Ellie Goulding Burns HS2

The government is feeling superstar songstress Ellie Goulding’s remarkable Burn today as she brands the HS2 rail project “ridiculous“. It’s the First Time that Ellie has spoken out on infrastructure spending; she suggested Starry Eyed ministers should spend the money “elsewhere“, if not it will be Your Biggest Mistake. Ellie’s intervention is a Goodness Gracious moment for HS2 supporters: it puts the issue of public spending up in Lights for her Army of 6.83 million Twitter followers. With Ellie’s fans mobilised against the project, Anything Could Happen. Sadly it’s not Dead In The Water yet. How Long Will I Love You? As long as you oppose HS2, and longer if I can…

Rayner: Pledge to Cancel Student Debt ‘Not a Promise’

“I don’t see why those that had the historical misfortune to be at university during the £9,000 period should be burdened excessively compared to those that went before or those that come after. I will deal with it.” That was Jeremy Corbyn’s crystal clear pledge to students at the election: “I will deal with” your student debt. It was written up by all media outlets as a pledge to write off debts. Not once during the election did Labour contest that interpretation of Corbyn’s words. Thousands of young people will have voted Labour believing this to be a cast iron guarantee.

Last week Angela Rayner confirmed the policy would cost £100 billion but defended it on Marr: I like a challenge, Andrew, but we’ve got to start dealing with this debt crisis that we’re foisting on our young people. It’s not acceptable”. Last night Rayner confirmed the pledge had been downgraded to an “ambition” and not a “promise“. Take note students, they were having you on…

Up the ABC1s! Labour Members Overwhelmingly Affluent

More than three quarters of Labour Party members are now drawn from the most affluent social classes in Britain, making somewhat of a mockery of Jezza’s claim to be leading a workers’ movement. Professor Tim Bale’s Party Members Project finds that 77% of surveyed Labour members are in the ABC1 social group. ABC1s are Britain’s richest and most-educated, working in professional or managerial jobs. The proportion of ABC1 Labour members has also increased since the last survey (and since Corbyn became leader): ABC1 members are up 7% from from 70% in 2015. The C2DE classes – who work in manual jobs, and whom Labour traditionally represents – now account for just 23% of the party’s membership. Naturally, in its exclusive write-up of the findings, the Guardian buried this demographic info in the second-to-last paragraph. Up the ABC1s!

IoD’s Silvester Joins The Sun

Institute of Directors campaign chief Andy Silvester is joining The Sun as their new head of PR. A former pub manager who is already well-known in Westminster and among the Lobby, Silvester will also being turning his hand to the occasional Sun leader so his quick wit will be put to good use. He replaces Dylan Sharpe, who left the Currant Bun last month to become SpAd to Damian Green. Another one for the growing IoD alumni network which now includes City AM editor Christian May, Number 10 adviser Jimmy McLoughlin and ConHome’s Mark Wallace. Congratulations Andy, have fun with those phone calls from MediaGuardian and Buzzfeed…

Mogg Joins Social Media Age

Social media savvy readers will have noticed that Jacob Rees-Mogg joined the picture-based social network Instagram a few weeks ago. He already has 35,000 followers, more than double Theresa May’s following – and her account is a year old. Follow for pics of Jacob’s new baby and days out with Nigel:

Hats off to Nigel.

A post shared by Jacob Rees-Mogg (@jacob_rees_mogg) on

Now the Mogg has joined Twitter too:

Which means “Times change, and we change with them”. The man who many younger and grassroots Tories want to run for leader has already amassed 14,000 followers in two days. Moggmentum?

Labour Filibuster Debate on Hard-Left Abuse of MPs


Labour last night used a spurious three hour plus-long debate on procedure to block the scheduled debate on hard-left abuse of MPs. The Commons was supposed to spend the day discussing the abuse received by MPs during the election, instead Labour filibustered with a nonsense debate about how many debates they get to have until well into the night. As Anna Soubry quite rightly said:

“As a result of Labour’s filibusting tonight, this chamber will not debate the appalling abuse which many women candidates on this side of the House endured during the general election from the hard-left… There are many members on this side of the House that stood up for women on that side of the House when they were abused by their hard-left leadership.”

