Welsh Government SpAd Under Pressure this Morning

The family of Carl Sargeant – who is understood to have killed himself after being accused of sexual misconduct – say advisers to the Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones may have manipulated evidence against him. They also failed to detail the charges against Sargaent despite pleas from his solicitors, meaning he had no opportunity to defend himself against unknown allegations. Pictured above are the SpAds out in Cardiff on Friday night celebrating after the sacking of Carl Sargeant from the Welsh government earlier that day.

On the left in the photo above is the First Minister’s senior SpAd Matt Greenough, who is under fire over his handling of the complaint. Greenough is said to be the one who spoke to the complainants before the issue was referred for an internal party investigation. First Minister Carwyn Jones is under serious pressure this morning, Greenough could be sacrificed…

Priti Resigns

Priti Patel has resigned as Secretary of State for International Development. Long day…

UPDATE: The exchange of letters. Priti Patel offers “a fulsome apology” to Theresa May and the government in her resignation letter:

UPDATE: No replacement until tomorrow:

Jezza’s Favourite Magazine Attacks Nationalisation

Completely unsurprisingly, Jezza is “a borderline trainspotter” with a self-confessed “zany”  passion for Britain’s railways. When he’s not trying to make a political point by sitting on the train floor he’s he’s getting abuse hurled at him by a carriage full of travelling football fans…

But here’s news sure to make the Labour leader run out of steam: Jezza’s favourite trainspotting magazine Rail carries a long read ripping his headline rail nationalisation policy to shreds. The piece, ‘Nationalisation – a dead end argument’, signals Labour policy is just not the ticket:

“Governments are not very good at delivering public services themselves -there is a tendency to meddling, short-termism, starvation of funding, and nakedly politicised decisions every time things get difficult. Much better to set out the framework of what you want to achieve over a period of time, and then contract with a focused and properly incentivised company to deliver your requirements.”

In fact, the article lists so many objections to Corbyn’s rail plan that it’s difficult to keep track. All put forward by an author of considerable station: a former top railway executive who oversaw a government-run line. With critics like this, how can Jezza just carriage on regardless with the policy?

Pressure On Carwyn As Carl Sargeant’s Family Releases Emails

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones is under pressure tonight after Carl Sargeant’s family spoke out about the circumstances surrounding his suicide. The family says Labour did not inform Sargeant of the “detail of the allegations” before he died. Correspondence between Sargeant’s solicitor and the party reveals the allegations were “related to unwanted attention, inappropriate touching or groping”. There was no police investigation taking place. The family also says concerns were raised with Labour about the AM’s mental welfare before died. The family are especially critical of Jones’s media statements…

A family spokesperson said:

“In light of the continued unwillingness to clarify the nature of the allegations made against Carl, the family wish the release into the public domain, correspondence between Carl’s solicitors and the Labour Party on Monday of this week. Up to the point of his tragic death on Tuesday morning Carl was not informed of any of the detail of the allegations against him, despite requests and warnings regarding his mental welfare.

“The correspondence also discloses the solicitor’s concern that media appearances by the First Minister on Monday were prejudicing the inquiry. The family wish to disclose the fact that Carl maintained his innocence and he categorically denied any wrongdoing. The distress of not being able to defend himself properly against these unspecified allegations meant he was not afforded common courtesy, decency or natural justice.”

Here’s the email sent by Sargeant’s solicitor to Labour on Monday raising concerns about the First Minister’s media statements:

Doesn’t look good…

Priti Lands

Wheels down for Priti Patel at Heathrow, no time for duty free as she is quickly whisked into the waiting motorcade. Guido can confirm she has turned her phone on and gone online on WhatsApp:

She has also changed her WhatsApp status, referencing Nadhim Zahawi defending her as a “workaholic” on Newsnight last night:

Gallows humour…

Mark Garnier Speaks

Mark Garnier breaks his silence about those sex toys:

“The events of 2010 concerning myself and a former member of staff have been reported outside the context and circumstances in which they occurred.

“At the time we were friends, and I want to be clear that I did not force or pressure her into doing anything.

“It is right that the public expect high standards of behaviour from their elected representatives, and I apologise to my constituents that this situation has occurred.”

He’s not resigning…

MEND Boss Hints At Corbyn’s Hidden Views

When he wasn’t busy suspending the whip from sex pest MPs, Jeremy Corbyn found time to attend a MEND event in Parliament last week. MEND brands itself as an ‘anti-Islamophobia think tank’, but has been described as a group of “Islamists posing as civil libertarians”. The evidence for this? The litany of hate spewed by senior MEND figures, who have praised Al-Qaeda, attended speeches by al-Qaeda hate preachers, and attempted to justify the murder of British troops. Despite this, and notwithstanding the fact that other MPs pulled out of the event, Corbyn turned up and gave the keynote speech. How deep are the connections between Corbyn and MEND?

