Rudd: Leadership Election Would Be An Indulgence

Former Home Secretary Amber Rudd has rallied to May’s defence on Newsnight, saying that a leadership election in the middle of the Brexit negotiations would be a “total indulgence” and a “huge mistake”. In truth the looming Brexit deadline is the only thing that has held MPs back from launching a leadership challenge thus far, with MPs nervous about unleashing chaos with such little time left in the negotiations. The danger for May is that increasing numbers of MPs are concluding that the risk of chaos is preferable to whatever deal she is going to bring back from Brussels…

Nonetheless, Rudd’s point on the numbers cannot be ignored. A new Tory leader would still have to grapple with a minority government propped up with the DUP, and with at least a dozen Tory MPs ready to rebel in favour of a softer Brexit or no Brexit at all. May’s toughened language on the Irish backstop yesterday may have calmed some Brexiteer nerves but with Boris Johnson becoming the 44th MP to join anti-Chequers group #StandUp4Brexit last night and the DUP opposed to any regulatory barriers being erected in the Irish Sea, not simply customs barriers, it is not clear that May’s arithmetical challenge is any less severe.

However, MPs may be less inclined to listen to Rudd’s advice after she insisted that any so-called “People’s Vote” would have to have Remain on the ballot paper, contradicting her previous pledges to “fully respect the result” and that the UK would leave without a deal if Parliament rejects it. If Rudd wants to gain Tory MPs’ trust as a peacemaker within the party, backing a second referendum is absolutely not the way to do it…

Fabbers’ Starkers Shock for Kay Burley

If Guido readers weren’t sure whether Michael Fabricant hadn’t already revealed too much with his video promoting his naked charity bike ride earlier, his afternoon appearance promoting it on Sky News might help them make up their minds. Fabbers opted for an unusual zoological metaphor to allude to some of the logistical challenges of filming on a cold day. Kay was speaking for all of us when she said “I think that’s more information than I’ll ever need in my whole life”…

Varadkar’s Dig at Britain Leaves Him Looking Silly

The Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar tweeted this out on Friday night with a cheeky dig at Brexiting Britain’s supposed future problems. The only problems with his tweet are:

  • Ireland hasn’t repaid all its debts arising from the credit crisis
  • Britain lent* Ireland £3.2 billion during the credit crunch
  • Ireland will be paying interest to HM Treasury until the loan matures in March 2021. The latest interest payment for £41,769,173.47 was received last June.

Ireland is the poster boy for recovering from the credit crisis – they actually cut spending double digits during two years of genuine austerity economics – and now growth this year is expected to be 4%. The Taoiseach still seems a little shaky on the facts and lacking in humility

*Guido wonders if “lent” is really the right term for sending £3.2 billion to the Irish Treasury which then went straight back across the Irish Sea to bail out British banks like Barclays and RBS who hade made bad investments in Ireland. Sticking the bill on the Irish taxpayer.

Carry-On Carole’s Conspiracy Confusion

Carole Cadwalladr is not happy that the police inquiry into an alleged over-spend in the referendum campaign is not proceeding at the speed she would like. The Electoral Commission referred matters to the police in May and Carole wants results. She phrases it thus “What I want to know is: cock-up? Or conspiracy?” Here we go again…

Bear in mind that everybody accused by the Electoral Commission of wrongdoing is appealing everything. They all reckon they have a reasonable chance of success. Andy Wigmore claims that the Electoral Commission now realise they have cocked-up in Leave.EU’s case and are trying to wriggle out of the situation. Anyway Carole reckons it is all due to political interference. Harder to blame it all on the Russians this time…

The police might of course take the view that they will wait until the appeals have run their course before they proceed with an investigation. After all there are murders and stuff to investigate before they go on what might turn out to be a wild goose chase.

As you can see from her tweet, Carole thinks the police should not be subject to political interference, something with which all Guido’s co-conspirators can agree. So, as you can also see, Carole wants more politicians to interfere. You would have thought all the cuckoos would have gone south by now…

David Davis Sells Out

Brexiteers need not panic, the former Brexit Secretary has not betrayed the Eurosceptic cause. Instead, a black-tie gala dinner at the Carlton Club hosted by the Margaret Thatcher Centre, which he is addressing, has sold out within days of tickets going on sale. Proving that the old bruiser still has box office appeal in Tory circles. Will David Davis still give his after-dinner speech if he is Prime Minister?

Tories Can Tackle Whiplash & Protect Workers’ Rights This Tuesday

The Tories have long-trumpeted their plans to tackle whiplash fraud and the Civil Liability Bill is said to be the vehicle to do that. But changes associated with, but not on the face of, the Bill will take away basic rights of access to justice for hundreds of thousands of injured workers every year.

The House can pass the final stages of the Civil Liability Bill on Tuesday and seek to deal with whiplash, but it needs to say no to a statutory instrument that will raise the small claims limit to £2,000 for all injuries and £5,000 for road traffic accidents – sweeping changes that will impact on how 350,000 people every year access the legal system after injury.

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Fabbers Tells Constituents to Get Naked

Following on from his rather… demonstrative whipping video, now Michael Fabricant is encouraging his constituents to get naked… in order to raise money for St Giles Hospice in his Lichfield constituency.

