Monday, February 24, 2014

Tory Spin-Doctor Bites Back: I’m No Cannibal*
*Bit Only In Self-Defence

After saying all day he would not give us a statement, Adrian Yalland has released a statement:

There are two sides to every story – especially this one. The video shows only three things clearly.

1. Me repeatedly walking away from an aggressive and abusive man who admits to mental health and anger problems, on whom I had just served legal papers relating to a libel action.

2. The same man stealing the phone from my outstretched hands on which I had just taken a photo of the house I just served papers at.

3. Me picking myself off the floor.

After having been pushed to the floor, I was punched in the back of the head by a second individual, and had a hand forced over my face, whilst I believe a second attempt was made to steal my phone. Whilst pinned down, and fearing further attack, I acted proportionately, in self defence, and only to allow me to escape – which I did immediately. The only person punched was me.

I am pleased a witness came forward to confirm my version of events, and I therefore look forward to the police concluding their investigations with interest, particularly their view on whether there is a case for perverting the course of public justice by making false allegations in order to cause an arrest.

Yalland admits to biting one of his alleged assailants, he is counter-claiming that he is the victim who was attacked. Guido is inclined after hearing his side of the story to give Adrian the benefit of the doubt. Though amusingly, Yalland did once organise a junket for Tory MPs to Equatorial Guinea, where the local tyrant has been accused of… cannibalism

Tory Spin-Doctor Arrested Over Alleged ‘Cannibal’ Assault
Two Men Bitten in Bloody Hampshire Brawl

Adrian Yalland, a former Tory candidate and fixer for various Tory MPs has been arrested for assault after apparently biting two men during a brawl in Hampshire. The video below is alleged to show Yalland, formerly a spinner for spin shop Chelgate, attacking a man on a quiet street in Stockbridge:

Hampshire Police confirmed in a statement to Guido: “Police were called at 4.10 p.m. on Thursday, February 20 following a report of a dispute outside an address on Stockbridge High Street. A 56-year-old man and a 46-year-old man both from Stockbridge suffered minor injuries. A 44-year-old man from Marchwood was arrested on suspicion of assault. He has been bailed pending further enquiries until March 27.”

Yalland handled the press for Nigel Evans when he was charged and has worked with various MPs including Andrew Bridgen and Nadine Dorries.

  • A Tory spokesperson says: “This is a matter for the police.”
  • Nigel Evans’ office says: “I don’t think we can make any comment.”
  • Adrian Yalland was not answering his phone today.

Not the best PR spin strategy…

Video via Nadine O’Connor.

Government of the Etonians, by the Etonians for the Etonians

tory-etonian-manifesto

The FT has a great spot this morning:

“There are six people writing the manifesto and five of them went to Eton; the other went to St Paul’s,” one Conservative MP in a marginal constituency told the Financial Times. A senior minister said the make-up of the prime minister’s team was a bad advertisement for social mobility.

The authors of the next Tory manifesto are, according to the FT; Cameron himself, Jo Johnson, Ed Llewellyn, Dave’s old school friend and chief of staff; Oliver Letwin, minister for government policy and Rupert Harrison. The male-only team are all former Etonians, except in a nod to social mobility George Osborne, who was educated at St Paul’s in London, has been allowed to join the Eton Fives team. Floreat Etona!

Warsi Wars: Questions for ‘Senior’ Minister of State and Chum
“It’s a Tale of Dodgy and Dodgier”

Once again there is a growing list of questions for Sayeeda Warsi over one of her friends. The bitter former Tory Chairman has been keeping schtum after eyebrows were raised when her ally got a lucrative contract from Department of Local Governement that was not publicly put out to tender. The Curzon Institute’s sole director is Afzal Amin and was awarded £120,000 last year, despite him being the Tory candidate in Dudley. It was covered by Warsi’s patch as Minister for Faith and Communities.

As Guido revealed in the Sun yesterday, mysteriously, no minutes were kept of three meetings Amin attended at the DCLG before the contract was awarded last summer so we have no idea how or why the decision was made to award his company the cash.

“It’s a tale of dodgy and dodgier,” whispers one Tory source, weary of yet another scandal involving the bungling Baroness, “but no doubt this one will be scrubbed from her upcoming diaries.” Amin has since endeared himself to the party leadership by accusing the Tories of not doing enough for ethnic minorities, in a very public attack that insiders say has Warsi’s fingerprints all over it.

All of this leaves Guido wondering:

  • What were the criteria for awarding the Curzon Institute the contract?
  • What experience did the company have providing government services?
  • How many times did Warsi meet Mr Amin privately before meetings at DCLG?
  • How many staff does the Curzon Institute employ to implement this government contract, and who are they?
  • By how much is Tory candidate Mr Amin renumerated Curzon Institute?

If anyone can find the ‘Senior’ Minister of State, perhaps they might like to have a word…

Friday, February 21, 2014

Labour’s Women Problem

Miliband has been up in Leeds today talking about his favourite subject of late: the Tories’ apparent ‘women problem’. Yet as Hazel Blears announces that she too is standing down, how true is it that the Tories are proportionally losing more women than Labour? A Guido FactCheck investigates.

There were 48 female Tory MPs in 2010.

Lorraine Fulbrook, Jessica Lee and Laura Sandys are not seeking re-election, Louise Mensch stepped down in 2012, and Anne Mcintosh has been deselected.

