Barnier Too Busy to Meet Soros and Best For Britain

Michel Barnier is very sorry but he is too busy to meet George Soros and his hardcore fringe group of ultra-Remainers Best for Britain. Emails obtained by Guido show that repeated attempts by Soros to secure a meeting with the EU’s chief negotiator have been politely rebuffed. First Soros asked for a meeting at the beginning of November, but Barnier was busy:

Not deterred, Soros tried again a couple of weeks later. Barnier didn’t even give an excuse this time:

You might have thought that by now Soros would get the message. Not so, he tried again, only be rejected a third time:

Would Eloise Todd from Soros’ ultra-Remain campaign group Best For Britain have any more luck securing a meeting with Barnier? Sadly not, and it took him months to even reply with a rejection.

He’s just not that into you…

Change Brings Opportunity

Change, uncertainty and volatility in stock market prices are the ingredients that Henderson Opportunities Trust (HOT) thrives on. The Trust is relatively small with net assets of around £100m at the end of April, spread over a diverse list of companies. Our size enables us to move quickly when we see opportunities.

Equity markets around the world have experienced greater volatility in 2018. Change is a constant feature of the political and economic landscape, and this change is epitomised by the situation in the UK. Here, digital and technological innovations are challenging established business models, while the country’s political leaders negotiate leaving the EU and begin to forge new partnerships in a globally competitive economy.

The Trust has the flexibility to go up and down the spectrum of companies in terms of size to find attractive opportunities. Currently, the HOT list holds approximately 15% in the FTSE 100, 9% in the FTSE 250, 13% in the FTSE Small Cap and 63% in non-FTSE All Share. The weight in FTSE AIM (alternative investment markets) has increased in recent years because we have tended to find more attractive opportunities within this space. These are typically young, high growth companies that are unencumbered by legacy issues.

An example of a successful FTSE AIM investment in the portfolio is robotic process software company, Blue Prism. Since its purchase in March 2016, the share price has appreciated 237%, owing to high demand for their robot process automation software. The software addresses a key pain point for enterprises – poorly integrated back-office systems – by enabling companies to automate interactions between legacy software applications. This allows companies to redistribute labour and save costs. For example, banks can use the software to process orders for new debt/credit cards, while insurance companies can use it to streamline insurance claims by checking internal data and producing a suggested pay-out. Continue reading

Labour Lead as Public Rejects Chequers Deal

Horrendous numbers for the Tories and Theresa May via YouGov as the public rejects her Chequers deal. May and the Tories lose badly on every metric, as voters back DD and Boris’ decision to quit. Remainers / Soft Brexiters and Number 10 had hoped the public weren’t following the detail. They aren’t fools.

Selmayr’s Classless Response

The classless response of top European Commission official Martin Selmayr after extra time last night:

You would have thought Selmayr might show more restraint when it comes to Croatia. His grandfather Josef Selmayr was Lieutenant Colonel on Hitler’s General Staff in the Balkans, running Yugoslavia when it was under Nazi control. This is a photo of Yugoslav resistance fighters liberating Yugoslavia from Selmayr’s command in 1944:

In 1948, Selmayr was sentenced to 15 years in jail for war crimes. 70 years later, at least his grandson is actually supporting Croatia…

UPDATE: Selmayr’s grandfather on the other side, Heinz Gaedcke, also served as a general under Hitler in the Second World War.

Indy Make Staff Host Brexit Event During England Match

Staff at the Indy* are very upset this evening after being told they have to attend an event being hosted this evening about Brexit – during the England match. Jacob Rees-Mogg and Chuka Umunna will be joining the Indy’s top Brexit experts at 8:15 pm, in the middle of the second half of our semi-final against Croatia. Will they get over 20 viewers so on their Facebook live?

*It does still exist in digital form.

Etonian-Free Cabinet

Given that famous battles in Europe have been won on the playing fields of Eton, Guido is not certain this is brilliant news in the battle for Brexit.

Minuat Eton…

Labour Party’s Data Broker Fined £140,000 By Information Commissioner

The company from which Labour bought the personal data of more than a million individuals during the 2017 election has been fined £140,000 by the Information Commissioner for a “serious contravention” of the Data Protection Act.

The Information Commissioner’s Office ruled that Lifecycle Marketing Mother and Baby Ltd (LCMB), trading as Emma’s Diary

“…contravened DPP1 by selling the personal data of more than 1 million individuals to the Labour Party for use in the Labour Party’s general election campaign in 2AL7 without informing those individuals that it might do so, As a result, LCMB processed that personal data unfairly and without satisfying any processing condition under Schedule 2 DPA.”

