Warsi Cites Conspiracy Theorist Suspended from Labour Party

Sayeeda Warsi is unhappy about The Times splash this morning, claiming “this article makes disturbing & disingenuous claims about British Muslims APPG report Islamophobia Defined. This is the latest in a line of attacks from the same sources which until now I have ignored as usual silly boy games but this is dangerous and needs challenging”.

She then goes on to have a go at the Policy Exchange think-tank:

The report Baroness Warsi cites here is The Cold War on British Muslims: An Examination of Policy Exchange and the Centre for Social Cohesion written by David Miller – then of Bath University (now Bristol). The report was written “with the aid of a grant of £5,000 from The Cordoba Foundation”. The Cordoba Foundation was identified by former PM David Cameron as a “front for the Muslim Brotherhood”. The Government’s 2014-5 Review of the Muslim Brotherhood similarly described the Cordoba Foundation as being “associated with the Brotherhood”. Miller’s report is quite simply not a credible academic source.

Miller is a conspiracy theorist who is on record as having promoted the idea that chemical attacks in Syria were a false flag – perhaps involving British intelligence in some capacity – designed to force Western intervention in the country’s civil war. Miller has also defended the comments which led to Ken Livingstone quitting the Labour Party (about Hitler supporting a Jewish homeland) – he was suspended from the Labour Party over these comments before being subsequently reinstated. He has called the concept of Israel a “racist endeavour”. He even accused the Government of “state propaganda” over its reaction to the Skripals’ poisoning in Salisbury.

Miller’s suspiciously worried about the influence of “ultra-zionists” and the Israeli government:This should come as no surprise. The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) report on Islamophobia, which produced the highly problematic definition that Baroness Warsi is so desperate to promote, itself took evidence from and cited the work of Professor David Miller. No wonder the government is looking to formulate a better working definition of ‘Islamophobia’…

Peter Bone Calls on May To Go on Behalf of His Members at PMQs

Peter Bone used his PMQ slot to present the Prime Minister with a letter from his local association saying they reject her Withdrawal Agreement and call on her to resign before the EU elections. Punchy.

Tom Watson’s Pet Press Regulator Rejects His Skwawkbox Complaint

Tom Watson has become the latest IMPRESS cheerleader to lose out at the hands of the Max Mosley-backed press regulator, after Peter Jukes’ tinfoil-hat outfit Byline got slapped with a £2,500 fine for defamation. Watson himself received a spanking £500,000 from former fascist and IMPRESS funder Mosley during his campaign against the free press…

Watson accused Skwawkbox of breaching IMPRESS’s ‘Harassment and Privacy Clause’ over an article that published his office mobile number online. Sadly for Watson, his pet press regulator didn’t agree, although they did advise Skwawkbox to be “more straightforward about the meaning of sarcastic language when responding to complaints in the future”. Such ingratitude from IMPRESS after all Watson’s done for them…

PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Q1 Alan Brown (Kilmarnock and Loudoun) (SNP)
Q2 Bill Esterson (Sefton Central) (Lab)
Q3 Mark Pawsey (Rugby) (Con)
Q4 Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire) (SNP)
Q5 Rosie Duffield (Canterbury) (Lab)
Q6 Nigel Huddleston (Mid Worcestershire) (Con)
Q7 Mr Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) (Lab)
Q8 Thangam Debbonaire (Bristol West) (Lab)
Q9 Mrs Sharon Hodgson (Washington and Sunderland West) (Lab)
Q10 Caroline Flint (Don Valley) (Lab)
Q11 Louise Haigh (Sheffield, Heeley) (Lab)
Q12 Mr Nigel Evans (Ribble Valley) (Con)
Q13 Andrew Lewer (Northampton South) (Con)
Q14 Rebecca Pow (Taunton Deane) (Con)
Q15 Vicky Ford (Chelmsford) (Con)

Comments in the comments…

Brexit Party Soars Past 100,000 ‘Members’

