Ben Bradshaw’s Campaign Coordinator Defects From Labour Yet More Young Conservative UKIP Jumpers

Tristan Pithers, who was the organiser of Ben Bradshaw’s re-election campaign “We’re Backing Ben 2010”, has defected to the Lib Dems stating:

“The class-warfare that the Labour Party is launching on the Government is shameful. It is not the kind of politics a serious Opposition should be engaging in. Mr Miliband should understand better than many that it is not your background that defines you but your ideas. If he believes that governments should not be run by privileged, sheltered millionaires then he and his Shadow Cabinet should hand in their resignations tomorrow morning.”

Yet another Blarite jumps the two Ed’s ship. 

It’s not just Labour who are playing musical chairs. No less than 40% of Leeds Conservative Future committee walked out of the Conservative Party this weekend and joined Farage’s growing bandwagon. This latest exodus from the Young Conservatives led to their thirsty chairman Ben Howlett having a near Twitter meltdown last night. He tried to claim that none of the defectors had even been members, despite some of them standing for local council seats. His big mistake was claiming he looked them up on a central membership database…

Personal data relating to an individual’s political opinions constitutes “sensitive personal data”, making it all the more sacrosanct. Where data is not being processed in a manner that complies with the Data Protection Act, the victim is entitled to compensation for damage and distress suffered. Guido is guessing that Howlett was not aware that Section 55 of the Data Protection Act states that a person must not obtain or disclose information contained in the personal data without consent. Guido’s learned friends reckon to tweet said information looks a lot like a criminal offence…

Watch: Boris Drops the F-Bomb On Air This Time

Cue much hand-wringing…

Clipped from the full video that was lifted from the BBC by Political Scrapbook.

Boris responds, on camera, to allegations from BBC London’s Political Editor that he tried to secure commercial deals with News International during the phonehacking scandal:

“Stuff Donovan and his fucking bollocks.”

Yesterday’s Daily Star Sunday Column

You could already be gossiping about Vicky Pryce and Denis MacShane if you had got your Daily Star Sunday yesterday…

You would already know where the latest slap for Lansley’s plain packaging has come from and which hot blonde Tory MP is making wives nervous. And much more too…

Guido’s Sunday column is now online here… 

Bercow Supports Hunting

The Speaker has just granted an Urgent Question on the Hunt situation, meaning that the last day of the session will be dominated by Murdoch and the Culture Secretary. This will not go down well with No.10, especially as many saw Labour’s demand for a statement as over-playing their hand…

UPDATE: After failing to land a punch last week, Guido recommends that Ed has a read of this post from legal blogger David Allen Green.

UPDATE II: The statement will be at 15.30.

UPDATE III: Guido would also recommend that Ed turns Theresa May’s Qatada line on it’s head:

“If any of my officials made a mistake, that is my responsibility…” 

This could get messy…

Vote Kennock!

That well known vote winner Neil Kinnock has ridden to Ken’s rescue today by signing a letter demanding Labour fall into line and vote for him. He seems to have changed his tune from 2000 when he lashed out at Ken’s disloyalty, telling Kevin Maguire of the Guardian:

“Ken Livingstone has only ever belonged to one party – the Ken Livingstone party”

Other signatories include Alastair Campbell, who once described Ken as an “egomaniac” and did everything he could to stop him coming to power in 2000. Though plenty of London MPs have signed the letter, it’s interesting to note that neither Diane Abbott or Meg Hillier have done so. Perhaps the two Hackney MPs still remember what their predecessor Brian Sedgemore had to say about Ken:

“Ken is a sad and lonely figure. He continually portrays himself as a victim when he is in fact a destructive manipulator. If you slice him through the middle what you see is a man whose heart does not pump for the Labour party but who is completely obsessed with himself. I don’t see why London has to suffer because he hasn’t fulfilled his ambition to be party leader.”

Meanwhile, as the Standard comes out for Boris, more well-known lefties are running for the hills today. The Indy’s John Rentoul and Dan Hodges have both declared that in this two-horse race it has to be Boris. Peter Hain is leading the public charge against them.

Because he’s never changed sides…

UPDATE: Oh dear Peter. Lets turn to page 159/60 of Hain’s autobiography Outside In:

“I wanted to be effective, to be able to make a real difference. And that meant learning what not to do from Ken Livingstone … he seemed to go out of his way to make enemies.”

A good spot by Though Cowards Flinch.

Ken Says Tories Out of this World

Only a month ago Ken said he wanted to drop negative campaigning:

I suggest to Boris Johnson therefore that he and I work together to raise the tone and spirit of this election. Let us talk about what really matters to each and every Londoner, and end the X-Factor slug-fest.

We want to concentrate vigorously on those issues that can make Londoners better off over the next month of this campaign.

As you can see Ken’s campaign today paints Boris as an alien blue slug. Not exactly a positive focus on the issues…

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

20120430-084224.jpg

“Not Again Ken” Sing-a-Long

Read Guido in the Daily Star Sunday

Shame of Campaign that Dare Not Speak Candidate’s Name

No picture of the candidate kissing a baby, not a single reference to him.

