Labour Select Arch-Remainer in Copeland

Labour have selected an arch-Remainer as their candidate in the Leave stronghold of Copeland. Gillian Troughton, who beat the Corbynista contender Rachel Holliday last night, campaigned strongly to Remain in the EU and publicly supports Gina Miller’s attempt to frustrate Article 50 through the courts. She has promoted social media posts calling for the referendum result to be “declared void”. The day after the referendum she wrote on Facebook that “Our children’s futures have been needlessly gambled and lost”.

Copeland voted 62% to Leave…

Corbyn said last night: “I am delighted that Gillian Troughton will be Labour’s candidate”. The feeling is not reciprocated. Troughton strongly supported Owen Smith in the Labour leadership election, writing in Facebook messages to friends that Smith was “easily the best candidate”, promoting tweets saying “it’s political madness to vote for Corbyn” and tweeting articles titled: “Corbyn’s past will destroy Labour’s future” and “Jeremy Corbyn literally makes no sense”. Bet he’s delighted indeed…

Who Is On Question Time Tonight

How could you miss it.

Seumas Officially Leaves Guardian

Guardian editor Kath Viner emails staff:

“I’m writing to let you know that, following a period of unpaid leave from Guardian News & Media, Seumas Milne has decided to continue in his role as the Labour party’s strategy and communications director, and is leaving the staff of the Guardian.

I would like to thank Seumas for his brilliant Guardian journalism, and we hope he’ll write for us again in the future.”

At last…

Article 50 Splits Shadow Cabinet

Jeremy Corbyn is facing a Shadow Cabinet split after imposing a three line whip on his MPs to back the triggering of Article 50. Several shadow ministers have previously committed to voting against Article 50 – Shadow Cabinet minister Dawn Butler has said: “I will reflect the decision of my constituents which was to vote Remain”, Shadow Foreign minister Catherine West has pledged “I will vote against Brexit in parliament”, Shadow Transport minister Daniel Zeichner has said: “When the vote on the EU comes before Parliament, my vote will reflect the overwhelming result in Cambridge – to Remain”, whip Thangam Debboniare has said: “I’ve told my constituents publicly that, at the moment, I would have no hesitation in opposing Article 50 from being invoked”. This afternoon the Eastern Daily Press quote Shadow Business Secretary Clive Lewis as suggesting he will vote against Article 50:

“I don’t think what is currently on the table, given the irreversibility of Article 50, means that signing Article 50 under these conditions is in the best interests of people in Norwich or the country.”

One of the following has to happen: These MPs change their minds, Corbyn backs down on the three line whip, or he has to fire them…

Revenge Porn Momentum Candidate Quits

A candidate in the Momentum elections has quit after Guido discovered he used to run a ‘revenge porn’ site posting leaked Snapchat photos. Yesterday Guido contacted Joshua Brandwood asking him if he still stood by his decision in 2013 to publish a series of private photos which had been screenshotted by users of the Snapchat app. Facebook closed Brandwood’s page finding it breached their guidelines on bullying and harassment. At the time he told the BBC: “It’s just for a laugh”. After being contacted by Guido, Brandwood tweeted a statement:

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce that I have withdrawn from Momentum’s Coordinator election.”

He remains a Labour councillor in Morecambe where he campaigns against “inequality and hate crimes”…

Red Len’s Hotel Hospitality Hypocrisy

Unite went on the attack yesterday over employment practices in hotels and restaurants, slamming chef Michel Roux for including service charges added to bills in his revenue. On the subject of workers’ rights in the hospitality industry, worth remembering Unite boss Len McCluskey was caught enjoying himself at the £1,200 a night Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo last year. What the papers missed was that the hotel was the scene of the longest strike over staff pay and conditions in Monaco’s history, when waiters and cleaners protested against a 50% cut in take-home pay. With ammo like this, it’s a surprise Coyne hasn’t started getting personal yet…

Guido’s Davos Fashion Report

George Osborne has turned heads with his suit, jumper and trainers combo at Davos this week, complete with a white sole trendy some time in early 2016. He’s with Amal Clooney, fighting injustice in a Chanel haute couture ivory dress on sale at £9,875, styled with a pair of Paul Andrew “Escarpins en daim”, which retail at £290. David Cameron sits back and chillaxes in his natty suede boots, perhaps a new purchase paid for by his speeches in Switzerland this week. Then we have Gordon Brown, who has grown his grey locks long for a slightly Beatles feel. He’s chatting to Shakira, her Latin roots showing through her wavy honey blonde hair with sun-kissed highlights and strawberry blonde lowlights, kept healthy with sulphate-free shampoo. She also poses with Jamie Oliver, slightly out of place with his spivvy over-gelled hair and flasher’s mac. It’s the place to be seen…

Momentum Candidate Glamour Photographer’s Sexy Snaps Masterclass

A top Corbynista standing for election as a regional chair of Momentum is a former glamour photographer who took thousands of sexy snaps and recommended models with “perfect body statistics“. An hour-long video shows Southend Labour spokesman Mike Fieldhouse posing-up sultry models clad in stockings, corsets and thigh-high leather boots. During his instructional film Glamour Photography Masterclass With Mike Fieldhouse, the Corbyn cheerleader has a blonde woman pose suggestively across a motorbike, describing the scene as “good stuff“. Later he advises: “If you want top models you have pay top prices. What you’re paying for is sheer professionalism and perfect body statistics.” Fieldhouse describes himself on his website as “your local Labour Party spokesman” and states:

“By 2015 I had all but given up hope of seeing a fair and just society in the UK during my lifetime. That was until Jeremy Corbyn’s brilliant leadership campaign reignited my enthusiasm and belief that a party with truly socialist policies.”