Guido sources tell him that the Brexit Party has today passed its goal of 100,000 people having signed up as registered supporters of the party, paying £25 each. That’s £2,500,000 raised in small donations in the course of just four weeks since the party launched. Expect the 100,000 members figure to be officially confirmed later today. Meanwhile Change UK have refused to reveal any information about donations they have received over the last two months…

The Tory Party last month revealed it has reached 150,000 members for the first time in almost a decade, but then promptly complained about it. If the Brexit Party continue their trajectory they’ll overtake the Tories in just over two weeks…

Second Scottish ChUK MEP Candidate Quits

David Macdonald, who according to the ChUK website tops the list in Scotland for ChUK, has quit. He only topped the list because Joseph Russo stood down after Guido revealed embarrassing tweets. Unconfirmed reports suggest Macdonald is  joining the LibDems. He has deleted his twitter account twitter.com/davidchangeuk. More when we get it…

UPDATE: The Scottish LibDems have released a statement and the above picture:

“It has been an honour to be the lead candidate for Change UK for election to the European Parliament for the Scotland electoral region. This new party is genuinely a force for good in British politics and all of their supporters, candidates and elected members have played an integral part in trying to reshape the way in which politics is done in this country for the better. For my involvement within that movement I will be forever grateful. 

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May Sets Out Her Brexit Endgame

The Government yesterday evening announced that the Withdrawal Agreement Bill will return to the Commons on the week beginning 3rd June – with or without an agreed deal with Labour. The announcement came after more talks between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn that Number 10 described as “useful and constructive” but that failed to produce a breakthrough moment. Talks continue tomorrow, with Labour less hopeful than Number 10 of reaching a stable majority…

This is the final time the Prime Minister can realistically present her Withdrawal Agreement to Parliament. After this vote and a likely defeat the mood in the party is that she will have well and truly run out of road. It will come two weeks after an almost certain drubbing for the Tories in the European Elections, and in the same week as the Peterborough By-Election and Trump’s State Visit. Fireworks guaranteed…

Parliament Trying Desperately To Clear Out Waste

A co-conspirator has spotted a 3,000 gallon DavLav tanker sitting in the Palace of Westminster, ready to clear out the huge amount of human waste that is sitting inside. DanLav’s tanker hire service specialises in “clearing cess pits, septic tanks and holding tanks” so it is definitely in the right place. Elsewhere on the estate gas services and fire safety company Emico has been spotted, presumably to deal with the inordinate amount of hot air, and other putrid fumes. They’ll have their work cut out if we don’t want a second “Great Stink“…

Through-the-Keyhole: Daily Mail Editor Geordie Greig’s Six Oven Special

Ovens have been the hot topic in Westminster today with James Brokenshire getting a roasting after the Daily Mail’s double-page spread revealed his kitchen is kitted out with a generous four ovens. One person who should know a fair bit about multiple ovens is Daily Mail editor Geordie Greig. Greig recently became the proud owner of a stonking Grade II*-listed mansion. The kitchen is equipped with no fewer than SIX ovens…

Guido can count at least four Aga ovens along with one of Brokenshire’s “normal double ovens”. There may well be a microwave oven lurking out of shot too. And that’s before you even count his London home…

The Gothic revival “family home” and four estate cottages were on the market for £3.75 million just a couple of years ago before the Mail man snaffled it up. Greig has over 21 acres to enjoy …

The mansion’s 8,000 plus square feet are full of authentic period features, including working period fireplaces spread around the four reception rooms. There are a whole six bathrooms, one for each oven…

That’s just the house – if Geordie gets a bit hot after too much cooking, there’s always the heated swimming pool to cool off in with its own bar and shower area, while the outbuildings include four cottages in the grounds and two “double garages”. Or does that count as four?

