Channel 4 News is a “Fake News Propaganda Channel” – Banks


Banks got positively Trumpian on his way out of the BBC after doing his Marr interview. Accusing Channel 4 News of being a “fake news propaganda channel”. Banks is clearly still sore from the bonkers accusations by the show that he tried to start an African coup with a couple of handguns bought for security guards at a mine in which he has a financial interest. The bizarre allegations amounted to nothing.

Channel 4 News is getting increasingly tetchy about being boycotted by government ministers and other Conservative politicians. The situation should hardly surprise them given that they are at times more of a campaigning organisation than a news organisation. Their anchorman reportedly wants to “f**k the Tories”. That’s fine if you are a newspaper or, dare Guido say, a website that does campaigning journalism. The standards are very different for a regulated news broadcaster. Channel 4 News doesn’t seem to even pretend to seek objectivity nowadays…

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Arron Banks Would Remain in Hindsight

Arron Banks rounded off his stormy Marr interview by saying that he would favour the UK remaining in the EU in hindsight. Even if only just to have one more backhanded jab at Remainers…

Arron Banks on Marr in Full

Arron Banks’ much-debated appearance on the Andrew Marr Show ultimately generated far more heat than light, with the veteran broadcaster struggling to land a firm glove on a slippery Banks. Did anyone really learn anything new? Watch for yourself and see…

Burgon Bungles Labour’s Six Brexit Tests

Richard Burgon has become the latest senior Labour figure to forget what Labour’s six so-called ‘Brexit tests’ are and make up a completely unrelated set on the spot. Guido is surprised that broadcasters don’t challenge the shadow Cabinet on what they are more often since they love to bring them up in debate but none seem to have a clue what they actually are. At least he made up the right number, unlike his boss

Yvette Cooper’s Heartfelt Tribute to Sir Jeremy Heywood

The tragic news broke this morning that former Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood has passed away from cancer overnight aged just 56. Yvette Cooper was live on air as the news broke and delivered a heartfelt tribute to the man she knew well. Guido’s thoughts are with Sir Jeremy’s friends and family.

Saturday 7-Up

This week 177,035 visitors visited 581,781 times viewing 970,841 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:

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

“No Money” Left for Lib Dems

Guido hears that gallows humour has been in order at Lib Dem HQ today following the news that 25% of staff are set to be made redundant, with disgruntled staffers reportedly sending round a parody of the infamous note Liam Byrne left David Laws in the Treasury in 2010 using Vince Cable’s signature instead. While Guido has sadly not been able to procure the precise version doing the rounds in Lib Dem HQ, he has mocked up a copy for your viewing pleasure nonetheless, featuring Vince’s notoriously minimalist signature.

Eight years ago the Lib Dems received the letter as they were entering Government – now they can’t even afford their own staff costs. Spending all your energy trying to fight Brexit isn’t looking to be a very financially sound strategy today…

National Union of Students on Verge of Bankruptcy

The National Union of Students is in crisis and teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, an explosive letter obtained by Guido has revealed. In recent years SU disaffiliation, along with other services that provide student discounts without the NUS’ baggage of dubious geopolitical stances, anti-Semitism scandals, and hatred of clapping have put the organisation under serious strain.

NUS President Shakira Martin and NUS Acting Chief Executive Peter Robertson have sent a letter to all affiliated Students’ Unions, setting out their dire financial straits.

“The NUS Group is facing financial difficulty. We are projected to post a significant deficit this year without enough resource to cover the loss.”

“We’re looking at a £3m deficit for the group in this and future financial years.”

“We have taken immediate advice on the options available to us to ensure we remain solvent. It looks likely this will include a combination of borrowing against the building we own, making cuts to staff, and turning off some of the activity we deliver.”

The NUS will try to stay afloat by implementing harsh austerity, making sweeping cuts to staff as well as cuts to services. But Guido was told that austerity was just a “political choice”?

It’s clear some big disaffiliations in 2016 have further squeezed the NUS’ finances. There has never been a better time to leave this disaster of an organisation…

Guido has obtained a copy of the extraordinary letter, which you can read in full here.