The ICO found:

In May 2017, LCMB supplied 7,065,220 records to Experian Marketing Services under a data supply agreement listing the Labour Party as Experian’s client. The data supply agreement specified the delivery date for the data as 5 May 2017…

Each record comprised the following personal data: name of parent, household address, the presence of children up to 5 years old and date of birth of both mother and child. The records thus comprised the personal data of both mothers and young children. LCMB obtained that personal data via its online registration on its website and via an offline registration form.

Experian, apparently acting as an agent or processor on behalf of the Labour Party, loaded those records onto a database it hosted for the Labour Party to assist the Labour Party with a direct marketing mail campaign for the general election in 2017. LCMB told the Commissioner that the records it supplied would have helped the Labour Party send political marketing communications to people with young children about, for example, Labour’s intention to protect Sure Start centres. This was done in the constituencies for 106 parliamentary seats.

According to LCMB, the records it disclosed were deleted by Experian following the general election on B June 2017. In its letter to the Commissioner of 30 January 2018, LCMB told the Commissioner that “All data supplied agreed to be contacted via the postal channel and by 3rd party marketers and the usage of the mums’ data is fully outlined within or Privacy Policy,” It transpired, however, that this was not the case.

A Labour spokesman says the party will no longer be using the company and will be reviewing how they purchase their data. Labour they insist bought the data in good faith. There is no indication the party itself has broken the law.

“We welcome the ICO’s report. The Labour Party holds data from a variety of sources, like all UK political parties. We have neither bought nor used Emma’s Diary data since the 2017 general election and we will be reviewing our approach to acquiring data from third parties in light of the ICO’s report.”

Labour MPs have been tweeting about the ICO report on Facebook data breaches all day. Oddly none have mentioned the above finding. Sure Carole Cadwalladr will be splashing on this for the Observer this weekend…

Best Paid at the BBC

New BBC pay figures out:

1. Gary Lineker – £1,750,000-£1,759,999
2. Chris Evans – £1,660,000-£1,669,999
3. Graham Norton – £600,000-£609,999
4. Steve Wright – £550,000-£559,999
5. Huw Edwards – £520,000-£529,999
6. Jeremy Vine – £440,000-£449,999
=7. Nicky Campbell – £410,000-£419,999
=7. Alan Shearer – £410,000-£419,999
=9. John Humphrys – £400,000-£409,999
=9. Nick Grimshaw – £400,000-£409,999
=9. Stephen Nolan – £400,000-£409,999
=9. Andrew Marr – £400,000-£409,999

And if you don’t want to pay their wages, you end up in court…

DPMQs: Who Is Asking the Questions

Q1 Chris Stephens (Glasgow South West)

Q2 Mr George Howarth (Knowsley)

Q3 Dan Carden (Liverpool, Walton)

Q4 Mr Nigel Evans (Ribble Valley)

Q5 Andrew Rosindell (Romford)

Q6 Wes Streeting (Ilford North)

Q7 Julian Sturdy (York Outer)

Q8 Darren Jones (Bristol North West)

Q9 Julie Cooper (Burnley)

Q10 Simon Hoare (North Dorset)

Q11 Nick Smith (Blaenau Gwent)

Q12 Alberto Costa (South Leicestershire)

Q13 Dame Cheryl Gillan (Chesham and Amersham)

Q14 Julia Lopez (Hornchurch and Upminster)

Q15 Mrs Sheryll Murray (South East Cornwall)

Telegraph Letters Editor: Readers Haven’t Been This Angry Since Expenses Scandal

This piece from the Telegraph letters editor Christopher Howse should have Tory MPs fearing for their political futures. Howse says the paper has been deluged by hundred of letters from furious readers since Theresa May’s Brexit sellout, a level of anger not seen since the expenses scandal.

“By heaven, there have been a lot of them since Friday, when Theresa May held the Cabinet hostage, phoneless, in her Buckinghamshire hideout – hundreds and hundreds of them, whizzing from the electronic Cloud like shooting stars on a mid-August night.

All are read and the Editor takes notice of them, but only a fraction can be published. And not since the summer of the MPs’ expenses scandal in 2009 has such an angry invasion force taken the Letters page by storm. For anger has indeed been their main propellant…

Quite a few, in their anger, declared that they will never vote again. I’m not sure they will keep to their resolve, as the months go by, but it is worrying. After all, the EU’s democratic deficit motivated many to vote for Brexit in the first place. If someone is interested enough to follow politics in a newspaper and then put finger to keyboard to send a letter for publication, it is bad if they are not to be heard through the ballot box, too.”

Have Number 10 and those Tories backing the Chequers deal underestimated the anger of their core vote?

John Cleese On Why He’s Leaving Britain

He’s moving to the Caribbean because “I don’t like it” in Britain. Bye!

