Exclusive: Leadsom “A Liability” “Might Break Laws’ Record” HS2 Vote: “She Doesn’t Get to Abstain”

dt-hs2Late on Friday night there was a panic in the Treasury and the Department of Transport when The Telegraph published pledges, taken from her own website, by the newly appointed Treasury minister Andrea Leadsom to oppose HS2. Here is the email exchange between Rupert Harrison, George Osborne’s SpAd who is also known as Osborne’s brain, Julian Glover, the boyfriend of The Times commentator Matthew Parris who was a former Guardian commentator turned Cameron speechwriter and is now a Special Adviser at the Department of Transport.  Tom Kelly who was Blair’s Downing Street spokesman now spinning for HS2. The other names are assorted SpAds and spinners.

al-no-hs2What this reveals is that either Andrea Leadsom betrays her promises to her constituents or she faces down George Osborne.

If she goes missing from the HS2 vote tonight she has successfully defied the Chancellor she once told to “f*** off“, again… 

N.B. Emails have been partially redacted. Best read from bottom up. 

UPDATE:  Treasury is denying Rupert Harrison received the last email.

Sent: Friday, 25 April 2014 23:46

To: Rupert Harrison HMT; hmtspad;
Subject: FW: Tel splash [Non-Record]

I told you she’s a liability – humiliating George two weeks in. Might break Laws’ record..

Let’s kill it, but she doesn’t get to abstain. Agreed?

hs2-protestors

From: press
Sent: Friday, 25 April 2014 23:25
Subject: FW: Tel splash
From: Paul Starbrook
Sent: Friday, 25 April 2014 23:23
To: Wendy Fielder; Ben Mascall; Tom Kelly; Julian Glover; Ben Ruse; Matthew Brook; David Prout; Paul Malley; Peter Wilson; _SofSOfficeDuty List; _Press Office Operational List;
Subject: RE: Tel splash
TBA
No1o have asked us not to issue anything from the department and point them in the direction of HMT if we get any calls.

From: Paul Starbrook
Sent: 25 April 2014 23:15
To: Wendy Fielder; Ben Mascall; Tom Kelly; Julian Glover; Ben Ruse; Matthew Brook; David Prout; Paul Malley; Peter Wilson; _SofSOfficeDuty List; _Press Office Operational List;
Subject: RE: Tel splash

Will do

From: Wendy Fielder
Sent: 25 April 2014 23:15
To: Paul Starbrook; Ben Mascall; Tom Kelly; Julian Glover; Ben Ruse; Matthew Brook; David Prout; Paul Malley; Peter Wilson; _SofSOfficeDuty List; _Press Office Operational List;
Subject: Re: Tel splash

Thanks Paul.

Tomorrow morning, will be interesting to hear what Today does with this, can you keep an ear out. Cheers,

Wendy

Sent from my BlackBerry

From: Paul Starbrook
Sent: Friday, 25 April 2014 23:12
To: Wendy Fielder; Ben Mascall; Tom Kelly;Julian Glover; Ben Ruse; Matthew Brook; David Prout; Paul Malley; Peter Wilson; _SofSOfficeDuty List; _Press Office Operational List;
Subject: RE: Tel splash

All

Nothing on PA as yet
Have spoken to HMT they are looking to push this to their SPADS (Rupert Harrison) to deal with it and are not planning to issue a formal HMT response but I have shared Wendy’s line with them and no10.
They have had bids from Today programme and calls from News channel

Paul

From: Wendy Fielder
Sent: 25 April 2014 22:56
To: Ben Mascall; Tom Kelly; Julian Glover; Ben Ruse; Matthew Brook; Paul Starbrook; David Prout; Paul Malley; Peter Wilson; _SofSOfficeDuty List
Subject: Re: Tel splash

Ben,

Sounds sensible, I think if we get calls we can pass onto you. I think if PA pick up on it we could use the following, but we’ll flag before we issue.

Paul if you can let Treasury know this would be the tenor of our line.

Ben obs you may want to talk to Treasury spads. If Deighton does do bids Monday he will get asked about this, but i’m sure he’ll deal with it sensibly.

Wendy

A Department for Transport spokesperson said:

“HS2 has cross party support because it is a once in a generation opportunity to create jobs and develop skills, provide the extra space we need on our rail network for commuters and freight and better connect our northern and midland cities. We are on track for spades in the ground by 2017.”

From: Ben Mascall
Sent: Friday, 25 April 2014 22:46
To: Wendy Fielder; Tom Kelly; Julian Glover; Ben Ruse; Matthew Brook; Paul Starbrook; David Prout; Paul Malley; Peter Wilson; _SofSOfficeDuty List
Subject: Re: Tel splash

Sounds sensible – I think given it is quite political may be simplest to pass calls on to me, which I am happy to take. The article itself acknowledges that collective responsibility is a standard and well known principle of british politics and her views are well known.

From: Wendy Fielder
Sent: Friday, April 25, 2014 10:42 PM GMT Standard Time
To: Ben Mascall; Tom Kelly; Julian Glover; Ben Ruse; Matthew Brook; Paul Starbrook; David Prout; Paul Malley; Peter Wilson; _SofSOfficeDuty List
Subject: Re: Tel splash

Thanks Ben, seen that Paul just sending round a screen grab of the front page.
Basically they’ve taken comments made by the Minister prior to her becoming a Minister.
I think if asked we should use a standard statement making clear that there is cross party support for the project.
We’ve had no calls so far and no bids from broadcast. We’ll keep and eye on PA.
Wendy

Guido’s friends in the Lobby will now try to find out who sent the email to Rupert Harrison…




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Dominic Cummings tells Damian Collins:

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