Vicky Atkins criticised Labour for blocking the abuse debate “to talk about their diaries” instead, Andrea Leadsom blasted “Members on both sides of this House have been victims of vile abuse from anarchists and hard-left activists, but obviously Labour are not interested” and accused Jeremy Corbyn of having “prevented this debate“. That’s what Tory MPs get for defending their Labour counterparts when they were on the receiving end…

Bercow Calls Graham Brady “Prince Andrew”

An odd moment as the Speaker calls 1922 Committee Chair Graham Brady “Prince Andrew over there” (they look a little alike). Brady is one of the most senior members of the House. What was that about?

Torbynista Greening Loses Fight For New Money

Top Torbynista Justine Greening has come to the Commons to announce that she lost her fight with the Treasury for new money for her department. The Education Secretary dressed up her “extra £1.3 billion for schools” as a new spending commitment, leading the Lobby up the garden path:

The answer? There is no new money, no magic money tree, she has not “won the battle with Hammond“. The cash is coming out of the existing Education budget, which means cuts elsewhere in the department. Remember Greening wanted new cash. Treasury win.

Greening spins it up as more cash, the Lobby falls for it, Greening admits there is no new money, the herd follows. Wonder who could possibly have a motive to brief against Hammond…

Tory Loser Howlett Gives Lecture on “How to Win”

Defeated Tory MP Ben Howlett, who lost his seat at the election, has delivered a lecture to Tory youngsters on “how to win”. The Tory Progress talk on Saturday saw Howlett impart his wisdom on “how to win with younger voters”, which is ironic considering his Bath seat is full of students and they voted to kick him out of parliament. Those who can’t, teach…

New Labour MP Keeps Comparing Kate to Kardashians

Labour’s gaffe-prone new Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad is in both the political and entertainment headlines this morning for comparing Kate Middleton to the Kardashians. Sworn anti-monarchist Dent Coad told a rally of republicans on Saturday:

“I say the Middletons are like the Kardashians now, because they are such film stars… It just shows how much it has all changed.”

Actually, there’s nothing new about Dent Coad using the Kardashian comparison. In 2015, the day after Princess Charlotte was born, Dent Coad suggested the royal baby should be christened Kendall, after the youngest Kardashian daughter. Bit weird…

Dent Coad also kicked off over the royal wedding, tweeting: “Are you sure the wedding is ‘royal’? It’s Kate’s wedding, she’s a commoner. Shouldn’t we call it ‘Kate Middleton’s wedding’?”  Not all of her ire is reserved for Kate: Dent Coad said Prince Andrew – then international trade ambassador – “doesn’t have a job“, suggested he steals food at parties, and tweeted a link to a piece where she said Prince Charles “explains the reason for his madness“. A chip off the old Jezza block…

Farage Slaps Down Anti-Islam UKIP Candidate

Nigel Farage has slapped down UKIP’s anti-Islam leadership candidate Anne Marie Waters and warned members the party would be “finished” if she became leader. Nige says of Waters, the Walter Mitty socialist-turned-Tommy Robinson wannabe:

“If UKIP goes down the route of being a party that is anti the religion of Islam, then frankly it’s finished… The party would be finished.”

Sensible ‘Kippers will listen to Nigel rather than scream that he has joined the establishment. Tough one for the alt-right / Breitbart crowd to take.

New Labour Spinner Boasted of “Bullying” Angela Eagle

Labour has hired a new spinner from Momentum who once boasted of “bullying” Angela Eagle. Sophie Nazemi has been sending press releases on behalf of the party this morning. Last year, she was caught in the Mail on Sunday’s undercover sting on Momentum, where she was a volunteer at the time. Nazemi was recorded talking about how Momentum would expose former leadership candidate Angela Eagle’s voting record, boasting: “What we are doing is low-key bullying for Eagle to resign”. Remember at the time Eagle was the victim of aggression and intimidation from hard-left thugs. Nazemi also talked up the alt-left news outlet Novara Media, calling them Momentum’s “militant wing”. Corbyn’s office has long wanted to ditch the current HQ press team and replace them with true believers, is this a sign they’re finally getting their way? 

French Plot to Wreck MailOnline

MailOnline is going French. The site is advertising for a French-speaking sub who can make “some of its showbiz and entertainment content available in French“. First job, translate Sunday’s splash. 

Who will speak for England?

