Guido’s mole reports a flurry of Westminster activity from the former Prime Mentalist. Not only did Gordon actually vote last night, he almost made it into the Chamber today. But not quite! He stopped short behind the Speaker’s chair.
So, Leveson aside, why is Brown in town? Guido can report that instead of representing the people of Kirkcaldy, as he is paid to do, Gordon was showing a mysterious balding gentleman around the estate.
A doorman’s conversation was overheard by one witty Member:
Doorman: Who was that then?
MP: The former Prime Minster.
DM: No, no with him.
Lord Patten huffed and puffed as he told Tory MP Philip Davies that he was deluded if he thought he was “going to do a diary for you in order to satisfy some populist pursuit of somebody you didn’t want to run an organisation which you don’t want to exist, you are kidding yourself,” He then tried humour to hide the fact that he is a part time Chairman and struggling to justify the £110,000 of licence fee payers cash:
“I think it’s a thoroughly impertinent question. I think you’re entitled to know how much time I’m spending, I think you’re entitled to put down freedom of information requests for how many days I spend in the office, or how many days I spend doing other things. Do you want to know my toilet habits? What else do you want to know?”
Apparently asking about how BBC money is spent is “impertinent”.
The baiting-Tory wasn’t going to take it lying down though, telling Patten, “I know it’s difficult for you to refrain from being patronising’ and asking him to try at least shed some light on his “grand title, which I’m sure would have appealed to you”. Miaow.
During his grilling at the CMS select committee this morning Chris Patten name-checked this month’s MediaGuido exclusive revealing his part time role at the BBC. Asked by LibDem Adrian Sanders how many days a week he was now working at the Beeb, Patten explained:
“I think about eight. There was an FoI from the Guido Fawkes blog that showed I was in the office around three days a week for the first half of the year, and that more recently it has been four days a week”.
The FOI actually showed that during the first six months of the year Patten turned up to Great Portland Street even less than that: on average between two and three days a week, working on BBC business on an unspecified number of other days:
His work load has understandably increased over the last few months, but not out of choice. It’s having a knock on effect on his other jobs though, with Oxford students accusing Patten of abandoning his duties as their Chancellor.
Lord Pattern describes how he sacked George Entwistle:
“I’m not urging you to go, but not urging you to stay.”
Who says Paxo isn’t the shining light of optimism that spreads cheer across the nation…
Nadine has returned to the jungle and is currently with the Chief Whip, finding out her fate. As Guido reported last night, 9 Downing Street was the scene of far more amiable festivities last night. According to Guido’s source in the room, the inaugural “Geronimo” drinks, for those who found themselves out of a job on 4 September, was very civilised. Apparently a “good Montpulciano red” was flowing. Perhaps if Nadine gets the chop, she can become an honorary member.
The pressure on Labour’s struggling Rotherham campaign has clearly not let up. Orders went out yesterday evening for HQ staff to completely decamp to the seat:
Where possible I want as many staff from our London head office to try and help in Rotherham. Given the distance, we are asking people to go up Wednesday, stay the night and be ready to get the vote out on Thursday.
Guido has a feeling that both the bookies and Labour are being over-cautious after the Bradford blindsiding, but the feedback on the ground can hardly be very positive if a broke party are pulling out every stop to try and retain what should be a very safe seat. All together now R-E-S-P-E-C-T…