David Lammy's Bus Etiquette

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What a charmer…

Guardian Tech Hack Magpie Attack

Regular readers may remember Guido’s little spat with Guardian tech hack Charles Arthur. Well he’s under fire again this afternoon:

Guido will let the readers decide on this one…

Miliband Had Peter Oborne In His Pocket

Ed weirdly confessed this lunchtime that he had kept an article by Peter Oborne in his pocket for three months, but Rainman refused to say which one. The Labour leader was hardly spoilt for choice for favourable Oborne articles, however. Was it Oborne’s “Ed Miliband can’t score even when he has an open goal”? Or his view that “Ed Miliband is the Labour Party’s invisible man” or the claim that “in every area of our public life the left is losing the argument”? It probably wasn’t Oborne’s review of Miliband’s biography, which apparently “cast Ed in the murderous role of Cain and David as his innocent victim”.

Far more likely is Oborne’s post-riots suggestion that Miliband was right about moral decay at the top of society, in which he laid into the likes of Sir Philip Green and attacked the culture of greed amongst the rich. Oborne should send an invoice for the conference speech…

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. Lords reform set the agenda this week as Guido brought you several stories ahead of the pack, while Labour attack dog Karl Turner put his foot in it – twice – and Tory MP Anne Marie Morris’ extraordinary PMQs rant went viral.  And that’s before we get to the return of Silvio Berlusconi and George Osborne as you’ve never seen him before…

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…

Ed Hints at Lords Retreat

Miliband told the Lobby lunch that the Lords reform bill “coming through Commons has to be a bloody good Bill” if the Parliament Act will be used to force it through the Lords. It’s safe to say that if it even gets to that stage it will be a mess of wrecking amendments and contentious points. Who will decide on what a good bill looks like?

Guido fully expects the “it’s not a good enough Bill” to be used as an excuse for the whole thing to be ditched. Ed would be able to blame the Tories for abandoning something his own troops don’t want.

Ed Does Funny

Ed is braving a Lobby lunch:

He’s here till Thursday…

Lippy Labour MP's Anger Management Issues

Shouty train thug Karl “don’t you know who I am” Turner should quit while he’s ahead:

Anger management issues? Like his own? We covered this yesterday…

David Davis tells the Daily Politics:

“You can do almost anything in the House of Commons if you do it with passion…” 

Election Night Saved

Political anoraks can relax as election night has been saved. Before the last election the Electoral Commission were threatening to go all European and make us wait until the next day before counting votes would begin. Lazy council types, who don’t like late nights, leapt on the idea. Sadly for them though the EC have seen the error of their ways:

“Candidates and political parties, having campaigned hard, want results as soon as possible, and returning officers and their staff work hard to deliver accurate and timely results.”

Maybe they should buy some of those expensive counting machines that were made so popular by the AV referendum…

Ken Clarke cosies up to Brian Leveson:

“I’m glad he’s still speaking to me. He has the stamina of Andy Murray with the deftness of touch of Roger Federer”.

The Eight Tories Who Chickened Out on Lords Reform

There is one interesting side note from the Tory Lords rebellion that has yet to receive much attention in the bubble. Of the 70 Tory MPs who signed the letter opposing the government’s Lords reform proposals, eight went on to have cold feet by merely abstaining when it came to the crunch. The Conservative chickens are: James Arbuthnot, Paul Beresford, Robert Buckland, Aidan Burley, Oliver Heald, Pauline Latham, Neil Parish and Priti Patel. Perhaps those soon-to-be-vacant PPS posts provided too much of a temptation…

UPDATE: The other side of the coin apparently being that once the programme motion vote was cancelled there was no point in sticking about. Guido is sceptical…

Shriti Gives Think Tank Award to Chums

Guido couldn’t quite work out why the zero-impact wonks over at the Social Market Foundation managed to scoop Prospect magazine’s annual “Think Tank of the Year” award. After a bit of digging the mystery has been solved. It turns out the SMF was fortunate enough to have a chum sitting on the judging panel. Former FT editor Richard Lambert agreed that the SMF deserved the award due to it’s “memorable” analysis of the budget, “Osborne’s Choice“. Perhaps it stuck in Lambert’s mind because he contributed to the report himself…

And the suspicious chumminess didn’t stop there. Guido has learnt that another judge on the panel, Shriti Vadera of Barclays/Libor fame, used to be a director of the SMF back in 2007. If only George Osborne could find a smoking gun like that…

Tories Leak Letter Telling Them to Stop Leaking

Dear colleagues,

Earlier this year you elected me to serve on the Executive of the 1922 Committee. One of the reasons I decided to stand was my frustration, shared by a large number of colleagues, about the frequent leaks from 1922 Committee meetings.

These leaks, once unheard of, have now appeared to become the norm. However, I have been prompted to send this email after last night’s meeting which was addressed by the Prime Minister. Details of this meeting weren’t just leaked. It is clear that somebody was live leaking a minute by minute account of proceedings as they happened to journalists who then posted on Twitter whilst the meeting was still taking place.

Only Conservative MPs are allowed to attend 1922 Committee meetings. This means that one of our own is betraying the entire parliamentary party just to ingratiate him/herself with certain journalists.

These leaks must stop.

The 1922 Committee exists to provide a forum where backbench MPs can, in confidence, be frank with Ministers and vice versa. It has long been the cornerstone of a successful and united parliamentary party.

These leaks are not just undermining the 1922 Committee. They threaten to make it completely redundant.

How many backbenchers now feel unable to ask certain questions to Ministers as they know their name will appear on ConservativeHome within the hour? How many Ministers feel they need to be guarded in what they tell us because of these leaks?

In the long run, this can only have a negative impact on the party.

I urge whoever is behind these leaks to consider the consequences of their actions and stop.

Kind regards,
Graham Evans MP

Cheeky…

Via HuffPo

Tory Rebels Keep Jobs

With Conor Burns quitting and Angie Bray being sacked for refusing to walk the line on Lords reform, eyebrows have been raised about other job-holding Tories who rebelled, but have somehow managed to stay in their party posts, nominally in the gift of the party leader.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown is head of the International Office at CCHQ. His former deputy there was Mark Pritchard, who made a big fuss about resigning a while back specifically so that he could vote against the leadership. Precedent has been set…

Nicola Blackwood is a Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party with responsibility for Social Action. Not for long though surely?

Charlotte Leslie is Cameron’s Big Society Ambassador. A job that her local paper claims makes her a “lynch pin” in the project. How will it cope?

Will they face the high jump or will the Whips turn a blind eye?

UPDATE: It’s a no comment from CCHQ.



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