Little has been left to the imagination as Fabbers tries to raise awareness and funds for a charity “very close to my heart”, declaring “nothing is more likely to make me stand proud than the sight of hundreds of Lichfeldians cycling naked down Beacon Street.” At least he wipes down the seat of the Boris bike afterwards…

Gove Banning Plastic Straws… Again

Michael Gove has continued his war on disposable plastics by unveiling a new plan today to ban plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds. The only problem – apart the fact that paper straws are rubbish – is that the ban was already announced last April. Now Gove is launching a public consultation with the aim of having the ban in place in as little as a year’s time. One last year to enjoy drinks without soggy straws…

Sajid Javid Branded “House Muslim” at Event Addressed by Abbott & McDonnell

 

Sajid Javid was mockingly branded a “House Muslim” at a hard left ‘Stand Up To Racism’ event on Saturday. A speaker drew laughter from the audience as he called the Home Secretary “supposedly brown”:

“We have Sajid Javid – who is, you know, the House Muslim – who just cos he’s supposedly brown… and just because he has a Muslim-sounding name…”

A source in the room identified the speaker as Mustafa Al-Dabbagh, who was speaking on behalf of the Muslim Association of Britain. Other speakers addressing the event on Saturday included Diane Abbott, David Lammy and John McDonnell. Will they start by standing up to this kind of racially-charged derogatory language from a speaker with whom they shared a platform?

Axe the Reading Tax!

It’s Time to End Prejudice Against Digital Readers.

The UK Government has the opportunity to overturn an illogical and manifestly unfair tax system that discriminates against digital readers.

Historically EU legislation has prohibited zero-rating VAT on ebooks and epublications. So while the UK’s VAT regime has rightly exempted printed books, magazines and newspapers from VAT since the 1970s, a 20% tax on reading and on knowledge in the digital world has continued to be levied at Brussels’ behest.

This backward looking tax affects us all – not least the public institutions who end up paying millions of pounds in VAT to read digital publications and those in our society who rely on ebooks to make reading more accessible.

But now is the time to right this wrong. Common sense has prevailed and the EU has finally agreed that Member States will have the flexibility to set their own VAT rates on ebooks and epublications. As a nation of best-selling authors and voracious readers, it’s only appropriate that we take the lead.  The UK risks falling behind the rest of Europe if we don’t act fast.

Do you agree that the Chancellor should axe the reading tax in his upcoming Budget? Make sure your MP knows about it and sign our petition here.  

This is a sponsored post by The Publishers Association.

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Raab: People Must be Held to Account for Khashoggi Death

Dominic Raab says the Saudi account of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death is “not credible” and that people must be “held to account” over it. He won’t be drawn on what specific actions the UK could take…

Raab ‘Open-Minded’ About ‘Short’ Transition Extension

“Let’s say three months”…

Starmer Won’t Rule Out Remain

Keir Starmer makes the point of again not ruling out Remain if there’s a second referendum. Labour continuing their Brexit policy of being all things to all people…

Suella: UK Can “Thrive” With No Deal

Brexit Minister Suella Fernandes says it won’t be a “walk in the park” but the UK “can thrive in a no deal scenario”. As long as the government has done the ground work to prepare…

Suella denies being a Brexiteer sleeper agent. Ironically many Brexiteers think she was asleep on the job when she headed up the ERG and the Northern Irish backstop was slipped through…

Saturday 7-Up

This week 206,545 visitors visited 714,967 times viewing 1,130,820 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:

You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

People’s Vote Delete Disturbing ‘Must Watch’ Video After Backlash

The ‘Peoples’ Vote’ campaign have deleted a disturbing video where a parent pushes his five year old child to demand a second referendum. The poor kid can’t even remember what he’s been told to say. After a big backlash on twitter, the campaign sheepishly deleted the video. Guido has it saved for co-conspirators to see and cringe at. They professionally produced it with subtitles and an end screen, and called it a “MUST WATCH”…

Vaz’s Vanishing Saudi Sojourn

Readers will have been following Guido’s series on those Tory and Labour MPs who have been enjoying the generous hospitality of the Saudi regime. However, keen Middle East observers may have noticed a conspicuous absence from Guido’s lists so far. Regular readers of the Saudi press or even the Daily Mail may recall that a certain Mr Keith Vaz also paid a visit to Saudi Arabia in December last year…

According to Arab News, Vaz visited the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center in the Saudi capital Riyadh, meeting with its General Supervisor Dr Abdullah Al-Rabeeah and making a statement praising the organisation. Vaz even brought up his trip in Parliament and added that he had met with the Saudi Foreign Minister. Yet the only foreign trip that Vaz has declared in his register of financial interests is a trip funded by the Indian Government in January this year – despite Vaz being deemed “too unwell” to face a parliamentary investigation. There is no trace of Vaz’s Saudi trip whatsoever. Will the Standards Committee have to open another investigation into Vaz before they’ve even concluded the first?

Seumas Milne’s Mysterious Office

Guido understands that Corbyn’s ‘Director of Communications and Strategy,’ Seumas Milne has wangled himself his own private Parliamentary office, in a separate building to that of his boss. The secretive office sits in a corner of Norman Shaw North, quite a walk from the Leader of the Opposition’s office. Perfect for plotting, without being overheard…

It is highly unusual for even a senior staffer to receive an office of their own, especially when office space in Parliament is highly contested and some Members share office sets. A Guido co-conspirator who has gained access to the office says that it is to all intents and purposes a normal office – no Maoists tracts or other torture items to be seen. What unspeakable things go on behind the unnamed door to ‘Room 1/14’?

Labour Replacing Jared O’Mara With All-Women Shortlist Selection

The Labour Party has as of today begun the process of selecting a new candidate for Nick Clegg’s old seat of Sheffield Hallam, following former Women and Equalities Select Committee member Jared O’Mara’s resignation from the party in July. The final hustings is taking place on Saturday 15th December. […] Read the rest

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