83% Think UKIP’s Finished

Guido’s readership has over the years been sympathetic to the UKIP cause. Today our poll of 2,306 readers found 83% thought it was time to wind the party up:

Not a scientific poll methodology, with support for UKIP continuing at 17% probably much higher than it is with the general public. Apart from leadership problems, is UKIP really still viable as a national force? The local elections will probably be terminal…

Bolton Loses UKIP NEC No Confidence Vote – Unanimously

UKIP’s NEC has passed a motion of no confidence in troubled leader Henry Bolton. The vote was carried unanimously, with the exception of Bolton himself. He will now be under huge pressure to resign. Party members will decide whether or not to back the no confidence vote at a meeting which must take place within 28 days. Surely Bolton will walk before then…

McDonnell: I’m Not Sorry for “Lynch” Esther Comments – But Don’t Play Tape Back To Me

John McDonnell has again refused to apologise for calling Esther McVey a “stain on humanity” and repeating that she should be “lynched”. The Shadow Chancellor was asked to apologise to McVey on Marr this morning but refused – worth remembering he also refused to at the time, contrary to his defence this morning. Marr threatened to play back the audio. A guilty McDonnell replied:

“No we don’t need to, I know exactly what was on it.”

Bewilderingly, McDonnell was then let off the hook – the audio was not played.

Here it is:

Hard man McDonnell can dish it out but can’t take it…

Macron: French “Probably” Would Have Voted to Leave EU

French President Emmanuel Macron admits the French people would “probably” have voted to leave the European Union had they been allowed a referendum. #DespiteFrexit…

Bolton: I Won’t Quit, UKIP Can’t Pay for Leadership Contest

Embattled UKIP leader Henry Bolton says he won’t quit over the Jo Marney affair. Speaking on Peston, he revealed a leadership contest would not be “financially viable” for the party. Bolton warned UKIP’s NEC against passing a motion of no confidence in him:

“If the NEC goes down the road of months of infighting… then the reality is the party is probably over.”

Crunch meeting later today…

Truss: We Can’t Undo Worboys Decision

Saturday 7-Up

This week 171,420 visitors visited 561,888 times viewing 886,114 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:

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

Is UKIP Finally Finished?

MEPs resigning the whip, councillors going independent, membership despairing and disappearing – this weekend could be the end of UKIP. The UKIP NEC is meeting to decide the fate of their beleagured leader Henry Bolton. He is appearing on Peston for a potentially last interview as leader on Sunday…

UKIP have been counted out many times without being knocked-out. Is this the final count for the single issue party soon to be without an issue?

Greenpeace Still Making Fake Wind Claims

Eco-warriors at Greenpeace are still claiming wind energy prices have fallen by 50% despite promising the Advertising Standards Authority they would no longer do so. The pressure group was involved in a major green lobby ad campaign promoting wind power fronted by actors Peter Capaldi and Emma Thompson. Posters – including one which went up in Westminster tube station – claimed: “The price paid for electricity from offshore wind farms has fallen by 50% over the last five years.” Wrong – in most cases the prices paid for electricity from the UK’s offshore wind fleet have not fallen at all…

Following an upheld complaint, Greenpeace told the Advertising Standards Authority last month it would no longer make the claim. But a video featuring Emma Thompson holding a giant “50% off” sign next to an offshore wind farm is still being shown on the Greenpeace Facebook page. Thompson claims the non-existent price drop is: “it’s better than the Harrods sale”. The caption reads: “Wow – the cost of offshore wind has HALVED in the last two years!”

A spokesman for the Global Warming Policy Forum, which made the successful complaint, said:

“The ads are deliberately misleading MPs and the wider public into thinking that existing wind farms have been cutting their prices. In fact, the allegedly lower prices are only related to auction bids in so-called Contracts for Difference which apply to tentative future wind projects that will not start generating until 2021/2022 and may in fact never be built — or never generate at these low prices. As a recent study has shown, the capital costs of new offshore wind do not appear to be falling and may even be rising as they move into deeper waters.”

When will Greenpeace keep its promise to the regulator?

McDonnell To Speak Alongside Ousted NUS Boss Malia Bouattia

John McDonnell will share a platform with controversial ousted NUS chief Malia Bouattia at an event in Parliament next month. Divisive Bouattia boasts a catalogue of eyebrow-raising views. She:

  • Received an open letter from Jewish societies in 48 universities, demanding she explain the numerous allegations of anti-Semitism levelled at her;
  • Suggested the government’s anti-terror Prevent programme is backed by a “Zionist lobby“;
  • Spoke at an event alongside Leila Khaled, a terrorist hijacker; Bouattia used her platform to defend armed struggle. She also lashed out against the “mainstream Zionist led media outlets”;
  • Spearheaded the scrapping of an NUS motion that proposed the organisation should condemn ISIS, on the grounds that it was “islamophobic”;
  • Was celebrated by Jihadi John apologist group CAGE;
  • Called her own university, Birmingham, “something of a Zionist outpost”;
  • Claimed the EU’s definition of anti-semitism is “ominous”.

