themselves. Also heading off on the junket are Edward Garnier, Andrew Percy, Guto Bebb and Bob Blackman. All expenses paid, natch.


Seen Elsewhere

F**k Embargoes | Martin Belam
How Many Seats Will SNP Cost Labour? | Staggers
Nick Clegg is a “W**ker” | Mail
Continuity Gove | PLMR
Sunday Mirror Should Be Applauded | Sandi Dunn
Hancock in “Labour is Full of Queers” Blunder | Scrapbook
In Farageland | London Review of Books
What About the Mums? | Kathy Gyngell
Tories Send Cameron Clear Message Re Gove | Speccie
Lets Hear it for Theresa May | Allison Pearson
Dave Takes Advantage of Economic Trust | Jonathan Freedland


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Following the revelations about Brooks Newmark’s paisley pyjamas, Hugo Rifkind wonders in this week’s Speccie what other politicians wear in bed:

“Chuka Umunna will sleep in Calvin Klein briefs, all the better to catch a glimpse of himself in the mirror on his ceiling.”



cynic says:

Can anyone help me? I went on holiday a week ago and returned to find someone has pulled out the stake and Gordon Brown is back and acting as Prime Minister. What did I miss? Has there been a snap election?


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