Labour’s Broken Student Debt Promise Goes Viral

During the election it was almost exclusively anti-Tory stories which were sent viral by young social media users who voted Labour. Now Labour’s decision to double-cross students has gone very viral. The McDonnell / Marr clip was viewed over half a million times on the Conservatives Facebook page and shared nearly 20,000 times in 24 hours. It was shared tens of thousands more times on Twitter. That is more shares than the Tory Facebook post on Diane Abbott’s car crash interviews during the election, more shares than the post on Corbyn’s Emma Barnett interview, and more shares than Corbyn on shoot-to-kill. The problem with relying on students to send your message viral is you’ll be on the end of the same if you betray them…

Remainers Behind Smears and Negative Briefings

A narrative has formed that the ongoing Tory briefing wars are a Brexiteer plot to do in prominent Remainers. Readers and viewers are not being told the whole story by the pro-Remain elements of the media. The most damaging smears and negative briefing have in fact been conducted by hardcore Remainers…

The “Brexiteer plot” narrative went into overdrive following the Sunday Times story on Hammond calling public sector workers “overpaid“. Sky News and the Remain Twitterati immediately blamed the leak on Brexiteers. This is untrue. Tim Shipman, the Sunday Times pol ed who actually wrote the story, saysthe majority of my sources are not Brexiteers”. This fact is being conveniently ignored by Remainers.

The allegation that Boris bonked a “top female Theresa May aide” is the most vicious and nasty negative briefing. This is not just “allies” of Davis trying to wreck a leadership rival. It is being put around by hardcore Remainers trying to hurt Brexiteer Boris.

Boris was the victim of another negative briefing on Sunday. An “ally” of Davis said if DD became PM he would demote Boris to party chairman and smear him in the press if he refused to accept. Talk of DD’s potential Cabinet appointments are being spread by prominent Remainers. 

Then there is the Hammond sexism revelation in The Sun. This is being blamed on Brexiteers too, without a shred of evidence. Hammond is briefing that Michael Gove is behind the negative stories. Gove flat out denies this and again there is not a jot of evidence. It appears it is Hammond’s negative briefing that is untrue.

Last week George Osborne’s Evening Standard called Brexiteer Stewart Jackson “wacko jacko” and quoted “a source” saying his potential appointment as a DExEU SpAd “will undo the credibility that Davis has earned”. Another anonymous, personal, pro-Remain negative briefing.

Then unnamed sources with apparent insight in DExEU told the Guardian there had been a “dramatic change of mood at DExEU since the election” and that Davis was essentially going soft on the ECJ. This was untrue. Yet another BS pro-Remain briefing.

There is a lot of mud flying around and all sides are guilty to some extent. Yet the narrative that the negative briefing is being solely conducted by Brexiteers to hurt Remainers is demonstrably untrue. The truth is the most unhinged stuff being whispered to journalists is from Remainers who have had too much warm prosecco and beer… 

Ashworth Confirms Labour Breaking Student Debt Promise

Shadow Cabinet minister Jon Ashworth confirms Corbyn’s promise to “deal with” student debt has been downgraded to an “ambition”. Johnny Sparkle torn a new one by Susanna Reid – if the Tories packed in their self-indulgence and took a holiday this would be the top politics story in the news…

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Rebecca Long-Bailey: “We Want to Have Our Cake and Eat It”

Labour rising star crashes down to earth on the Sunday Politics…

Hammond Blames Brexiteers For Briefing By Remainers

On Marr Phil Hammond claimed the briefing against him in the weekend papers is coming from Brexiteers: “people who are not happy with the agenda that I have tried to advance of ensuring that we achieve a Brexit which is focused of protecting our economy”. Andrew Marr replied “I think you can guess” who that means. This might fit the narrative of Hammond, the BBC and excitable Twitter Remainers, but it isn’t true…

Tim Shipman, the Sunday Times pol ed who received today’s anti-Hammond briefing, has shot down the theory:

“Some will see this as a plot by Brexiteers to undermine the leading remainer in the cabinet. All I can say is that the majority of my sources are not Brexiteers. Others will see a plot by Hammond’s leadership rivals to kill off his chances. Again, my sourcing doesn’t stack that up.”

A Brexiteer plot against Hammond carried out by Remainers? That’s a new one…

McDonnell Backtracks on Vow to Write Off Student Debt

During the election Jeremy Corbyn vowed “I will deal with” those who had the “historical misfortune” of large student debts, promising he would “ameliorate” their situation and write it off.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner:

“We have no plans to write off existing student debt.”

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