He also claims to work “part-time for a charity, providing counselling to survivors of childhood sexual abuse and rape“. No doubt this revelation will go down brilliantly with his feminist comrades…

Montie Out, Iain Martin In at The Times

Tim Montgomerie’s column for today’s Times is his last. Montie says he’s off to set up a new project after nearly four years at the paper, good luck to him. MediaGuido understands he will be replaced by Iain Martin, another sensible Brexiteer whose Reaction website has published some of the more thoughtful Brexit-related punditry. Iain will be writing a weekly column starting next week. An important hire especially now the paper is losing Tim. Most of the Times’ other comment writers are zombie metropolitan columnists spouting increasingly irrelevant punditry…

Tories Lead Labour in North

YouGov’s headline figure of a 42% – 25% Tory lead over Labour in this morning’s is bad enough for Corbyn. Even worse is the Tory lead in the North and among working class voters. Perhaps Jez will say the polls are rigged too…

Older People Want Burqa Ban

By 50% to 38% YouGov finds that Britons want a burqa ban. Last week Morocco became the latest country to take steps, the government banned the sale, production and import of the burqa, giving retailers 48 hours to destroy their stocks. Could it happen in the UK?

Drill down in the numbers and it turns out that there is only majority support for a burqa ban from over 50s. More than 70% of over 65s support a ban… 

France has made covering the face in public a punishable offence – with the support of many Muslim scholars and imams who say it is not required under sharia. Despite legal challenges the European Court of Human Rights upheld the legality of the law in 2014. Elsewhere in Europe Norway’s parliament has voted to ban the burqa, Belgium and Bulgaria have already passed banning legislation. Regions in Italy and Switzerland have also banned the burqa. Personally Guido thinks it unfortunate if a woman feels obliged or culturally pressured to wear a burqa. However in a free society it is not the role of the state to dictate what citizens can and cannot wear – the Taliban ban women from wearing mini-skirts…

Welcome “Westmonster”

Arron Banks is backing a new “anti-establishment” news and comment website to be run by Nigel Farage’s former spinner Michael Heaver. Westmonster” will apparently be “modelled on the Drudge Report”, so expect plenty of external links aggregating Brexit/UKIP news stories. This is Heaver’s second attempt at an aggregator website. Certainly interesting to see if it takes off – Heaver can tap into the social media following from Banks’ Leave.EU so he will be starting with a very decent Facebook presence. The site is not to be confused with the Westmonster which launched in 2007 and went bust a year or so later.

Westmonster will enter the crowded ideological media space ocupied by the likes of Breitbart London and Conservative Woman, offering op-eds and hot takes starting with Farage today. There is a niche for alt-right style viral news and opinion, and as Breitbart have found it brings a lot of trash traffic. Tough to maintain credibility while chasing those sorts of clicks though. So what can readers expect? Links in the Westmonster ‘trending’ section this morning include “Brits want burka banned”, its first blog rails against “wall-to-wall bitching and whining from Remoaners”Guido wishes them well…

Labour NEC Panel Fudges Danczuk Decision

Labour have farcically delayed making a final decision on the status of the still suspended Simon Danczuk. Guido understands Danczuk has been referred to the party’s Constitutional Committee after an NEC disciplinary panel failed to reach a judgement on his readmittance to the party. Absurdly Danczuk has now been waiting for a decision more than a year after those spanking sexts, while the likes of Keith Vaz retain the whip. Danczuk says he is now considering his future options:

“Prior to today’s decision I had been interviewed by party officials and subsequently believed the matter would be settled satisfactorily. I am disappointed that this committee have chosen to delay a final decision. This seems unfair given other cases which have been resolved far more smoothly. While I was, and remain, supportive of Keith Vaz MP, it does appear that I have been treated very differently. I will be talking to friends, family and colleagues about my future options. However, I currently remain Rochdale’s Member of Parliament and will continue to serve the town efficiently and effectively.”

So Labour have cleared the members who used anti-Semitic slurs yet kicked the Danczuk decision into the long grass again…

Gisela Stuart: Don’t Mention the War!

Wise advice from Boris’ former Vote Leave comrade…

Tristram Hunt on Centre-Left’s Existential Crisis

Outgoing Tristram Hunt gives his final Commons speech:

“I represent a constituency that voted 70-30 to Leave the European Union… This division of opinion between the official Labour Party position and many of our heartland voters have served only to highlight some of the deep-seated challenges which centre-left parties are facing. From Greece to the Netherlands, Sweden to France, the combination of austerity, globalisation and EU policy has hammered social democratic politics… What Brexit has done is exacerbate the divergence of priorities between what the Labour voters of Cambridge want, and those in Redcar, Grimsby or Stoke-on-Trent. Keeping a metropolitan and post-industrial coalition together is no easy task.”

In other words, Labour is increasingly irrelevant in Brexit Britain, and Tristram doesn’t have the answer…

Labour Benches Googling “Museum Directorships Near Me”

Now that the single market and the customs union (in its current trade-deal restricting form) are out of the question, just what are the Europhiles going to moan about? One half-expected Jeremy Corbyn to start today by earnestly inquiring if the Prime Minister will keep the glorious EU flag on our driving licenses and make sure butchers don’t start selling meat in pounds and ounces to the carnivorous, Brexit-voting xenophobes of the nation.[…] Read the rest

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