Ken is so toxic his own leaflets don’t mention his name.

Hat-tip: @RobDotHutton

Saturday Seven-Up

Last week some 86,307 visitors made 302,535 visits to view 489,364 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:

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

Guidogram Going Out Shortly

The Guidogram round-up of the week is going out shortly. Don’t forget you can now also read the Sunday edition of the blog exclusively in the Daily Star Sunday.

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

All In It Together

The Tories are very keen to push the comparison between the number of meetings held between Rupert Murdoch and various Prime Ministers, specifically within in the first two years of their premierships:

Tony Blair became Prime Minister on 2 May 1997. By 1 May 1999, he had met Rupert Murdoch 7 times:

1 June 1997 – Meeting
2 September 1997 – Meeting
13 November 1997 – Lunch
29 January 1998 – Meeting (with Mark Booth)
12 May 1998 – Meeting
21 January 1999 – Lunch
21 January 1999 – Dinner (with Gordon Brown, Irwin Stelzer and Les Hinton)

Gordon Brown became Prime Minister on 27 June 2007. By 26 June 2009, he had met Rupert Murdoch 13 times:

6 October 2007 – Meeting
6 October 2007 – Dinner (with Sarah Brown and JK Rowling)
29 October 2007 – Lunch
22 January 2008 – Lunch
16 April 2008 – Meeting
6 June 2008 – Dinner (with Wendi Murdoch and Sarah Brown)
15 June 2008 – Dinner hosted by Gordon and Sarah Brown for around 36 people including Wendi Murdoch, President Bush and Laura Bush)
16 June 2008 – News Corporation Summer party and dinner afterwards (with other members of Murdoch’s family and Sarah Brown)
25 September 2008 – Dinner hosted by Mayor Bloomberg
26 September 2008 – Meeting
13 November 2008 – Meeting
13 January 2009 – Breakfast
13 June 2009 – The wedding of Rebekah Wade to Charlie Brooks (also attended by David Cameron)
22 June 2009 – Reception for Lord Paul
26 June 2009 – Dinner (with Sarah Brown and Lord Paul)

David Cameron became Prime Minister on 11 May 2010. As of 26 April 2012, he had met Rupert Murdoch twice and attended two social occasions with him:

18 May 2010 – Meeting
21 July 2010 – Dinner or meeting
16 June 2011 – News Corporation Summer Party
20 June 2011 – Times CEO summit dinner

Interesting, and we all know they were all up to their necks, but had the scandal not blown up in July 2011, do we really think Dave’s number of meetings would have stuck at four?

Friday Caption Contest (Umbrella Holder Edition)

The best suggestion for what the “Blairite she-devil” is thinking will win a handy compendium of Ken facts:

“THE TRUTH ABOUT KEN – His Cronies, His Scandals and His Hypocrisy…”

Answers below…

Margaret Moran’s £80,000 Sick Note

PA reports:

Dr Philip Joseph said Moran, 56, was suffering from a depressive illness and extreme anxiety and agitation, and the stress of the proceedings and allegations she was facing made it impossible for her to participate in court proceedings. He said she felt feelings of abandonment by the Labour party and shame that her career was over.

Guido has “feelings” of something a lot stronger…

Lobby Fodder Down Under

Well at least he’s honest…

More Labour Not Backing Ken

Yesterday’s cack-handed plea by Labour’s campaign supremo Tom Watson for Labour supporters who can’t stand Ken to “hold your nose, vote for Ken” follows on from Labour peers Lord Sugar and Lord Winston expressing anti-Ken sentiments.

Labour have now roped in Oona King, who was once described by Ken as a Blairite “she-devil” to support Ken in a transparently false show of party unity. What Oona really thinks about Ken was revealed before he was selected as the official candidate. She said ‘I don’t think Ken Livingstone is the way to go. He may qualify for Britain’s Got Talent but only on UK Gold’. Not the most ringing endorsement…

Guido was intrigued to hear on the grapevine that Tom Watson’s tame attack-puppies at the left-wing union-sponsored website Political Scrapbook can’t stand Ken Livingstone either. He searched their website for evidence of support for Ken and found none – months of anti-Boris material, not one single article so far that is pro-Ken. Last night Guido challenged them on Twitter to back Ken with a bet. They refused to back Ken…

More Question Time Briefing Leaks

Seems the last minute nature of the panel – it was supposed to be a Ken, Boris, Brian & Jenny Question Time until the BBC changed their mind – has prompted some hasty preparation.

This was found in the Marquis of Granby pub…

Leaked: Diane Abbott’s Question Time Preparation Notes

It’s amazing what you can find in a photocopier in SW1:

Drafted by Abbott’s staffer Gabe Trodd a former government spinner it is incredibly patronising given that Diane has been a TV professional since Gabe was wearing nappies.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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