Penny Mordaunt Considering Ending Public Money For Oxfam

“If the moral leadership at the top of the organisation is not there, we cannot have you as a partner,” Penny says of scandal-hit Oxfam…

Henry Bolton: I Still Love Racist Jo

Asked if the relationship is still live, he replied “yeah”…

Saturday Seven Up

This week 214,507 visitors visited 708,207 times viewing 1,105,949 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:

You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

Rum Collins: DCMS Committee Chair Enjoys Cocktails and Basketball on US Jolly

After a hard week probing fake news discovering there Russian intervention in the EU referendum was negligible, members of the DCMS committee are taking a well-earned break on their stateside knees-up. Chair Damian Collins shared a snap of the basketball arena at Madison Square Garden on Instagram. This morning Politico reported committee members were served cava, cocktails, smoked salmon, duck and mini-burgers at a the city’s flashy Newseum last night. Next time you’re blowing tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money on a vanity jolly halfway around the world, maybe don’t share the pics on Insta…

Pro-Remain Journalists and Twitter Trolls Claimed Death Threats Were Fake

When Zac Goldsmith first drew attention to the coordinated campaign of death threats being sent to Leavers this week, most responded with horror. Not everyone, though. If you look at the replies to the original tweet, hundreds and hundreds of nutty Remain supporters claimed Zac had fabricated the letter himself. Disturbingly, the worst offenders were three prominent journalists. The @hrtbps account, an anonymous lefty columnist with 66,000 followers, wrote a perverse article for the men’s website Joe.co.uk implying Goldsmith was responsible. He was joined by New European writer Mike Hind, who mocked the death threat and claimed there is “no evidence” it wasn’t a set up by Zac. Byline’s Peter Jukes suggested the death threat was “coordinated” by Steve Bannon. This morning Guido revealed that at least six Leave donors have been sent the chilling letters and the police are investigating. Don’t hold your breath for these embarrassed Remain cranks to apologise…

Corbynista Space Cadets

Top Corbynista Aaron Bastani has caused much amusement with his suggestion following Elon Musk’s latest SpaceX launch that a “socialist space agency would bump Labour’s polling by 5 points”. This artist’s impression reveals what a Corbynista NASA could look like. Can think of a few Labour MPs who would be up for blasting Basto and co into space…

Why No Media Plurality Worries Over Mirror-Express Merger?

The usual suspects who raise a hue and cry about media plurality seem strangely silent about the Mirror – Express merger. Print sector media plurality is being dramatically reduced from four major media groups to 3 plus the also rans. The new group will have about a quarter market share of the UK dead tree press. As the print market withers it is turning oligopolistic…

Tom Watson is silent, the usual gobby ‘media plurality’ campaigners are also mute. The Guardian isn’t going on about the hackers at the Mirror not being fit and proper to take over the Express. There are genuine public interest concerns; plurality is being reduced and the distinctive political voice of the Express is being put at risk. Are plurality concerns only applicable to Rupert Murdoch?

Friday Caption Contest (Hair of the Dog Edition)

At Least 6 Leave Donors Received Identical Death Threats This Week

At least six prominent donors to the Leave campaign have received identical death threats in the past week as part of a concerted campaign of intimidation from a group calling itself “The Real 48 Per Cent”, Guido can reveal. The chilling letters, which were typed but sent in handwritten envelopes, told the recipients: “You have stoked the fires of Brexit and led us to this moment. You can no longer be tolerated. We are coming for you. We are going to kill you”. Guido is aware of six Leave donors who have received the same letter. At least three have complained to the police. It is suspected that the sender of the letters identified the donors using this article listing the names of those who gave money to the Leave campaign. It is likely more letters were sent to other donors. The sender identified themselves as an opponent of Brexit, writing: “We were born in Britain. We live in the UK. We are European”. If you are a Leave donor who also received the letter and haven’t spoken to Guido yet, get in touch. The police would also like to hear from you…

IEA’s Kate Andrews Schools Alan Johnson and Anna Soubry on Swiss Health System

As Alan Johnson and Anna Soubry blindly defended the NHS despite being confronted with dire statistics on its health outcomes, Kate Andrews of the Institute of Economic Affairs made a compelling case for reform on This Week. Soubs and Johnson showing politicians see the NHS as a religion as they treated Kate’s sensible suggestions as heresy… 

Is This Britain’s Rudest Remainer? Terry Christian Mansplains to Claire Perry

Mansplaining Remainer Terry Christian rather embarrassed himself on Question Time last night by continually shouting down, berating and interrupting any panel or audience member who dared to support Brexit. He was upbraided several times by host David Dimbleby for continually butting-in, yelling and attempting to force feed his Remain propaganda to viewers. The pro-EU bully smirked at Tory MP Claire Perry (who, incidentally, was a Remainer): “I’m just helping her.” Probably won’t be getting another invite.

