Clegg “Queen Backs Brexit” Row Not Dunn Yet

Nick Clegg has finally admitted a “grumpy” Queen Elizabeth did attack the EU over a lunch with him, a vindicated Sun reports today. The paper quotes Kevin Maguire’s New Statesman column which disclosed:

“Nick Clegg, who was also at the infamous 2011 Windsor Castle lunch, maintains that Her Majesty was merely grumpy about Europe and regretted the eclipse of the Commonwealth”.

Clegg took to Twitter last night to deny this new line: “I didn’t speak to Maguire and I didn’t tell friends Queen was grumpy.” The Sun‘s political editor Tom Newton Dunn asked why Clegg’s spokesman refused to make that denial on the record, to which Clegg did not reply. Clegg has changed his tune over the paper’s bombshell “Queen Backs Brexit” splash. When the story first broke he said he had “no recollection” of the royal conversation.

Newton Dunn says Clegg later hardened his line at the behest of Cameron spinners to claim the story was “nonsense” and “not true“. Now the New Statesman reports he has admitted to friends the Queen did criticise Europe after all, but he denies it. Coincidentally Maguire’s column also names one Bill Newton Dunn, a former LibDem MEP, as being present at the infamous royal lunch…

Corbyn Relaunch Latest: Labour Lose Sunderland Stronghold to LibDems

Jeremy Corbyn gets very upset with the media for not reporting on minor council by-election results, so… Last night Labour lost the Sandhill ward in their Sunderland stronghold to the LibDems. The LibDems beat Labour by 45% to 25% with a swing of around 40%. Last time round Labour polled well over 50% and the LibDems were fourth on 5%. On Tuesday Jezza boasted during his relaunch: “We have been making gains in some council by-elections…”

Who Is On Question Time Tonight?

First show of term…

Revealed: The Sweariest MP on Twitter

Outgoing Jamie Reed is the rudest MP on Twitter, using 20 swear words in 2016 according to analysis by Polimonitor. Hopefully he can chill out a bit when he leaves parliament in a couple of weeks. No surprise that Michael Dugher is up there, nor Nicholas Soames who has a penchant for calling people “chateau bottled nuclear powered ocean going sh*ts”. Jess Phillips and John Woodcock are some of the most potty mouthed. Almost as if the Corbyn-hating Labour moderates are angry with the world…

Tories: Corbyn “Collaborating With Russia”

The Tories are starting to go big on Corbyn’s call to decommission nuclear power plants, releasing this attack ad tonight. Meanwhile the MoD goes in hard after Corbyn’s spokesman criticises Nato for “escalations of tensions” with Russia. Armed forces minister Mike Penning says:

“the Labour Leader would rather collaborate with Russian aggression than mutually support Britain’s NATO allies”

Copeland by-election campaign under way…

Marine Le Pen in Trump Tower

The new world order?

h/t @srl

Tory MP Invites Colleagues to Portrait Unveiling… of Himself

Backbench Tory MP John Howell has been the butt of many a tea room joke this week after inviting colleagues to a party celebrating the unveiling of a portrait… of himself! Howell emailed all MPs to inform them he had “recently had a portrait painted by the wonderful artist Mark Draisey”, and that “I have decided to hold a drinks party in my office” to celebrate its unveiling. To the merriment of the members’ tea room, attached was a photo of the portrait of a cheerful Howell sitting at his piano in a splendid pair of lurid mustard cords. Colleagues have been too polite to say how funny they found John’s invite, well to his face anyway…

Al-Jazeera Defends Jackie Walker

Well there goes the credibility of Al-Jazeera’s investigation into the “Israeli lobby” and British Jews. Their new episode aired today defends Jackie Walker, who was famously suspended by Labour for saying that “Jews” were the “chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade”. Even the Corbynistas do not contest that Walker’s conduct has been unacceptable – Corbyn’s Labour have kicked her out. But Al-Jazeera journalists incredibly say she was a victim of an Israeli conspiracy:

Al-Jazeera also quote Electronic Intifada, a virulently anti-Semitic pro-Palestine website. Sad that a supposedly reputable news organisation has become The Canary in broadcast form…

Here Are 6 Media Outlets Who Rejected Buzzfeed’s Trump Memo

The Trump golden showers memo was rejected by six major news publications and dozens of American and British journalists before Buzzfeed finally published the document. Here is Guido’s listicle of those who turned the story down:

CNN has dumped on Buzzfeed, even their friends at the Guardian have blasted them, saying it was “wrong” to publish and the decision “damages proper journalism“. Today’s Sun Says is damning: “The Buzzfeed site styles itself the “most trusted” name in news. That’s a laugh. It has made a mockery of ­journalism.” Buzzfeed published a load of speculation from a real-life Johnny English, and you won’t believe what happened next!

