Khan Breaks Another Election Promise

Sadiq Khan’s wasting of money on gimmicks and cronyism sees the Mayor announcing an increase in the Council Tax precept of 5.1%, well ahead of inflation and breaking his promise to “keep the GLA council tax precept down as far as possible”.

By Guido’s count this takes his broken election promises to 7:

TfL fares

Promise: ‘I want to be crystal clear – no ifs, no buts – what you’ll pay if I’m elected Mayor in May 2016 is what you’ll pay at the end of my 4 years in office’

Reality: Daily and weekly caps are rising by an average of 2%, Travelcard season ticket prices are rising by an average of 2%.

Affordable housing

Promise: “Sadiq will set a target for 50 per cent of all new homes in London to be genuinely affordable.”

Reality: His new policy is that he hopes to convince developers to voluntarily meet a target of 35% affordable housing.

Police

Promise: 32,000 police officers on London’s streets.

Reality: Now only committing enough funds to maintain force’s current strength of 31,000 officers.

Trees

Promise: “plant two million trees by 2020”

Reality: “No tree planting has been funded since the beginning of this administration”

Green energy

Promise: Make London run on 100% green energy by 2050.

Reality: Sadiq’s team admit they have no idea what the percentage was when he took over, let alone today, because energy generation is apparently now a matter for central government.

Strikes

Promise: “Make sure there are zero days of strikes”

Reality: Tube strike travel chaos aplenty in his first year.

7 broken manifesto promises in his first year in office…

Peston Let Down By “Three Well-Placed Sources”

“Damian Green will keep his job”, so said ITV’s political editor Robert Peston ten days ago, citing “three well-placed sources” who told him “there should be confirmation on Wednesday” that week. How did he get it so wrong? Peston’s always entertaining blog could have been used to see how the idea of letting Green off would go down with the Lobby. It’s possible the Cabinet Office and Number 10 hardened their position on Green’s fate as the inquiry continued into this week. Or Peston’s “well-placed” sources could just not be that well-placed…

Damian Green Resigns

The PM’s deputy goes after Sue Gray’s report found he breached the ministerial code…

Jezza’s PMQs Christmas List

Dear Santa

First of all, can I take this opportunity to thank you for all the hard work you will do this year. Not just you, but Mrs Claus and every one of the reindeer as well. I pay tribute to you and all those who work in our National Elf Service, who, just like our heroic postal and emergency workers, brave snow and hail to provide the services each and everyone of us rely on. We thank all of them.

Our elves haven’t had a pay rise for ten years and many of them do not know how many hours of work they will get until Christmas Eve. We back a pay rise for our NES.

Can I also thank the Grinch, Mr Scrooge, and all those who have ever stolen or threatened Christmas. Let me say this: we support both those who embrace Christmas and those who oppose Christmas. All those involved in this great season, on whatever side, will be investigated and dealt with according to our procedures as appropriate.

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Canary: We Misrepresented the Facts About Laura K

Press regulator Impress has ruled that The Canary misled its readers with its story claiming Laura Kuenssberg was “listed as a speaker at Tory conference”. The story was BS and part of the left’s sad attempts to smear Laura K as biased. A correction on The Canary’s website this afternoon admits:

In the headline of an article first published at noon on 27 September 2017 The Canary stated “We need to talk about Laura Kuenssberg. She’s listed as a speaker at the Tory Party conference”. In fact, as the remainder of the article made clear, Laura Kuenssberg had only been invited to speak at a fringe event. In misrepresenting those facts and in failing to take all reasonable steps to ensure accuracy prior to publication, The Canary breached the IMPRESS Standards Code. An updated version of the article, that was released at 16:50 on 27 September 2017, also breached the Code because it did not correct this significant inaccuracy with due prominence.

They even tried to get away without giving their correction due prominence, before Impress called them out on it. Embarrassing… 

Olney’s Remain Trolls Wish Zac a “Cancerous New Year”

This is what Zac Goldsmith received in the post this morning. It ain’t just Remain MPs receiving abuse…

Labour Vote Against Stamp Duty Cut They Backed In Manifesto

Labour MPs have voted against the proposed cut in stamp duty, despite backing it in their manifesto just six months ago. Overall, 228 Labour MPs voted against the second reading of the Finance Bill which includes the tax cut first outlined in the Budget. Shadow Treasury minister Jonathan Reynolds admitted this “was a Labour policy included in our manifesto for the June 2017 general election”, yet Labour MPs queued up to oppose the tax cut: Alison McGovern said “it is simply the wrong policy priority’”, Grahame Morris whinged:legitimate concerns have been expressed about the stamp duty proposals, which are feared to be the wrong solution”. And Stella Creasy said the stamp duty cut would: “do little for [her] constituents.” Student fees, stamp duty – is there anything Labour told voters at the election that still stands?

PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Oral Questions to The Prime Minister

Q1 Dr Rosena Allin-Khan (Tooting) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 20 December.

Q2 Sir Jeffrey M. Donaldson (Lagan Valley)

Q3 Ronnie Cowan (Inverclyde)

Q4 Sir Paul Beresford (Mole Valley)

Q5 Clive Efford (Eltham)

Q6 Laura Pidcock (North West Durham)

Q7 Mr Mark Harper (Forest of Dean)

Q8 Drew Hendry (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)

Q9 Jack Lopresti (Filton and Bradley Stoke)

Q10 Lucy Powell (Manchester Central)

Q11 Steve McCabe (Birmingham, Selly Oak)

Q12 Scott Mann (North Cornwall)

Q13 Graham P Jones (Hyndburn)

Q14 Mims Davies (Eastleigh)

Q15 Bill Esterson (Sefton Central)

Last PMQs of the year…

Damian Green Report (Finally) Imminent

The Damian Green decision has been “imminent” at various points over the last 10 days depending on which paper you read. Guido understands that the final evidence was taken earlier this week and we are finally at the point where the findings can be announced. Green is answering questions about Brexit to the Lords EU committee at 2:15 pm. Everyone wants this wrapped up as soon as possible, Sue Gray’s report could be published as soon as this evening or tomorrow. 

Green’s survival comes down to how he and Number 10 answer the following: Did he lie? Did he break the ministerial code? Has he had any other inappropriate workplace relationships? Did he brief the press about Kate Maltby? Did anyone in Number 10 know about any of this before it became public? If the answer to any of these is yes, things are going to get messy…

UK Best Country for Business #DespiteBrexit

The UK is officially the best country in the world to do business. Despite Brexit…

Forbes says that after the Leave vote “predictions swirled that the British economy would collapse”, yet “the economy as a whole has held up relatively well” and “Britain’s business climate remains attractive. The UK ranks first for the first time in Forbes’ 12th annual survey of the Best Countries for Business”. We were fifth last year and have never come top before. Look forward to the FT write up of this one…

Tory Stars Court Young Activists at Xmas Bash

Big turnout at a Christmas bash for young Tories in Westminster last night, where 100 enjoyed wine and mince pies, with another 200 on the waiting list. A dozen MPs came along to the venue on Smith Square; speeches from movers and shakers James Cleverly (who reminded the room of the role of young people in preventing a socialist government), George Freeman and Priti Patel were well received.

A lot of excited discussion about the future direction of youth movement within the party. Who knows, maybe the Tories might even have a youth-wing in 2018?

Harassment Complainant Blasts Corbyn

This is how Jeremy Corbyn’s self-serving interview with Grazia magazine went down with sexual harassment complainant Ava Etemadzadeh. Corbyn pushed his classic ‘not taking sides’ ploy to the limit when he said:

“We support the people making them as well as the people being alleged against.”

You couldn’t make it up…

Corbyn’s latest glossy interview – following his GQ sit-down earlier this month – has been something of a self-own. The Labour leader was branded presumptuous for repeating his suggestion that he’ll be Prime Minister by Christmas 2018 (he already said he’d be in Downing Street by Christmas this year). Thought he was supposed to be humble…

Labour’s Xmas LOLs

Nice to see Labour MPs making a bit more of an effort with their Christmas cards this year. Guess who the card on the right is from? Meanwhile, a cheeky offering from Labour Chief Whip Nick Brown (left). Godless…

Dale’s Top Tweeters Just 17% Female

Always a highlight of the festive period: Iain Dale’s annual list of his 200 favourite tweeters. Unless you’re a woman, it turns out…

Just 35, or 17.5%, of the 200 accounts on the list are women. Remove the corporate news feeds and it’s not much better, just 23% female.

Of the 10 new print journalists on the list, 100% are men. And all of the five new online journalists are blokes too. 10 out of 12 of the new politics entries are male.

Surely there was space on the list for some more of the many great ladies of the Lobby?

CLP Chair Resigns Accusing Labour of “Bullying” and “Corruption”

A constituency Labour Party chair has resigned in protest at “bullying” and “corruption” by Corbynistas who she claimed rigged a candidate selection. Kay Dickinson, who was in charge of Morecambe and Lunesdale CLP, announced her resignation on social media in a explosive post tearing into increasing hard-left influence within the party. Dickinson wrote:

“I hereby resign from being Chair of my CLP, resign from the CLP and resign from the Labour Party. Morecambe and Lunesdale have just had the most set up, one sided and biased selection that has sidelined all 3 excellent, loyal and dedicated local candidates…

“I feel this entire process has been a total set up to impose one particular candidate onto the CLP. 

