Welsh Westminster voting intention:
CON: 40% (+12)
LAB: 30% (-3)
PC: 13% (-)
LDEM: 8% (-1)
UKIP: 6% (-7)
Chgs. w/ Jan
— Britain Elects (@britainelects) April 24, 2017
Last week Guido reported that Tory MP David Mackintosh is facing a deselection battle in Northampton. Members of his local association have had enough of Mackintosh after he was embroiled in a hugely dodgy loans scandal involving missing money and the local football team, Northampton Town FC. Just how bad are things looking for Mackintosh? Well, his local association have just changed the venue of the Special General Meeting where they will attempt to deselect him. It will now be held at Suite 1897, Sixfields Stadium, home to Northampton Town FC. Local Tory politics can be absolutely brutal…
Since the election was called Theresa May has lost her spinners Katie Perrior and Lizzie Loudon, and now Philip Hammond has lost his SpAd, the experienced Hayden Allan:
“After working on three General Election campaigns, I always said I wouldn’t stay for a fourth campaign, and after nearly seven years, in three different Government departments, I’ve decided it is time to leave Government to explore new opportunities. It’s been a huge privilege and honour to work in the MoD, FCO and HM Treasury, under two different Prime Ministers and during a period of considerable change, globally and domestically. I wish the Prime Minister and the Chancellor well for the campaign ahead and look forward to the return of a strong Conservative Government on 9 June.”
Apply if you’re happy to take a bucket of negative briefings from Number 10 when the next Budget unravels…
Labour First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones says “there’s never been a better time to borrow“ £500 billion. Speaking on Sunday Politics Wales yesterday the most senior Labour figure in Wales said:
Presenter: “The Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said £500bn more borrowing in order to give the economy a bit of a boost – you’d go along with that then would you?”
Carwyn Jones: “Yes I would. Let’s remember…”
Presenter: “£500bn extra borrowing?”
Carwyn Jones: “There’s never been a better time to borrow. It’s cheap.”
A move is on to deselect Tory MP Jack Lopresti in Filton and Bradley Stoke. This letter is circulating among association members who want rid:
“This is an opportunity for you to decide whether you wish Mr Lopresti to continue to be our candidate…
“There are many of us who feel very strongly that Mr Lopresti is not representing our constituency in a very good way.
“Locally there are several excellent people who are already on the CCHQ approved candidate list and would love to have this opportunity to represent us. We feel that one of these people should be given a chance.”
In 2015 Lopresti found himself on the front page of The Sun when he was exposed for having an affair with fellow Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns. Many members of Lopresti’s local association strongly sided with his jilted ex-wife…
Jeremy Corbyn has been slapped down by his Shadow Defence Secretary after he suggested he would never use the nuclear deterrent. Add this to the Communist Party endorsing Labour and that’s the day won for the Tories without Theresa May having to lift a finger…
The LibDems are breaking with convention and standing a candidate against the Speaker in his Buckinghamshire seat. John Bercow will face a challenge from Sarah Lowes. He lets everyone treat Tim Farron like the House’s punching bag anyway so the LibDems don’t really have anything to lose standing against him.
— Sarah Lowes (@SarahLowesLD) April 23, 2017
Labour advertised for candidates in Buckinghamshire though Guido is told this is an admin error and the party will not be challenging him. The Tories must be just a little bit tempted…
Karen Danczuk is seeking selection as a Labour candidate in Bury North, Guido can reveal. The ‘selfie queen’ of politics – who was married to Rochdale MP Simon – submitted an application for the seat last week. A source close to Karen points to her work as a prominent campaigner on child abuse and regular media experience as preparing her for a bigger role in public life:
“Karen connects with people, she’s a poor girl done good, and she’s a local girl. She’s serious about getting selected.”
Karen was previously a Labour councillor in Rochdale. The first husband and ex-wife combo in parliament?
UPDATE: As many of you have got in touch to point out Gordon Prentice (Pendle, 1992-2010) and Bridget Prentice (Lewisham East, 1992-2010) were married in 1975, split up in 1997 and divorced in 2000.
The Communist Party of Britain has announced it will not stand candidates at the election and ask its supporters to vote for Corbyn’s Labour instead. The reds write in the Morning Star, obviously:
“In every general election since the formation of the CP in 1920, we have stood our own candidates, not least in 2015 when we fielded nine. Now, on this occasion, we we will not contest any seats, although this does not signal any withdrawal from the electoral arena in the future.
“We call for a Labour vote in every constituency across Britain, despite the reactionary views of numerous Labour Party candidates. Communist Party organisations will approach local Labour Party bodies in their area with offers of practical campaigning assistance…
“The higher the Labour vote and the number of Labour MPs elected, the more secure will be the position of Jeremy Corbyn and his left allies in the Parliamentary Labour Party.”