Epic Guardian Unpaid Internship Hypocrisy

Today’s Guardian splash backs the government’s crackdown on unpaid internships, exclusively revealing that “HM Revenue & Customs is expected to target sectors such as media” and criticising Vogue and its publisher Conde Nast for offering placements without pay. It is a pretty bold front page given that just last week the paper was embarrassed by a young journalist on Twitter who revealed he had just been on an unpaid internship at… the Guardian. Of course this is the same Guardian which last year offered an internship scheme to ethnic minority candidates, telling them “the scheme is unpaid”. And the same Guardian which offers “editorial work” internships – real work – again telling applicants “these placements at the Guardian and Observer are unpaid”. If the government’s unpaid internship crackdown is targeting the media, they should start with the paper to which they briefed the story… 

Who’s On Question Time Tonight?

Just one Leaver….

Mogg v Faisal

Jacob Rees-Mogg turns up to Number 10 to deliver a petition on international aid, then gives an impromptu interview to Faisal Islam about why we have to leave the customs union. Not doing himself any harm.

49 Russian Twitter Trolls Sent Just 942 Tweets During Referendum

Over in Washington, Twitter’s Nick Pickles has told grandstanding Damian Collins and his Culture, Media and Sport select committee that the company detected just 49 accounts linked to a Russian “troll factory”, which sent out a mere 942 tweets during the EU referendum. This is 0.005% of the total number of accounts that tweeted about the referendum. Earlier Collins lost it with Facebook’s representative for denying there was any Russian intervention, snapping: “But you haven’t looked! You haven’t looked!”, and even implying Facebook was lucky not to be “closed down” and its executives “face prosecution. Almost as if Collins is an arch-Remainer using his position to push the Russia / Brexit conspiracy theory, even when the tech companies themselves say it’s a load of nonsense…

SamCam on Tinder

Right (of centre) swipers everywhere will surely double take when SamCam pops up on their Tinder. Adverts for her Cefinn fashion range are pinging onto the dating app – a saucy marketing strategy. That awkward moment when you see your mate’s missus on Tinder…

Cable Confused on TTIP

Vince Cable reckons that under any post-Brexit US-UK trade deal the Americans would be:

“Looking for [their] private sector to have a bite of NHS contracts. That’s what they wanted when negotiating TTIP and that’s what they’ll want after Brexit.”

He went on about it again at PMQs yesterday. Classic scaremongering from Vince, another example of Remainers weaponising the NHS. Downing Street said yesterday:

“The UK’s public health sector is protected by specific exceptions and reservations in all EU trade arrangements and, as we leave the EU, the UK will continue to ensure that rigorous protections for the NHS are included in all trade agreements it is party to.”

It’s also a real change of tune from Vince. Back in 2014 when he was bashing UKIP for opposing TTIP, he said he was “genuinely baffled” by fears that the US private sector could get involved in the NHS under any trade deal. Directly contradicting what he says now. Who’s right, 2014 Vince or 2018 Vince?

Bank of England Upgrades Growth Forecasts

The Bank of England has upgraded its growth forecast for 2018 to 1.8%, up from 1.6%. Remember the Treasury said we would be in recession by now. Anyone really believe they didn’t fiddle the figures?

Tories Move to Impose Candidates Centrally and Break Constituency Association Link

Guido hears Tory MPs and members are grumbling about proposed changes to the Conservative Party constitution which they fear will lead to further centralised control. Later this year the National Convention is meeting to discuss a series of draft changes, including deleting entirely the section of the constitution which spells out the way candidates are selected. Instead selections could be determined by the Committee on Candidates, which could also decide the procedures for selecting candidates. This has sparked grassroots fears that they will have even less influence on selections, and that the power to determine who can be a Tory MP will be concentrated among a small group of centrally appointed officials. Separately, Guido understands the Tories have been holding Party Assessment Boards in the last couple of weeks to approve new wannabe MPs to the candidates list. Early prep for 2022…

The second change causing concern is the proposed abolition of Constituency Associations. For 150 years the link between Constituency Associations and their candidate has been a crucial, it is now in danger of going. Previous groupings of constituencies have not been popular to say the least. Backbenchers Guido has spoken to complain that these changes show direction of travel towards a further centralised organisation which risks alienating its already dwindling membership. Expect MPs to resist the reforms…

UPDATE: David Campbell Bannerman comments:

These proposed changes would further undermine reasons for joining the Party, reducing membership yet further, and break the critical link between MPs and their associations – indeed constituency associations may be destroyed all together. This is all about the centre taking total control in a negative way, and there is a very strong reaction building amongst activists.”

Jewish Labour Chair Accused of Financial Misconduct as Tory Chief Mired in Cover Up

Belter of a story breaking over on the Jewish Chronicle – they’ve got hold of an audit into the conduct of Labour candidate and Jewish Labour Movement chair Jeremy Newmark, accusing him of deceiving the Jewish Leadership Council charity out of tens of thousands of pounds. […] Read the rest

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