80% of Broxtowe Tory Members Unhappy With Soubry

Last week Guido revealed Anna Soubry’s association chairman was canvassing the opinion of local Tory members about their MP. The initial results are in, and 80% of Broxtowe Tory members who have replied so far say they are unhappy with Soubry. Trouble ahead…

Bercow Won’t Fly England Flag for Belgium Game Tonight

Bercow confirms that the Cross of St George will not fly above Parliament for the Brexit derby tonight, but it will for future World Cup games. Beaten to it on Whitehall… 

Must We See More Hersh?

Seymour Hersh has been given copious free airtime across all the networks during his UK book tour. Producers do not seem to realise that the once respected journalist has gone crackers in recent years and turned into Chris Williamson on steroids. Yesterday on the BBC Raido 4’s Media Show he asserted that Russia is not to blame for the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal (who he also referred to as having died, even though they survived):

“There’s bias all the time, this country’s riddled with bias, there’s a great dislike of Russia here, an instinctive dislike… The two Russians that were allegedly killed by nerve gas which is essentially impossible… I’ve been told the real story had little to do with Russia per se.”

Guido has yet to see any BBC, Sky or ITV presenter challenge Hersh on his propaganda for the Assad regime, either. The broadcasters are giving free PR to someone who denies the gas attacks in Syria and the Skripal poisoning… 

Bomb Scare at BBC

Developing…

New Brexit Blond Bombshell

What’s going on with Nigel’s hair? Think he’s been hanging out with Trump too much…

UPDATE: Farage allies deny he has been using a new product.

UBS Experts Wrong Again

The experts at UBS forecast an economic crash for the UK and an exodus from the City if we voted to Leave the EU, threatening to move 1,000 jobs out of the country as a result of Brexit. It turned out there was no crash and the bank u-turned on its Brexodus scaremongering. They were wrong then, and they’re wrong now…

Before the World Cup, UBS deployed a team of 18 analysts and editors and ran a computer simulation of the tournament 10,000 times. They determined Germany would win. Yesterday the Germans crashed out in the group stage, finishing bottom after a humiliating 2-0 defeat to South Korea. In 2014 UBS said Brazil would win – they lost 7-1 in the semi-final. What was it Michael Gove said about “experts from organisations with acronyms”…

Fox First to Fly England Flag

The Department for International Trade is claiming they were “one of – if the not the first dept – to fly the England flag this morning”, following a successful campaign by Nick Boles and The Sun. Whitehall sources, send us your pics… not expecting to hear from the Treasury.

UPDATE: Boris next out of the blocks

Brexit Derby Day

Good luck to the boys against Belgium tonight. Win it for Harry, England and Brexit…

F*ck PMQs

F*ck business? Well, no. F*ck PMQs? Absolutely yes. Today’s hell-fest turned horrific as Speaker Bercow intoned: “there’s unlimited time as far as I’m concerned”. Strap in

Jezza did open – as expected – with the ‘rats in a sack’ ploy: swiftly pointing out the evident disagreement within Theresa May’s cabinet on, well, just about everything nowadays (rather like every cabinet in British political history, by the way). He picked up on Boris Johnson’s reported four-letter commentary. The key weakness here is as follows: being lectured on party unity – especially regarding Brexit – by Jeremy Corbyn is like taking advice on harmony and non-violence from Tom and Jerry. Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet is not only divided on leaving the EU, but on spending plans, on the manifesto, on his leadership, on the future direction of his party and on the very definition of what the Labour Party, in its very essence, should be. The leader’s office is locked in a perpetual war with its own spokespeople. The Shadow Cabinet meeting room might as well be fitted with a revolving door: more than 100 resignations since Corbyn became leader (not to mention the sackings). Sadly, the irony of Corbyn’s critique was not conveyed. F*ck PMQs…

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Dent Coad Denies Election Expenses Claims

Emma Dent Coad has come out swinging after being reported to the police by democracy campaigner Stuart Coster over her election expenses, telling the Standard: “These entirely baseless allegations make the erroneous assumption that one has to spend a lot of money to win an election”, and adding that she fought the seat “from my kitchen table with loads of volunteers”. Guido hopes she thought that line through…

This is Dent Coad’s election communication for the 2017 election. The imprint is personal to Dent Coad locally (not the national party), the content is fully local and can’t be considered national costs, yet the imprint refers to the printer “Sterling Press Ltd” which appears nowhere on the list of suppliers of her “Unsolicited material to electors”. A Labour source says Dent Coad declared a payment for her election communication to the Labour Party, which was then centrally paid to Sterling Press, in accordance with electoral law.

The leaflet also invites readers to order a poster (which a Labour source says was a Labour poster and therefore national spend), quotes a mobile phone number and refers to a web address – the costs for none of which during the regulated period are included in her return. Did she really only spend five grand on her entire election campaign?