That means in this parliament female Tory MPs have a casualty rate of 10.4%.

Labour meanwhile had 81 female MPs in 2010.

Nine have said they will be off in 2015: Ann Clwyd, Dawn Primarolo, Tessa Jowell, Glenda Jackson, Joan Ruddock, Anne McGuire, Joan Walley, Meg Munn and Hazel Blears.

That means in this parliament female Labour MPs have a casualty rate of 11.1%.

Filling your front bench with women in a stage-managed attack is all well and good, but the truth is Labour are losing more women than the Tories…

UPDATE: Following some complaints on Twitter about the graph above, Guido is happy to issue the following clarification:

UPDATE II: 

Tory Women Problem Update

It would look pretty bad for any Sports Minister to suggest that “unfeminine” girls should do “ballet, gymnastics, cheerleading and even roller-skating”, but Helen Grant’s comments are particularly bad given that she is also the Equalities Minister.

Meanwhile Phil Hammond managed to call Liz Kendall “Rachel” not once, but twice, on Question Time last night. While this is a damning indictment of the impact Kendall has made in her Shadow Health role, it’s easy opposition from Labour. Video to follow…

UPDATE:

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Whine From God

Foodbanks? Check. Benefit sanctions? Check. Boring snoring? Check. On first glance you would have thought Rachel Reeves had written the letter from 27 bishops to the Mirror this morning. It is worth pointing out that the letter itself does not even mention Cameron, Osborne or IDS, let alone directly criticise them, so it is hardly a case of turbulent priests. In fact, it doesn’t even criticise the government all, simply arguing:

“We call on government to do its part: acting to investigate food markets that are failing, to make sure that work pays, and to ensure that the welfare system provides a robust last line of defence against hunger.”

Which is exactly the point. Awkwardly for Labour the bishops’ solution to the nation’s ills are making work pay and reforming the welfare state so it provides only a safety net “last line of defence”. If they keep on like that Guido for one won’t be bashing the bishops…

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dave Makes a Mug of Himself

As if the mirrors in the toilets at the new CCHQ carrying the cringeworthy slogan You’re looking at the face of change were not bad enough, the PM has revealed another painful Tory motivational tactic:

Please, no more.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Non-Public School Tory MPs Slam ‘Tit’ Bercow
“Mr Speaker is trying to distract from his domestic troubles”

It’s safe to say that the Speaker’s comments about PMQs have gone down badly with the Tories: “Bercow allows questions that are nothing to do [with] policy,” one payroll MP ranted to Guido, “letting Miliband go on and on and on, when it’s not actually questioning the PM on policy, just party political pops. So what does he expect?”

Guido contacted some non-public school Tories, who seem particularly incensed by Bercow’s allegations of “yobbery and public school twittishness”:

“He really is a tit. Calling us all public schoolboys shows [how] out of touch he is with his old party because most of us really aren’t. I’m surprised he can walk straight with that massive chip on his shoulder and he really needs to get over his little man syndrome.”

Another takes a subtler tone:

“PMQs is boisterous and passionate, and I would take passionate politics over bland politics any day. The idea that it is ‘male’ and ‘public school’ is obvious nonsense – I’ve never noticed a difference in behaviour from female MPs or non-public school MPs. These are just lazy accusations to lob into the discussion. MPs sometimes shout because they care passionately. That’s not a bad thing.”

The claws are out though, with one Cameron uber-loyalist really putting the boot in:

“Obviously Mr Speaker is trying to distract from his own domestic troubles.” 

Most MPs contacted refused to give quotes due to the way in which they feel Bercow has “politicised his office” and they want to be able to “ask a question this side of the election”. It has not gone unnoticed though that Bercow waited for a week when all the MPs were all away before he dropped his comments attacking them. That should only delay the whispering campaign…

Monday, February 17, 2014

Miller Protests Innocence

When asked if their boss was planning on quitting, a spokesman for Maria Miller tells Guido:

“We have always been clear that Maria’s claims are entirely above board. The inquiry is still ongoing.” 

The Commons’ Standards Committee will be the judge of that one actually.


Seen Elsewhere

Labour’s Plan to Attack Part-Time Boris | Standard
Ex-Sun Hack Cleared After 582 Days on Bail | MediaGuido
11 Times Boris Denied He Would Stand for Parliament | Buzzfeed
Attacking UKIP’s Posters is Counter-Productive | Guardian
Sarkozy Tried it on With Hollande’s Ex | Times
Another Spare Room Subsidy Cut Success | Harry Phibbs
Rich Now Have Less Leisure Than Poor | Economist
UKIP’s Immigration Policy Promotes Migrant Entrepreneurs | Breitbart
Another Feminist Lecture | Laura Perrins
UKIP Posters Bad Economics But Good Politics | James Delingpole
Tories Losing to UKIP in Scotland | ConHome


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A confused Nick Griffin says Nigel Farage is a shill for the City, forgetting that City banks want to stay in the EU:

“Farage is a snake oil salesman, but a very good one. His supposed anti-immigration stance is all smoke and mirrors, as is his carefully cultivated image as a ‘man of the people’. The truth is that UKIP is a pro-immigration party that exists to lobby for the interests of the City of London.”



Alexrod says:

It’s money innit.


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