Top Tory Activist Charged With Fraud

Well known Tory activist and producer of “Brexit: The Movie” David Shipley today sat in the criminal dock at Westminster Magistrates Court, facing fraud charges in relation to transactions totalling over half a million pounds following allegations by two firms. One firm was his former employer, the other was founded by the former TV Dragon James Caan…

Colourful David Shipley is well known in SW1 think tank circles. He pleaded not guilty to all charges. Shipley was granted conditional bail and ordered to hand over his passport and check in with the police twice a week. His case will be heard in full at Southwark Crown Court in late November.

Was Hain Allowed to Use Parliamentary Privilege to Break Philip Green Injunction?

Peter Hain has heavily defended his use of Parliamentary Privilege to name Philip Green as the businessman behind the injunction against the Telegraph. But was he even allowed to do so?

Under a resolution on Parliamentary Privilege which the House of Lords adopted on 11 May 2000, Peers cannot use their Parliamentary Privilege to refer to any cases which are currently Sub judice – i.e. undergoing active legal proceedings – unless they have secured the approval of the Lords Speaker to do so at least 24 hours in advance. It also stipulates that “the exercise of the Speaker’s discretion may not be challenged in the House.” Did Hain seek formal approval from Lord Fowler in advance?

Additionally, the resolution sets out that the Lords Speaker should only grant permission for the Sub judice rule to be waived when, in their opinion, “a case concerns national importance such as the economy, public order or the essential services”. It may have covered the front pages but it is hard to argue that the Green case fell into any of these categories…

Corbyn’s Unlawful Left Turn

As this screenshot shows, Jeremy Corbyn MP was seen cycling the wrong direction up a one-way street live on Sky News. The route he is taking goes in the direction of Parliament, therefore it is safe to assume it is not a mistake and he knows where he is going, even if he seems unaware of the Highway Code. There is no bike lane or alternative route for cyclists in this direction. Jeremy is of course going leftwards against the rightwards flow…

Friday Caption Contest (Shed Responsibilities Edition)

Entries in the comments…

Owen Jones’ Reality Check for Remainers

Owen Jones had a reality check for the Remainers getting overexcited after Arron Banks was referred to the NCA yesterday. As hard as it is for SW1 to grasp, the vast majority of people don’t have lives which revolve entirely around Twitter…

Rudd Case Shows Sedwill Wrong to Put Civil Servants Above Criticism

Amber Rudd levelled some remarkable accusations at her former civil servants in the Home Office this morning following the publication of a report into the events surrounding her resignation over the Windrush Scandal. Sir Alex Allan’s report, which was completed on May 23rd but not published until today after being leaked to The Times, pointed the finger of blame at civil servants for not providing Rudd with correct briefings which led her to misleading MPs about the existence of removals targets.

Rudd herself went further on Today, effectively accusing senior civil servants of politically-motivated leaks against her:

JW: You were leaked about at the time as well – do you have a sense that this was just incompetence or was there something political as well – was there an attempt to embarrass you?

AR: It certainly felt like the latter as well… yes, there were a series of leaks during the past year at quite a high level that were definitely intended to embarrass me.

The two civil servants singled out for criticism in Allan’s report, Director General for Immigration Hugh Ind and Permanent Secretary Patsy Wilkinson, have simply been moved to other high level jobs within the civil service. Ind is now Director General at the Cabinet Office while Wilkinson has moved into a national security role. Classic civil service promotion for failure.

The whole affair makes a mockery of Mark Sedwill’s protestations only two weeks ago that civil servants should not be subject to scrutiny from the press. It is a basic fact of politics that individual civil servants have agendas and leak to the press for political reasons. It is a basic fact of life that civil servants are not infallible and sometimes make mistakes when carrying out their jobs.