Meet Azad Ali, formerly a director of MEND and now the group’s Head of Community Engagement. Ali denied the Westminster Bridge attack was an act of terror, calling it a “lone wolf” event. He has written of his love of Al-Qaeda operative Anwar Al-Awlaki (a terrorist connected to a string of plots and attacks including 9/11, the Fort Hood shooting, the underwear bomb plot). He was suspended from his civil service job at the Treasury after he attempted to justify the murder of British troops. He has also admitted attending speeches by Al-Qaeda hate preacher Abu Qatada (spiritual guide to 9/11 hijack leader Mohamed Atta). Quite a CV, and the sort of person you’d think a party leader would run a mile from…

But check out this speech Ali gave in praise of Jeremy Corbyn just this summer. Ali hints that Corbyn’s own views are more extreme than the Labour leader owns up to in public:

“I actually applaud Jeremy Corbyn for giving a break to the Muslim community, you know he took a lot of the blame and flack. You know when he got called a ‘terrorist sympathiser’ and all of this kind of stuff I was thinking, you know, I’ve known Jeremy from before he became leader and I was thinking you know what, wait until they find other things about him.

“And they tried to smear him day in, day out… but not only that, recently after Manchester, what did he say? ‘We need to talk about foreign policy’. So the opening is there for us.”

“Wait until they find other things about him”…

Simon Stevens Embraces £350 Million For NHS

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens used to hype up the risks to the NHS of leaving the EU. He even went on Marr during the referendum to personally condemn Vote Leave’s £350 million a week figure. So Guido welcomes Steven’s conversion to the cause at today’s NHS conference in Birmingham, where he has called on the government to spend the Brexit dividend on the NHS: “Vote Leave for a better funded health service – £350 million a week”. Having his cake and eating it? Or is Stevens finally embracing the benefits of Brexit…

Damian Green Finds Lifeboat

Meanwhile Damian Green has inexplicably tweeted a photo of himself about to board a lifeboat. He needs one…

Leaving Lembit

Sad news for Lembit Opik, whose better half Sabina has publicly dumped him on Twitter. Plenty more fish in the sea, Lembit. Sports tonight?

Number 10: Jewish Chronicle Report Untrue

After the Jewish Chronicle reported that Number 10 knew about Priti Patel’s meeting with Bibi before they previously admitted and also ordered Priti to cover up details of two further meetings with Israeli officials, a Downing Street spokesman says the JC is wrong:

“It is not true that the Prime Minister knew about the International Development Secretary’s meeting with PM Netanyahu before Friday 3rd November. It is equally untrue to say that No 10 asked DfID to remove any meetings from the list they published this week.”

Not looking good for Priti, who is currently somewhere over Greece and due to land at Heathrow just after 3pm…

UPDATE: Flight Radar live on Sky News: ‘As you can see she’s currently somewhere over Albania…’

Fatherly Advice for Suspended David Prescott

The Mirror reveals this morning that David Prescott, Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet liason aide, has been suspended from the Labour Party. Fortunately the Mirror have a columnist who knows how he would sort out the sex pest scandal, his father, John Prescott. Currently David is suffering his suspension in silence…

May at Madame Tussauds

Lifelike…

LibDem Women Write to Cable Accusing Party of Covering Up Sexual Assaults

An 82 strong group of LibDem mainly women activists have signed an open letter to Vince Cable accusing the party of covering up sexual assaults and harassment. The letter, signed by dozens of female activists over the last two days, says the party did not “adequately look into” an allegation of assault against a male LibDem, warns this is not an “isolated case” and says “the party is failing” at dealing with harassment:

Dear Vince,

We didn’t want to resort to this. This should have been dealt with effectively by Liberal Democrats HQ, but instead we have been left with no choice but to pen this letter. When a group of young women put forward allegations of sexual assault against a fellow member of the party in July 2017 we expected a thorough investigation. Instead the allegations against the accused were not adequately looked into and a suspension only occurred two days ago.

We wish this were an isolated case, but these stories are common within the party. After the allegations about Lord Rennard, we were promised a change in the complaints procedure. It is evident this has not happened.

Three days ago, you sent an email to all members pledging to stamp out harassment and assault in the party. Right now the party is failing at this. It has been days since we first went public with this situation and all we have heard is attempts to justify the party’s behaviour.

We want a full review into the procedure for dealing with allegations of sexual harassment and assault and for the recommendations of the review to be properly implemented. We want more comprehensive support for those who come forward, so people can report with complete confidence that the party will treat their case with the full consideration it deserves.

