See you at Christmas…
See you at Christmas…
YouGov boss Peter Kellner has clarified this morning’s poll putting UKIP on a suspiciously low 17% for the Euro elections. With ComRes placing UKIP’s European Parliament ratings at 23% and Survation at 22% over the past week, the YouGov poll seemed considerably off. Kellner explains that the 17% figure was arrived at using the “two-stage” prompting method where the initial choice is only between the main three parties. When UKIP were prompted, YouGov found they had a rating of 19%. As Kellner says: “To put it another way, on a like-with like basis, we all put UKIP’s EP support at 21% plus or minus two”. And it’s only going to go one way from here…
Tory MPs are spluttering into their afternoon tea over this:
Sinn Fein Briefing meeting for Members
Michelle Gildernew MP, 12.30pm, Room T, Portcullis House, Wednesday 16 January
I am writing to remind you of the invitation to attend invite tomorrow’s briefing with Sinn Fein MP Michelle Gildernew next Wednesday, 16 January. The meeting will be an opportunity to discuss the current political situation and in particular concern over the ongoing violence and protest in the north.
Many thanks to those who have already responded. If you are unable to attend but would like to send a member of staff to represent you, they would be most welcome.
If have any queries, please contact me on 07XXX XXXXXXX.
We very much hope to see you.
Sinn Fein MPs
Despite refusing to be MPs they’re happy to use Parliament’s facilities to grandstand then…
Guardian CEO Andrew Miller has just announced to staff that they are going under and launching an Australian version sponsored by shadowy antipodean billionaire Graeme Wood. The on-line entrepreneur was investigated in a political corruption case in 2011 after giving the largest ever political donation in the country’s history: $1.6 million to the Greens. Guardian Deputy Editor Katherine Viner is being transported as the “losing ten pounds a minute” pom. Another rival of Ian Katz conveniently cleared out of the way…
Dave and Nick have taken the politically extraordinary step to “set aside” collective responsibility over the boundary reform vote. The move will allow LibDem ministers to rebel against the government without having to resign. This has raised all sorts of constitutional discussion among politicos, but it’s not the first time this has happened.
Previous governments have suspended collective responsibility before in slightly differing ways, for example the 1930s National Government over tariff reform, Harold Wilson over Europe in 1975, and Tony Blair’s failure to sack Claire Short over Iraq. With this hardly being an issue of conscience, however, it is hard to argue against the claim that our – albeit uncodified – constitutional commitment to collective responsibility is being severely eroded under the Coalition. What would Erskine May say…
Two-faced Chuka Umunna told Jo Coburn that he had visited an HMV store over Christmas, but when pressed on what he had bought, replied:
“Er…I actually didn’t buy anything.”
No pressure for Friday Dave. A damning new poll has found that one in three Conservative voters in 2010 would currently vote UKIP in the Euro elections. The YouGov poll has the Tories in second place but still haemorrhaging support to UKIP. ComRes had them in second over the weekend.
If anything it seems like an under-estimate…
Despite the Cabinet Office trying to keep them secret, Whitehall papers show that the Queen and Prince Charles have effectively been given a veto on a range of bills. This morning’s Guardian has gone big on the story that ministers have been seeking royal approval for government legislation on the quiet. Guido can now reveal that the Household of the Prince of Wales currently has an employee on secondment in the Cabinet Office. Two Cabinet Office sources Guido has spoken to were not aware of the mysterious staffer’s presence, and pressed for an official response they have so far yet to think up an explanation. Maybe he’s there to censor FoI requests about Charles’ secret lefty lobbying letters sent to ministers…
You do have to wonder about the calibre of some of our MEPs. Last night the LibDems’ man in Brussels representing the north-west Chris Davies launched a stinging tirade against UKIP, backing Rotherham child-catcher Joyce Thacker’s defence of the decision to take away foster children from a UKIP couple last year. He had clearly been reading this weekend’s news:
Now surely someone who is going to get on their high horse about racism would have to have a squeaky clean record on the subject? Not Chris Davies. Back in 2006 Davies was forced to resign after a series of inappropriate comments about that old chestnut, the “Jewish lobby”. According to a Guardian report from the time he was forced to apologise for comparing Israeli policy to the Holocaust and had to quit his post as leader of the LibDems in the European Parliament. Probably wouldn’t be a good idea for Davies to go through the Rotherham adoption process any time soon…
Guido will believe it when he sees the devil in the detail but it sounds like the Home Office are starting to realise that the game is up when it comes to Section 5 of the Public Order Act – the law that says you cannot offend people. Campaign group Big Brother Watch report:
“Speaking as the Crime and Courts Bill returned to the Commons for its second reading, the Home Secretary confirmed the Government would accept Lord Dear’s amendment to the legislation and support amending the Public Order Act 1986 to remove the word ‘insulting’ from Section 5 of the Act.
This is a triumph for David Davis MP, Peter Tatchell, Rowan Atkinson, the Reform Section 5 campaign and all those who like Big Brother Watch supported the campaign – from the National Secular Society to the Christian Institute.”
It only took the government a year to respond to the public consultation.