Latest Tory MP WhatsApp Group Mishap

This unfortunate typo from Mark Francois greatly amused Tory MPs on their WhatsApp group last night. Guido is reminded that “t” and “r” and next to each other on the keyboard…

SpAd Movements

A couple more SpAd movements for Guido to tell you about following last week’s changes. Congratulations to Steph Lis, who is off to work for Dom Raab at Dexeu. Steph is a well-known face in Westminster wonk world, having been at the Institute of Economic Affairs for the last six years. She is a top communicator and and brings some soundness to Whitehall having spent the last few years defending freedom. Good hire.

Gavin Williamson has hired Thomas Harding to spin for him at the MoD. Harding is a former journalist who previously had the defence beat at the Telegraph. Good luck…

Extremist-Linked Assad Fan Lord Sheikh and His Zionist-Bashing Group

Tory peer Lord Sheikh, who has called for the party to remove the whip from Boris, is being promoted far and wide by pro-Remain news organisations. Sheikh is the founder of the Conservative Muslim Forum. He is, as they say, problematic… 

Sheikh is on the record publicly praising the controversial group the Al Muntada Trust. The group faced scrutiny after fears were raised that its funds had ended up with Boko Haram extremists. It has been linked to a series of anti-Semitic, homophobic and extremist preachers. In the video above, Lord Sheikh calls the group “marvellous”…

Then there is Lord Sheikh’s praise for the East London Mosque. Sheikh said:

“I would certainly commend the Mosque and Centre: not only do you provide a place of worship, but you provide a holistic service and more importantly the empowerment for women.”

Once again, the East London Mosque has well-known and established links to a series of misogynistic and homophobic speakers.

It gets worse. Lord Sheikh has links to the hugely controversial Interal charity, which was investigated by the Charity Commission over its links to Hamas.

Sheikh is a fan of Assad, calling him “an extremely well-informed, intelligent and articulate person who cares about the plight of the Palestinian refugees”. Sheikh went on a trip to meet Assad alongside Jeremy Corbyn and Jenny Tonge. Shouldn’t alarm bells be ringing here?

Under Sheikh’s tenure, the Conservative Muslim Forum produced a series of extremely hostile statements towards Israel and Zionists. The group is quoted as saying:

“An incoming Conservative Administration must appreciate that a pro-zionist [sic] attitude will not bode well with many. Pro-zionist statements only damage relationships with Muslims nationally and internationally. Thus, statements like the one made by David Cameron on 12th June 2007 can be too easily interpreted as unbalanced and weighted towards only the zionist and Israeli positions.”

Some of Lord Sheikh’s links are more the sort of thing we could expect from Jeremy Corbyn back in the day. Not sure he is a serious voice in Tory circles by any stretch of Remainers’ imaginations. Given the above, perhaps it is him CCHQ should be having a word with about keeping the whip…

Remainer Quits Job to Draw “Stop Brexit” Across Europe

From Adonis to AC Grayling, Brexit Derangement Syndrome has gripped many since the referendum result last year. But one man has decided to take it a whole lot further… 30,000 kilometres further in fact. Former consultant Andy Pardy has quit his job, bought a ten-year old van, and set out on a 3-month journey to try to draw the words “Stop Brexit” across Europe with a GPS tracker. Yes, really…

“A lot of people obviously thought it was barmy, and it is crazy when you think about it,” Pardy told the New European. Many Guido readers may well be inclined to agree. Pardy set out last month from Loch Lomond and has currently completed the S, T and the O. His route isn’t the only thing that’s a little loopy…

He’s due to finish in Spain in October, just around the time of the crunch European Council Summit when the UK and EU are supposed to be putting the finishing touches on the Withdrawal Agreement. Which one will the wheels come off first?

Hijab-Opposing Putin Fan to Speak at Momentum’s Labour Conference Fringe

Alongside the usual lineup of shadow Cabinet members, leftie commentators, and – bizarrely – a pub quiz with Ed Miliband, Momentum members will be treated to a special guest at this year’s The World Transformed fringe – former French Presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

The firebrand hard-left populist, who missed out on a place in the run-off in France’s Presidential election last year by fewer than 700,000 votes, gets top billing for Momentum’s fringe conference alongside Diane Abbott and Corbyn himself. As TWT organiser Angus Satow explains on LabourList:

“Comparisons abound between Mélenchon and Jeremy Corbyn.”

Let’s see. Mélenchon is in favour of a 100% top rate of tax – something Corbyn has yet to put in his manifesto, but time will tell.

