Dawn Butler on Radio 4 this evening: “This election is Theresa May trying to rig democracy in our country”. Dawn voted for the election yesterday. First car crash interview of the campaign…
Signs of an advanced strategy in play on campaign day three from Corbynistas at Momentum:
“The odds are against Labour, but if enough of us bet a tenner on Labour to get the most seats or Corbyn to be the next PM, the odds will shorten and the narrative will begin to change.”
The remarkable plan was formulated by a clueless London Momentum group. More money in the market to lay against…
On the day the votes in the Unite leadership election are counted, Len McCluskey’s rival Gerard Coyne has been suspended from his role as regional secretary in the West Midlands. He remains a Unite union member in good standing and still eligible to become general secretary. It’s said to be a very tight indeed, there are rumours among Labour moderates that Coyne is ahead in the early counting…
A Coyne spokesman said:
“We can confirm that Gerard has been suspended from his position as West Midlands Regional Secretary of Unite the Union. We will not be commenting further at this stage.
The hard left never changes…
UPDATE: Email sent to Unite members:
This is to advise that Gerard Coyne has been suspended from his duties as Regional Secretary pending an investigation into certain issues which have arisen. I will be continuing as Acting Regional Secretary whilst this investigation takes place. The investigation is, of course, being conducted under procedure, and it should not be assumed that any offence has necessarily been committed. You will appreciate that it is not possible to comment further on this matter.
Acting Regional Secretary
Worth looking at which of David Cameron’s policies Theresa May is going to ditch. Her manifesto is in danger of looking a lot softer than Dave’s on the deficit and immigration. Here are the 2015 Tory policies which could go…
- Eliminate deficit and run surplus by 2020: A promise Hammond has already said he will break.
- Net migration to tens of thousands: Cabinet minister Karen Bradley said this morning that immigration is “not about numbers”. Could the target be ditched, or at the very least, further fudged?
- Pensions triple lock: Damian Green has hinted the promise to guarantee pension rises could go. Most wonks hate it. Old people vote Conservative…
- 0.7% aid target: Downing Street say “We are meeting our commitments now. In terms of the future manifesto, that’s something which you’ll have to wait for the manifesto for”.
- No VAT, National Insurance contributions or Income Tax rises: Surely this will go after Hammond’s NICs nightmare. Taxpayers’ Alliance to the barricades…
- Stay in the single market: Well, duh.
Ministers at the moment have no idea which of their current policies will survive. How weak will May be on the deficit and immigration?
UPDATE: May says the “tens of thousands” immigration target will stay. A promise made to be broken…
Attacking the media, “failing elites” and the “rigged system” – Corbyn’s campaign launch this morning was straight out of the Trump playbook. Jez had clearly had his Weetabix, he was energetic, punchy, pumped up and even Dan Hodges reckons he did alright. It was better than a Miliband speech…
I have never felt more proud and honoured than when representing my Essex constituents in the House of Commons.
Over the past twelve years I have had great fun working with, and getting to know, many wonderful local people. Together, we ran all sorts of local campaigns, from safeguarding local services to getting a new seafront. Local has always come first.
As I promised in my maiden speech, I have done everything possible to ensure we got, and won, a referendum to leave the European Union – even changing parties and triggering a by election to help nudge things along. Last summer, we won that referendum. Britain is going to become a sovereign country again.
I have decided that I will not now be seeking re-election. I intend to vote Conservative on June 8th and will be offering my full support to whoever the Clacton Constituency Conservatives select as their candidate.
It is sometimes said that all political careers end in failure. It doesn’t feel like that to me today. I have stood for Parliament five times, won four times, and helped win the referendum last June. Job done. I’m delighted.
Having been an MP for about half my adult life, I believe that it is time for me to move on to other things. I look forward to being able to read newspapers without appearing in them.
It has been the highest honour to have represented Clacton in the House of Commons.
A loss to parliament. Will Arron Banks still stand?
The first Corbynista media boos of the campaign, for ITV’s Libby Weiner who asked Jez if he was part of an “Islington elite”. Corbyn’s response: “I am very proud to represent Islington and it’s true, there are many people who drink cappuccino every day…”
A very squeaky and excitable Barry Gardiner reached for the Trump playbook and piled into Adam Boulton on Sky News this morning, accusing him of letting the Tories off the hook: “Why did you let him of the hook on immigration? If that had been a Labour minister… You’re supposed to be the tough guy on Sky News and you let him off!” Expect a lot more of this MSM-bashing over the next 49 days. Poor Adam is getting it from all sides at the moment…
UPDATE: Top Corbynistas have dubbed Barry “The People’s Gardiner” after this morning’s outing on Sky.
A motion to require every Labour candidate to pledge allegiance to Jeremy Corbyn was ignored yesterday at Labour’s NEC, Guido can reveal. Corbynista NEC member Pete Willsman proposed that every Labour candidate should sign a formal pledge of allegiance to Jeremy Corbyn during the selection process. A source tells Guido:
“Votes were not taken at the NEC meeting. It kept the Corbynistas down. There will be no requirement for candidates to sign a formal Corbyn pledge of allegiance to Jeremy. The sense is that the left is losing the internal battle for control.”