Outrage at Bouattia among NUS members and officers led to a widespread campaign which saw student unions disaffiliate from the organisation. McDonnell will speak alongside her at the launch of a new Corbynista book, For The Many: Preparing Labour for Power in February. Also at the event will be newly time-rich Chris Williamson. McDonnell’s spokesman did not respond to a request for comment. Jezza will be feeling left out…

Friday Caption Contest (Boris Bridge Edition)

UKIP’s Walker Offered £30,000 ‘Bribe’ To Bolton for Party Chairmanship

A critic of embattled UKIP chief Henry Bolton offered the troubled leader half the party chairman’s salary*if he appointed him to the position, Guido can reveal. Embattled Bolton received former leadership candidate Walker’s offer in an exchange of messages last month. Walker said: “I’m happy to do this job and split the money with you… you need a wage and I want to support you” (Bolton is famously doing the leader’s job unwaged). Bolton replied: “that sounds like bribery”…

Walker withdrew from the UKIP leadership election last August after he was promised the chairmanship on Jane Collins’ ticket; they came second to last with 4.4% of the vote. Sources have blamed Walker for launching a campaign to undermine Bolton and the party both internally and in the media, which he denies. Walker is on a ‘task force’ dedicated to ousting Bolton, and suggested this week UKIP should be wound-up. Walker told Guido:

“I have always been supportive of Henry until the affair broke. Lying to the membership is a big deal and he should go. I completely deny working to undermine him. There is no organised coup.”

UKIP, always entertaining…

*Sources say the chairman is paid between £60,000 to £75,000.

Gauke Bottles Worboys Legal Challenge as Sadiq Launches Judicial Review Proceedings

On Sunday the government said it would do everything possible to keep John Worboys behind bars, well it’s taken them five days to break that promise – David Gauke has bottled his judicial review. This really is weak from the new Justice Secretary, especially since JR experts including Lord Pannick said he would have had a good chance of success. Guido understands that Sadiq Khan is instead going to launch judicial review proceedings of his own. Khan has instructed lawyers to send a pre-action protocol letter for judicial review to Nick Hardwick, the chair of the Parole Board. The Mayor of London stepping up, unlike the Justice Secretary…

The MoJ have handled this situation farcically from the beginning. It’s obvious Gauke knows the decision to release Worboys is wrong otherwise he would never have considered JRing it. And he let victims believe he would stop him from coming out. There is a lot more the Justice Secretary could do to keep his promise to victims and yet, in the pocket of his civil servants, he has so far done nothing. And now Sadiq has taken the initiative…

Corbyn Doesn’t Reject Mason’s Call for Deselections

Jeremy Corbyn does not reject Paul Mason’s suggestion that Labour MPs should have the threat of deselection “hanging over them”. Quoted in a Guardian interview published yesterday, the Labour leader was asked directly about Mason’s comments and replied:

“Look, [we] will look at democracy within the party and look at the process of selections. We should all be accountable all the time. I’m accountable to my party, I’m accountable to my constituency and I’m quite comfortable with that.”

Corbyn has gradually changed his language on mandatory re-selection. He used to claim to oppose it, but has since hinted several times at ways of bringing it about (using boundary changes as a cover and openly discussing a rule change at conference). Implicitly endorsing Mason’s comments is a step further, and with the Corbynistas in the ascendancy again after the NEC result the issue of compulsory re-selection is yet again the subject of Labour chatter this week (Corbynista influencers are now calling for it more loudly than ever). The purge is only just beginning…

Who Is On Question Time Tonight

Damian Green Still Blogging About His ‘Commons Touch’

Damian Green is still blogging under the title ‘Commons Touch’; his pieces also go out as a newsletter under the same title. Time for a refresh?

Tracy Brabin’s Tough Stance on Misogyny and Homophobia

Two weeks ago: Labour MP Tracy Brabin demands Toby Young is sacked for “misogyny and homophobia”.

Yesterday: Brabin gives actual misogynist homophobe Jared O’Mara a big hug and welcomes him back into the fold:

Comical double standards.

Last Days at Buzzfeed

Judging by these tweets, not a great day at “the future of journalism”:

Sad and entirely predictable news…

Bolton: She Came Round But I Didn’t Sleep With Her

UKIP sources confirm Guido’s story: Henry Bolton and Jo Marney did go home together after their loved-up dinner last night. It is claimed Marney came back to the leader’s Fokestone flat only to collect her bags. So keen is Henry Bolton to prove this that he ran out to a local taxi firm this morning and took a picture of the taxi log detailing Marney’s cab back to Maidstone. Poor bloke, gets the girl all the way back home but no action…

Local Labour Members Demand End to Jared Investigation So He Can Be Deselected

Members of Jared O’Mara’s Constituency Labour Party in Sheffield Hallam are demanding answers from the never-ending ‘investigation’ into his homophobic and misogynistic posts – with some calling for him to be deselected. Labour launched their probe into O’Mara four months ago, then paused it while he was off sick.[…] Read the rest

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Tory MP Nick Boles says what everyone thinks…

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