On foreign policy, Mélenchon shares Corbyn’s intrinsic worldview of distrust for the West and natural affinity for the strongmen who oppose it. Mélenchon wants France to quit NATO in favour of closer relations with Vladimir Putin and Bashar Al-Assad, while he is a strong supporter of Putin’s intervention in Syria and even met the Syrian dictator himself in days gone by:

Mélenchon has hailed the ruinous hard-left Venezuelan dictatorship as a “source of inspiration” and is a strong supporter of Nicolas Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez:

Mélenchon’s own political movement, La France Insoumise, bears a number of similarities to Momentum, starting off as a political ‘platform’ which essentially functioned as a party within a party, before breaking away from the mainstream Socialist Party and veering sharply to the left.

However, Mélenchon has an even darker side to his character that should be setting alarm bells ringing for Corbyn and the TWT organisers. He has called on his followers to follow around and film journalists who subjected him to scrutiny, while accusing other journalists who criticised him of being CIA spies and working for “fascist newspapers.

He denied that the 2014 protests in Paris where Jewish shops were looted and burned were anything to do with anti-Semitism, while just year he attacked Emmanuel Macron for accepting that the French Vichy Government was responsible for the deportation of French Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust.

Mélenchon’s views on Islam will be of concern to Corbynistas. He has rejected the use of the term “Islamophobia” and attacked a woman for wearing a hijab while a candidate in local elections in 2010. He has also frequently been accused of trying to foment anti-German sentiment in France.

Not sure that’ll go down well with the Corbynista and Momentum grassroots…

Pink Slip: Tories Photoshop Brandon as “Voice of Women”

Three weeks ago Brandon Lewis broke his pregnancy pair with new mum Jo Swinson. Today the Tories have photoshopped him pink and dubbed him “the voice of women in politics”. Well done, geniuses. Surprised they didn’t put him in a pink burka…

Religion v Party Choice at Last Election

According to British Religion in Numbers, at the 2017 election more than 60% of those who identified as Jewish voted Tory, compared to just one in four who voted Labour. More than 80% of Muslims voted Labour, and just 10% voted Tory. Something for both parties to ponder…

Raab, Gove, Fox, Leadsom Try to Sell Chequers to Tory Members

Guido is not sure Tory members are going to react well to these words from Raab, Gove, Fox and Leadsom trying to convince them to back Chequers, in a letter that arrived in the post this morning. Some of the stuff they are saying here is just flat out untrue. Do they think their own members are stupid?

Tories: It’s Wrong to Say Burka is Oppressive

The Tories appear to be having a total mental breakdown about the burka / niqab. The new line, delivered by Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright this morning, is that it is wrong to describe it as “oppressive”. This is a very strange position for the Tory party to be taking – you have to wonder what on earth is going on. Guido is assured that Wright’s words are not the CCHQ line to take…

Prominent Muslim and feminist politicians on the left have long criticised face coverings. In 2016, Sadiq Khan said he believed the niqab could be “insidious” and asked “what is going on in those homes” where it is worn:

“When I was younger you didn’t see people in hijabs and niqabs, not even in Pakistan when I visited my family. In London we got on. People dressed the same. What you see now are people born and raised here who are choosing to wear the jilbab or niqab. There is a question to be asked about what is going on in those homes. What’s insidious is if people are starting to think it is appropriate to treat women differently or that it has been forced on them. What worries me is children being forced to adopt a lifestyle. Should women be permitted to cover their faces in London? It’s not for me to tell women what to wear. But I do think that in public service we should be able to see each other’s faces. Eye contact matters. You should be able to see the face.”

And this was Harriet Harman speaking in 2013, outlining her principled feminist opposition to the face veil as discriminatory towards women:

Yet senior Tories are now pushing the line that you can’t say the burka is oppressive. What do Tory MPs think about that? 

Thornberry: I Wouldn’t Let a Woman in a Burka Look After My Child

This was Emily Thornberry speaking on Question Time in 2013:

“I wouldn’t want my four year old looked after by somebody wearing a burka. I wouldn’t want my elderly mum looked after by somebody wearing a burka. They need to be able to show their face. I wouldn’t mind if they worked in records in the hospital.”

She says she wouldn’t want a woman wearing a burka to look after her child but they can work in backroom offices. Surely this is far, far worse than Boris’ comments? Where is the outrage, Corbynistas?

Soubry: Burka is a “Peculiar Concept”

This was Anna Soubry on Question Time in 2013 after Ken Clarke called the burka a “bag”. She had no words of criticism for Clarke. Indeed, she backed him and said the burka is a “peculiar concept”. The Boris outrage is rank hypocrisy from Remainers who have said similar about the burka themselves in the past…

Ken Clarke: Burka is a “Peculiar Costume”, “A Kind of Bag”

This was Ken Clarke speaking about the burka on the BBC in 2013. He criticised it as a “peculiar costume” and a “kind of bag“, said it should not be worn while giving evidence in court, but opposed a ban in public.