For all the talk of a “coalition of the others” (or “coalition of chaos” © T. May) it is still the case that adding the national vote share of Labour, the LibDems and the Greens gives 45%, 3% behind the Tories on 48% – according to last night’s YouGov survey giving the Tories a whopping 24% lead. Guido’s question is will Jeremy Corbyn do worse than Michael Foot in 1983?
The Tories were quick out of the blocks with their rules for candidate selections yesterday, though CCHQ has been caught on the hop in terms of the actual candidates. The word is the Tories still do not currently have enough names on their candidates list to fill every opposition-held seat. The shortfall came after the list was culled last summer, and the CCHQ candidates department has been painfully slow at processing new applications. As Guido revealed in February CCHQ did begin the search for candidates in Labour strongholds. Yet there remains a deficit between candidates and seats…
Guido has spoken to Tories who applied to join the candidates list last autumn and still haven’t been interviewed. As one Tory insider says of the CCHQ head of candidates: “Gareth Fox has been sleeping for six months”. This means the Tories will likely have to hold emergency PABs (Parliamentary Assessment Board meetings) to appoint new people to the list over the next week. You might end up with a no hoper seat, though this news will excite a lot of ambitious wannabes…
This is an election to boost Brexit: only we can deliver a strong economy, strong defence and strong, stable leadership.
May broke her word on holding an election and won’t do a leader’s debate, so she can’t be trusted.
We will park yellow tanks on Tory lawns.
A Tory win will feel like a UKIP government in Scotland.
Only UKIP can deliver a clean, efficient and genuine Brexit.
We should have votes at 16 so Britain’s future has a voice.
MPs back June 8 poll, the election is on.
(Overall majority): Con 1/7, Hung Parliament 9/2, Labour 16/1, LibDem 50/1, UKIP 100/1, Green 300/1
(ICM, 18 April): Con 46%, Lab 25%, LibDem 11%, UKIP 8%, Green 4%, Con lead 21%
— BBC Essex (@BBCEssex) 19 April 2017
Arron Banks, who will stand against Douglas Carswell in Clacton, has admitted in an interview with BBC Radio Essex that he “knows nothing about Clacton at all.” Strong start for the Patriotic Alliance…
Jeremy Corbyn came straight out at PMQs today to demand the PM face him in televised election debates. Brows furrowed throughout the House at a proposition akin to a quadruple amputee breezily strolling up to Usain Bolt and going: “go on, I’ll give you a race, you chubby biped!”. Does anything faze this man? Lacking any sort of analytical or reasoning abilities? No problem. Not even really knowing how to correctly do up a necktie? Who cares? Being as photogenic as a urine-stained tramp whisked out of the gutter and chucked into an oversized suit? “Meh! Debate me you wimp!”
Labour’s NEC has imposed emergency candidate selection procedures:
- Sitting Labour MPs will be automatically re-selected if they wish to stand again. So all the moderates can stand…
- Any vacant seats will be advertised this Friday (21st) on Labour’s website and applications will close this Sunday (23rd).
- Candidates will then be selected directly by NEC panels and Regional Board members. No chance for the Corbynistas to remake the party in their image.
A Labour internal communication says:
“It is with the greatest regret that local party members will not be able to select parliamentary candidates…”
Plenty of moderate MPs won’t be regretting that at all…
Ken Clarke IS standing again, despite most news outlets reporting he was to retire. His office say: “He’s putting himself forward to be the Conservative candidate for Rushcliffe in June.”
Delighted that Ken Clarke will be standing in the forthcoming General Election. Excellent news
— Anna Soubry MP (@Anna_Soubry) April 19, 2017
At last some good news for the ‘saboteurs’…
CCHQ has imposed emergency by-election rules on candidate selections to bypass standard Tory association procedures, Guido can reveal. In opposition-held key target seats and retirement seats where a Tory MP is standing down, CCHQ will impose shortlists of three candidates chosen centrally by the party chairman and his team. Association members will then choose their candidate from the centrally imposed shortlist of three. This is a departure from the standard procedure, which usually allows associations a much wider choice of up to 20 candidates. Large associations like Tatton may well resent the lack of choice and the CCHQ-approved candidates they end up with…
MPs who wish to stand again will have to face their associations. If the MP doesn’t secure a simple majority of association members they will face off against two CCHQ-imposed candidates.
Candidates who stood in key target seats in 2015 can apply to be fast-tracked to stand again in the same seat. Though this has to be approved by both CCHQ and the association chairman. Any broken bridges will not be forgotten…
For opposition-held non-target seats, associations will be bypassed completely and one candidate will be imposed. Novel levels of professionalism from CCHQ – impressive to get this out so quickly. Though some associations will not be happy at the centralised control…
Here is the full list of 13 MPs who just voted against the general election:
- Dennis Skinner
- Ronnie Campbell
- Ann Clwyd
- Paul Farrelly
- Jim Fitzpatrick
- Lady Hermon
- Clive Lewis
- Fiona Mactaggart
- Liz McInnes
- Alasdair McDonnell
- Graham Stringer
- Michelle Thomson
- Natalie McGarry
ITV are threatening to hold a leaders’ debate without the leader of the country, with Theresa May ruling out appearing. Corbyn says he welcomes ITV’s decision to hold a debate, though Team Jez say they only want a head-to-head with the PM and are not keen on a losers’ debate with Farron, Sturgeon and Nuttal.[…] Read the rest