What a day for the Tories – Communist-backed Labour busy arguing about Trident, UKIP’s leader bottling standing…
UPDATE: A brief history lesson…
In the eighties the Communist Party of Great Britain was split between a ‘Stalinist’ pro-Soviet faction and an anti-Soviet “Eurocommunist” faction. Some lefties were very upset that the CPGB was rejecting Soviet communism. They denounced the Eurocommunists as CIA plants. The anti-Eurocommunist faction included Corbyn’s two top spinners Seumas Milne and Steve Howell. Milne and Howell worked for Straight Left, a Stalinist newspaper which represented the pro-Soviet, anti-Eurocommunist wing of the CPGB. Pro-Soviet CPGB members split and set up the Communist Party of Britain. Supporters included Stop the War’s Andrew Murray, a friend of Corbyn. It is this Communist Party of Britain, the pro-Soviet, Stalinist wing full of Corbyn’s old mates, which has endorsed Labour today…
Paul Nuttall has done a Ken Livingstone – barricading himself inside a room in the Marriott County Hall to hide from the Lobby’s questions about whether he will stand in the election. There is no escape:
Here is Nuttall setting in for the long haul. This picture from inside the room:
Who will break first: the UKIP leader or Her Majesty’s press corps? And why won’t Nuttall say if he’s standing on June 8?
UPDATE: Nuttall escapes into a taxi:
— Vincent McAviney (@Vinny_LBC) April 24, 2017
He still won’t say if he’s standing…
UKIP going big on Islam this morning:
Some of it very sensible – few would argue that postal voting needs to be looked at or that honour crimes need stronger punishments. Other sections a little out there. A manifesto for internet commenters…
Last week Guido asked Zac Goldsmith if he was tempted to try to unseat Sarah Olney in Richmond. Unusually he did not reply. Guido hears Zac is being considered “very seriously” as one of the three CCHQ-shortlisted candidates for the Tory nomination. Some local Tories are ready to forgive and remember the work Zac did for them in Richmond. Others are shall we say less keen. One to watch…
UPDATE: Zac tells the Sun “I don’t know if I’ll stand”. Seems a judgement will be made on the feeling among local Tories…
Emily Thornberry was on LBC over the weekend talking about the impact of VAT on people on middle incomes. An important issue, though it was illustrated by Thornberry with a rather odd example:
“Things like VAT are things that people on average incomes are hardest hit – we all have to buy milk.”
Milk is zero-rated. No one pays VAT on milk. This is a more embarrassing mistake than not knowing the price of a pinta…
ConHome reports Esther McVey has been shortlisted by CCHQ to be the Tory candidate in George Osborne’s Tatton seat. The Tories had looked at Hornchurch and Upminster for McVey but decided against after the local association expressed its desire for a local candidate. Not exactly the jackpot for Esther – Tatton is set to be abolished in the boundary review (if it goes ahead). Which means she’d end up having to find another seat all over again…
The Tories’ main, barely believable attack line this election is that if you vote Labour you’ll get a “coalition of chaos” with the SNP. So, naturally, Jeremy Corbyn is heading up to Scotland to address the Scottish TUC conference this afternoon, when Nicola Sturgeon will be there giving her own speech. The SNP say there are “no plans” for Jez and Nicola to meet, but imagine the reaction in CCHQ if there was a chance corridor brush by. Incidentally, while Jez is up there the Scottish TUC congress will be voting on a motion to “reiterate its opposition to Trident renewal”…
An aside, senior puerile Tories have taken to using an acronym for their election attack line. They have been privately joking, “If you vote Labour, you’ll get Corbyn’s CoC”…
Congratulations to Sunday Express political editor Caroline Wheeler, who MediaGuido hears will be the new deputy political editor at the Sunday Times from July. A smart hire, Caroline was one of the few journalists who reported definitively that there would be an early election. She has plenty of Sunday Lobby experience and will now enjoy a deserved wider audience. From one Brexit-backing paper to another…
The UK can’t risk a coalition of chaos propping up Jeremy Corbyn.
It’s the Tories, the party of privilege, versus Labour. We are the party that is standing up to improve the lives of all.
In Vauxhall if you vote Labour you get UKIP.
Ban the burqa. St George’s Day should be a Bank Holiday.
It’s time to work together to build a better Britain – and get the Tories out.
Only the SNP stands between Scotland and unfettered Tory government.
Corbyn won’t pull the trigger on Trident or drone terrorists.
Clacton: Con 3/10, UKIP 5/2, Lab 100/1, LibDems 100/1
Rolling Average: Conservatives 44%, Labour 25%, LibDems 11%, UKIP 10%, Greens 4%
— The Andrew Marr Show (@MarrShow) April 23, 2017
Here’s the headline from Marr: Corbyn won’t say if he would sanction a drone strike to kill the leader of ISIS if permission was sought by military chiefs.[…] Read the rest