“Campaign Coordinator” Tom Watson Drops Another Clanger

Tom Watson’s re-branding from boot-boy Blair-stabber to Murdoch-slayer has come under fire ever since the Labour Deputy Chairman in charge of campaigning saw George Galloway steal a safe Labour seat on his watch. Along with his fingerprints being all over stitch ups, his dubious halo is starting to slip. Many have wondered where the fearless seeker of truth has been throughout this turbulent few weeks. Well Guido found him:

MURDOCH’S NEMESIS TARGETS SOUTH CAMBS MP –
IN HIS OWN CONSTITUENCY

THE man who led the campaign against Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is to turn his sights on South Cambridgeshire MP Andrew Lansley – in the Health Secretary’s own constituency.

Labour’s Deputy Chair and Campaign Co-ordinator Tom Watson MP felt so appalled by proposed reforms to the NHS he decided he “couldn’t stomach any more”.

So in an email to Party members he said he would personally campaign in Mr Lansley’s constituency to “remind them what would happen” if Lansley’s plans go through.

He will visit the constituency on Wednesday, April 11 to knock on doors and talk to voters ahead of the Local Elections on May 3.

“For Andy Burnham’s Drop the Bill campaign to succeed, we have to talk to people in our communities to get the message across,” he said.

The Drop the Bill campaign cannot succeed – it failed when the Bill recieved Royal Assent on March 27.

The “Notes to Editors” made Guido chuckle too:

“Tom Watson is MP for West Bromwich East and Labour’s Deputy Chair and Campaign Co-Ordinator in the Shadow Cabinet. He was a Minister in the previous Labour Government and shot to fame as a member of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, where his campaigns against phone-hacking at the News of the World won him much praise.”

Perhaps the rotund bruiser should spend a little more time concentrating on his campaigning rather than self-aggrandisement.

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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UPDATE: Too late for this week, it has now gone out.

The Empire Strikes Back

As if by magic, Labour Birmingham Mayor wannabe Siôn Simon has waded into a row entirely manufactured by his allies in Westminster. After Harman and Watson took flack from their colleagues for suggesting that MPs should be banned from triggering by-elections in order give Simon a clear run, he has been able to ride in like a white knight and declare that the plan could not work. There’s one small catch though…

Writing in the Birmingham Post, the union-backed Brownite calls for his rival (either Liam Byrne or Gilesa Stuart) to meet the costs of any by-election from their own pocket:

“Sitting Labour MPs should now be allowed to stand. They should sign undertakings to abide by the result and not to run as independents if they lose, and perhaps also to repay to the Labour party and the Exchequer the cost of their by-elections if they win.”

Wasting taxpayers money is something our Siôn knows all about it. He managed to siphon £21,000 of public money to his sister before being caught red-handed. As an MP he was able to merely pay back the money. As a Mayor in all likelihood he would have been done on corruption charges…

Neutral Audience Savages Ken on Tax

An over overenthusiastic ‘elf and safety advocate ensured that Guido was ejected from last night’s Evening Standard debate, but thankfully they have sent over the video so you won’t miss a balanced audience boo and shout “champagne socialist” as Ken squirms and tries to justify, to no avail, his tax avoidance hypocrisy. He claims he has given so much in tax that he could pay for an aircraft carrier. Despite earnings of close to quarter of a million, Ken paid just under £40,000 in tax last year. An aircraft carrier costs £2.5bn.

Ian Lidell-Grainger MP misunderstands who benefits from transparency…

“I worry that if everybody has to publish their tax returns envy will come in. It is an abominable slope. In America the politicians publish their tax returns and what good has it done them? None.”

Exclusive: Stringy Says Vote UKIP after 32 Years as a Tory

Tory member and big donor Sir Peter Stringfellow is openly endorsing UKIP. He claims this is the first time he has not supported the Conservative candidate in an election in thirty two years. This normally warrants expulsion by CCHQ, but the nightclub owner has given them thousands over the years. Guido’s table-top sources whisper seductively that Stringy could be about to jump officially…

McNi-Coals to Newcastle

The defeat in Bradford topped off a rough few weeks for Labour’s General Secretary Iain McNicol. After a shambolic handling of the internal reorganisations he lost the support of many of his troops and it was put to Guido that plans were afoot to ease the union man out. Well it seems that is happening…

With Labour downsizing to a new HQ tomorrow, Team Ed will be centralising the operation and one adviser says they “don’t want McNicol in the room”. He’s likely to be spending more time in the Party’s offices in Newcastle and “touring the regions”. Officially it is unlikely to be described as a relocation, but staffers know exactly what’s going on…

UPDATE: Today’s internal gripe is about said office move. Given it’s happening during an election campaign questions have been asked about timetabling. Apparently the party “can’t afford proper office relocation people, so staff have to spend three days packing themselves instead of campaigning.” They don’t seem very happy about this.



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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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