Tory Deputy Chairman Quits Citing Europe & Aspiration

If the horse jokes were not bad enough, while Cameron was still at the Despatch Box, the news emerged that one of the Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party, Mark Pritchard, has quit his role in order to be able to speak out against the government.

This stalwart of the right was a key player in the referendum rebellion last year and away from the microphones is one of the PM’s fiercest critics. Guido had a few beers with Mark Pritchard at Tory confernece back in October, he was a bit “What’s it all about Alfie?” even then.

Expect fireworks here…

Horse Jokes Enter the Chamber Blenkinsop Wins With “Why the Long Face?”

Replying to Dave’s statement on Europe, Ed just had one of his ever best outings at the Despatch Box. Tight and funny without being too moany. His pay-off line that the PM should have just gone horse-riding was Guy Newsroom worthy, but not a patch on his colleague Tom Blenkinsop who quipped, as the PM sat down: “why the long face?” If you are already bored with Horse-gags, PMQs is going to be neigh on unbearable…

Labour MP Calls for Police Investigation into Mirror Corruption

One of the Labour MPs at the heart of the phone hacking scandal has called for the police to investigate Mirror editor Richard Wallace’s admission at Leveson that his paper had paid public officials. In a Twitter ding-dong with former Screws Chief Reporter Neville Thurlbeck, who has written extensively today about Wallace’s admissions, Chris Bryant was backed into a corner before eventually declaring that “yes, of course” the paper should be investigated.

Though Bryant immediately backtracked and suggested that there was not enough evidence, there is much more than he had when he demanded the police investigate Coulson and Brooks in 2003. Guido is looking forward to the furious press releases and Bryant popping up on the telly any moment now…

Yesterday’s Daily Star Sunday Column

Salmond’s “bedfellows”, Huhne’s “cellmate”, Burnham’s big mouth, Steve’s mayor plans, and who still loves Tony…

Plus much more, in Guido on Sunday, only in the Daily Star Sunday.

You can now read yesterday’s column here

Boris Pledges, Ken Dodges

Dodge

Guido can’t see how Ken is going to get through a third week of reputation-ruining speculation that he dodged paying some £50,000 in income tax, unless he publishes his full tax return. If he doesn’t people will assume that he has something to hide. Even his usually vocal partisan supporters are ignoring the tax advoidance issue. Boris is on the attack in the Telegraph this morning. In reference to non-doms, there is no prize for guessing who he’s talking about here:

“At least they are frank about what they are doing. They are not hypocrites, like some people, ahem, I could mention – no names, no pack drill – who foamingly denounce tax avoidance, and call for bankers to be hung, and who then turn out to have elaborate schemes to avoid paying the full whack of income tax on their earnings.”

Pledge

Ken has gone almost as mute as a newt, bogged down and dodging tax avoidance questions, whereas Boris has spent the weekend promoting his election pledges. On the weekend Nick Cohen in the Observer called for Ken to publish his tax return, rounding on him and questioning why it has taken tax issues for the left to see the light about Ken’s hypocrisy, rather than his penchant for tolerating the company of homosexual-hating clerics and tin pot Latin-American dictators. In some of today’s less surprising news, Ken has been given yet another resounding “fiction” verdict by Channel Four’s Factcheck, who shred his empty promise to reintroduce a London Educational Maintenance Allowance, despite it being ultra vires for a Mayor. Ken: the candidate with limited powers and a limited company…

UKIP’s Young and Old Jumpers

UKIP must be doing something right when even the liberal metropolitan elite are discussing their high profile defections over macchiatos this morning. In the Guardian, Sir Michael White thinks he has found the future leader of the Eurosceptics, and he’s not talking about Roger Helmer MEP, who finally had enough of Sayeeda Warsi and jumped from the Tories this weekend:

“Smartly dressed and well-spoken, sporting long blonde hair and 3in heels, she does not fit the Ukip stereotype. No blazer and regimental tie, no beard or beer gut, Swann is researching a PhD on 19th century social Darwinism and the small state”

The lines from former CF Chairman Alexandra Swann’s speech that could really stick “are this Liberal Democrat led government” and David Cameron being “as true a Conservative as Belgium is a real country.” She certainly got the room going…

Owen Jones tweets about his profits from writing about Chavs

“Yes, I probably will be on 40% tax band and justifiably so.”

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View



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Quote of the Day

Michael Crick on Safe Seats:

“In effect, new MPs are being elected day by day now, as, amid huge secrecy, small cabals of party bigwigs pick candidates for safe seats.”

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