Millionaire Chancellor Put £90 Phone Screen Repair on Taxpayer

Millionaire Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond claimed £90 from the taxpayer for “smashed phone screen repair”, his expenses reveal. Hammond is one of the wealthiest members of the cabinet with a fortune estimated at more than £8 million. The claim was made under “office costs” on 26 September last year. It is not clear if the phone is Hammond’s or belongs to one of his staff. At least it was dropped rather than thrown…

Max Mosley Punches Policeman at Fascist Rally

MediaGuido has found footage of a black-shirted Max Mosley punching a policeman in the face at a fascist rally in the British Pathe news archive. The Impress bankroller, who don’t forget has also donated £200,000 to Tom Watson, was filmed in a 1962 news reel taking part in a violent brawl between his fellow fascists and the police. Now he claims to be a freedom loving philanthropist….

In the news reel above, Mosley clearly throws a flurry of right hooks, connecting with a police officer’s face. The newsreader said: “Sir Oswald’s son Max was among those later arrested”. This is the man behind the new state regulator seeking to gag the British press…

New Momentum Chief on Copeland Selection Panel

The latest from Momentum: Jon Lansman has resigned as director of Momentum Campaign Services Ltd. He is certainly under pressure, last night he lost a vote on his purge of Trotskyists in his own local Momentum branch. Notable that he also dissolved New Hope for Labour Ltd, his data company, before Christmas. Labour sources doubt Lansman is taking a step back given he has waited 30 years to get to this position. His opponents claim he is freeing himself up to run for election to the new Momentum steering group. As one puts it, “About as meaningful as when Putin swapped the president’s role with the prime minister so he could stay in power.”

Lansman’s replacement as director of Momentum Campaign Services Ltd is his ally Christine Shawcroft, a mad lefty who was suspended by Labour for backing Lutfur Rahman and famously said British soldiers should invite ISIS round for cups of tea. Shawcroft is one of the four members of Labour’s selection panel for the Copeland by-election. The new head of Momentum will have a major say in their by-election candidate…

EU Faces Funding Cliff Edge

All this talk of Brexit being a cliff edge for Britain ignores the other side of the coin, it is a funding cliff edge for the EU. Excluding Germany, Britain’s contribution is more than the total net contribution of the 26 other EU states combined. Guido will repeat this: add up the debits and credits of every member state from France to Poland bar Germany and it comes to a figure less than Britain’s EU contribution. Britain’s exit will be a massive budget hit to the EU…

Guido has been saying since the referendum that this will be the year world opinion will shift from “What the hell have the Brits done?” to “The EU is in trouble without Britain.” Mark Carney said similar yesterdayWhen negotiating it will be important to remind them that a bad deal or no deal could see the UK stop the flow of pounds immediately. That is the EU’s budgetary cliff edge…

Bookmakers found a present in their stocking over Christmas

Sacked former Labour frontbencher Michael Dugher, popped out of his Christmas wrapping into the Sun newspaper decrying Conservative plans to deal with FOBTs. Instead, he argued that the Government should be looking at problem gambling on the National Lottery – those darn dangerous twice weekly draws and scratch cards you must keep queuing up to buy. They are so much more dangerous than those £300 a minute fast action roulette machines that Dugher’s mate – the CEO of the bookmakers’ trade body – has been taken on to protect.

Dugher must have stopped reading the newspapers and conveniently overlooked the plethora of FOBT associated violent incidents being reported in betting shops when he said “Compared with alternative places to gamble, betting shops have professional staff to help punters and they are subject to stringent checks”. The professionalism of staff is not in doubt, but the ability of one member of staff, lone working in a betting shop to deal with the often violent fall-out created by excessive FOBT losses is certain to dampen that professionalism. Those “alternative places” to gamble refuse to operate their premises with one member of staff.

Dugher, who sees himself as some sort of working class hero riding to the defence of betting shops has inadvertently overlooked the fact that his own party wants action on FOBTs; the Liberal Democrats want action on FOBTs, UKIP want action on FOBTs, the Greens want action on FOBTs, the Church is getting ready to call for action on FOBTs, the Scottish and Welsh Governments want action on FOBTs, 93 Councils (mainly Labour) want action on FOBTs and even the Tories want action!

Looks like Dugher is carving out a new role for himself on the Labour back benches teaming up with Tory embarrassment, Philip Davies, in the FOBT awkward squad!

Content produced and sponsored by Stop the FOBTs

Carney: Brexit Risks Have “Gone Down”

Some prize comments from Mark Carney which went under the radar in the excitement of Trump yesterday. The Bank of England governor now says he is “surprised” his forecast of an immediate post-Leave vote slump has not come true, admitting the BoE is “very likely” to improve its economic forecasts:

“Of course having got through the night the day after the scale of the immediate risks around Brexit have gone down.”

Apparently the EU now has more to worry about than us:

“there are greater financial stability risks on the continent in the short term for the transition than there are for the UK”

The stock market is enjoying a bull run and breaking all records. In November the BoE already doubled its forecast for 2017, the biggest single upgrade it has ever made to a prediction, and now it is likely to upgrade it again. Experts…

CNN Dumps on Buzzfeed

CNN has condemned Buzzfeed for publishing the unverified Trump dossier and spoiling their more careful reporting of allegations against the President-Elect:

“CNN’s decision to publish carefully sourced reporting about the operations of our government is vastly different than Buzzfeed’s decision to publish unsubstantiated memos.

[…] Read the rest

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