ChUKs Infighting Kicks Off Blame Game

The obituaries are being written, perhaps prematurely, for the Tiggers before they have even fought their first election. Guido’s hears that ChUK’s infighting is getting worse as their polling flat-lines. Chris Leslie and his wife Nicola Murphy are copping a lot of the flak. As you would expect from a party opposed to democracy, she was appointed as chief executive of the party without any pretence of a vote and he demanded she got a generous salary as well. This immediately annoyed other staff and activists hoping for jobs – in the main ex-councillors and even some council leaders knocking around looking for work, who joined thinking they would get taken on. A lot of second-raters have been disappointed…

Leslie and Umunna’s relationship has become strained. Chuka feels Chris abandoned him and threw his lot in with Anna Soubry and Heidi Allen. Soubry’s other half is the party treasurer, Neil Davidson. Leslie did a deal with them to control the party machinery. Chuka, Luciana and their small gang of ex-Progress kids who helped with the launch have been completely outmanoeuvred according to an inside source. In comparison to the launch of the Brexit Party it has been a flop and even made centrist Remainers appreciate the LibDem’s merits.

One observer with Labour sympathies speculates: “I think part of problem is Luciana being on maternity leave. She was a big asset because her interventions reminded people of anti-Semitism and the dire state of the Labour Party. Which was powerful and emotional. Without her it’s just the uninspiring centrist managerial politics of Chris Leslie and Heidi Allen.” Quite.

May Billed Taxpayer £2,000 for Sofa Betrayal Video

Theresa May famously took to the Downing Street sofa for a more laid-back feel as she tried to explain to the nation why she had bottled Brexit. It might have gone down better than her dire speech the week before but filming it came at an extra cost to the taxpayer – a £2,041.44 cost in fact, according to an FoI. A bargain compared to the cost to the Conservative Party’s credibility…

The 02:18 video has minimal editing beyond subtitles and appears to be filmed on a handheld device – it’s low-res and the camera is shaky although these appear to be deliberate production choices. How it ended up costing the taxpayer two grand is a mystery, Guido could have done it for them in about 15 minutes…

UPDATE: Guido understands that the agency ‘Middle Table’ hired to film the video didn’t even edit or add subtitles to it, that was done from within Number 10. The £2,000 was just for someone to hold a camera (unsteadily) for two minutes…

Tories Fall Nine Points Behind Labour, Brexit Party Get 10% Despite Not Being Included

Labour have opened up a nine-point gap over the Tories, according to the latest Kantar general election polling. The Tories slumped to just 25% behind Labour’s 34%. Kantar’s poll from March had a ten-point lead for the Tories – that’s a 19-point swing to Labour in just two months…

Incredibly, despite not even being included in the poll, the Brexit Party secured 10% and 4th place entirely on the basis of spontaneous mentions. No such luck for Change UK, they also weren’t included but only managed 1%. How much worse would the Tories have scored if the Brexit Party were actually included?

Four Welsh Assembly Members Expected to Defect to Brexit Party Tomorrow

Guido understands that four Welsh Assembly members will be defecting to the Brexit Party tomorrow at a rally in Merthyr Tydfil, following Mark Reckless’ announcement that he has left the Conservative Group in the Assembly today. Three independents; Caroline Jones, Mandy Jones, and Mark Reckless are expected to join the Brexit Party along with UKIP AM David Rowlands. All four were originally elected as UKIP Assembly Members before the referendum. Brexit Party sources are playing down the story for now…

The defection of David Rowlands (one of the only three AMs to still sit as UKIP after seven were elected in 2016) means that the number of UKIP members in the Assembly will drop to just two, Neil Hamilton and Gareth Bennett. That takes them below the threshold to form an official group and receive resources from the assembly. Whokip?

Bridget Prentice Resigns from “Corbyn Cult”

Bridget Prentice, a Labour activist for 45 years; as a councillor, MP and government minister has resigned from the party. In her resignation letter she accused Jeremy Corbyn of “pandering to the baser views of racists”, allowing anti-semitism to flourish and turning the Labour Party into a cult.

“Never in my life in the Party has a leader not been criticised, questioned, asked to justify a position – and rightly so. But that’s not allowed under the Corbyn Cult. Anyone questioning the leadership’s position is vilified; complaints sent in to the disciplinary panel like something out of a North Korean rulebook that disloyalty to the leader is a criminal offence.”

The full letter is a corker. She says the party should change its name.

