“Marine A” Alexander Blackman Wins Appeal, Conviction Downgraded

Ex-Royal Marine Alexander Blackman who killed a wounded Taliban member in Afghanistan has this morning had his murder conviction reduced to manslaughter.

Lowest Unemployment Since 1975


Unemployment has fallen to 4.7% in the three months to January. Britain now has the lowest rate of unemployment since 1975. The figure for people in work rose by 92,000 to 31.9 million. Bloomberg reports:

“The U.K. economy has defied predictions of doom since the Brexit vote…”

Unemployment is almost half what it was under Gordon Brown…

Pro-Erdogan Mass Twitter Hack

Last night several major Twitter accounts posted tweets showing a swastika symbol and the words “Nazi Germany” and “Nazi Holland” written in Turkish. Some accounts had their header image changed to the Turkish flag in what seems to be a mass hack by supporters of the Turkish autocrat Erdogan. Affected accounts include Forbes, Amnesty International, the European Parliament, Justin Bieber, Dortmund football club, the UK Department of Health and EyeSpy.MP. It seems the hack happened via a third-party app – possibly Twitter Counter – rather than the accounts themselves being compromised. Twitter Counter claimed in November that they had secured their accounts after a hack…

UKIP Down Into Fourth on Single Figures

The LibDems are loving Brexit – every day Tim Farron delights in launching stinging attacks on Jeremy Corbyn as he seeks to clean up the Labour Remain vote with his unashamed Remoaning. UKIP meanwhile slip into fourth place for the first time in years, Britain Elects reports it is the first time they have been in single figures with YouGov since early 2013. Fight back starting? Or Brexit happening…

Mackinlay Interviewed Under Caution

Tory MP Craig Mackinlay was interviewed by police under caution for six hours last week over his election expenses in South Thanet, the Sun and Telegraph are reporting tonight. Kent Police are meeting with the CPS on Tuesday 21 March to discuss a possible prosecution. Here we go…

Pro-Bercow FOI Answered 2 Weeks Faster Than Average

Remember that Freedom of Information response disclosing that John Bercow had received over 3,000 letters and emails in support of his Trump ban? Guido can reveal the FoI in question was received on 15 February and answered on the very same day. As anyone who regularly fires off FoIs knows, such promptness is highly unusual. Indeed, the authorities admit that the average time taken to respond to FoI requests pertaining to the Speaker is 13 days. Surely the Speaker wouldn’t dream of accelerating the process to rush out a good news story while he was fighting for his career…

You Pay £15 Million For Local Trade Union Pilgrims

Millions of pounds of taxpayer-funded subsidies are still being dished out to trade union ‘Pilgrims’ across the country, a report by the Taxpayers’ Alliance has found. Despite promises by the government to clamp down on so-called ‘facility time’, there remain 371 local authority staff members who spend more than half their time working for trade unions, while being paid by the taxpayer. The cost of facility time (paid time-off taken by trade union representatives to carry out union duties) was at least £14,648,030 since 2012. Nearly a third of those local authorities analysed did not publish the data on their involvement with unions, thereby breaking the law.

The map of local authority Pilgrims waste extends across Britain:

  • The worst offenders nationally are Birmingham City Council with £1,124,924 and Leeds City Council with £502,095;
  • In the North East, Sunderland – £258,697;
  • In the North West, Bolton – £390,481;
  • In Scotland, City of Edinburgh – £244,576;
  • In the East Midlands, Leicester City Council – £494,544;
  • In the South West, Bristol City Council – £134,931;
  • In the East of England, Suffolk County Council – £189,741;
  • In London, Lambeth Borough Council – £281,000;
  • In the South East, Brighton and Hove City Council – £262,016.

Alex Wild, Research Director of the TPA, said:

“Trade unions are voluntary bodies of members and so should only receive the support of those members, not taxpayers. A huge amount continues to fund union duties, often without the express knowledge or consent of taxpayers, which simply isn’t right.”
David Cameron’s government began the process of dealing with Pilgrims, time for Theresa May to see it through…

Corbynista Candidate: “Israel Key Link in Exporting ISIS Oil”

Corbynista Alison Gove-Humphries last night won the selection to stand for Labour in Birmingham City Council’s Hall Green by-election. Her Facebook makes interesting reading. Gove-Humphries has shared an article putting forward the conspiracy theory that “Israel [is the] key link in exporting ISIS oil“.

She also thinks the “Israel lobby manufactured UK Labour Party’s anti-semitism crisis”.

Labour have kicked people out for saying the same…

May: “Royal Assent in Coming Days”

Taking her time…

Leaked Burnham Draft Manifesto Reveals Made-Up Stories About Women

Guido has obtained Andy Burnham’s draft manifesto for the Manchester mayoral election, which is set to be unveiled tomorrow. The section above is particularly moving, telling the tragic stories of a woman “who found it difficult to find work and was forced to take up a zero-hours contract”, as well as another woman “who had her retirement plans ruined and has now lost her independence”. All very unfortunate. Just one problem: these stories are not real and the women do not exist. Despite the apparently personalised stories, there are no names in the draft text, instead the letters “XXX” appear as Team Burnham try to find women who fit the gloomy narrative. Struggling to find case studies for their tales of woe? 

