Oh What a Tangled SpAd

Cheating Phil Taylor, Peter Hain’s SpAd, campaigned for his boss at the taxpayer’s expense and against the rules. He told Guido last Thursday that he had already told the permanent secretary he was resigning*, he even had the audacity to explain that this noble sacrifice would cost him his SpAd termination payment. On Friday he changed his mind and was telling people he was only taking unpaid leave.

Matt Withers in Wales on Sunday followed it up:

WELSH Secretary Peter Hain’s top advisor has quit amid political gossip that he had been campaigning for his boss to become Labour’s Deputy Leader.

Phil Taylor, who advises Northern Ireland Secretary Mr Hain on devolution issues across the water, is to step down from his position to concentrate on his boss’ race for the number two position.

Mr Taylor asked for unpaid leave on Thursday, the same day a political gossip website claimed Mr Taylor had already been involved in the campaign.

As a taxpayer-funded civil servant, this would have broken Cabinet Office rules. Special advisors are not allowed to get involved in leadership battles.

The Northern Ireland Office has confirmed Mr Taylor’s departure.

Mr Taylor said: “It is true that I intend to leave at the end of the month which is when we hope to have a devolved government in place at Stormont. I have been asked to help out in the campaign and that is what I will do.”

Guido has been calling Phil for clarification to no avail so just in case he isn’t picking up his email either, here are the questions:
  1. On Thursday you told Guido you had already informed the permanent secretary that you intended to resign and that this sacrifice would cost you your termination payment, how did this on Friday become you were taking unpaid leave at the end-of-the-month?
  2. According to reports, you only told the permanent secretary of your intention last Thursday, when you knew Guido was trying to contact you – when did you formally tell the permanent secretary?
  3. Guido has been given a number of Hain4Labour campaign documents that place you at various locations at various times. Guido is confident that it will be found through FoI requests that you were not on leave. Do you have any explanation?

Incidentally, to Guido’s new fans in the Welsh Labour Party, it was a pleasure.

*PA and the Belfast Telegraph also reported he was resigning.




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Quote of the Day

Jeremy Corbyn in the Evening Standard

“… we must also face the uncomfortable fact that a small number of our members and supporters hold anti-Semitic views and attitudes, which need to be confronted and dealt with more rapidly and effectively.

The evidence is clear enough. Labour staff have seen examples of Holocaust denial, crude stereotypes of Jewish bankers, conspiracy theories blaming 9/11 on Israel, and even one member who appeared to believe that Hitler had been misunderstood.

So let me be clear. People holding those views have no place in the Labour Party.

… we have not done enough to get to grips with the problem, and the Jewish community and our Jewish members deserve an apology. My party and I are sorry for the hurt and distress caused. … We must strive to understand why anti-Semitism has surfaced in our party…

… when criticism of or opposition to the Israeli government uses anti-Semitic ideas — attributing its injustices to Jewish identity, demanding that Jews in Britain or elsewhere answer for its conduct, or comparing Israel to the Nazis — then a line must be drawn.  Anti-Zionism is not in itself anti-Semitic and many Jews themselves are not Zionists. But there are also a very few who are drawn to the Palestinian question precisely because it affords an opportunity to express hostility to Jewish people in a “respectable” setting. Our movement must not be a home for such individuals.

Second, there are people who have come to see capitalism and imperialism as the product of conspiracy by a small shadowy elite rather than a political, economic, legal and social system. That is only a step from hoary myths about “Jewish bankers” and “sinister global forces”.

These views do no service to the struggle for a just society.”

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