 “I do think it’s a most peculiar costume for people to adopt in the 21st century, but that’s not to me for decide, when they’re not engaged in some serious issue such as giving evidence. That’s the bit that I think it’s almost impossible to have a proper trial if one of the persons is in a kind of bag.”

Clarke’s language did not cause any reaction from Tory MPs at the time. Do Anna Soubry and Heidi Allen think their Remainer hero should apologise calling the burka a “bag”? Why didn’t the then Home Secretary Theresa May say Clarke should apologise? Almost as if the whole Boris row is about Brexit and the Tory leadership…

UPDATE: A few weeks back Clarke slapped down Sayeeda Warsi and said she was being “sensitive” about Tory Islamophobia. Where was the Remainer outrage then?

Remainers Twist Knife Into Boris

When you cut through the faux outrage and hand-wringing about Boris and the burka, it is obvious that this row is entirely about Brexit and the Tory leadership. The Tories criticising Boris are ultra-Remainers: Sayeeda Warsi, Anna Soubry, Heidi Allen, Jonathan Djanogly, Alistair Burt. Theresa May, in a carefully prepared knifing on the news last night, attempted to do in the one person she fears could deliver a proper Brexit. Mrs Go Home Vans, Windrush and “hostile environment” trying to take the moral high ground is rich.

Brandon Lewis, who is responsible for this story rumbling on with his calculated tweet attacking Boris yesterday, sees himself as the great Remain hope. Number 10, CCHQ and Remainer Tory MPs know Boris is the main threat to their soft Brexit. That is what this is about.

Corbyn’s Local Labour Branch Joins “Witch Hunt” Anti-Semitism Protest at BBC

This week Jeremy Corbyn released a video acknowledging that the Labour Party had “a real problem” with anti-Semitism, adding that “anyone who denies that this has surfaced within our Party is clearly actually wrong and contributing to the problem.”

He should tell that to his local CLP in Islington North, who gathered outside Broadcasting House today to protest the “BBC’s biased reporting of Jeremy Corbyn”. Protesters made speeches calling Israel a “racist state” while chanting “shame on you, BBC”. The notorious Labour Against the Witch Hunt group were present alongside Jewish Voice For Labour, which has supported Ken Livingstone, Jackie Walker and Marc Wadsworth over their anti-Semitic comments in the past.

Labour Against the Witch Hunt were also handing out recruiting leaflets hitting out at “purgists” and claiming that the expulsion and suspension of anti-Semites from the Labour Party was “a clear, determined attack on the left by a powerful section of the Party”:

The LATWH leaflet dismisses many allegations of anti-Semitism as “of a trivial nature” and calls for Labour’s Compliance Unit to be abolished. They also reject the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, which they claim is deliberately intended “to conflate anti-zionism with anti-semitism”, instead proposing their own “simple definition” which is limited to opposing “hostility towards Jews as Jews, in which Jews are perceived as something other than what they are”:

One protester was carrying a placard calling for Labour to “reinstate Stan Keable”, who was expelled from the Labour Party for claiming that Zionists had collaborated with the Nazis:

Given Corbyn’s acceptance of his party’s anti-Semitism problem last week, those close to him might have been expected to keep their distance from today’s protest. But in an email sent out through the official Labour email system yesterday evening, Corbyn’s own local branch Secretary called on party activists to join the protest. Islington North Secretary Stephen Moorby told Corbyn’s local branch members to join the protest “to call out the BBC on its persistent failure to report fairly and impartially the attacks on our MP Jeremy Corbyn”:

Corbyn ended his video this week by saying: “It’s my responsibility to root out anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.” Will he start by having a word with his own local branch secretary?

Public Want May and Corbyn Gone Before Next Election

Sums up what the public think of the dire offering from each of our main parties…

Times Brexit Warning is From Politicians Not Police

Remainers have been making plenty of this front page story in the Times this morning which claimed that the police have warned Sajid Javid that a no-deal Brexit would “pose a risk to public safety.” However, any super-sleuth detectives who investigated the story themselves will have pieced together the clues that this was not in fact a letter from the Old Bill themselves but from a small group of Police and Crime Commissioners – politicians, not police. ‘Ello ‘ello…

There are 40 PCCs altogether – 20 of whom are Conservative – but the letter itself is from the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, which in fact counts only 2 Conservative PCCs out of its 7 board members. It’s chaired by Labour’s Mark Burns-Williamson, while one of the Independent PCCs on its board, Martin Surl, is a former EU advisor. Wot’s going on ‘ere then?

