Priti Patel Demands “Hodge the Dodge” Calls Stemcor to PAC

Priti Patel has written a strongly worded letter to Margaret Hodge demanding that she calls Stemcor in front of the Public Accounts Committee for a grilling –  as Chair of the PAC she would have to stand aside when Stem or gave evidence to avoid a conflict of interest because of her position as a shareholder with millions tied up in Stemcor. Her family firm has a multi-billion pound turnover yet paid a mere £157,000 in tax. Much like Google, Amazon and Starbucks who have already appeared in front of the PAC…

Letter in full:

Ouch…

Express Yourself! Odds on Lee Jasper Win Shortening

Labour are getting sweaty palms in Croydon North. Ed was down there yesterday, Chuka’s there today and constituents have already had to endure the likes of David Lammy, Sadiq Khan and Diane Abbott.

With a 16,481 majority this should be a walk in the park for Labour, though unfortunately for them blunder-prone charisma-free Steve Reed is conceding ground to Respect candidate Lee Jasper. The musical Mancunian is causing a stir with the bookies, with his price coming in to 14/1. Steve Reed is still odds-on to win, but he is being he’s being made to work for it by the pincer movement of Respect and and the Tories.

Don’t forget, “Lee is a Muslim name”…

Rifkind Resigns Over Naked Bryant Photo Row

Sir Malcolm Rifkind has quit his position as president of Conservative Friends of Russia after the group got into hot-water for accompanying a story about Bryant with that photo. Chairman Richard Royal has apologised after his spat with Bryant last night made it into the Telegraph. Quite where Bryant got the homophobia idea of from aside, it was a PR own goal from the group.

Guido notes that Bryant has yet to address the original accusations though, so what is going on with the All Party Parliamentary Group for Russia?

WATCH: Naked Whitehall Statue Man

Naked Whitehall statue man has finally climbed down after mounting the Duke of Cambridge statue:

A Friday afternoon laugh if ever there was one…

LibDems Say Tata to 900 Jobs as Energy Deal Bites

Just hours after George Osborne’s capitulation to the LibDems over green subsidies the first casualty of the green energy price hikes has been announced. Tata Steel has been forced to cut 900 jobs, citing green policies for damaging their competitiveness with European rivals. Well done Davey.

A senior treasury source insists to Guido that it could have been far worse: “People were pushing for at least a £10 billion subsidy. Given existing obligations already entered into we couldn’t have got it any lower unfortunately – but we made it better than it was.” Tough one to sell to bill-payers though.

Friday Caption Contest (Naked Man in Whitehall Edition)

This bloke is up there, naked, right now… and it is a bit brass monkeys…

Via Ben Duckworth

Quote of the Day

Simon Walker, the IoD DG, on form at their Annual Dinner last night:

“Nadine’s bushtucker trials were a revelation – a rare opportunity to see bollocks going into a politician’s mouth, rather than coming out of it. Nadine says the ex-Chief Whip gave her permission to go to the jungle, which he denies. In fairness to him, Andrew Mitchell didn’t know ‘I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here’ is a TV show – it’s just what he says to get people to open gates for him.”

Hope Against Hope Telegraph Hack New Chairman of the Press Gallery

As MediaGuido reported last night, the Telegraph’s Chris Hope is the new chairman of the press gallery. He will take over from the Mail’s Tim Shipman in January. Jason Beattie of the Mirror stays as the honourable secretary, and Bloomberg’s Rob Hutton remains as honourable treasurer. All three positions were ‘elected’ unopposed. They are less democratic than the politburo…

Quiet Man Turns Up Volume

“Never underestimate the determination of a quiet man”.

Or rather never underestimate the power of the last word…

HuffPo has been cynically using photos of under age girls in bikinis…

…Read about their latest controversial content over on MediaGuido

HuffPo Cynically Uses Pictures of Under-Age Girls in Bikinis

According to the most read article on the Huffington Post this morning “If you type the key words ‘children’ and ‘bikini’ into an Internet search engine, you’ll find tens of thousands of results for child bikini contests.” In that sentence is the explanation for why the search engine optimised website is running a story – with a picture* – of an under-age girl in a bikini.

The editorially left-wing website campaigns against The Sun’s page 3 photos yet hypocritically boasts “Side Boob” – paparazzi pictures of celebs revealing more boob than they might wish – is the most popular part of the website. This is an attempt to have their cake and eat it, Carla Buzazi, the editor of HuffPo oversees a site with content bordering on soft porn that professes to be right-on when actually it is commercially cynical.   It poses as a left-wing operation – going as far as hiring left-wing firebrand political commentator Mehdi Hasan – whilst simultaneously pretending to be a Luxembourg-controlled corporation to avoid UK taxes. In 2011 after AOL paid $315 million for HuffPo the unpaid blog writers filed a class action demanding a share of the payout. AOL fought the claim and paid the striking writers not a cent. Is Mehdi proud of his employer?

Former political editor Chris Wimpress has quit the site, he’d had enough and directly blamed Mehdi’s appointment, other staff are keen to escape and applying for jobs elsewhere. 5 staff have resigned in recent months, 3 without jobs to go to. Jimmy Maymann, AOL’s senior vice-president responsible for HuffPo told the Monaco Media Forum last week that AOL are unwinding the integration with HuffPo, “we’ve taken a step back — Huffington Post, within AOL, is a standalone business. Only with that way can you unlock the full potential…We are giving a two-year period to break even…”  Claiming “right now AOL is a good owner for Huffington Post and we’ll keep it.” A signal the site could be sold by AOL in the not too distant future…

*We have blurred the image. HuffPo’s editor Carla Buzazi told Leveson that the site had joined the Press Complaints Commission and abides by the PCC Code of Practice, that picture almost certainly breaches the code.

Osborne Caves In on Green Subsidies

20121123-084936.jpgOsborne should be worried this morning that Tim Yeo is heaping praise on his defeat by the LibDems. The government have given two fingers to the public by sticking them with around £180 per year on top of their bills to fund green vanity projects like wind farms. While Osborne has gained a long term win in scrapping pie in the sky decarbonisation plans, Guido is fairly sure voters, already fuming at the cost of energy, are not going to see it like that.

The winners? With a planned £5 billion hike in renewable subsidies up to £7.6 billion from the £2.6 billion currently, the Big 6 energy giants and Nick Clegg’s standing in his own party. The losers? Everyone else. Vote Blue, go Green, end up in the Red…



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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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