Truss: Fund Spending Plans With Cuts Not Taxes

The Truss / Gove banter last night has been blown out of all proportion, with one headline about the story actually reading: “Tory Cabinet Falls Into Open Warfare”. It was a joke about Gove rhyming with stove. Believe it or not, there are more important Cabinet splits than this one…

The row has distracted from the more interesting contents of the Truss speech, which was as sound an intervention as you are ever going to get from a minister in a Theresa May government. You can read it in full here. One interesting line was her endorsement for the Centre for Policy Studies’ campaign to fund the government’s spending plans with cuts rather than tax rises. She wants MPs to attend a series of meetings to make proposals for cuts to waste and low value areas of spending, to be published by the CPS at Tory party conference.

“The more government spends, the higher taxes have to be… higher tax means less money for me to decide when to go on holiday or buy a new car… there are many ageing countries with advanced economies that do not have high tax and spend… Canada, after the misconceived expansionist years in the 1960s, when they raised taxes and nationalised businesses…rescued their economy in the 90s by cutting spending and balancing the budget… All across the world, countries are addressing their problems not simply by raising tax and spend, but by reshaping and reinventing themselves… Some of my colleagues are not being clear about the tax implications of their proposed higher spending… I want to take a zero-based, zero-tolerance approach to wasteful spend. We need to take a look at ourselves and think “what is the best way to use the money entrusted to us?” We have to make every pound pull its weight. We have to make every pound pull its weight.”

It is all too rare these days that any Tory makes these noises. It is the polar opposite of Number 10’s approach, and far more interesting than the Gove bluster. At least one leadership candidate will be backing lower taxes next time round…

Hands Rinses Bercow

A subtle demolition of Bercow by Greg Hands:

“Mr Speaker, we all need to keep our election pledges, and that, Mr Speaker, applies whether we made those pledges one year ago or nine years ago.”

He lied…

PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Helen Goodman (Bishop Auckland) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 27 June.
Q2 Luke Pollard (Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport)
Q3 Mr Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury)
Q4 Ben Lake (Ceredigion)
Q5 Julian Knight (Solihull)
Q6 Afzal Khan (Manchester, Gorton)
Q7 James Morris (Halesowen and Rowley Regis)
Q8 Kevin Foster (Torbay)
Q9 Bim Afolami (Hitchin and Harpenden)
Q10 Bill Grant (Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock)
Q11 Mary Creagh (Wakefield)
Q12 Sir Peter Bottomley (Worthing West)
Q13 Joanna Cherry (Edinburgh South West)
Q14 Alison Thewliss (Glasgow Central)

Orwell Prize Winner Compares Brexit to Grenfell

Congratulations to Carole Cadwalladr, who this week won the Orwell Prize for the best political writing of the year. Carole celebrated by tweeting a thread which concluded with her comparing Brexit to Grenfell. She even attached a photo of the fire. Imagine the judges’ faces when they see that…

That said, the Orwell journalism prize judges were Brexit-hating columnist Rachel Johnson, the Economist’s David Bell, and the former political editor of Channel 4 News Elinor Goodman. Andrew Adonis is judging the Orwell book prize this year. Former winners include Johann Hari

Piers to Sadiq: Man Up and Do An Interview

Sadiq Khan dropped out of a broadcast interview again this week:

What a surprise…

Andrew RT Davies Resigns as Welsh Tory Leader

Andrew RT Davies has resigned as leader of the Welsh Conservatives. He said in a statement:

“It is with deep regret that I announce that I have today tendered my resignation as leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the National Assembly. This was done in a letter to our Group Chairman following a meeting this morning of all group members.  “It has been a huge privilege to serve in this position since 2011, after securing the mandate of the party in a ballot of the membership. It is my firm belief that any Leader of the Assembly Group should secure the same mandate in a full ballot of the grassroots, and I hope that my successor will emerge in that manner.”

Davies hasn’t said why he has quit. He was caught up in the Airbus row earlier this week…

Liz Truss on “Wood-Burning Gove”

Team Truss spinning hard that she didn’t break collective responsibility on the government’s plastic straws policy as that line was taken out of the speech. As you can see above though, she did make the crack at “wood-burning Gove”.

Truss is boldly attempting to spin her jibe as a good-natured joke about a “good mate”. Interesting way to treat your mates…

Justine Greening Rules Herself Out of Mayoral Bid

Airbus PR’s LibDem Links

The PR behind Airbus’s anti-Brexit intervention this week has longstanding links to the LibDems. Katherine Bennett worked for LibDem peer Tom McNally during the 1990s:

“I learnt such a lot from him, especially about speech writing, but also working for MPs and doing briefings.”

She shared a platform with former LibDem MEP Graham Watson art a pro-EU public meeting promoted by the party in 2013:

She is a colleague of Mike Collins, Publicly Manager for Airbus, who has also served as a Gloucestershire County Councillor and Tewkesbury Borough Councillor for… the Lib Dems. With a press office like this…

Brexit Drama Cast List in Full

Deadline has the cast for Channel 4’s new Brexit drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Dom Cummings. The Vote Leave boss’ wife, the Spectator’s Mary Wakefield, will be played by Liz White from Call the Midwife.

Skyfall’s Rory Kinnear is a good shout for Craig Oliver…

Guido can see The Crown’s John Heffernan doing a good Matthew Elliott.[…] Read the rest

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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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