We are disappointed, Vince. We love this party. We believe that our principles of tolerance, equality and freedom are worth fighting for, but currently the party is not living up to them. We want this party to be a safe environment for all members, and we urge you to take action.

Vince welcomed Rennard back into the fold, these LibDem activists know he doesn’t get it…

#IPTsUnfair – The Raid on the Responsible

In less than two years, the Government has doubled the Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) burden from 6% to 12%. The tax is payable on most general insurance policies, as well as commercial insurance taken out by businesses. Independent experts say that IPT costs per-household are set to rise above £200 in 2018.

If the Chancellor increases it once again in this year’s Budget, millions of British households and businesses will be affected even more.  

Another hike would mean another cost passed directly onto hard-pressed families. This could dissuade them from protecting essentials like their homes, health, vehicles and pets.

The idea of taxing people simply for doing the responsible thing by buying insurance is absurd. It’s like taxing people for locking their front doors, or stopping at a pedestrian crossing. If you raise taxes on insurance you will discourage people from insuring themselves.

Shouldn’t we be encouraging those who are taking proper precautions and being responsible, rather than discouraging them?  

If you, like us, oppose another increase in Insurance Premium Tax, then speak out. Watch and share our video and stand up against another hike once and for all, because quite frankly, #IPTs Unfair.

 

Content produced and sponsored by The Association of British Insurers (ABI)

Where’s Priti?

The word is Priti Patel never made it to Uganda and instead stayed overnight in Nairobi. There is speculation she is now flying back to London – could she be on the Nairobi to London flight which departed 6:30am UK time? Priti was last active on WhatsApp at 6:16am our time, so it looks like a possibility. You can follow the flight hereIf so she’s due to land in London some time after 3pm…

UPDATE: Looks like Priti is without WiFi for the next eight hours:

Marxist Medicine: The Lancet Editor Praises Karl

Check out this bizarre piece praising Karl Marx in one of Britain’s leading peer-reviewed medical journals, The Lancet, this month. The article isn’t just a junior leftie medic’s fantasy: it’s by the journal’s Editor-in-Chief Dr Richard Horton. He writes:

“Marxism is a call to engage, an invitation to join the struggle to protect the values we share. You don’t have to be a Marxist to appreciate Marx. As the centenary* of his birth approaches, we might agree that medicine has a great deal to learn from Marx.”

Marx you feel sick!

*He means bi-centenary.

Siddiq Has Exploited Nazanin Case for Partisan Purposes Before

Richard Radcliffe is doing everything in his power to free his wife, and everyone in his position would do the same. Tulip Siddiq took a very partisan tone in the Commons when she had a go at Boris today for his sloppy language a week ago in front of a Select Committee. Be in no doubt that Siddiq has exploited voters’ natural sympathy for the Nazanin case for partisan purposes.

Above is a letter that was delivered to constituents during the recent general election. It is an official Labour Party leaflet sent in the name of Richard Radcliffe urging voters to vote for Tulip Siddiq. There’s something distasteful about Tulip Siddiq’s exploitation of voter sympathy for an innocent woman held prisoner overseas for partisan purposes.

Learn how you can support the Free Nazanin campaign

Vaz Investigation Still Ongoing A Year Later

What with all the talk of scandal in Westminster, the mind inevitably wanders to… Keith Vaz. It’s now more than 12 months since an official complaint about Vaz’s conduct was first made to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards (in September 2016). The Commissioner was asked to investigate whether Vaz broke the Code of Conduct for MPs when he was caught offering to pay for drugs for gay prostitutes. Vaz was Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee which handles prostitution and drugs legislation…

The Standards Commissioner said yesterday:

“The Commissioner doesn’t give updates and it is not possible to give an expected date for completion.”

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen, who submitted the complaint, said:

“I’m rapidly losing confidence in the parliamentary standards procedures. It often said that justice delayed is justice denied.”

Let’s hope all these new probes and inquiries and probes don’t take so long…

Britain Happier Despite Brexit

Despite all the doom and gloom from the BBC, Faisal Islam, The Times, FT and Guardian, Brexiting Britain is actually happier:

Taking back control feels good, the statisticians cite ‘statistically significant improvements in average ratings of life satisfaction, feeling the things we do in life are worthwhile and happiness for the UK overall’.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Jo Swinson on Chris Rennard…

“Vince — and Tim before him — have repeatedly, publicly said Rennard is not welcome anywhere near their frontbench team, even as an adviser. I remain deeply frustrated that he was not expelled from the party through its disciplinary process. It just feels wrong, and I do not want Lord Rennard to continue as a member of the party. As far as I am concerned, he is not welcome.”

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