Labour Whip Admits Party's Guilt

Lord Tunnicliffe should prepare to feel the wrath of Balls:

“Criminal sanctions are extraordinarily difficult to bring about because of the burden of criminal law. It is fair to say though that you can’t find them in the current legislation. And, yes, OK, it’s our fault. I hope my leaders don’t hear me say that.” 

Given Tunnifcliffe is Labour’s Deputy Chief Whip, it’s safe to say they did hear.

Via the Guardian

Guidogram Going Out Shortly

The Guidogram round-up of the week is going out shortly.

Thousands of Westminster insiders read the Guidogram, everyone from Downing Street insiders to Fleet Street never miss it. This week saw Laurie Penny and Chloe Smith caught on camera, while Guido was proved right on a series of long-standing issues. It’s not one to miss out on.

Join the conspiracy and become a subscriber to the Guidogram, free, to keep in the loop. You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

Gordon Brown v News International

News International has today written to the Leveson Inquiry asking them to seek further evidence from Gordon Brown over his claim that the Sun illegally accessed his son’s medical records. Gordon Brown is getting his lawyers on to The Times

Read all about it… over on MediaGuido

Exclusive: Gordon Disputes Times's Story Claims Son's Cystic Fibrosis Was Not Known

The Times is reporting that News International has written to the Leveson Inquiry asking them to seek further evidence from Gordon Brown over his claim that they illegally accessed his son’s medical records. The move comes after the Dundee-based Sunday Post revealed that they had got a story about his son a few weeks earlier but decided not to run it after contacting Brown. The Sun denied Brown’s claim when he made it last July at the height of the phone-hacking scandal claiming the source was a “dad whose son also has the crippling disease and he wanted to highlight the plight of sufferers”. Claim and counter-claim are being traded.

News International asked the inquiry to seek written evidence from The Sunday Post and Mr Brown. Sources at The Sunday Post tell Guido they only knew that Brown’s son was unwell, not his exact illness. When they contacted Brown’s spokesman and he refused to comment they left the matter there and did not pursue it. Guido sources tell him that Brown’s lawyers will be contacting News International shortly to advise them accordingly in the strongest possible terms. Brown is adamant, and will it appears be backed up by The Sunday Post if required, that his son’s illness was not in the public domain. 

Full Text of Tory MPs Letter to Cameron

Four more MPs’ names have apparently been added to the letter sent by Tory backbencher John Baron to the Prime Minister this morning. It asks him “to place on the Statute Book before the next General Election a commitment to hold a referendum during the next Parliament on the nature of our relationship with the European Union”. ConservativeHome broke the news of this earlier, but now Guido has got hold of the full text of the letter:

For some reason John Baron is refusing to name who has signed. If you know, you know what to do

A senior Tory laments the post-Coulson Downing Street operation:

“What we need is Leo McGarry, what we’ve got is Leo Sayer.”

Order of the OTT – Steve Richard's Millie Moment

Steve Richards of the Indy is normally level headed, if often wrong. Today however he’s come out with a corker. Tweeting about Barclays he claims:

“This is the Millie Dowler moment for some banks.”

Really Steve, really?

Musical SpAds: Hunt Loses Another Aide

Survival hopes post-reshuffle for Jeremy Hunt look even bleaker this morning with the news that he has lost yet another Special Adviser.

Lisa Hunter has been poached by Iain Duncan Smith to replace Susie Squire, who was promoted to head of press at CCHQ.

Clearly IDS is seen as a safer job prospect…

UPDATE: Another Hunt SpAd gets in touch to say Hunter was covering maternity leave.

Lord Sugar Reveals Gordon Brown Shouting Matches

Lord Sugar revealed all about his ill-fated spell as Gordon Brown’s enterprise champion during a speech to the Industry and Parliament Trust at Portcullis House last night. The Labour peer recalled how their conversations on boosting business achieved nothing as Gordon would regularly lose the plot:

It was frustrating. Gordon wanted me to give him ideas on how to make British business great again but everything I said fell on deaf ears. It would always just end with him shouting me down.

Sugar went on to accuse Brown’s “British jobs for British workers” pledge of being an empty promise, describing his annoyance at the Prime Mentalist’s lack of desire to fight EU red tape. It must have been a new experience for the Apprentice boss to have been on the receiving end…

Price Hikes at News International – Sun Doubles in Price

News International boss Tom Mockridge has written to staff this morning:

“I’d like you to know about changes to the cover price of two of our titles that will come into effect next week.

From Monday, The Sun will rise to 40 pence.  The Sunday Times will increase to £2.50 on July 8. There will be no change in the cover price of The Times.

They remain exceptional value and the undisputed market leaders in their respective fields.  The Sun will still be cheaper than most of its rivals and we will continue to deliver innovative and compelling products, journalism and marketing to draw in new readers and hold on to our loyal followers. 

We have agreed these changes to put the papers and the company on a secure footing for the future and to ensure that we can continue to invest in the first-class journalism that characterises our brand.”

Some will take issue with that last sentence…

Pilgrim Progress – Pickles Forces Cash Transparency

From the first of next month it will be a legal requirement for councillors to declare payments from unions. If they lie it will be a criminal offence. Guido has a feeling that you’ll be surprised at the extent to which unions secretly bankroll Labour, even at a local level.

Department of Local Government sources stress the importance of this move to the ongoing fight against Pilgrims – taxpayer-funded trade union officials, who regular readers will remember Guido campaigning against. Given that councils vote on how many of these money wasting staff members there can be, it’s going to be interesting to see who is pulling the strings.

Other developments in the fight include:

“· Francis Maude will shortly be publishing a policy paper proposing to scale back so-called ‘facility time’ in the Civil Service back to private sector levels – rather than gold-plating legal requirements.
· The Department for Communities and Local Government will follow through in due course with guidance to councils, giving them legal assurance and practical help on how they can review and cut back both facility time and the provision of subsidies like free office facilities.
· In local government, these matters should be debated openly in Full Council – with councillors declaring any prejudicial interests, such as receiving payments in kind from unions at election time.”

The Cabinet Office have saying these moves are imminent for months, but Guido gets the impression gears are turning this morning…



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Quote of the Day

Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner:

“We have no plans to write off existing student debt.”

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