Rudd: I Don’t Want Boris Managing Brexit

Amber Rudd machines gun Boris on Marr, accusing him of “backseat driving” and sternly insisting “I don’t want him managing the Brexit process“. Never mind that Rudd is an arch-Remainer who is equally ambitious as Boris, she lost the referendum and Boris won it…

UPDATE: That’s not what she used to say…

Saturday Seven Up

This week 199,987 visitors visited 626,287 times viewing 974,930 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:

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

Parsons Green Terror Attack

A British Transport Police spokesman has confirmed that the police are treating this morning’s incident at Parsons Green as “terrorist-related”. A senior officer said:

“At this stage we are treating the matter as a terrorist-related incident and the Metropolitan Police Counter-Terrorism Command will take responsibility for that investigation.” 

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“My thoughts are with those injured at Parsons Green and emergency services who are responding bravely to this terrorist incident.”

The Prime Minister will chair COBRA at 13.00.

UPDATE 11.38: Met Police statement:

UPDATE 14:45: Prime Minister Theresa May has made a statement following this afternoon’s COBRA meeting.

UPDATE 20:25: Prime Minister Theresa May says the national threat level has been raised from severe to critical (the highest level). Operation Temperer – in which troops are deployed to guard static locations – has been activated.

LibDems Learn to Speak English

The LibDem conference agenda is out, and this is scheduled for the first morning:

“09.25-10.10 Policy motion: Learning to Communicate in English”
It’s felt like Sir Vince has been speaking a different language for years…

Friday Caption Contest: Does My Dunn Look Big In This? Edition

Sun Political Editor Tom Newton Dunn and Tory MP Johnny Mercer all dressed up for the Big Battlefield Bike Ride, raising money for Help for Heroes. Donate here

Trump: Parsons Green Terrorist “In Sights of Scotland Yard”


Scotland Yard had just finished briefing the press, specifically refusing to answer questions about suspects, when the President posted this tweet. A Twitter intelligence leak or speculation?

UPDATE: For an idea of what Number 10 will be thinking right now:

Julia Hartley-Brewer: MPs Got Pay Rise Despite Pay Cap

Julia Hartley-Brewer challenged MPs over the £1,000 pay rise they received despite the public sector pay cap. During a discussion about the cap on BBC Question Time, Julia said:

“Interestingly, earlier this year, three of the people on this panel, all MPs, took a £1,000 pay rise to £76,000 a year… I happen to know a brain surgeon who earns half that. Being an MP, with all due respect, isn’t brain surgery, and yet you guys think you are worth so much more than people doing front line jobs.”

She ain’t wrong…

Today Going Out of Fashion

More than a few Today listeners were bewildered by this morning’s programme resembling a long Burberry advert, as Sarah Sands continues the Standard-isation of the BBC’s flagship news show. Even Anna Wintour’s brother wasn’t a fan…

Osborne Condemned in Tory MPs’ WhatsApp Group

Nadine Dorries makes the point on Good Morning Britain that if one of the presenters had said something similar to Osborne’s “chopped up in bags in my freezer” comment about a colleague they’d be out of a job. Nads has written to the Chief Whip arguing Osborne’s conference pass should be taken away – last night another MP forwarded Guido this message in the Tory WhatsApp group from Nadine making the case:

Meanwhile Osborne has been condemned by the domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid for “condoning a culture of violence against women”. It’s not going well for him…

Who Is On Question Time Tonight

Pray for Julia…

“A Rabbit is Not a Cute Pet” Venezuelan Government Tells Starving Citizens

Over the summer disturbing reports out of Venezuela told how starving citizens were being forced to steal animals from the country’s zoos to survive. Boars, buffalo and tapirs were pillaged by desperate victims of Corbyn’s socialist paradise, leaving concerned animal lovers worldwide wondering whether it would be pandas, meerkats, koalas or giraffes next on the menu. To stave off the bout of critter kidnappings Venezuela’s agriculture minister has now unveiled the government’s new “Rabbit Plan”, ordering the nation to breed hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting bunnies – and then eat them. During a televised broadcast alongside Jezza’s comrade Nicolas Maduro, minister Freddy Bernal told Venezuelans they should not see the big-eared burrowing creatures as “cute pets”.

“There is a cultural problem because we have been taught that rabbits are cute pets. A rabbit is not a pet; it’s two and a half kilos of meat that is high in protein, with no cholesterol.”

As a committed vegetarian, will this slaughter of Venezuela’s furry friends be the final straw that sees Corbyn at last condemn the Maduro regime?

Burgon Bashes British Human Rights on Russia Today

Top Corbynista Richard Burgon was the main guest on Russia Today‘s current affairs discussion programme Going Underground this week where he spent ten minutes bashing the state of British prisons. Naturally not one word of criticism was offered against the Russian prison system, which is notoriously brutal, oppressive and has received widespread condemnation by human rights organisations. This year Amnesty International said that torture and ill-treatment are “widespread and systematic” in Russian prisons, and that inmates suffered from neglect including a lack of proper medical care. Russia is almost at the bottom of the Rule of Law Index. Must have slipped his mind…

Teacher Told Children Not to Talk to Tory MP’s Son

During the debate on abuse of MPs, Bob Stewart has told the Commons of a disturbing story involving a teacher and his young son:

“During the last general election, a teacher tells the class of my 13 year-old boy that nobody should talk to him because he’s the son of a Conservative MP.”