Yet the notion still persists in some quarters that civil servants should be immune to political criticism despite carrying out political attacks of their own, while politicians take the flak for officials’ mistakes even as the Whitehall gravy train ensures that the officials responsible still have a cushy job at the end of it all. Funny how many of those rushing to defend Robbins now want officials’ heads to roll over Rudd…

Criminal Investigation into Labour Anti-Semitism as 38% Believe Corbyn is an Anti-Semite

Labour’s anti-Semitism problem is in the spotlight again as it emerged this morning that the Metropolitan Police have launched a criminal investigation into allegations of anti-Semitism within the party. The police have been examining an internal Labour document detailing allegations of anti-Semitism which was obtained by LBC and concluded that several allegations within it were worthy of full criminal investigations.

It comes as a new Populus/BICOM poll found that 38% of Brits believe that Corbyn himself is anti-Semitic. Only 1 in 4 people agreed that he was a “committed campaigner against racism of all kinds, including antisemitism”, while as few as 19% believed that he had “worked hard to deliver peace between Israel and the Palestinians”. Almost double that number instead thought that he “only seems interested in talking to those organisations which have been deemed terrorists by the British Government, the EU and the US State Department”. The fish rots from the head...

LibDem Cash Crisis: HQ Slashing 25% of Staff

Lib Dem HQ staff have been told that because of a £700,000 hole in their budget they will need to make 20 people redundant by the end of November (out of a staff of 80). Every party staff member has been given the option of voluntary redundancy, though they will have to move to compulsory ones if needed.

The £700,000 shortfall is from membership renewal income – they were told that it was because of an error in projections. Guido’s source is incredulous, “if it is an error then it’s an absolutely enormous one and I don’t believe it’s possible to be that wrong. Could very well be that members are just not renewing at anything like the rate they used to.” So much for membership surging on the back of anti-Brexit campaigning…

According to the same source “The cherry on the s**it-cake is that Vince has flown to Scotland today, business class, to campaign, with the party footing the bill…” If only the low-energy Cable spent some of his time fundraising he might not be sacking so many campaign staff…

UPDATE: Senior party insiders are hanging the blame on CEO Nick Harvey. The former MP they say is fine on political strategy, not so good on operational management. Party income is now projected to be down by 10% overall – which would not justify 25% staffing cuts – the problem is the shortfall was not expected, quite the contrary. Staff numbers had been expanded on the back of over-optimistic projections. The party centrally is at it’s debt limit and overdrawn to the tune of £1 million. Even Keynesians like Cable know you can’t keep on borrowing for ever…

UPDATE II: The Lib Dems have strenuously denied the suggestion that Cable flew business class to Scotland this week.

Osamor Ignores Osamor’s Drug Warning

Kate Osamor has been getting a little tetchy since her son and parliamentary press officer Ishmael was convicted for possessing a hefty quantity of Class A drugs at Bestival last year. He’s since stood down as a councillor and faced calls to quit his parliamentary role as well. Safe to say he probably wasn’t running her Twitter account back in 2013 when she warned her followers to “say no to drugs”…

Tracey Crouch Resigns

Sports Minister Tracey Crouch has resigned over the delay to the Government’s reduction of FOBT maximum stakes from £100 to £2. After a day of uncertainty over whether Crouch would resign or not, including a stormy session of DCMS questions in Parliament this morning where she was absent but numerous backbench MPs from across the Commons stood up to defend her position, Crouch’s resignation was finally confirmed this evening after the Government made clear they would not be changing their position. Crouch was reportedly in tears in the voting lobby…

The Government have lost a competent minister simply over a question of timing, not principle, and there are several Tory backbenchers who sympathise with her. This could prove to be a bit of a headache for them…

UPDATE: Crouch has tweeted her resignation letter, saying that it is “with great sadness I have resigned from one of the best jobs in Government”:

 

SNP Walking 500 Miles From Budget Vote

Government whips will be breathing easy this evening – any potential for the SNP to play games with Budget votes will be severely limited as Guido is reliably informed that half their group are skipping out early from Parliament… in order to see The Proclaimers at the London Palladium tonight.

[…] Read the rest

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