Tories Come After Labour Leaker

Last week Guido outed Labour’s mole in the Department of Education who was leaking to his old boss Ed Balls. Well the Tories are coming after Matt Gillespie, who now spins for John Denham the Shadow Business Secretary. Backbencher Chris Skidmore is flying a kite a little writing to Sir David Bell, the DofE Permanent Secretary, but it’s awkward none the less:

He’s also going after Denham’s office:

You never know what might fall out of the tree. A protege of Ed Balls and his Muttley like SpAd Alex Belardinelli, who knows what else Gillespie was up to…

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Sir Stuart Bell’s behaviour flagged up by Guido earlier has put the cat amongst the pigeons. Labour have put out a line:

 “Ed Miliband and the Labour Party expect the highest standards from Labour representatives.It is totally unacceptable if the public cannot reach their MP. A number of allegations have been raised and these will be discussed with Sir Stuart.”

Developing…

Alistair Darling writes in tomorrow’s Speccie diary…

“I display my knife skills, carving the meat. Who says Labour can’t cut?” 

The Honourable Member for Paris

Stories about Sir Stuart Bell always tickle Guido. The veteran Labour MP hasn’t held a surgery for 14 years. It seems his local paper in Teesside has finally lost their rag with him and gave him two barrels yesterday:

The Gazette made a total of 100 calls to Sir Stuart’s two published telephone numbers during weekday office hours between May and July, when Parliament broke up for the summer. We used a variety of different Middlesbrough landline numbers and mobile phones – to conceal the fact that the calls were coming from this newspaper – and a log was kept of exactly when each call was made .No one ever answered the phone. All calls rang out to an answering machine.

Yesterday afternoon the Gazette made calls to the published telephone numbers for Tom Blenkinsop, Alex Cunningham, James Wharton and Ian Swales – the four other Teesside MPs – and each was answered by a member of staff at the first attempt.

Surely he can get his calls forwarded to his place of residence. France…

Alistair Darling tells the Speccie

“I display my knife skills, carving the meat. Who says Labour can’t cut?”

Backbench Business Committee Bites Back

Guido broke the news yesterday that the government e-Petitions that have crossed the threshold of 100,000 signatures, so far, will not be debated until well after the conference season. Well it seems the Committee overseeing the project are trying to shift the blame for the delay:

  • The Government is responsible for giving time to the Backbench Business Committee, and the time available to us is very limited – less than one day a fortnight. The Government has not provided any additional time to debate e-petitions and our existing limited supply is already oversubscribed.
  • The Committee has no power to schedule debates unless some Members of Parliament come forward to tell us that they wish to take part in them. However the Government has not provided any way to link petitions to Members of Parliament who wish to sponsor them on the e-petitions site, or any advice to petitioners on what they might need to do. Unfortunately, this means that no Members of Parliament have yet come to ask us for a debate on an e-petition.

The same government denied these e-Petitions were cosmetic…

Dorries PMQs Moment

+ + + Guardian Journalist Questioned Under Caution + + +

Sky News is reporting that the Guardian reporter Amelia Hill has been questioned under caution after the arrest of police officer in regards of phone-hacking leaks to the paper.

If any of his journalists are charged, Rusbridger will have to walk.

Unless he’s less scrupulous than Coulson…

PMQs LIVE: Back to School Edition

[orderorder-live-event altcast_code=”3fe59a1679″ height=”700″ width=”480″]

Tim Farron is a Twitter Fraud

At 11.15 LibDem Tim Farron tweeted one of his followers. Strangely though he was live on Sky News at the time, and though Guido couldn’t see his hands, he would be very surprised if Farron can type on a laptop without evening a glance down. The tweet was sent from the web:

Tim was on until Sky until 11.18 and Guido managed to get the screen-grab at 11.16. Busted…

MPs Take the Can Back

You wait for ages for a good letter in the FT and suddenly two come along at once. It’s not just the eminent economists telling it like it is about the 50p tax rate this morning, but also another healthy dose of reality from the CEO of brokers Tullett Prebon, Terry Smith:

“To the ordinary person in the street, the idea that we can rescue ourselves from a crisis caused by excessive borrowing by borrowing even more must seem mad. In this respect they are possessed of far more common sense than those who are currently advocating just such a course of action and purport to be our leaders… The first step in rectifying this situation should be to make a clear and unambiguous statement about the actual debt the UK is carrying.”

Once messy public sector pensions, PFI and banking guarantees are taken into account, Smith believes out debt to be £3,589,000,000,000. MPs are reporting that their very own can arrived in the post this morning from Smith.  To keep on kicking:

Guido is amused…

Larry Is In Love

Forget PMQs, forget NHS reform, forget the 5op tax rate, forget the abortion debate, Paul Waugh has today’s biggest breaking news – Larry the Downing Street cat is a bit of a lad:

“Maisy, the cat kept at the St James’ Park keeper’s cottage, has hooked up with Larry. Insiders relate that the PM’s moggy goes out all night and spends much of the day sleeping off his exploits”

Pussy galore!

Matthew Hancock and Nadhim Zahawi think more girls on the trading floor will abolish boom and bust…

“…bubbles could in effect be a more male phenomenon… So even though appetite for risk is a more masculine trait, and even though some areas of finance could not function without risk-taking, the current gender imbalance seems to be contributing to the kind of market manias which cause financial crises… too many men on the trading floor are subconsciously increasing the very risks they are supposedly so well-equipped to handle. So on the grounds of financial stability, there is a powerful argument for more women in finance.”

Olly Grender Spinning, Officially

Somehow Guido has only just managed to notice that his favourite Twitter sparring partner and one of his biggest fans, Olly Grender, has been brought into the Downing Street machine to cover maternity leave for Clegg’s spinmeister, Frau Pietsch. The lobbyist was head of comms for the LibDems under Paddy Ashdown and Ming, but has more recently been the face of LibDem punditry and very on message.

As David Laws’s unofficial spinner and gatekeeper during his troubles, Grender hasn’t strayed far from the scene. She has only recently stopped defending Chris Huhne, which amused Guido greatly. As did the fact that when Guido gently mocked Olly for being over-looked for Coulson’s job back in May 2010, she said she couldn’t think of anything worse. Times change…



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Quote of the Day

Tory MP Nick Boles says what everyone thinks…

“There is a timidity and lack of ambition about Mrs May’s Government which means it constantly disappoints. Time to raise your game, Prime Minister.”

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