“It is no longer the party of Hardie and Attlee and Blair. It is no longer the party that upholds the values of social justice and fairness in our society and an open and welcoming view of the world. This is no longer the Labour Party. You should change its name.”

Ouch…

 

 

McDonnell’s Money Tree Found… in Venezuela

Jesus Yepez, an architect who lives in Caracas has found John McDonnell’s “money tree” in the street. The tree is made of almost worthless bolívares soberanos, since Venezuela’s hyperinflation means $1 is worth well over 5,000 bolívares soberanos. “Many people commented that that is what our currency has turned into: Monopoly money,” he told Business Insider. “It’s an ingenious protest for the insane inflation we’ve been experiencing.” The money tree is not a protest for John McDonnell, it is a policy…

UPDATE: $1 is actually worth 321,385.39 bolívares soberanos.

Last Quarter’s Real Wages Up, Employment Up, Despite Expectation of Brexit

New figures released by the ONS this morning reveal that wages this quarter are well up on what they were last year, despite the quarter having been expected to end with the UK leaving the EU. Excluding bonuses, employees have seen wages rise by 3.3%, an inflation adjusted rise of 1.5% compared with a year earlier…

Meanwhile the UK employment rate was estimated at 76.1% rising from last year’s 75.6% and the joint-highest figure ever recorded. Unemployment has continued to fall, now at 3.8% it’s the lowest this country has seen since 1974. All despite Brexit…

Blunt: Tories Must Come to Electoral Arrangement With the Brexit Party

The Tories are waking up to the stark reality that they face electoral annihilation at the hands of the Brexit Party unless something dramatically changes – and that is not a customs union deal with Corbyn. A new Prime Minister is just the start…

Crispin Blunt set out the basic facts of political life on Newsnight last night – this Parliament will not let Brexit through, this makes a General Election inevitable, without some sort of electoral arrangement with the Brexit Party the Tories are going to be decimated. In terms of maximising the numbers of pro-Brexit MPs, the logic behind a ‘Brexit Alliance’ is there. Can Nigel Farage really be talked down if the momentum stays firmly behind him, or will megalomania be the order of the day? He wants to “change politics for good”, that may mean to him the end of the Tories…

Secretly In Love With Nigel Farage

The Brexit Party’s recent poll ratings remind Guido of this cheeky song by Dominic Frisby from last year. Seems like a lot of the country will be singing this tune next Thursday…

Sadiq Defends Corbyn Over Anti-Semitic Book Endorsement

After the revelations about Corbyn’s gushing endorsement of a deeply anti-Semitic book, Conservative GLA leader Gareth Bacon wrote to Sadiq Khan asking him to condemn Corbyn’s endorsement to “help reassure vulnerable Jewish Londoners that this sort of disgusting racism will not be tolerated” in London. A pretty reasonable request given 2 in 5 British Jews say they would “serious consider” emigrating if Corbyn got in…

Far from condemning Corbyn, all Sadiq has to say about the matter is that he’s “pleased” that Corbyn rejected the “anti-Semitic elements” of the book, before rattling off a list of things which purportedly show him being tough on anti-Semitism. Funnily enough he forgets to mention having photoshoots with a Labour Councillor whose expulsion he personally called for over anti-Semitism just last year…

Sadiq remarkably even goes on the attack, accusing Bacon of “political point scoring” and calling his letter “extremely distasteful”. It speaks volumes that Sadiq uses that sort of language to attack a letter raising concerns about anti-Semitism, while turning a blind eye to Corbyn’s anti-Semitism itself…

Read Sadiq’s letter in full:

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Tory MPs’ Brexit Party Tease

Fair to say that some Tory MPs seem more worried about the rise of the Brexit Party than others, Alan Duncan has gone into panic spinning mode against Farage, more level-headed sorts like James Cleverly are pointing out that the Tories should be asking why their voters are switching rather than vilifying them.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Change UK MP Joan Ryan tells Change UK’s South West ‘rally’:

“Can everyone look at their hands please?”

*everyone holds out their hands in front them*

“That’s it, it’s there, the future is in your hands.”

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