You’d think it unbelievable, but then teachers had primary school kids put hammer and sickle posters in the windows on election day, so it’s hardly beyond the realms of fantasy. Chilling…

Brexit Twitter Sentiment Analysis: Faisal’s 683 Negative Tweets Since Referendum

Data Guido has been working hard in a dark room, crunching the numbers to see whether our top broadcast journalists really are impartial on Brexit. So far we have analysed Robert Peston’s relentlessly negative Twitter feed and Nick Robinson’s less than neutral musings. Next up we have Sky News’ Faisal Islam, the Remainers’ TV darling…

  • Faisal has sent 1,467 tweets about Brexit since 24 June 2016.
  • 87 tweets had a positive sentiment, that’s just 6% of his total tweets.
  • 697 tweets were neutral, that’s 47.5%.
  • 683 tweets were negative, that is 46.5% of his total Brexit tweets having a negative sentiment.

Faisal tweets a huge amount about Brexit, far more than Peston or Robbo. The vast majority of his tweets are split between having either a negative sentiment or a neutral sentiment. Only 6% have a positive sentiment. He has sent a massive 683 negative tweets about Brexit since the referendum, which is unrivalled among his broadcast peers.

Guido’s statistical analysis of Faisal, Peston and Robbo has found that three of the highest profile broadcasters covering Brexit tweet with overwhelming negativity. They promote opponents of Brexit far more than proponents, they report negative stories far more than positive ones, and they occasionally let their own pro-Remain opinions slip through as well. The BBC, ITV and Sky are supposed to be impartial – the evidence shows their Brexit journalists are anything but…

New Statesman’s Rude Ruth Page Break

An accidentally naughty page break in this week’s New Statesman, as an interview with Ruth Davidson reads:

“On education, she wants to encourage innovation by giving head…”

“…teachers autonomy over budgets…” obviously…

H/T @jondharvey

Mogg: Osborne is a Poor Man’s Ted Heath

Osborne’s vitriol has not resonated with even strongly pro-Remain Tory MPs to whom Guido has spoken. This from Jacob Rees-Mogg on LBC sums up feeling among much of the parliamentary party:

“The sadness of George Osborne is that he is a formidably able man. He served with distinction as Chancellor of the Exchequer and he has decided since leaving parliament to emulate a rather less successful Edward Heath. And I think this type of bitterness and bile ends up making the person who has that bitterness and bile feel resentful and sad and has no effect on broader politics. His firepower diminishes with every bitter outburst and for so able a man that is something we should be sad about rather than particularly condemn.”

Yesterday the Standard’s first edition splashed on two different stories, both attacking Theresa May. He’s trying too hard…

Morning Star Fights Capitalism With £1,600 Adverts

The Morning Star is planning a special edition to mark the “Tory Party Conference Protest” organised by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity on October 1. How to mark this avowedly anti-capitalist event? Sell advertising for £1,600 a page, of course. Wouldn’t see that in Pravda…

Time for European businesses to stand up for a fair Brexit deal

by communications firm PLMR’s Brexit Unit

To judge by a lot of media coverage about Brexit, you could be forgiven for thinking that all important decisions rest with Jean-Claude Junker. Rather than seeing the European Commission as an almighty entity, one could see it as a kind of political secretariat (albeit a powerful one) for the interests of the Continent’s national leaders; for the political interests of Chancellor Merkel and President Macron in particular. But there is another powerful voice that has been curiously absent from the Brexit debate: the voice of businesses, large and small, from across the European mainland.

European firms have no real interest in seeing a punitive, anti-trade settlement after Brexit. Any marginal market share benefits they may receive from anti-UK protectionism would be more than offset by the broader economic problems that such a settlement would cause. Businesses are not interested in political pride or point-scoring – they are interested in certainty, simplicity, sensible regulation and the removal of barriers to trade and commerce.

British businesses have been very vocal about their interests in this process. Governments must listen to businesses but not be led by the nose. Business lobbying is not always in the broader national interest as the 2008 financial crisis showed, and politicians must listen foremost to their electorates. But it helps to also let companies have a say on the stewardship of the economy. UK firms have had their say and now it is time for European firms to stand up for a fair Brexit settlement.

EU companies will want a pragmatic deal. They will still want to access London’s financial markets and to sell goods and services to our 60 million-strong population, and they will want to be able to do business with our companies as they always have. Making these points to the Commission, but especially also to their national governments, should help avert a punitive deal.

Businesses know that there is no point ruminating on past decisions or seeking to undermine the result of the 2016 referendum. They want a deal that benefits both sides because they know that trade is not a zero-sum game. Let us encourage European companies to find their voice and to make their points forcefully to their representatives.

PLMR’s Brexit Unit advises organisations on managing the transition to a post-EU framework in the UK. Consultants Joe Mitton and Simon Darby are on hand to field queries – for more information visit www.brexitunit.co.uk

Dyson: No Deal Brexit Won’t Hurt UK

Dyson: I think Britain is putting forward very positive suggestions and they’re not being reciprocated by the other side. But that doesn’t particularly surprise me and I suspect that we’ll have to leave without a deal and that we’ll have to trade under WTO regulations which frankly are going to hurt the Europeans more than they hurt the British. 

BBC: Would they not hurt your business?

Dyson: Not at all actually, we already pay the WTO tariff into Europe and it hasn’t hurt us at all… It’s quite wrong to call it a single market. It’s a series of different markets with different languages, different marketing required and different laws, and in our case different plugs and different boxes. So we don’t view it as a single market, it’s actually a very highly complex and broken up market… The rest of the world is growing at a far greater rate than Europe so the opportunity is to export to the rest of the world and to capitalise on that.

People are being told WTO rules would be the end of the world. The government could do more to explain why it isn’t…

PMQs Sketch: First Dates

PMQs: every Wednesday lunchtime it feels like watching an action replay of the worst first date you have ever been on in your life. Like a cocky sixth-former with horrendously bad chat, Jez always over-plans his opening gambit: this time it was disability rights.[…] Read the rest

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Top Corbynista Cat Smith on the general election:

“…we didn’t lose it…”

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