One of the signatories to the letter itself is Lord (Willy) Bach, a former Labour Shadow Attorney General who made exactly the same claims about Brexit before the referendum. It’s a political intervention through and through. Turns out the Times scoop was not much cop…

Corbyn: BBC Biased on Israel’s Right to Exist

Footage has emerged of Corbyn giving an interview to the Iranian state television channel Press TV in which he says the BBC is biased on Israel’s right to exist.

“There seems to be a great deal pressure on the BBC from the Israeli government and the Israeli embassy and they are very assertive towards all journalists and to the BBC itself… I think there is a bias towards saying that Israel is a democracy in the Middle East, that Israel has a right to exist, that Israel has its security concerns.”

Now about that IHRA definition, Jez…

UPDATE: A Labour spokesman says:

“Jeremy was arguing that despite the occupation of Palestinian territory and the lack of a Palestinian state, Israeli concerns and perspectives are more likely to appear prominently in news reporting than Palestinian ones. Jeremy is committed to a comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on a two-state solution – a secure Israel alongside a secure and viable state of Palestine.”

Not quite what he said though is it…

Brandon Knifes Boris

Just when the Boris / burka story was dying down, Brandon Lewis appears to have deliberately fanned the flames by sending this tweet, creating another round of headlines against the Tories. It is hard to see Lewis’ tweet as anything other than virtue signalling as he continues to court Remainers to further his own ambitions. Given Lewis is lucky to still be in post following pair-gate, Tory colleagues might expect a little more loyalty from their chairman.

Once again it falls to Guido to point out that the Boris row is largely confected outrage from his enemies. Boris’ article explicitly called for the burka not to be banned, yet Corbynistas and Remainers are deliberately ignoring this and smearing him as some far right puppet of Steve Bannon. Other than Lewis, the only Tories to have criticised him are ultra-Remainers Heidi Allen and Jonathan Djanogly. Why? Because the vast majority of Tory MPs agree with Boris that they don’t like the burka, but also oppose a ban. The vast majority of Labour MPs haven’t publicly criticised him. Why? Because they don’t like the burka, but oppose a ban as well. Boris’ view, critical of the burka, but opposing a ban, is shared by pretty much all liberal, moderate people in Westminster.

You don’t need to be a pollster to know that Boris’ position is – obviously – far more liberal than the view of the country, which wants to follow EU countries like France, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands and Italy in taking legislative action against face veils. The media / leftie virtue signalling against Boris is only going to stoke illiberal sentiment among the population, who will consider the hand-wringing to be typical out of touch faux outrage. You’d expect this from the likes of Owen Jones, but perhaps the Tory party chairman should know better.

Owen Jones Organises 750,000 Strong Pile-On Against Wrong Rob Burley

Owen Jones is really outdoing himself in the charm stakes this morning. First, Owen is seriously trying to smear Andrew Neil as having far-right links. He is actually trying to get people to believe Brillo is some far-right sympathiser.

Then, Owen asked his 750,000 Twitter followers to bombard BBC politics chief Rob Burley, a man who already gets huge Twitter abuse, with the same insane nonsense about the BBC “legitimising far right movements”. Owen tagged the wrong Rob Burley, ruining some poor random bloke’s day.

So he instigated the pile-on for a second time – this time with the correct handle – knowing full well what his unhinged followers would do, because Owen does this deliberately to people he doesn’t like all the time. And of course he hasn’t deleted the first tweet.

This is properly mental stuff from Owen. Step away from the keyboard, get a grip, go out and enjoy the sun…

READ: Ian Austin’s Lawyers Accuse Labour of ‘Disgraceful’ Attempt to ‘Silence’ Him

Almost three weeks after being placed under investigation by the Labour Party for rowing with Ian Lavery about anti-Semitism, Ian Austin has still not been given any further details of the allegations against him. Last week Austin’s lawyers wrote to Labour General Secretary Jennie Formby:

“This process has been a farce and a disgrace.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Rowan Atkinson tells The Times

“All jokes about religion cause offence, so it’s pointless apologising for them. You should really only apologise for a bad joke. On that basis, no apology is required.”

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Fry, Hislop, Merton &Guardian All Mocked Burka Fry, Hislop, Merton &Guardian All Mocked Burka
Corbyn’s Home Pranked By Jewish Activists Corbyn’s Home Pranked By Jewish Activists
Rowan Atkinson on Boris Rowan Atkinson on Boris