“One candidate felt so bullied and degraded by the harassment she felt subjected to that she withdrew from the selection…

“The Labour Party… is still a corrupt old boys club where people in power get to dictate who stands for Parliament…

“I know that I will be far from the only member to feel this way and withdraw their support from the local and/or national party. I would urge anyone doing so to state their reason in writing to the powers that be. I for one will not be party to this corruption.”

Local candidates were sidelined in favour of Momentum-backed Corbynista Erica Lewis, who used to work for top Corbyn lieutenant’s Cat Smith. Corbynistas are increasingly seeking to parachute-in London ultras to the fury of grassroots members. Expect more of this as Labour selections get underway…

UPDATE: A Labour Party spokesman, said:

“The shortlist was decided in line with Labour’s procedures and it is Labour’s members in Morecambe and Lunesdale who will choose their candidate. The Labour Party takes all complaints seriously, which are investigated in line with our procedures.”

H/T The Sun

The Sun’s Corbynista Columnist

Consider this left-wing nonsense:

“The Government should be prepared to redistribute more through the tax system: from the wealthy to working families with modest incomes. They should be prepared to increase taxes on accumulated wealth so they can cut taxes on income. They could raise more money through inheritance tax.”

In a country where the top-marginal rate of tax is 60%* is the pressing policy challenge a lack of redistribution and too low rates of taxation? After managing to keep a mere 40% of your justly earned income this wonk wants to increase the tax burden on your savings. If you then want to pass on your savings to your children he wants to tax the cash all over again…

Which left-wing Corbynista policy wonk is responsible for this nonsense? Nick Timothy, author of that Conservative Party manifesto and Theresa May’s former right-hand man for policy, proposed this in The Sun this morning. How he thinks social mobility will be increased by taxing people more heavily is not clear. Margaret Thatcher correctly identified that many of her opponents would “rather have the poor poorer, provided that the rich were less rich.”  Levelling down is the worst form of social mobility…

*According to the Taxpayers’ Alliance a salary of £110,000 will, including employers’ NI, see you on a marginal rate of 66.6%.

Minister’s Christmas Prophy-Laugh-Tic

Health minister Steve Brine with a festive response to a question about condom usage…

“No Significant Russian Activity” During Referendum

Another report this morning, this time in the FT, rubbishing the claims by fanatical Remainers of Russian intervention in the referendum. Researchers at Oxford University found that just 105 Russia-linked accounts tweeted in the run up to the vote. These numbers are negligible, by comparison there were 2,752 Russia-linked accounts operating during the US election. The report concludes that there was no “significant Russian activity” during the referendum.

This is the latest evidence-based story countering the meme being pushed by Remainers that somehow Russia caused Brexit. Over the last few weeks:

  • Twitter said only one Russian account spent any money promoting tweets during the referendum, and they only bought six adverts.
  • It emerged that most Russian Twitter activity about Brexit actually took place after the referendum.
  • And a number of the Russia-linked Twitter accounts were actually pro-Remain.
  • Google told the Electoral Commission it had found no evidence of any paid Russian activity during the referendum.
  • Facebook said Russia spent a total of 73p on adverts during the referendum, and they reached 200 people.
  • An account accused by one pro-Remain outlet of being a Russian troll turned out to be a run by a security guard in Glasgow.

Ben Bradshaw, Tom Brake and co are oddly quiet about the FT story this morning, and indeed they have been silent about the stories above. Yet still ultra Remainers continue to peddle the patronising idea that Russian bots tricked 17 million people into voting Leave. Good to see the FT calling out this nonsense, not that it’ll stop Remain MPs smearing honest Leave voters as Russia’s useful idiots…

Ofcom Probing Salmond For Peddling Fake News

Ofcom has launched a probe into Alex Salmond’s new Russia Today show. The regulator will look into a series of tweets Salmond read out on his programme which were presented as comments from the public but turned out to be from fabricated or planted sources, as Guido reported at the time. One was sent from an account owned by an RT producer. An Ofcom spokeswoman said:

“We are investigating whether this programme breached our rules on due accuracy.”

Inevitable…

CBI: Everything is Awesome

Manufacturing order books were close to a 30 year high in the three months to December, according to the latest monthly CBI Industrial Trends Survey. The numbers are awesome:

  • 28% of manufacturers reported total order books to be above normal, at the +17% level last seen in August 1988.
[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Tory MP Nick Boles says what everyone thinks…

“There is a timidity and lack of ambition about Mrs May’s Government which means it constantly disappoints. Time to raise your game, Prime Minister.”

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