For those interested, here is the draft manifesto in full:

Baroness D’Souza Suggests Media Misreported Her Spending

Last night’s BBC documentary Meet the Lords saw Baroness D’Souza attend the unveiling of a portrait of herself costing a cool £12,000. Asked whether this was taxpayers’ money well spent, D’Souza said the media were correct to hold her to account but suggested they had not reported her spending accurately. For the sake of “accuracy“, here is the full litany of how D’Souza has spent your money:

  • £12,000 on a portrait of herself which the Baroness described as “a really good painting”
  • £4,000 on flowers
  • £1,100 on a trip to the ballet
  • £26,000 on a ten day trip to the Far East
  • £738 to keep her car waiting outside Windsor Castle
  • £270 to keep her car waiting during lunch with the Japanese Ambassador
  • £230 to keep her car waiting during a trip to the opera

“One would require them to be accurate”…

SNP Ring Around Played Down Referendum Chances

Scottish government ministers spent yesterday afternoon ringing around companies and trade bodies to discuss Sturgeon’s announcement on IndyRef2. One recipient of such a phone call reports that the SNP minister they spoke to was keen to allay business fears. The minister conceded that a Scottish referendum before Brexit is unlikely – despite Sturgeon’s demand for a vote by Spring 2019 – but they privately hope for one “shortly afterwards”. There are obviously significant obstacles to another Scottish referendum before Brexit is sorted, one being that Theresa May is hardly going to want one before, say, 2021. Almost as if the Nats aren’t being entirely honest with the public…

Arron Banks Says He’s Been Suspended By UKIP

Arron Banks says his UKIP membership has been suspended “apparently for saying the current leadership couldn’t knock the skin off a rice pudding”. Banks had told UKIP bigwigs that their lack of management credentials was akin to running a jumble sale, which went down about as well as his request to be made party chairman. Friends of Banks say UKIP wanted him to appear before the NEC “to be b*llocked”, to which Arron told them to “f**k off”. It is Banks’ view that the UKIP hierarchy have ultimately sided with Douglas Carswell over the Faragistas. UKIP sources counter that his membership lapsed earlier this year, remember Paul Nuttall said last month that Banks was not a member. Either way, Nuttall now has a rich, energetic enemy – Team Banks say of plans for a new party: “UKIP mark 2 – the movement is now in full speed ahead mode”…

UPDATE: How it played out on Twitter…

9:12am: Banks says he’s out:

9:19am: Carswell tweets apropos of nothing:

9:42am: Carswell clarifies:

Cheeky…

UPDATE II: Banks tells Guido the party “somehow managed to lapse my membership” and “on reapplying I was told the membership was suspended”.

LibDem Peer: Brexit Like Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin

LibDem peer Lord Taverne with the maddest contribution to the Brexit bill debate last night:

“It is a very dangerous step towards the doctrine that the people’s will must always prevail. My Lords, this is the doctrine which has always been Hitler, by Mussolini, by Stalin, by Erdogan at this present time. It is denial of the essence of democracy which we have supported to great effect in this country, and now we are abandoning it. My Lords we are the guardians of parliamentary democracy, we are right in this, we are the democrats and we are right to support the democratic cause.”

An insight worth £300 a day…

Vid via @wallaceme

Brexit Bill Passes

The Brexit bill passes through the Lords, its final hurdle in parliament before gaining Royal Assent. And then at last Theresa May can trigger Article 50. Another historic moment…[…] Read the rest

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Lords Amendments Defeated

Both Lords amendments have been overturned in the Commons tonight.

The amendment on EU nationals’ rights was defeated by 335 to 287, a majority of 48.[…] Read the rest

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OTT Tasmina Asks About Deporting EU Citizens

This is the level of debate from zombie Remainers like the SNP’s Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh: asking the government if they have considered establishing a deportation process for EU citizens. The government has repeatedly said it will guarantee the rights of EU citizens once the EU reciprocates for Britons.[…] Read the rest

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Tory MP Recovering From Coma Makes Brexit Vote

Tory MP Mike Wood was in a coma on life support for the second reading of the Brexit bill and still in intensive care for the third reading, after surviving a septic shock.[…] Read the rest

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LibDem Mayoral Candidate Accidentally Says She’s Labour

This morning LibDem West Midlands mayoral candidate Beverley Nielsen fired off a new leaflet to 15,000 households. Unfortunately, it contained perhaps the worst typo you will ever see on a piece of election literature. Beverley accidentally told voters she is the Labour candidate:

“Three reasons to back Beverley Nielsen for West Midlands Labour mayor.”

Oh Bev.[…] Read the rest

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Downing Street: Article 50 Triggered at “End” of March

So much for all those newspaper stories guesstimating that Article 50 would be triggered tomorrow – a “government source” is briefing various political editors that it won’t happen this week or next. A Number 10 spokesman claims they always said it would be at the “END” of March, their capital letters.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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