FactCheck Gets Boris Details Wrong

Punchy stuff from Channel 4’s FactCheck, who have accused Boris Johnson of lying in his resignation letter about EU safety regulations. Would be pretty embarrassing if Factcheck got it wrong…

Boris wrote:

“If a country cannot pass a law to save the lives of female cyclists — when that proposal is supported at every level of UK Government — then I don’t see how that country can truly be called independent.”

FactCheck took exception to his assertion that the UK government supported the proposal, telling their readers: “he’s wrong… he’s left out some key details… the UK government explicitly did not support the proposals”. FactCheck emailed Team Boris telling them: “as you’ll know, the government did not support the EU regulation on the matter”Yet it turns out it is FactCheck who “left out some key details”…

In 2013, the European Commission published the proposed change to the regulation. FactCheck are right that the UK government initially signalled it would oppose the change – indeed in January 2014 Boris expressed his concern about the UK position. Yet what FactCheck don’t mention is that the UK government’s actual decision, when it came to the European Council vote in April 2015, was to vote in favour. The UK government did support it…

So when FactCheck said to Boris that “the government did not support the EU regulation on the matter”, they omitted to mention that, actually, it did. Boris was calling for this change to be made a year before the EU passed it – if the UK was a sovereign nation in control of its laws we could have implemented it ourselves. Yet another example of the media’s blind hatred of Boris resulting in basic factual errors… 

NB. Of course this is the same Channel 4 whose editor last year liked a tweet calling Boris a “c**t”.

UPDATE:


Doubling down on their stupidity. The European Council is made up of heads of government of the EU’s 28 countries. Its job is to provide political direction. It is the Council of the EU which deals with legislation.  They are two different institutions.

May Blocks Merkel From Talking About Chequers Deal

Despite the fact that she showed Merkel the plan before she showed the Cabinet.

Rolling the pitch for no questions to Trump on Friday?

Tory Vice Chairs Quit in Protest at PM’s Brexit Deal

Two more resignations: Maria Caulfield and Ben Bradley have quit in protest at the Chequers deal. Their letters:


A party divided…

No.10 Block Jacko From Staying at Dexeu

Scoop from Patrick O’Flynn: Number 10 has blocked the reappointment of David Davis’ former chief of staff Stewart Jackson as Dominic Raab’s SpAd at Dexeu:

Confirmed by Jacko’s wife Sarah O’Grady:

This is going down very badly in the Commons tea room. Brexiteers not welcome…

‘None of the Above’ Voters’ Choice for PM

“Don’t Know” is now pulling ahead of Theresa May with Jeremy Corbyn still third in a two-horse race. Voters know they are between the red devil and a deep blue sell-out…

Brexiteers Turn On Each Other in ERG WhatsApp Group

Brexiteer Tory MPs are turning on each other in the ERG WhatsApp group as they split into two factions: those supporting and those opposing Theresa May’s deal. Laurence Robertson, who opposes the government’s Brexit plan, accused those backing the PM of being “sycophants and careerists” and warned “battle lines” are being drawn. Strong language which is not going down well with those on the other side of the party…

Maria Caulfield complained that MPs opposing the Number 10 plan have “overnight been turned into the enemy” and that some of those backing the PM do not “have her and the country’s best interest at heart”.

Philip Davies lambasted colleagues in safe seats who are backing the PM, accusing them of “not giving a stuff” about those in Leave-voting marginals:

He went on to accuse Downing Street of “lies”:

Andrew Bridgen summed up feeling among Leavers:

Probably the main reason May is still in place and unlikely to be removed is that the Brexiteers have divided. The mood is very bad…

Iain Dale Asks Newsnight: ‘Why Do I Get Introduced as a Brexit Supporter?’

Iain Dale quite rightly calls out a classic piece of BBC bias, as he is introduced on Newsnight as a Brexit supporter whilst the strongly Remain views of Matthew Parris and Rachel Shabi go unmentioned. The BBC always do this – Guido is often introduced on the Beeb as being from a “right-wing website”, though you never hear BBC presenters talk about the left-wing Guardian or the left-wing Mirror, HuffPo, or New Statesman. Iain also pointed out that once again the Newsnight panel was two-to-one in favour of Remainers. Evan did wince a bit awkwardly before conceding the point. As ever…

Trump: UK in Turmoil, I’ll Speak to Boris When I’m in London

Roll on the visit…

READ: Andrew Bridgen’s Letter to Graham Brady

H/T @rosskempsell
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Quote of the Day

Jeremy Corbyn told by veteran Jewish MP Margaret Hodge…

“You’re a f***ing anti-aemite and a racist”

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